To bleed or not to bleed

Date: 2009
Posted by: metalshakespeare
Cast: Viceroy Matthew [Matt Stikker] (lead guitar, backing vocals), Lord Simms [Jason Simms] (vocals, rhythm guitar), William Sly [Randy Bemrose] (drums), Sir Raleigh the Valiant [Riley Geare] (drums), Duke Luke (‘Bottom’) [Luke Dennis] (bass)
Credits: Not given
Duration: 4.58

The Metal Shakespeare Company bringing together Shakespeare and heavy metal music. They may not do so entirely seriously, but they certainly go about their business with skull-banging gusto. This full-blooded assault on Hamlet (chiefly Hamlet’s lines on Yorick’s skull, from Act 5 Scene 1) shows as much respect for the tenets of heavy metal as it does for Shakespeare’s verse. The costuming and settings are pure heritage Shakespeare, but the energy of the performance takes the video beyond a mere comic sketch. Chiefly, it demonstrates how neatly Hamlet works seen through the music of modern tortured adolesence (though the addition of an ass’s head from A Midsummer’s Night Dream is a bit odd).

The Metal Shakespeare Company hail from Portland, Oregon, USA. Previously known as Dagger of the Mind, they describe themselves as “70% metal and 30% theater”. They cite their influences as being Iron Maiden, Manowar, Dio, Judas Priest and Mercyful Fate, while they feel that their sound can best be described as “Shakespeare turning in his grave”. Turning rhythmically, at least.

Metal Shakespeare Company site
Myspace page
YouTube page