I have the luck of living in Northern Italy, which means most concerts and festivals are being held here. And one of them is Isola Rock: while residing a few kilometers from Isola Della Scala, I’ve only recently discovered it. And I have been there for the whole duration of this event, reporting for you!

Warm Up day

On Thursday, May 19th, Isola Rock opened its doors to the audience with three bands eager to perform. At 20:15, the first one comes on stage: Black Reflex. Led by the incredible Francesca, the whole group carried out an amazing performance. Their songs are powerful but also melodic; their sound is fresh and captivating; I can distinctly remember some of the tracks played. With all the members being very experienced in live concerts, this band is definitely worth checking out!

Black Reflex on stage

The atmosphere is about to change very soon in Isola Della Scala: after Black Reflex, it’s time for Kryuhm to shine. The band has recently signed a deal with Black Widow Records to release their debut album, and their energy on stage was tangible. Heavy, doom, mighty, original: what a mind-blowing set! I have been particularly impressed with Daniele’s versatile and huge vocal register.

The final band of the evening was Dark Ages, which presented their new album on release day to the public of Isola. The group was very harmonious on stage and clearly enjoyed playing for us! What stayed with me the most was the consistency of their show: keyboardist Angela delivered perfect solos and accompaniment. “Between Us” is a structured and profound album, and I’m glad to have witnessed its live debut!

Day one

Juglans Regia opened the first official day of Isola Rock: unfortunately, I was stuck with my day job until 7 PM and missed their entire set. I promise I will try to catch them on another show! I’ll still post a picture from their account, as they still played their show.

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As I was saying, I didn’t arrive at Isola Rock before 7:30 PM, just in time to catch the second band of the evening: Bad Bones. If someone ever told me that rock ‘n roll is dead, I will gladly let them experience a live show of this group! They put 101% into their songs and created an atmosphere worthy of the ’80s. Not only do they rock with their music, but also with their lives! It was nice to see a consistent band in what they are and do.

Next up in the order of the band was Superhorror: and what a delightful surprise they had been! I was absolutely impressed with this band. Before I saw them live, I had only heard of them, yet I managed to sing along to some of their tracks! The way they engage with the audience and play on stage is astounding; they make horror and gore quite fun and entertaining. How about we give them a headliner place soon?

In my opinion, we are now arriving at the most expected band: with Isola Rock being their debut show, everyone was excited and eager to cheer for Volturian! The band rocked the stage, led by singer Federica who amazed us with an incredible vocal range. Their sound is sophisticated but also catchy, and it’s easy to jump and headbang on their tracks. I can’t wait to see them next month at Arci Tom for their release show!

To finish the first day of the event, there was a huge name on: Genus Ordinis Dei went on stage at 23:00. After their majestic intro, the band took their places one by one, and the whole place became death metal. I am not really a fan of the genre, but I appreciated the group’s passion and power.

Day two

The temperatures in Italy were quite high, and the last day of Isola Rock was promising to be hot for concerts too! The doors of the Palariso opened at 5 PM sharp, with the first band to take the stage twenty minutes later. Punctually, at 5:20, Blade Cisco started their set. Now, I am a huge fan of the AOR genre, so I am very sorry if this review will not be completely objective. The ensemble was simply fantastic: their songs were delivered memorably! I found myself singing along multiple times. After the performance, I could chat with some of the band members, who were also delightful. I can’t express how brilliant this band is!

As quickly as Blade Cisco left the stage, the genre would also change for the next band on stage: Drabik came on and left us whole in awe. Their force and charisma on stage were unique: vocalist Marco, with his brilliant harsh voice, was commanding the stage. My favorite song off their set has to be “Pray“! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them, but I’m sure it will be great things.

The afternoon proceeds in line because another band with a male lead singer with harsh vocals is scheduled to appear, and they are Siylit. Despite a technical problem with one of their guitarist, the band had no fear and continued to play and melt our faces. They were also helped by Andrea from Arthemis! I have especially appreciated drummer Paolo: he was literally on fire while playing.

And talking about the fire… the following band on stage was Spitfire! It was a nice change of pace for the day to hear some hard rock and roll being played as it should be played. And how nice that the lead vocalist was also the group’s bass player. Their set was glorious from start to finish, and they gained at least one new fan!

We’ve already arrived at the last three bands of this incredible event. The third-to-last is fan-favorite Kalidia. It will be difficult for me to write something I didn’t already say, but I’ll try. Kalidia sets are energetic, kaleidoscopic, and just so well-balanced. I couldn’t stop jumping in their tracks! Their passion is so easy to see: if they’re having fun, we’re having even more fun! I highly recommend seeing them at least once live.

And the evening continues with another very much loved band: Temperance was ready to rock Isola at 22:20. Even though they were a member short, the band presented a show worthy of their best effort. They engaged the audience and created a wonderful atmosphere in the venue. It’s basically impossible to stand still while they play Diamanti or Of Jupiters and Moons! I feel so proud to share the same citizenship as these talented lads!

And like all fairytales, even Isola Rock came to an end. But not before we were thrilled by the last band of the day, Arthemis! It isn’t a coincidence that they are praised and adored worldwide: they put on a massive show, and the audience was going crazy with their tracks. It was the perfect ending to this 3-day event.

Even though I had to balance my day job, the concerts, and getting enough sleep, I would totally do this again. I have particularly loved how punctually the set of the bands began, with no delays or useless interruptions. Music makes life worth living, and live music gives artists and fans a moment to enjoy and remember in time.

Benedetta Baldin

Hi! My name is Benedetta, I’m 29 and I live in Northern Italy. My passion has always been music: I started taking guitar lessons when I was 6. Now I work as a sales representative, but in my free time I interview talented people, I spread the word about my favorite band (MoonSun), and I go to concerts or travel around Europe. I am a huge collector of anything Tolkien-related, autographs, merchandise, and CDs. I am quite an original person and don’t mind being the voice outside of the choir (even though I play in the church’s choir!).