Anthrax – “Medusa”

One of the most familiar “monsters” of Greek mythology is Medusa, the Gorgon condemned to have snakes for hair and turn every person she sees into stone, because Athena punished her for being raped by Poseidon in her temple. The hero Perseus later killed Medusa to use her head to petrify the sea monster and free Andromeda. As mentioned in previous posts, especially of the song “Slaughter of Medusa” by Spectral Wound, the reception of Medusa is on a wide spectrum between a monster deserving to be slain by a hero and a sympathetic victim of petty gods.

Anthrax, one of the canonical Big Four of US thrash metal, take a view of Medusa similar to Incubus on Helen of Troy and Savatage on the Sirens (see recent posts on them). That is, they portray Medusa as a temptress, a force of feminine seduction that lures men to their doom. In fact, this track from their 1985 album “Spreading the Disease” plays heavily with the metaphor of Medusa as the archetype for any femme fatale that uses sex to control men and destroy them. The song becomes a way to exorcise that masculine fear. Consider some of the lyrics:

“Oh she’ll suck you in.”
“Approach her cave.”
“Evil witch, cast her spell, seducing you.”
“For all eternity Medusa laughs at you, and you’re her slave.”

Thrash metal was never about subtlety, right?

Endless curse, blood runs cold
Evil stare, will turn your flesh to stone
Land of doom, world of sin
All subside, don’t venture near
The island where she lives
Oh, she’ll suck you in

Destroyer of life, Demon
Oh I’m ready to strike, Gorgon

Serpents bride, the end awaits
Human prey, no swords or armor
Shield you from your fate
Hey you, you can’t escape
Wicked smile, full of lies
Head of snakes, approach her cave
But don’t look in her eyes
Oh, her eyes

Seize, appease, deceive, die
Seize, appease, deceive, die

Medusa, she’s staring at you
Medusa, with her eyes

Evil witch, cast her spell, seducing you
She’ll take you to the very depths of hell
Cannot move, no eyes to see, a statue now
For all eternity Medusa laughs at you
And you’re her slave

Medusa, she’s staring at you
Medusa, with her eyes
Medusa, oh, she’s cold

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