Inside sources report that Swedish heavy metal group Svart Död is preparing a new concert tour highlighting performances of Virgil’s Aeneid in Latin. Lead singer Lukas Bergström explains that:
While heavy metal typically appeals to a fairly restricted demographic, classic Latin poetry has a much wider audience. We hope to broaden the appeal of heavy metal and increase our fan base by attracting listeners who would otherwise not be interested in our music. Furthermore, since the kind of people who like Virgil will be more interested in the timeless and the permanent than our typical supporter, we might actually be able to sell some CDs.
The band also hopes that their new music will interest a geographically more diverse audience. Aeneas’s travels began in the Middle East, and during his wanderings he visited Sicily and North Africa, before finally arriving in Italy. “All the areas connected with Aeneas are, sadly, areas where heavy metal music is not typically appreciated,” says drummer Hampus Arvidsson. “We hope to help extend the benefits of hard core death metal to these under-represented areas.”
When asked whether this departure from typical metal lyrics will risk alienating current fans, the band expressed complete lack of concern. “They probably won’t even notice,” says bassist Zeke Strömberg. “They can’t understand any of our lyrics anyway.”
“Aeneas in the Underworld,” Petrus Paulus Rubens, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.