Dragonhammer: “More Metal concerts, less cheap headphones on iTunes”

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Interview with Italian Symphonic Power Metal band DRAGONHAMMER for the release of “Second Life”

Italian Power Metal never dies, and a good example of this is the resilience of DRAGONHAMMERwho last year gave us one of the best albums of his career, “Second Life”. In this interview we speak with the singer Mattia Fagiolo and the guitarist Flavio Cicconiwho reveal the ins and outs of the album from the Eternal city of Rome.

First of all, congratulations on “Second Life”. Catchy power metal with lots of hooks and straight to the point, which in my opinion is welcome. How are the reviews and fan reception going? I know of two lists of “best albums of 2022” where DRAGONHAMMER has entered.

Thank you Enrique, we are very proud of this album because it was a lot of effort for us, but it was definitely worth all the hard work. The reviews and general reception is very good and we’re getting a lot of support even though we haven’t played the album live. We are excited.

“Second Life” is your fifth album, and it has been published five years after the previous album, “Obscurity”. How has the album evolved over the years to finally see the light?

As we said before, it has been quite an effort. We had the Covid involved and also many changes in our formation. We had to adjust many things to make everything perfect but we are very satisfied. Some songs changed a lot during these five years since we were writing some of the material back in 2017 but the final result is much better with this long period of improvement.

“‘Second Life’ is much more symphonic than our previous albums”

What is the meaning of “Second Life” in the context of the record? Also, maybe it has something to do with the fact that, since “Obscurity”, you have three new members… In other words, is it also a second life for DRAGONHAMMER?

The meaning of “Second Life” refers to a phase of our lives in which we wanted to change our musical experience. In fact, this album is much more symphonic than the previous ones and we wanted to explore a wilder range of feelings and emotions, because the concept deals with our experience on planet Earth, with its ups and downs. “Second Life” also refers to the band itself, because the lineup changed with three new members who contributed to give a new inspiration.

“The X Experiment” and “Obcurity” dealt with darker themes, without moving away from the fantastic theme, but even with more religious components -I don’t know if even “Time For Expiation” was also there-; However, now “Second Life” is clearly committed to epic fantasy without any blush. Why this return to its origins?

Yes, “Second Life” is also a return to the original themes of medieval fantasy from the first album. We conceptualized it that way because we wanted to recover the lyrical energy of the first period. Even the illustration is much more strictly epic in style, featuring a large armored dragon.

Second Life: Dragonhammer Disc
Second Life: Dragonhammer Disc

Although it is fantasy, as is often the case, the lyrics of the songs have a background of true stories behind them. I’m right?

We wrote all the lyrics based on our own personal experiences and tried to bring them to a world where magic and reality come together, just like the old epic writers, we wanted to express things that everyone could relate to, but we take them to our fantasy world.

“RHAPSODY is a great inspiration for DRAGONHAMMER”

Some songs, like “Into The Warrior’s Mind”, give me a very “RHAPSODY“, do you agree? Despite that, I like that you do not make the chorus -in this and other songs- as pompous as this group and you are more direct.

RHAPSODY is a huge inspiration to us and with this song in particular we wanted to incorporate some of its musical characteristics into our own sound as a band. The song talks about the atrocity of the war and I think it is very close to the events that unfortunately continue to occur today.

Mattia is partly to blame for this more direct sound, and his voice conveys the feelings of the songs very well. Mattia comes from another Roman band, the Progressive Metal band WHITE THUNDER. How did you join DRAGONHAMMER? Does the work between the two groups mix well? Also, do you write the lyrics for DRAGONHAMMER?

Mattia is definitely to blame for the album’s powerful vocal lines. He is a very young but very talented singer who we met at a WHITE THUNDER concert in 2015. He immediately hit it off with us and also contributed a lot during the writing of the record, both for some lyrics and melody lines. Now he is 100% DRAGONHAMMER.

Marco Mastrobuono produced, mixed and mastered “Second Life”. Marco is related to Extreme Metal bands. Why did you decide to work with him?

Marco is a dear friend of Flavio and Giulio and collaborates with a lot of great Italian bands like FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, HOUR OF PENANCE and SHORES OF NULL, he is a very experienced producer. Although he is specialized in Death Metal, he has worked a lot with Symphonic Metal bands like FLESHGOD or HEIDRA. Also we really like the sound of the guitars on the records coming from the Kick Recording studio and we wanted a killer guitar tone for this record as well.

DRAGONHAMMER started in 1999. Would you consider yourself survivors of the golden age of Italian Power Metal?

You are definitely right. We are survivors of the era in a way, but we believe that Italian Power Metal is still very flourishing. For example, bands like LABYRINTH They still produce very good records today. So we would also like to inspire new formations like the first Italian Power Metal bands did with us.

“We would also like to inspire new bands like the first Italian Power Metal bands did with us”

The Italian Power Metal scene was very popular at that time in Europe, but as you mentioned, there are also many bands releasing new music today. How do you see things today?

Today the music market is flooded with new groups. We personally don’t like all new Power Metal records, especially the ones with too many plastic/midi sounds, but there are also many great bands that are starting to succeed. We really hope that Power Metal music continues to be played and recorded in a pure and original way.

“Either you listen to Heavy Metal at full volume or you don’t listen to this glorious music.” More concerts, less cheap headphones on iTunes.

“Either you listen to Heavy Metal at full volume or you don’t listen to this glorious music.”

Perhaps Italian Power Metal was harshly judged in its most successful years. Some voices spoke of Spaghetti Metal -like Spaghetti Western movies- in a derogatory way. Maybe there were a lot of bands and album releases, maybe there were a lot of clichés around the fantasy elements? As you see?

I think that in all musical genres there are some clichés and forms. There is a misconception that in Power Metal everything is set up a certain way, but this is true of all forms of music. We can find clichés in classical music, in Rock or in disco music. The same goes for literature. If you write an epic poem, you are referring to a specific genre that includes certain forms or rules. The important thing is to express something that is true and deep, the public will recognize if a certain album is just a replica of something that has already been said or if it is the expression of a personal feeling, even if you are following certain clichés that exist in the genre.

Do you plan to take your “Second Life” live? What are your tour plans?

Of course we plan to present this album live. We will do concerts in the first part of 2023 (very soon) and also this summer we will do some festivals in Europe. See you on the road!

That’s all, thank you very much for your time. Please, if you want to add a few words or ask the readers to listen to the new DRAGONHAMMER album, this space is yours.

We want to thank HELLPRESS for this opportunity and hope that readers will enjoy listening to “Second Life” as much as we have enjoyed writing the songs and producing them. We’ll see you on the road soon and we can’t wait to do as many concerts and tours as possible in the near future. As we have said, many things await us!


  • 2000 – “Age Of Glory” (promo CD)
  • 2001 – “The Blood Of The Dragon” (CD – Legend Music)
  • 2004 – “Time For Expiation” (CD – Scarlet)
  • 2013 – “The X Experiment” (CD – My Kingdom Music)
  • 2015 – “The Blood Of The Dragon (MMXV edition)” (CD – My
  • 2015 – “Time For Expiation (MMXV edition)” (CD – My Kingdom
  • 2017 – “Obscurity” (CD – My Kingdom Music)
  • 2022 – “Second Life” (digiCD – My Kingdom Music)

More information about DRAGONHAMMER in his bandcamp Y Facebook.

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Dragonhammer: “More Metal concerts, less cheap headphones on iTunes”