Venus Victrix – “The Oath of Lucretia”

For heroines in Greek mythology, things don’t often end well. The case is similar for their counterparts in Roman mythology, which the Romans patriotically took as the historical foundations of their people, city, and their free republic. Several important stages in the evolution of the Roman state were catalyzed by various women’s sexual violation: Romulus’ […]

Cemetery Lights – “Lemuralia”

Day 7 of 7 Days of Roman Founders. Our final track in this series on the reception of Rome’s foundation myth comes from the Rhode Island black metal project Cemetery Lights. This title track to their 2018 EP Lemuralia is based on the poet Ovid’s account (in the Fasti) of the origin of the Roman […]

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. […]

Deos – “Lupa Mater”

Day 4 of 7 Days of Roman Founders. Today let’s look at a French band’s take on the Roman foundation myth. Deos is another band who go all in with Roman themes, and their debut album, 2015’s Ghosts of the Empire, naturally begins at the beginning. This opening track (following an instrumental intro) takes its […]

Ordo Inferus – “Rhea Ilia”

Day 3 of 7 Days of Roman Founders. Today we showcase Ordo Inferus, an American/Swedish death metal syndicate featuring members of such major-league acts as Necrophobic, Funebrarum, and Disma. In 2014 they released their debut Invictus et Aeternus (unconquered and everlasting) devoted entirely to themes of Roman myth, history, and culture. “Rhea Ilia” is their […]

Ade – “Pomerivm”

Day 2 of 7 Days of Roman Founders. Last time we provided an overview of the myth of Romulus & Remus, and Manilla Road’s reception thereof. Today we move into more extreme territory, to the folk-infused Italian death metal of Ade, natives of the city of Rome itself. The band’s entire concept is devoted to […]

Manilla Road – “Imperious Rise”

Day 1 of 7 Days of Roman Founders. By the end of the Roman Republic and dawn of Augustus’ Empire, various accounts of national origins were approaching uniformity: the twin descendants of the Trojan hero and refugee Aeneas, Romulus and Remus, founded the city of Rome in (give or take a year) 753 BCE. While […]

Cemetery Lights – “Charite’s Revenge”

This black metal project from Rhode Island USA is releasing their debut full-length later this summer via Nuclear War Now. Titled The Underworld, the LP explores several elements of the Greek afterlife. Some preview tracks are available here:…/the-underwo… But for now, let’s focus on some earlier material (for which we have lyrics available). It’s clear […]

Aborym – “Roma Divina Urbs”

According to legend a man named Romulus, the son of the war-god Mars and the Vestal virgin Rhea Silvia, founded the city of Rome on the Palatine Hill in 753 BCE. Romulus gained the right to found and rule the new city in his own name after a power struggle with his twin brother Remus, […]

Aornos – “Avernus”

The sixth book of Vergil’s Aeneid is devoted to Aeneas’ descent into the Underworld, where the ghost of his father Anchises gives him a vision of the future glory of the Romans, a future dependent on Aeneas’ fulfilling the destiny assigned him by the gods to settle the Trojans in Italy at whatever cost. Guided […]