Chinese Dissident Artist AI WEIWEI To Release ‘Heavy Metal’ Album

According to Reuters, Ai Weiwei, a Chinese dissident and countercultural artist, will release a heavy metal album. Entitled “Divina Commedia”, after the poem by Italian poet Dante, the effort was inspired by Ai Weiwei‘s speculative arrest kidnapping by the Chinese government and the three months he allegedly spent in detention. Two of the songs on the CD — which will be out in about three weeks — are dedicated to Chen Guangcheng, the civil rights crusader who escaped incarceration from a Chinese prison while blind and on an injured ankle.

In 2011, Ai Weiwei disappeared for 81 days after angering the authorities with his criticism, highlighting sensitive issues, particularly the death of children in poorly built schools during the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan.

Authorities said that Ai was detained for tax evasion and insisted his case was unrelated to human rights.