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White Skull – Metal Never Rusts Award winner

White Skull
Metal Never Rusts
by Fred “Cage” Bonanno at 22 November 2022, 5:02 PM

WHITE SKULL is a power metal band formed in 1988 from Italy and have released their eleventh studio album “Metal Never Rusts” on October 21, 2022. I’m gonna let the bands press release take over and tell the interesting story behind the album: Unable to play live during the pandemic, the band focused on a new project lead by Marco Donè (Italian Metal Journalist): the band´s memories and remarkable stories recorded and treasured in a book. While working on the book "The Soul of the Skull" Federica and Tony perceived the need of writing an album inspired by it. Music and lyrics that would not only describe the events told in the book but transmit to the audience a wide range of emotions along with a clear statement of what Metal means to the band. As soon as the lockdown was lifted the band gathered back together in the rehearsal room to pin down the new ideas. Right from the kick start it was clear that Valentino, the new entry, was the perfect fit the WHITE SKULLS needed to fire up the renewed Metal engine. Fast thundering rhythmic section powered by a new ignition spark and hyper charged by melodies and harmonies produced by bewitching vocals and magnetic keyboard arrangements. All assembled to make the metal crowd roar! The new album is blessed by renewed and powerful energy that bounces from song to song with a level of intensity and magnitude superior to all previous albums because, when forged with passion, true “Metal Never Rusts” Thank you, now back to me, your loveable reviewer, so lets see if they can turn this book into a bestseller.

Speedy and vigorous riffs open up “Hammer on Thin Ice” enhancing a bouncy melody and a chanting vocal chorus give an intriguing taste to this almost operatic song which is salvaged by a husky guitar solo mid-way thru. On to the title track “Metal Never Rusts” has a more metal feel with an enthralling tempo fueled with machine gun riffing and a mixed bag of twisting vocal layering and harmonizing with excellent guitar work holding it all together. A blend of sinister and theatrics open up “Skull in the Closet”, with gruff, darkened vocals possessed by a venomous and assaulting chorus that had me looking under the bed for monsters, a good, chilling, creepy song. “Scary Quiet” is the most intricate song on this album where whipping riffs open up as the filthy vocals take over in a rambunctious manner as gut-wrenching riffs lead into a frenzied trip. The album ends with full passion on “Weathering The Storm” which enters with a pretty piano that steps aside to a peaceful guitar riff exploding into graceful, entrancing  vocal by Federica before furiously ripping heavy, dark harmonizing circling back to sweet, soft melody of a truly heartfelt song that actually gave me chills, a masterful way to end a great album.

“Metal Never Rusts” is a very interesting album from a very interesting band. First of all, lyric content is first rate and captivating, that will engross the listener throughout. Musically, it’s a roller coaster ride of twists and turns from metal to progressive to symphonic with vocals that can only be described as seductive. There was plenty of hard rocking teased with some moments that are theatrical and ethereal. This is a definite musical thrill ride, a must listen.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production : 10

5 Star Rating

1. Hammer On Thin Ice
2. Metal Never Rusts
3. Skull In The Closet
4. Black Ship
5. Heavily Mental
6. Scary Quiet
7. Ad Maiora Semper
8. Jingle Hell
9. Pay To Play
10. Weathering The Storm
Federica Sister De Boni – Vocals
Tony Mad Fontò – Rhythm Guitar
Valentino Francavilla – Lead Guitar
Alexandros Muscio – Keyboards
Jo Raddi – Bass
Alex Mantiero – Drums
Guest Vocals on Scary Quiet:
Marzia Fontana
Francesca Battistini
Irene Trinca
Fabio Simonato
Rossano “Ross” Casarin
Dario Cisotto
Edoardo “Dodo” Fusaro
Record Label: Rock of Angels Records


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Edited 03 December 2022

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