|HIGHLORD was founded in Turin, Italy, with the former monicker Avatar in 1997, and the first line up was composed by Stefano Droetto on guitars, Alessandro Muscio on keyboards, Fabio Savella on drums, Enrico Grande on bass guitar and vocalist Roberto Messina, the latter also doubling front man duties with Secret Sphere. Within a few months Grande quit the band and Diego De Vita joined in to record the first, self-titled demo.
The tape led the band to a deal with the label Underground Symphony that signed them to record a debut album in 1998. Changes were afoot, though, and not only would the band change its monicker from Avatar to Highlord, but it also substituted Messina with the new front man Vascé. In the midst of these tribulations the label and group also severed ties.
The label Northwind Records took the band in its roster, and the debut album 'Heir Of Power' was eventually recorded in Torino's Musical Box recording studio. This initial Symphonic Speed Metal outing fared well and provided the catalyst for a string of gigs across Italy with such acts as Domine, Skylark and Secret Sphere. After this round of live activity Savella left in May 2000, and Luca "T-1000" Pellegrino joined in.
Highlord's July 2001 opus 'When The Aurora Falls...' was recorded at the renowned New Sin Studios, and the Japanese version would feature two bonus tracks, namely 'The Eclipse' and 'Will Of A King'. Extra exposure to the album was given by the inclusion of some songs on the soundtrack of two horror movies: 'The Werewolf Chronicles' and 'Blood Of The Werewolf'.
Vascé quit the band in 2001, and the power act's Desdemona vocalist Andrea Marchisio entered the band for the recording of the third album for Northwind Records, 'Breath Of Eternity', which was released in May 2001. The Japanese version, once again licensed by Soundholic Records, featured the metal version of the anime song 'Pegasus Fantasy'.
In 2002 Highlord contributed to Steelborn Records' 'Revenge - The Triumph of… Tribute to Manowar', with the song 'Thor', from the album 'Sign of the Hammer', featuring Sister Witch on vocals.
In July 2002 Highlord took part in the second issue of 'Keepers of Jericho', a tribute to Helloween released by the Spanish label Arise Records, performing the song 'Power', from the album 'The time of the Oath'.
The fourth album 'Medusa's Coil', also recorded at New Sin Studios, was released in May 2004 by Arise Records. Japanese variants added the customary extra track, 'Tough Boy', cover of the famous anime 'Hokuto No Ken', along with a karaoke version of the same. The band recorded their version of Stratovarius' 'Against The Wind' for Steelborn Records, for a 2004 tribute album, entitled 'Within Infinity - Tribute to Stratovarius'.
Highlord's self-produced fifth album, entitled 'Instant Madness', was recorded at Labyrinth's drummer Mat Stancioiu Elnor Studios, and it was released in April 2006 in Japan via Soundholic Records, these version including the bonus track 'Cha La Head Cha La' from the anime 'Dragon Ball Z'. Mythic Silence Records released the album in the USA in June.
In 2007, the keyboard player and founding member Alessandro Muscio decided to quit the band for personal reasons, and the band found a temporary substitute in Giacomo Roggia, who played live throughout 2007-2008, but was eventually substituted by Emanuele "Mr. Triton" Salsa in the late 2009.
The group re-entered New Sin Studios in May 2009 to record the tracks for the sixth album 'The Death Of The Artists'. Bonus tracks included the cover versions of Billy Idol's 'Rebel Yell' and 'Zankokuna Tenshi No Teeze' from the anime 'Neon Genesis Evangelion'.
Throughout 2009 and 2010 Highlord played many live shows, such as Steel Roses MC bikers' fest in Sardinia and Rock Inn Somma 2010 open air with Thunderstorm and Necrodeath.
After the release of this album, bass player Diego De Vita left, and his place was taken by Dying Awkward Angel's Daniele Veronese.
In may 2012, the band recorded their seventh album, 'The Warning After' in New Sin Studios; the album was released in 2013 by Punishment 18 Records, and licensed in North America through End of the Light Records. This album displays a beautiful cover by the famous artist Felipe Machado, and it also features Primal Fear's singer Ralf Scheepers as a guest on the vocals of the song 'Arcade Warriors'. The bonus tracks for the American market are the main theme of 'Power Rangers' 'Go Go! Power Rangers' and 'Bloody Tears Castlevania', instrumental theme from the popular arcade game 'Castlevania'.
Soon after the record was released, bass player Daniele Veronese had to left the band for health reasons; his place was taken by Sound Storm's bassist Massimiliano Flak.
During 2012-2014 Highlord played both gigs and open air festivals like Rock Inn Somma 2013, and it also shared the stage with important Italian and international bands, such as Circle II Circle, Dark Moor, Freedom Call, Pino Scotto, Vision Divine, Elvenking, Sacred Steel, Seventh Wonder and more.
In June 2014, founding member Stefano Droetto quit the band for personal reasons; Highlord found his replacement in Francesco Lombardo, young axeman of Myriad Lights.
Presently the band is working on the songs of their eighth album, which will probably be released in the beginning of 2015. Important lineup changes are leading to a refreshment of the sound, which will always be Heavy-Power Metal, but with heavier and more Symphonic influences that will add many interesting facets to the classic Highlord sound.