“Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” is a short novel written by Robert Louis Stevenson in the late 19th century.
The story goes that a dreary lawyer called Mr Utterson began investigating the case of his good friend Dr Jekyll whose will states that “all his possessions were to pass into the hands of his friend and benefactor Edward Hyde”. The subject is highly sensitive to Dr Jekyll as a cloud of mischief and uncertainty surrounds his “friend” whose evil deeds have made him the most wanted outlaw in London.
The book tackles a disorder commonly known as split personality, where Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are two opposite sides of the same person. Given that this story was set in a Victorian-era London where stature, social code of conduct and sexual restraints was of high importance, Jekyll was constantly repressing his “dark side” so to speak, which had led him to experiment with some drugs that turned him into a hideous evil being that could engage in activities which he wouldn’t dare to undergo. At first, Jekyll was in control of his little experiment, but soon enough, his evil side grew stronger and started manifesting itself without the need of drugs. This is often explained by a Freudian theory which says that “the thoughts and desires banished to the unconscious mind motivate the behavior of the conscious mind”.
There are plenty of references of this book in Metal music, mainly because of its psychological significance of “good vs bad” and two-faces, as well as the concept of anti-conformity and growing free from limitations and restraints.
Some of the bands who have referenced Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde are:
– Iced Earth’s “Jekyll and Hyde” song from “Horror Show”, their 2001 album which mentions all kind of fictional evil characters and creatures.
– The Who’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” single which talks about drummer Keith Moon’s drinking problems.
– Armory Infirmary’s “What Do You Have To Hyde Dr Jekyll” from their 2011 EP “I Am Divided.
– James Labrie’s “Jekyll or Hyde” song from his album Static Impulse.
– Seraphim’s “Jekyll And Hyde” from their 2012 EP “The Passage”.
– Judas Priest’ “Jekyll and Hyde”song from their 2001 album “Demolition”.
– Cloven Hoof’s “Jekyll and Hyde” song from their 1989 album “A Sultan’s Ransom”.
– Six Hour Sundown’s (featuring Lauren Harris) ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ debut single.