Home Read Classic Album Review: White Skull | Public Glory, Secret Agony

Classic Album Review: White Skull | Public Glory, Secret Agony

The Italian symphonic-metal quintet offer a concept disc about life in ancient Rome.

This album came out back in 2001. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


It turns out all roads really do lead to Rome — even the road of heavy metal.

Introducing White Skull, a symphonic-metal quintet from Italy whose fourth album is a concept disc about — I swear I’m not kidding — life in ancient Rome. What that concept is, exactly, I couldn’t really say, since it doesn’t seem to extend much beyond the cover artwork (lotsa skeletal mummies carrying a busty, Cleopatra-like babe) and the song titles (Burn Rome, Burn, The Roman Empire, Anubis the Jackal, Cleopatra and my favourite, In Caesar We Trust). Then again, after the first few overly intricate and overly long songs, I have to admit I found it hard to pay much attention. Talented and technically proficient as these guys and their female vocalist obviously are, they leave something to be desired in the originality department. Singer Frederica De Boni has one of those generically raspy rock-chick growls, and most of these 11 tunes are strictly Judas Priest and Iron Maiden 101 — grandiose epic arrangements, breakneck arpeggios and thumping double-bass lines aplenty. Oh well. Maybe next time. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.