Here’s the most prominent Italian Heavy Metal band out of the Metal Rock wave born in late 70s and early 80s. The band was formed in Savona in 1979 with a typical British sound in the wake of the NWOBHM and their debut album “Vanexa”. The first real and important live performance of the band had taken place in 1980 in Belluno supporting the punk-rock act Skiantos and received an enthusiastic outcome. A remarkable occurrance, which will have led to a certain further exposure, happened in the 80s when the band got in touch with the Saxon at one of their shows. They tendered them a demo with the aim of being possibly recruited one day as the opening act for them in tour.
Unfortunately, the release of the next Saxon’s album saw an evident plagiarism of a song in the demo of Vanexa and this was confirmed by some journalists who had previously listened to the Vaxexa’s demo.
Vanexa was the headliner at the first Italian Heavy Metal festival in Certaldo (Florenece) May 21, 1983. The band also was inserted in Metal compilations, such as ‘A Mountain of Metal’, released in the U.S., with the song ‘Hanged Man’ and in ‘Metallo Italiano’.
The second album “Back From The Ruins” (recorded in the legendary Carimate Studios where also recorded historical groups like Yes, Eugenio Finardi and others) was released in 1988 and was received as a Metal milestone. Following the first two albums there was a break of a few years after which the band was back in the record market with the new album “Against The Sun”; in which the vocal dudies were taken by Roberto Tiranti (later frontman with New Trolls, Labyrinth, Wonderworld, etc.).
After having extensively toured to promote the album, Vanexa took a long break also launching new musical projects. After the departure of Roberto Merlone, original guitarist and founding member, Vanexa re-formed in 2009 with a new line-up featuring two guitarists: Artan Selishta and Alex Graziano. That same year the band attended two importan events: the “Play It Loud III”, Metal Festival in Bologna (documented by the live CD “Metal City Live”, released in 2011) where they played alongside with Exciter and Jaguar (historical British Metal bands) while, In October, they were in Turin where they shared the stage with the ëSpecial Guestí Dennis Stratton (Iron Maiden).
From 2010 to 2015 the band temporarily quits the music business but keeps working live in various concerts around Italy until the F.I.M. Festival of Genoa in the August of 2015. Right there they played with the new guitarist Pier Gonella and got in touch with the man who will become the current singer in Vanexa: Andrea ‘Ranfa’ Ranfagni, in the same night performing with Joe Lynn Turner in a tribute to Rainbow.
VANEXA Line up:
Andrea “Ranfa” Ranfagni – Lead Vocals
Artan Selishta – Guitars & Vocals
Pier Gonella – Guitars & Vocals
Sergio Pagnacco – Bass & Vocals
Silvano Bottari – Drums & Vocals