Mono’s 9th Album, Requiem for Hell (2016)

mono-requiem-for-hell-album-dante“Perhaps the most surprising thing about Mono making a record inspired by Dante’s The Divine Comedy is that it took them nine albums to do it. Since their dramatic 2001 debut Under the Pipal Tree, the Japanese ensemble’s arrangements have only swelled, growing ever grander and more orchestral—like a lot of instrumental post-rock bands, they’ve often struggled with how to one-up themselves. So on Requiem for Hell, their ninth album, they look to nothing less than the mother of all epics, Dante’s account of the journey of man’s soul, on a song cycle patterned around the rhythms of life and death. If that all sounds lofty, it is, but no more so than any other Mono album from the last decade. At this point in their career, going big is their default play.” — Evan Rytlewski, “Mono: Requiem for Hell: Album Review,” Pitchfork.com

Contributed by Pete Maiers

Weezer, “L.A. Girlz” (2016)

Weezer-LA-Girlz-Dante-Beatrice-2016“L.A. girls, please act your age
You treat me like I have the plague
It’s the Gyre and Gimble in the wabe
L.A. girls, please act your age
Sweeten up your lemonade
And meet me down at tower twenty-eight
So would you mind if I was pregnant?
I’ll sleep on the edge of your bed
Like Dante and Beatrice
We’ll light up our candles
But how is this going to end?
The kids are asleep
We’re haunting their dreams
And some women swear it’s more painful than labor
To die with your sins on your head” — Weezer, “L.A. Girlz,” The White Album (2016)

Watch the video for the song on YouTube.

Contributed by Megan Alvarado (University of Texas at Austin, ’18)

Caparezza, “Argenti Vive” (2015)

Argenti ViveItalian rap-rock icon Caparezza‘s new song, “Argenti Vive” (“Argenti Lives”), opens with a recitation of part of Canto 8 of the Inferno, when Dante is crossing the river of Styx and has an encounter with Filippo Argenti. This is followed by a vengeful rap in the voice of Argenti.

Watch the full music video here.

Contributed by Sam Gaglio (University of Texas at Austin)

Thrillpeddlers’ Club Inferno (2015)

Club Inferno“Club Inferno, a Glam-Rock Musical based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, is ‘one hell of a good time’, blending sinful women and kick-ass rock with a classic story of the afterlife.”    —Thrillpeddlers

The musical, which plays at the Hypnodrome in San Francisco, is put on by Thrillpeddlers and features a cast of characters like Dante, Xaron, and Cleopatra.

Read more about the show at SFGate.

Contributed by Bob Watt

Steve Miller Band, “Jet Airliner”

Jet AirlinerOne line of Steve Miller Band’s 1977 single “Jet Airliner” will sound familiar to any reader of Dante’s Divine Comedy:

“You know you got to go through hell before you get to heaven.”    —AZ Lyrics

Listen to the full song here.

Contributed by Kelly Clark

“Ziggy Stardust’s Reading Habits”

ziggy-stardusts-reading-habits“Plenty of music fans could have guessed that David Bowie was a fan of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, since Mr. Bowie once aspired to produce a musical based on the novel. Now we have 99 other book recommendations from the Thin White Duke…”

“Elsewhere, there’s Dante’s Inferno, Homer’s Iliad and The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Min‘ by Julian Jaynes. As the A.V. Club put it: ‘David Bowie has once again shown that he’s not only far richer, sexier and more fabulous than you, but probably smarter.'”    –John Williams, The New York Times, October 1st, 2013

Murder By Death, In Bocca al Lupo (2006)

murder-by-death-coverIn May 2006, Indiana-based indie-rock/rockabilly group Murder By Death released In Bocca al Lupo, a concept album influenced by Dante’s Comedy. Asked about the connection to Dante’s poem, band front man Adam Turla explained, “In Bocca is a collection of short stories and each song deals with the idea of sin in a different way.” Each track narrates the story of a different character, woven through a pastiche of musical styles and exploring various aspects of sin, death, and transgression.

Read Marisa Brown’s review of the album at AllMusic.com, and Adam Turla’s full interview with Bobby Gorman of ThePunkSite.com here.

Rage Against the Machine, “Roll Right” (Evil Empire, 1996)

album-cover-rage-against-the-machine-evil-empire.jpg

From Lyrics Time:

Lick off the shot my stories shock ya like Ellison
Main line adrenaline Gaza to Tienanmen
From the basement I’m dwellin’ in
I cock back tha sling to stone a settler
And breaks him off clean, call me the upsetter
Here comes the hands on the leashes
The cross, the capital, the pale families, the fear and the mouthpieces
The single sista lynch
The cell doors crash
And the master’s drums echo, echo, echo, echo, echo, echo
Roll right! Roll call!
But now we’re alright, we’re all calm!
Roll right! Roll call!
And now we’re alright, we’re all calm!
This hits like fists bomb with the left and don’t miss
With the sickest stilo I spark fear like pigs in the park
Head crack, I hijack the papers
The vapors caught fire up in your mind
Come back rewind one time
Here comes the hands on the leashes
The cross, the capital, the pale families, the fear and the mouthpieces
The single sista lynch
The cell doors crash
And the master’s drums echo, echo, echo, echo, echo, echo
Roll right! Roll call!
But now we’re alright, we’re all calm!
Roll right! Roll call!
We gotta take ’em to tha seventh level
We gotta take ’em to tha seventh level
For their lives and my lives were never settled
Come on, don’t freeze when zero hour comes
Come on, come on, don’t freeze when zero hour comes
Come on
Send ’em to tha seventh level!
Send ’em to tha seventh level!
Send ’em to tha seventh level!
Send ’em to tha seventh level!
For their lives and my lives were never settled

Professor Fate, “Inferno” (2007)

professor-fate-inferno-2007“Professor Fate is a solo project from Mick Kenney (Anaal Nathrakh/Exploder/Mistress) Professor Fate produce cinematic style music, a form of epic classical that fuses intertwined drumbeats with orchestral Rock and electronic sounds. The music screams “soundtrack” in its every audible moment, with grand, sweeping soundscapes that inspire cinematic imagery even in the dark. ‘Inferno’ presents you with a powerfully potent journey through the caverns of the underworld, inspired by Dante Alighieri’s book, ‘The Divine Comedy.'”    —CD Universe

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)