May 192010

We knew Rome’s Hour of Penance had legions of devoted fans around the world (including us), but we found out the hard way just how devoted they are.

Last week, we reported the bad news about what happened at their show in Alicante, Spain not long ago. In a nutshell, the band’s drummer Mauro Mercurio was unable to play on stage (apparently due to being too fucked up) and had destroyed or damaged property at the venue, resulting in detention by Spanish police. That led Hour of Penance to cancel the remaining dates on their European tour. And then the next day we reported the even more depressing news that vocalist Francesco Paoli had decided to leave the band as a result of the Alicante incident, and we posted his explanation.

Those two posts received an absolute flood of hits from across the interwebz — and it’s still happening a week later. We’re clearly not alone in being depressed over the disintegration of this amazingly good modern death-metal band, whose 2010 album Paradogma has been one of our favorite releases of the year to date. So, at the risk of appearing morbidly fixated on these depressing developments, we’re serving up some additional details today — including the possibility that reports of the band’s death may be premature.

The further details come from another blog entry by Francesco Paoli (whose other band, Fleshgod Apocalypse, has a new album (Mafia) due for release in the U.S. on June 8). In his latest message, Francesco tries to set the record straight with some clarifications. It turns out that he had made the decision to leave Hour of Penance before the incident in Alicante, in part because Mercurio’s college career was interfering with HOP’s ability to schedule live performances and in part because Francesco was finding it increasingly difficult to juggle his roles in two increasingly active bands at the same time.

Of course, Francesco had not planned to leave HOP as abruptly as he did — that was the result of what happened in Spain — but he says his friendship with HOP’s guitarist Giulio Moschini and bassist Silvano Leone remains strong (apparently not so strong with Mercurio), and that he will be “happy to cooperate” with them in the future if they decide to go forward with Hour of Penance.  We’re not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds like a willingness to be part of a re-formed HOP if Moschini and Leone replace Mercurio. He definitely won’t be easy to replace — the dude is an amazing drummer — but HOP may not be dead after all.

After the jump, we’ll show you Francesco’s latest post in its entirety.

From Francesco Paoli’s MySpace blog, which can be found here:

Important clarifications!

Hi everybody!

I’m here again writing this new statement to get some things straight once for all:

First of all, the decision to leave the band was already taken. Of course the intention was not to leave the band in this way. Me and Giulio already talked about it and found a solution to make it in a way in wich Hour Of Penance would not have any problem in continuing their work. I would have done anything (recordings, live shows etc..) until a new singer would be ready to substitute me. The reasons why I decided to leave are two:

1) The drummer was making problems all the time for wich regards tours, and live shows in general (the most important aspect for such a band) since he had his college career as first priority.

2) Meanwhile Fleshgod Apocalypse’s schedule was growing up, and it had become hard to do both things.

The reason why this way to do things was not possible, and why I had to declare the split-up so early, is that what happened is serious, both legally and personally talking. There has been no time nor chance to do it in a different way.

For this reason I ask everybody stopping to send tons of mails to Giulio for news about the situation because THE SITUATION IS SEVERE.

He needs time to understand how to move.

Fleshgod Apocalypse’s statement has been posted because it still happen thousands of times that promoters, fans, zines and agencies confuse Hour Of Penance with Fleshgod Apocalypse. It happens tons of times that someone write mails to Fleshgod to book for Penance and viceversa. Just take a look on the web and you’ll understand what I mean.

The fact that I split-up officially with this line-up, doesn’t mean that I will not be able or happy to cohoperate with Giulio and Silvano again in the future in the limits of my disponibility in, if they will decide to go on with this project.

I absolutely didn’t stop supporting them, or decided to condamn this band, just because in this moment our friendship is stronger then ever.

Since Giulio thought that it’s not fair to waste promoter’s investments for the next live shows HOP had to cover, we decided to let Fleshgod play them. We perfectly know that some people will not like it, but Giulio personally asked for it, and we will do it.

Last but not least, I would like to thank everyone who’s been able to understand the fragility of this situation, not talking without knowing, and not being influenced by rumors. It’s been very hard for me to take this decision, after years of hard work, investments, and dreams. The decision has been declared (not taken) suddenly, because of the circumstances, not because of my will.

I would also like to tell everybody still filling their mouth with bullshits about this fact, that Giulio and Silvano DIDN’T abandone Mauro in any way, and of course it’s not their fault if HOP will not be able to go on. The situation will be clear when everything will be solved.

At this point, if you still didn’t understand the seriousness of the situation, you are obviously retarded.




  1. Wow. This is rapidly becoming soap-opera material. Its a shame becuase Hour of Penance is pretty fucking cool. Good to see the other members of Fleshgod Apocalypse step up and help out Francesco and the rest of what remains of Hour of Penance by taking on their remaining shows.

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