Octobriana and The Tenth Circle of Hell

Octobriana is a public domain Russian super-heroine, who first appeared in a comic strip in 1971. In the new Octobriana book, titled Octobriana: The Exotic Time Domina, there is a comic spoof of Dante’s Inferno titled “The Tenth Circle of Hell.”

In his review for Kult Creations, John A. Short writes:

“Firstly we have reprints of Reima’s two rare, out-of-print Octo strips from the early nineties… ‘Mission in the North’ (with artist Petri Tolppanen) and ‘The Tenth Circle of Hell’ (with artist Timo Niemi.) It is ‘The Tenth Circle of Hell’ that is the backbone of this book, since it runs to 37 pages and is by far the longest strip in the collection. The story sees the Spirit of the October Revolution flying her time travelling Wonder Machine to Hell to take on everyone from Cerberus, Pluto (the God not the dog), Medusa, the Devil and her own evil sister (Decabriana!) This spoof of Dante’s Divine Comedy has some great humour and cracking action all in artist Niemi’s macabre woodcut-style.” [. . .]   –John A. Short, Kult Creations, October 9, 2015.

In addition to “Mission in the North” and “The Tenth Circle of Hell”, the new Octobriana book includes the comic strips “Origins”, “Wasted Time”, and “From Cuba with Love.”

This book was written and illustrated by Reima Mäkinen, Petri Tolppanen, Timo Niemi, Vesa Vitikainen and Sauli Jokinen.

You can pick up a copy of Octobriana: The Exotica Time Domina online at Turun Sarjakuvakauppa for 12,00 €.

Smetana, Sibelius, and the Dante Quartet

smetana-sibelius-and-the-dante-quartet“Though both Jean Sibelius and Bedrich Smetana are well-known for their contributions to the nationalistic movements in their respective countries, the semi-autobiographical quartets of both composers (two for Smetana, one for Sibelius) instead focus on dark, tragic aspects of their own lives. Smetana’s quartets highlight some of the positive events in his life, but are more a representation of the gradual march toward deafness and the decline of his career. Sibelius, who struggled with depression and isolation, writes an equally revealing depiction of his more private inner turmoil. Performing these three emotionally charged works is the equally emotive, demonstrative Dante Quartet. Conceptually, its playing is ideal for showing listeners the very raw emotions present in these scores.” [. . .]    –Mike D. Brownell, Allmusic

Musea/Colossus Project: “Dante’s Divine Comedy” Parts I, II, III (2009-2010)

“Musea’s collaboration with Finnish Colossus Society has been fruitful in these last years, and the newest release is the most ambitious so far: a 4 cd set, with a comprehensive booklet, featuring 34 bands to address the 34 cantos of the “Inferno” part of the legendary 14th century epic poem ‘The Divine Comedy’ by Dante Alighieri (Purgatory and Paradise will be the concept of future releases, in order to complete the trilogy).
With such an amount of bands coming from different grounds within the progressive aesthetics, it is only natural that the conducting line is only maintained by the story and by the usage of vintage instruments (moog, mellotron, etc) which are common to all the guest bands. In part, and besides the fact that this approach secures a wide array of styles and different musical perspectives, it is also true that it makes the album not being as cohesive and focused as the Epic Poem that muses it would deserve. But hey! There are 4hours+ of pure “regressive” symphonic rock to fully enjoy!”    –Nuno, Proggnosis

Click album covers below to see track titles and credits:

musea-colossus-project-the-divine-comedy-inferno.jpg musea-colossus-project-the-divine-comedy-purgatorio.jpg musea-colossus-project-the-divine-comedy-paradiso.jpg

HIM, “Venus Doom” (2007)

him-venus-doom-2007“‘Venus Doom’ is said to have multiple layers, ranging from beautiful melodies to crunchy guitars–a contrast that HIM was striving for. The idea to have nine songs was based on Dante’s Inferno, ’cause hell has nine layers, so it’s like going deeper down into hell and then coming back,’ [band’s frontman] Valo said.”    —Live Daily (retrieved July 7, 2009)