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Shakespeare in Hell

Through the course of time, we have heard, if not, witnessed Shakespeare and his works develop and branch out through different forms of art. We have seen or heard him and his works take different forms; artworks, theatre, music, movie productions, dance, and even through toys and the like. What I am going focus on however, is the area of music. Certain forms and adaptations of Shakespeare’s work could be heard through various genres such as classical, country, pop, and rock. I however, managed to stumble upon a certain band that takes Shakespeare’s works and adds their own flavor of metal to it. Yes, you read it correctly, a band that performs gothic metal or death metal renditions of songs inspired and named after some of Shakespeare’s work.

Shakespeare in Hell

“Shakespeare is dead…but he lives on in hell.

Hear the bard’s lamentations through the music of SHAKESPEARE IN HELL! SHAKESPEARE IN HELL performs Shakespeare’s greatest plays, setting them against the blood-soaked stage of death, black, and doom metal.”


The image above shows the band Shakespeare in Hell.  Here is a brief history about the band:

New Orleans’ Shakespeare in Hell was formed in late 2000 by vocalist Kevin Kish and guitarist Keith Guillory. Armed with the idea of taking William Shakespeare’s darkest works and setting them against a sonic stage of death, black, and gothic metal, the pair recruited members Daniel Eschete (bass) and Steve Gipson (guitar), then began the process of recording their first CD, the dual concept album Hecate. Here SiH performed two of the Bard’s most popular works, Hamlet and Macbeth, taking the lyrics verbatim from the original Elizabethan text. The band quickly conquered the death and black metal charts on mp3.com, earning a nomination for favorite metal band, and gaining worldwide acclaim for their original and intelligent brand of heavy metal.

2003 saw the release of Shakespeare in Hell’s
most ambitious work yet, the full-length album The
Tempest. A bold interpretation of Shakespeare’s final play, The Tempest found SiH fulfilling the promise of Hecate with nine tracks of intense, melodic, and often brutal metal.

With drummer Shawn Roddy added to their live ranks, Shakespeare in Hell has taken the New Orleans metal scene by storm. With a unique blend of technical progressive skill and extreme vocals, the band has performed for enthusiastic crowds throughout the Gulf Coast region, garnering a loyal following wherever they play.


However, the band had separated thus no new content shall be heard from them. But fret not! Here are some links to a few of their songs, enjoy!


Shakespeare in Hell – Heir of Naples

Shakespeare in Hell – The Tempest (Epilogue)

Shakespeare in Hell – Caliban’s Curse

Shakespeare in Hell – Ripp’d From the Womb

Shakespeare in Hell – The Death of Ophelia

Shakespeare in Hell – Poor Yorick

Shakespeare in Hell – A Dagger of the Mind





Categories: Multimedia Essays
  1. October 14, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    This is actually pretty interesting, because music could be considered one of the closer cousins of poetry, and I’m sure Shakespeare didn’t hold the title of being “the Bard” for no reason. Seeing how music has evolved into different genres over the years, it’s also interesting to note how even metal, popularly identified as “that genre that’s just really too close to being insane for my tastes”, can take on Shakespeare. In fact this band arguably does a more comprehensive job of covering the entirety of Shakespeare’s works than most other popular songs do: more often than not, the popular songs just take on Romeo and Juliet, while here you have things like “The Death of Ophelia” and “A Dagger of the Mind”, darker topics but still very much in the line of Shakespeare.

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