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Heavy Metal Monk Worships God, "God of Thunder"

July 18, 2008 1:49 PM ET

Gregorian chanting, he's not: Behold, in the video above, 62-year-old Capuchin monk Cesare Bonizzi, a Rip Van Winkle-looking friar who — when he's not worshipping God — is worshipping the gods of heavy metal in his native Italy. We're pretty sure Fratello Metallo (or Brother Metal, as he's called in Italy) is only a monk in appearance, as his new album Mysteries features songs about sex, alcohol, tobacco, God and other debauchery you'd find on a Sepultura album. Bonizzi reportedly got the metal itch after seeing Metallica in concert 15 years ago (Why he was at the concert, we have no idea.) Since then, he's headlined metal festivals throughout Europe and has released 18 albums. Despite his day job, Brother Metal's music "isn't aimed at saving souls," but "converting people to live life to the fullest."

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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