Nanowar Of Steel - Official Website

Italian Folk Metal

Italy Country of Origin: Italy

Italian Folk Metal
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Type: Full-Length
Release Date: July 2nd, 2021
Genre: Hard Rock, Heavy, Power
1. Requiem Per Gigi Sabani In Re Minore
2. L'assedio Di Porto Cervo
3. La Maledizione Di Capitan Findus
4. La Marcia Su Piazza Grande
5. La Mazurka Del Vecchio Che Guarda I Cantieri
6. La Polenta Taragnarock
7. Scugnizzi Of The Land Of Fires
8. Rosario
9. Il Signore Degli Anelli Dello Stadio
10. Gabonzo Robot
11. Sulle Aliquote Della Libertà
12. Der Fluch Des Käpt’n Iglo
13. El Baile Del Viejo Que Mira Las Obras
14. Formia
15. Biancodolce

Review by Greg on December 25, 2023.

Having previously swept away the power metal landscape with Stairway to Valhalla, the idea of trying something new was a concrete possibility for Italian parody act Nanowar of Steel. Given the band's rather scarce studio output in the past, three years seemed a more than reasonable wait for a new work, which was also the debut under their first major label (Napalm Records). Italian Folk Metal, brought to life in 2021, was by all means a clear declaration of intents from its very title. Yes, the album is completely sung in Italian, and yes, a tangible swerve towards folk territories was made. But as someone unimpressed by anything bearing the 'folk' tag, I'm telling you, there's more than meets the eye.

Okay, the language barrier will admittedly be more than an obstacle for foreigners, to fully experience the plethora of sources the album draws from. For example, you may or may not understand why 'Scugnizzi of the Land of Fires' is sung that way, as it's a spot-on parody of a niche musical genre typical of Naples (one of the most mocked in the country, I'd argue), nor you might catch what 'Il Signore degli Anelli dello stadio' or 'La marcia su Piazza Grande' aim to mimic (soccer chants and '40s-styled fascist celebration music, respectively), nor the lyrics will tell you anything, that's true. But if you really want to stick around, and you should, even on musical terms Italian Folk Metal is another absolute win for the Roman side. The added folk flavour spices up the band's tried and tested power metal style, like in the Alestorm-esque 'La maledizione di Capitan Findus', the astonishing opener 'L'assedio di Porto Cervo' (with none less than Fleshgod Apocalypse's Francesco Paoli growling all over it), or 'La polenta taragnarock' which clearly was a historic moment, seeing the band finally alongside their previously celebrated hero, the infomercial host Giorgio Mastrota, within it. We truly are the land of dreams, aren't we?

The rest of the songs initially appeared to me as hit-or-miss, but their catchiness and replay value are so shockingly high that they won me over time. 'Rosario' is a hilarious ballad dedicated to those people who spawn around the city selling you roses (does such a thing exist also in other countries?), and having a group of friends who can understand the reference and singing it whenever you spot one is simply priceless. 'Gabonzo Robot' is a super catchy, Italian anime opening-like anthem which is as stupid as it's fun. 'La mazurka del vecchio che guarda i cantieri' and 'Sulle aliquote della libertà' are the most outright folk episodes, and even if they might be my less replayed overall, and I'd have expected Alessandro Conti to show up in a more theatrical piece, their always high comic factor will always trigger a chuckle.

So, despite the almost perfect predecessor Stairway to Valhalla setting up the bar a bit too high, Italian Folk Metal has grown on me immensely since it came out. The sheer musical brilliance is still a factor, and its mother tongue lyrics add a layer to the humour, simultaneously making it easier to sing along with somebody (easier than 'Tooth Fairy', that's for sure). It's a really, really fun album, and I pity all of you who can't enjoy it as much as I do.

Rating: 8.7 out of 10