Ilium – “Romulus and Remus”

The Australian power metal band Ilium, as you can tell from the name, are no strangers to classical mythology. Their 2007 album “Vespertilion” (a pun on the band’s name and a Latinate word for ‘relating to bats’) concludes with an 8-minute epic that relates the myth of the legendary founder twins raised by the she-wolf. […]

Cloven Hoof – “Song of Orpheus”

The myth of Orpheus and Eurydice is duly famous both as a classic ‘katabasis’ (heroic descent into the underworld) and as a cautionary tale whose moral is that there cannot be love without trust. Son of Calliope, one of the 9 Muses, Orpheus was naturally a master poet and musician, and also a fitting husband […]

Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins – “Antichrist”

Day 6 of 6(66) Days of Nero. We wrap up our series on Nero with this final number from the 2018 album Pawn and Prophecy by Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins, another anthology of the tyrannical emperor’s infamies. The focus of this song is on Nero’s predilection for murder, be it of his own family members, […]

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 […]

Grave Digger – “Massada”

In 66 CE, as the tyrannical regime of the Roman emperor Nero began to crumble, a radical movement called the Zealots took possession of Jerusalem and raised the flag of revolt from the yoke of imperial rule. The revolution gained further momentum as the Romans found themselves distracted by a brutal civil war through the […]

Stormlord – “Mare Nostrum”

Rome’s domination of the ancient Mediterranean was by no means inevitable. Between 264 and 146 BCE, the Romans fought three long and bloody wars with their most formidable rival, the Phoenician superpower of Carthage, a city-state in North Africa. The First Punic War (called Punic after the Latin word for ‘Phoenician’) was a slugfest waged […]

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 […]

Gamma Ray – “The Cave Principle”

Plato is perhaps the most well known philosopher from ancient Greece, and among his many influential theories about the nature of morality, psychology, and physics, the Allegory of the Cave is the most iconic. This comes as no surprise, as a major factor in Plato’s profound influence was his skill as a writer in presenting […]

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 […]

White Skull – “A Mother’s Revenge”

Today we celebrate the warrior queen Boudicca, who led a revolt of the Iceni, a Celtic people of ancient Britain, against the injustices of Roman imperial rule. After her husband’s death the Romans betrayed her people, subjecting her to flogging and her daughters to rape before her eyes. These crimes would not go unavenged. She […]