A special thank you to Saverio Principini, Bob Cattani and Jack Haustinx (Rave On Records) for making it possible!
Cruz Del Sur Music is proud to announce the reissue of legendary Italian metal band ASTAROTH’s cherished and highly-influential early demo recordings, including a vinyl edition of the long out-of-print “The Long Loud Silence” EP. The reissue campaign will kick off in 2023.
Formed in 1982 in Rome by drummer John Panko Onofri and original guitarist Steve Lenti, ASTAROTH became Italy’s answer to the great American and British bands of the time, diving headlong into a mix of speed and thrash, all with a distinct sense of melody. Rounded out by vocalist Bob Cattani, second guitarist Simone Triscari and bassist Saverio “Sage” Principini, “The Long Loud Silence” became a watershed moment for many Italian metallers. The group disbanded in 1988 but reformed in 2005 and released “The End Of Silence” LP in 2012.
ASTAROTH fans have been clamoring for the band’s old recordings to be brought back to life. Cruz Del Sur has gone to great lengths to secure the rights from Rave-On Records, the label that originally released “The Long Loud Silence”. Cruz Del Sur and the band also tracked down many hard-to-find demos and photos to complete the package.
“Cruz Del Sur got in touch with us via Facebook,” says Principini. “Max Cipicchia [guitar] has been keeping alive a Facebook page as a tribute and to reconnect with some old fans. I’m not too ‘social,’ so I didn’t take much interest in the beginning. But eventually, Max put me in touch with the label and they explained to me the project. I totally flipped out! I think it’s amazing the work they are doing.
“I think they are dope for investing time and energy into giving poetic and historical justice to bands that were largely ignored in their time,” he continues. “See, back then, we didn’t have all the media tools bands have now. There was no internet, no cell phones — we hardly ever had the chance to record or videotape anything. The only memory of our gigantic efforts is from the people who saw us onstage. What Cruz Del Sur is doing is remarkable.”
The ASTAROTH reissue campaign should prompt renewed interest in the 1980s Italian metal scene. While it never received the same attention as its British and German counterparts, the Italian metal scene was filled with hardworking bands and devoted fans who never passed up an opportunity to bang their heads.
“It was a relatively small scene, but the bands were intense,” notes Principini. “We all took it very seriously. We were committed to be great and so most bands went to great sacrifices to get the right equipment, practice as much as possible and play live. We loved our fans — the real headbangers — those kids were wild and committed. They would travel by train and pack the small theatres we would play. An ASTAROTH concert was like a function in some way. I know it transformed me and I know it transformed the lives of many kids who found purpose and strength at the concerts and friends and a way to escape the everyday conflicts some were living at home. There were bands in all of Italy, even in small towns. Metal was infectious, metal was a faith, metal was a real way of life!”
Principini’s enthusiasm is easy to detect now that ASTAROTH’s early recordings and images will be available for the entire metal world to see. It’s all being done 40 years after their formation. “I’m more than excited!” he exclaims. “There are live demo recordings that hardly anyone has ever heard and pictures few have seen. I look back at those times and, man, we were the real thing. I think it will give an opportunity to the new metal fans to know what we did. You know, in some way, we were precursors and contributed to the development of the metal scene in Europe in the 1980s. It’s about time before we die of old age!”