Brother Cesare, heavy-metal monk
With his bald head, flowing beard and rough brown robe, Brother Cesare certainly looks the part of the archetypical Capuchin monk. But when he grabs a mike and starts to sing, it's a whole other story: in his powerful gravelly voice, Brother Cesare belts out Heavy Metal tunes of his own composition.
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With his bald head, flowing beard and rough brown robe, Brother Cesare certainly looks the part of the archetypical Capuchin monk. But when he grabs a mike and starts to sing, it's a whole other story: in his powerful gravelly voice, Brother Cesare belts out 'Heavy Metal' tunes of his own composition.
The monk, aged 62, was a missionary in the Ivory Coast before retiring to a convent in Musocco, near Milan. He has been writing and compoing heavy metal music since 1990, after attending a Metallica concet which left a very strong impression on him.
Brother Cesare's growing fan base has nicknamed him Brother Metal. One fan even created a Myspace page which drew over 1000 friends In Italy, his home country. The monk regularly performs in concerts and heavy metal festivals, including the prestigious Gods of Metal alongside metal giants such as Iron Maiden or Judas Priest.
Brother Cesare claims his superiors have never objected to his musical activities. He even wants to send a copy of his latest album to the Pope. But what will Heavy Metal fans think of his music?
Recording of the song "Misteri", from his latest album
Posted on YouTube by GoticoMetallaro
Extract from the lyrics of 'Misteri' (translated from Italian) :
Mysteries, Metal mysteries. Brother Metal sings of the mysteries of faith, of God, of Man, of life, of Mary, mother of Jesus, and of love : real deep, tender, strong."
"A Christian who sings Heavy Metal is more of a rebel than the Satanists !"
Balthazar Benadon is a freelance composer and a heavy metal fan. He lives in Paris.
At first I thought the whole thing was a joke. There are all sorts of metal music, some good, some terrible... And a lot of the terrible stuff comes from Italy, in fact!
But actually Brother Cesare's music isn't bad. It isn't very original, and I can't say I'm a huge fan, but it works. He's totally in to it and credible, and his look actually matches that kind of music!
Metal music and religion aren't necessarily opposed. It's true that metal and rock in general have their roots in marginal groups opposed to the establishment, including religion, but the style has evolved. Only hard core 'death metal' fans will cling to the darker aspects of metal, others are more open to changes.
Maybe today a Christian who sings heavy metal is more of a rebel than the Satanists!"