Pegazus – “Pegasus”

Offspring of the horse-god Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa, the winged horse Pegasus is one of the most recognizable and iconic creatures in Greek mythology, yet the stallion’s actual role in the traditional stories is often misapprehended. Contrary to what the creative license of films such as Clash of the Titans and Disney’s Hercules would […]

Monasterium – “Ferrier of the Underworld”

Church of Bones is the sophomore album from the Polish epic doom metal band Monasterium. While their self-titled debut album tipped its hat to classical antiquity with their song “In Hoc Signo Vinces” on the emperor Constantine (a future post!), on this new LP they dive into the underworld of Greek mythology, to pay the […]

Båvingr – “Offering the Cup”

Any dungeon synth fans here? Though not technically metal, this genre of keyboard-driven medieval ambience substantially overlaps with metal (especially black metal) in terms of fanbase. Naturally, a few dungeon synth projects also treat classical themes, including Båvingr from Oxford, England. This song is part of a 2018 concept album Bycirce about the most iconic […]

Midnight Odyssey – “Sorrow of Daedalus”

Starting with the iconic anthem by Iron Maiden, the myth of Icarus has not infrequently been taken up by metal bands as a tale of one pushing the limits of humanity and nature to achieve immortality, even if that immortality comes in the form of deathless fame after a tragic but memorable downfall. But the […]

Promethean – “Le Supplice des Aloades”

Otus and Ephialtes were two mythical giants, and among the original mortals to challenge the supremacy of the gods. Due to the mythical remembrance of their defiance, those who subsequently challenged or questioned the power of the gods (i.e. the earliest porto-atheists) were conceived of by the ancient Greeks as latter-day incarnations of these gigantic […]

Sacred Oath – “The Ferryman’s Lair”

One of the more familiar elements of the Greco-Roman Underworld is Charon, the haggard boatman who ferries souls across the River Styx to their eternal destination, for a fee of course. Those without payment, or who have not been properly given funeral rites and burial, are doomed to linger on the near shore for a […]

Lair of the Minotaur – “The Wolf”

The Roman poet Ovid is well known for his poetry on erotic themes, including a handbook on how to seduce women that likely got him exiled by the emperor Augustus. However, he is more or less equally famous for his 15-volume epic poem Metamorphoses, a loosely connected anthology of myths from the creation of the […]

Agatus – “The Weaving Fates”

The role of fate, of the destiny of mortals divinely predetermined, is an essential feature of the epic and tragic tales of classical myth and literature. In ancient Greek, there are a handful of terms to express the concept of Fate: Aisa, Heimarmene, and Moira. All three basically contain the idea of “apportionment” or “allotment.” […]

Sentinel Beast – “Sentinel Beast”

The mythic imagination of the ancient Greeks populated the Underworld with a host of terrifying monsters, both in imprisonment and employment. Among the latter is the original hellhound Cerberus, who stands watch over the infernal gates lest any soul escape. It was the offspring of Echidna and Typhon, formidable monsters in their own right, and […]

Validor – “Son of Achilles”

Though the greatest warrior to fight in the Trojan War, Achilles was fated to die before he could see the city fall. As with Achilles’ dear companion Patroclus before him, the archer god Apollo was instrumental in Achilles’ own demise, guiding Paris’ arrow through his mortal heel. But as Achilles avenged Patroclus, so another would […]