“Tell me Akkad, who knocks on your gates?” An interview with Tabernacle

In May of 2021 a brand new trio of epic metal warriors arose from the metropolis of Dubai and released their debut recording, a three-track demo title Terror in Thrace. When a fellow member of a heavy metal Facebook group shared the Bandcamp link I was immediately intrigued by the release’s title, as Thrace was […]

Greek Tragedy & Heavy Metal, Pt. 3: Euripides

Euripides (c. 480 – c. 406 BCE) is the Vincent Van Gogh of Greek literature. His innovative approaches to the art of Attic tragedy were little appreciated during his lifetime, and even mocked by comedians such as Aristophanes, and he earned few first-place victories in the tragic competitions at the Dionysia festival. However, it was […]

Greek Tragedy & Heavy Metal, Pt. 1: Aeschylus

Many modern anthologies of classical myth, be it Edith Hamilton’s classic Mythology or your typical mythology textbook, may give the impression that the ancient Greeks all collectively inherited, as though from divine revelation, a monolithic canon of “timeless” tales that they bequeathed unaltered to subsequent “Western” civilization. This is a gross misconception. Originating in oral […]

The Man of Many Riffs: The Odyssey in Heavy Metal Music

While it has always been captured on analog and digital media like vinyl and mp3s, heavy metal music has been traditionally intended primarily for live performance, where the musicians and audience reciprocally feed off a sense of community, shared identity, and celebration of the values of a counterculture. Not uncommonly, these sentiments are communicated lyrically […]

Dawn of a Dark Age: Constantine the Great in Heavy Metal Music

The Roman emperor Constantine I, enrolled in the club of historical “the Greats,” is inarguably one of the most consequential figures in world history. By championing the erstwhile persecuted, minority cult of Jesus Christ, he set Christianity on its course to becoming the dominant religion in Europe, and from there, the world. The so-called triumph […]

Bolt Thrower – “The IVth Crusade”

Many of us were taught that the Roman Empire fell in 476 CE, when Germanic barbarians dethroned the last Roman emperor, coincidentally named Romulus Augustulus (the names of Rome’s first king and first emperor). This anticlimactic event, hardly noticed by contemporaries, draws an all-too-convenient line between what we think of as classical antiquity and what […]