Exilia-06AExilia is a female-fronted nu-metal band from Milan, Italy, formed in 1993. The members, currently, are Masha (vocals), Aimer (guitar), Privacy (bass), and Rob Iaculli (drums). Exilia‘s website says that the band is “a combination of aggressive riffs,Exilia-02 hard pounding drums, crisp bass guitars and powerful lyrics and singing style” that sends “shivers through even the most ‘hard to please’ audiences.” Exilia is recommended if you like well-known bands such as OTEP (whom Exilia has opened some shows for in 2013), Guano Apes and Straight Line Stitch, or lesser known bands such as Level C or Spike 1000. Yes, that is a chick singing in Spike 1000. Anyway, Exilia has also toured with German industrial metal band Rammstein on their European Tour 2004. And, by the way, Masha sings entirely in English with just a bit of an accent.

Exilia-03BExilia‘s debut album Rightside Up (2000) was good and all, but Masha’s vocals were so innocent, youthful, and the band’s alternative rock was lighter, melodic, like pop/rock, especially on rockers like “Rightside Up”, “Excuse Me” and “Baby Doll”, and even more so on the many ballads: “Sweet Rain”, “Not Me”, “Always With Me” and “Even If”. And, “Free To Live” is positively uplifting! But, five years later …

On Unleashed (2005), Exilia mixed a heavier, more aggressive sound with the melodic alternative rock of their debut, while Masha’s vocals were harder, more mature, and her lyrics, darker, more pessimistic. All for the better. Unleashed includes two of Exilia‘s best known tracks, “Stop Playing God” and “Coincidence”.Exilia-04 They were the first two singles, with videos, and both were re-worked, unplugged, and awesomely so, on the EP Naked (2010). A third single, “Can’t Break me Down”, was released, also with a video. That song was featured on the soundtrack to a German movie called Der Clown (2005) which was based on TV series about a guy who fights crime wearing a clown mask. “I Guess You Know” begins like Puddle of Mudd‘s “Blurry” meets P.O.D.‘s “Youth Of The Nation”, but quickly becomes one of the album’s best non-singles with Masha’s heartfelt confession: “I don’t wanna let you / I don’t wanna let you down / The world may be against you / But I’ll never let you down.” But, my favorite track is the passionate ballad “Without You”. Masha bares her soul: “While I’m still living my heart is screaming / For what I can’t forget at all / Yeah, I’m breathing but I’m bleeding / And I´ve got no place to go / Without you.” Other cool tracks are the nu-metal rager “Underdog”, the anthemic ballad “Mr. Man”, and the alternative rocker “Shout Louder”. Awesome album!

Watch the videos for “Stop Playing God” and “Coincidence” here.

Nobody Excluded (2006) opens with “Kill Me”, Exilia‘s most despairing track: “I don’t feel anything at all / Why don’t you kill me!” Masha declares. But, in the single “Your Rain”, a melancholic ballad, she wants to feel something: “I’m calling your rain / Rain for my heart / I’m calling your rain / Like the desert does.” Sadly,Exilia-07 the official video is not available on YouTube. “Speed of Light”, “Fly High Butterfly” and “No Colors” were carried over, unplugged, to the Naked EP. All good tracks, both versions. “Justify Yourself” is an excellent alternative rocker similar to “Shout Louder” from the previous release, while “My Prophecy”, “Nowhere” and “Nobody” are my favorites non-singles.

My Own Army (2009) opens with “Phoenix” which, to me, describes the transition between their first two albums. “Are You Breathing?” and “In The Air Tonight” were the singles, with videos. Yes, the latter is a cover of Phil Collins‘ first solo hit single from 1981. “My Own Army” was the only track carried over, unplugged, to the Naked EP. Some favorite non-singles are the nu-metal rocker “No Destination”, the alt-rocker “Emptiness of You” and the ballad “Far From The Dark”. But, “Don’t Say a Word”, a My Ruin-esque hidden track, is definitely the best non-single track.

Watch the videos for “Are You Breathing?” and “In The Air Tonight” here.

Naked (2010), obviously, includes unplugged versions of the songs mentioned above, as well as a new fully-produced song “No Tears For You” which was also released as a single, with a video.

Watch the video for “No Tears For You” here:

Decode (2012), Exilia‘s latest album, is the band’s best, and most political, since Unleashed. The Front Row Report said: Exilia may just be the next big thing to come out of Italy and their latest record, Decode, is living proof of this.” The first single, “Over the Edge”, is one of Exilia‘s best tracks to date. The second single, “Satellite”, is “a protest song that describes the uselessness of bombs, warfare, deforestation …”Exilia-05 and the band does not appear in the video in order to focus on the song’s message. But, “All In Vain” addresses the hopelessness of fighting the systems: “Don’t see any reason why, I should care about my salvation / Give me just one reason for, why I see children dying of starvation / Searching for a reason why can be proud of myself when it is / All in vain.” And, despairing “Emily” contemplates her only escape from her paralyzing pain: “Emmy’s got a gun / She’s got a gun … She’s ready to go / Ready to use it.” Masha, however, in “My Exception”, does find a little hope: “You are the exception / In this world / You gave me wings, I soar / I can reach the sun.” Heavy messages or not, those are my favorite tracks, but “Forever” and “Myself” are cool, too. Excellent album. Awesome Italian band.

Watch the video for “Over the Edge” here:

Exilia-08Exilia-01AExilia Discography
2000 – Rightside Up [Album]
2003.09.22 – Underdog [EP]
2004.04.22 – “Stop Playing God” [Single]
2004.05.24 – Unleashed [Album]
2004.11.29 – “Coincidence” [Single]
2005.03.21 – “Can’t Break Me Down” [Single]
2006 – “Your Rain” [Single]
2006.07 – Nobody Excluded [Album]
2009.02 – My Own Army [Album]
2010.05 – Naked [EP]
2012.03.30 – Decode [Album]


4 responses to “Exilia

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