Cesare Bonizzi

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Father Cesare Bonizzi, O.F.M. Cap.
Frate Cesare Bonizzi MEI 2008.jpg
Bonizzi in 2008
Background information
Also known as Frate Cesare
Fratello Metallo
Born (1946-03-15) 15 March 1946 (age 71)
Offanengo, Cremona, Italy
Genres Heavy metal, hard rock, Christian metal
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter, friar, Catholic Priest
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1990–2009
Associated acts Metalluminium, Fratello Metallo
Website FrateCesare.com

Father Cesare Bonizzi, O.F.M. Cap. (born 15 March 1946), also known as Frate Cesare and Fratello Metallo ("Brother Metal") - which was also the name of his band, is a Capuchin friar, who was known as a heavy metal singer.


Bonizzi was born in Offanengo, in the Province of Cremona, Italy. He entered the Capuchin Order in 1975, and subsequently carried out missionary work in the Ivory Coast. After returning to Italy he was ordained a priest in 1983.[1] Since 1990 he has been interested in using music as a means of contemplation and spiritual devotion, and he has released numerous albums in various styles from new age to rock. After seeing Metallica in concert, however, he became passionate about heavy metal as a musical vehicle.[1] According to him, "Metal is the most energetic, vital, deep and true musical language that I know."[2] He currently lives in the convent of Musocco, a district of Milan. In late 2009, he announced that he would no longer perform, because "The devil has separated me from my managers, risked making me break up with my band colleagues and also risked making me break up with my fellow monks. He lifted me up to the point where I become a celebrity and now I want to kill him."[3]


Although Bonizzi's full transformation to heavy metal is only found on Fratello Metallo's 2008 release Misteri, Bonizzi has recorded numerous albums in various musical genres. He cites Megadeth and Metallica as major inspirations on his transformation to metal.[4] With his new style of music, which he calls "Metrock" as a combination of metal and rock, he was the opening act at 2008's Gods of Metal, Italy's largest heavy metal festival.[1]

Bonizzi performed in full Franciscan habit. Although he was frequently mistaken as making the sign of the horns in concert, he actually extended his thumb along with the index and pinkie, which is the handsign for "I love you" in the American Sign Language.[4]


  • Droghe
  • Primi Passi
  • L'Eucredo
  • Il La Cristiano
  • Straordinariamente Ovvio
  • Maria Ed "Io"
  • Come Fiamma
  • Vie Crucis
  • Fede Ballare
  • Assisi Oggi
  • Misteri


  1. ^ a b c "Padre Cesare, The Capuchin Missionary Who Plays Metal Music". IberPress. June 18, 2008. Archived from the original on August 13, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Friar to open heavy metal concert". ItalyMag.co.uk. June 26, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Heavy metal monk hangs up his mic". ABC Online. Reuters. November 13, 2009. 
  4. ^ a b "Even monks can get a heavy metal habit". Daily Mail. 20 June 2008. p. 15.