Wrathblade – “Submersion”

It is a strange thing that the Greek sea god Poseidon is somewhat underrepresented in classically inspired metal songs. Often he is incidental to narratives of the hero Odysseus, but not often is Zeus’ blue-maned, trident-wielding brother the main character. Poseidon is not only lord of the sea, but he is also the “earthshaker” with the ability not only to cause tsunamis but also earthquakes. In addition, Poseidon is the god of horses, an essential part of ancient warfare and nobility. It is perhaps fitting that he is marginalized. He protests that very point in Homer’s Iliad when he tries to help the Greeks, and scoffs at Zeus’ injunctions against aiding them, claiming that he has an equal share in the universe, and so he ought to have equal honor.

The Greek heavy metal band Wrathblade helps restore Poseidon’s due honor in the closing track to their 2017 album God of the Deep Unleashed. The song’s content is foreshadowed both by the record’s title and the album artwork. It tells the tale of Poseidon’s wrath against a city that dishonored him. In fact, the song narrates an actual event in ancient Greek history. In the year 373 BCE, the city of Helike on the Greek mainland had refused to send a copy of a statue of Poseidon requested by a group of colonists wishing to establish a new city across the Aegean Sea in Asia Minor. Not long after this, there was a tremendous earthquake, flames were reported to have shot up from chasms in the earth, and a massive tsunami wiped the city off the map. No survivors. The seismic cataclysm submerged the city permanently beneath the waves. It was not difficult for people at the time to connect the dots and affirm that this was nothing other than Poseidon’s wrath.

Take this tune as a cautionary tale. Respect the sea. It can bring death as easily as it gives life.

To drive us out makes you heir of great sin
Refusal’s accompanied y catastrophe
Suppliants right their honor to regain
A model of Poseidon statue to us attributed

Supplicants were sent to their death

Discourtesy! Decency was taken ‘way
Blasphemy! Tranquillity’s kept away
Earth shaker’s rage discourses on Hetike impending doom
Leaving no trace of land for prosperity

Behold Poseidon!
Ruler of the sea profound
Oh Dark haired lord
Who bears the trident in his hand
Earth mover, Poseidon!

Enormous jets of flames spouts out of the ground
The earth is trembling, His wrath resounds, obliterates

Behold Poseidon!
Ruler of the sea profound
Oh Dark haired lord
Who bears the trident in his hand
Earth mover, Poseidon!

No living creatures on the land, mass migration but still,
humans ensorcelled astonished, unprepared to determine the course of events
The earth bellowed deep and quaked, with no delay
gulped down and levelled the city to the ground

Poseidon steeds disturb the sea and the foam divide
heavy billows his husky command! obey
The tidal waves rie to a height so vast and dragged down the city
and all the inhabitantsin it!

Behold Poseidon!
Ruler of the sea profound
Oh Dark haired lord
Who bears the trident in his hand
Earth mover, Poseidon!

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