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.