HOLY KNIGHTS, a symphonic power metal band from Italy has just signed a deal with Sleaszy Rider Records on November 21st, 2023 and they plan to re-release the album “The Demo 1999-2000 (Gate Through The Past)” in a remastered version with two bonus songs and with a new version of the cover artwork.
Statement from Sleaszy Rider Records:
“We are happy to announce that we signed a deal with Italian power metallers HOLY KNIGHTS and we will re-release “The Demo 1999-2000 (Gate Through The Past)”, in a remastered version, including 2 bonus tracks and coming with a branded artwork new, in digipack edition. An exact release date will be announced soon, but is expected to be released in the first months of 2024.”
HOLY KNIGHTS was formed in November 1998 by vocalist Dario Di Matteo, and drummer Claudio Florio. After several changes, finally the members were complete with the inclusion of Salvatore Graziano and Ezio Montalto on guitar and Nico Rose on bass. In December 1999, the band entered Studio Blu in Palermo to record their first demo, “Gate Through The Past“, which was submitted to various magazines the following February and received positive reviews. Meanwhile, changes to the line-up occurred again, Montalto and Rose were replaced by Federico Madonia and Vincenzo Noto respectively. After receiving several contract offers, HOLY KNIGHTS signed a two-album contract with Underground Symphony in April 2000.
In early November 2000, the band entered the Zenith Recording studio in Lucca to record their debut album, “A Gate Through The Past”, which was completed in December. The album was released in January 2002 by Tokuma in Japan, followed by a worldwide release via Underground Symphony in June. The album received critical acclaim. To attract an international audience Di Matteo, Graziano, Noto and Florio used the pseudonyms Mark Raven, Danny Merthon, Syl Raven and Claus Jorgen respectively.
On August 12, the band performed live for the first time at the Agglutination Metal Festival in Chiaromonte. That same year, HOLY KNIGHTS recorded two cover songs for the tribute albums HEAVY LOAD and SWORD, but they were never released. The band became a quartet due to another lineup change: Florio left, while Madonia was replaced with Simone Campione.
Work on the second album began in 2002; Di Matteo and Noto founded Raven Studio to handle pre-production. However, the band members ultimately decided to concentrate on their other bands (THY MAJESTIE, TRINAKRIUS and CRIMSON WIND), which effectively put HOLY KNIGHTS on hiatus. In 2010, Di Matteo, Noto and Florio agreed to reunite the band and complete a second album. Recording took place in February – March 2012 at Dabliurec Studio Recording in Palermo. In March, HOLY KNIGHTS signed with Rubicon Music for Japanese releases, followed by a deal with Scarlet Records in July.
Claus Jorgen – Drums
Mark Raven – Vocals, Keyboards, Orchestrations
Simone Campione – Guitars, Bass, Orchestrations