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MMS 101

Our series of short posts on different topics in metal studies, written to introduce a general audience to current research.

Metal Methodology

A podcast series hosted by ISMMS Secretary Owen Coggins featuring interviews with notable scholars in metal studies.

Events, CfPs & more

All information about events, calls for proposals, and other announcements related to metal music studies.

All Posts

Extreme Sounds Studies – New Series

EXTREME SOUNDS STUDIESGLOBAL SOCIO-CULTURAL EXPLORATIONSA SERIES EDITED BY NIALL SCOTT, NELSON VARAS-DÍAZ, AND BRYAN BARDINEABOUT THE SERIES:Music and sound do not take place in a social vacuum. They manifest themselves, and are a reflection of,particular social contexts. They are grounded in geographies, people’s lived experiences, and specific events. Therefore, when we conceptualize music and sound as “extreme,” we do so in recognition of this contextual anchoring, and as an acknowledgment that contexts are both produced, and reflected, through them. Metal music studies have used the...

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The Child in Metal Music w/ Ruth Barratt-Peacock

THE BEAST UNDER YOUR BED: THE CHILD IN METAL MUSIC Ruth Barratt-Peacock  “She said that childhood was a frightening time and that hearing scary stories was a way of feeling less alone” – Kate Morton, The Clock Maker’s Daughter (2018)  The combination of children and heavy metal has prompted widespread panic from the beginning. Now, over four decades since Pink Floyd infamously had real children singing “We Don’t Need No Education”, I am officially turning the tables and asking: What does heavy music itself say about...

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New Executive Board Position – Webmaster

The International Society for Metal Music Studies (ISMMS), the only professional organization for metal music scholars, is pleased to announce we are looking to add a Webmaster to our Executive Board. The webmaster will manage, construct, and maintain the ISMMS website and its interface with the society’s other online profiles across social media.  This will include maintenance and updating of the Metal Studies Bibliographic Database along with managing membership subscriptions and access to the Metal Music Studies journal. The webmaster is responsible for all aspects of website hosting...

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Drone Metal Mysticism with Owen Coggins

DRONE METAL MYSTICISM: THE POWER OF HEAVY SOUND ON BODIES AND LANGUAGE Owen Coggins  Despite writing a PhD thesis and a book about it, I’m not totally convinced that ‘drone metal’ exists. Some people use other genre terms for the music I’m talking about, drone doom, just drone, or power ambient sometimes. It’s connected to avant-garde minimalism as well as black metal, particularly on SunnO)))’s 2009 classic Monoliths & Dimensions. Some of the bands, like Earth and Boris in particular, made wildly extreme landmark albums in this...

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Metal and Literature w/ Charlotte Doesburg

METAL AND LITERATURE Charlotte Doesburg  As a metalhead, you have probably heard songs about Odin, Thor and other gods of Norse mythology. But have you heard of Väinämöinen, Lemminkäinen, or Ilmarinen? The funny thing is, you probably have heard the stories of these characters from Finnish mythology in the lyrics of songs, but you might not have been aware of it.  Finnish metal is, in a way, a brand of its own. With bands such as Nightwish, Amorphis, Finntroll, and Apocalyptica reaching international...

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ISMMS Mexico City Update

Regarding the upcoming ISMMS Biennial Research Conference in Mexico City, the Organizing Committee of the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the ISMMS Board have decided to postpone the conference. Until further notice, the meeting will now be from June 7 to June 10 of 2022.While fortunately, there have been advancements with existing vaccines, we are still uncertain about planning a trip this year for all countries and to meet you all in Mexico City.The decision to postpone the conference is intended to provide the best possible safety and travel planning for everyone interested...

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Introducing MMS 101 & Metal Methodology

Metal Music Studies 101, Metal Methodology and ISMMS The International Society for Metal Music Studies (ISMMS) is excited to announce two projects which will share new and existing research with metal scholars and others through its distribution on ISMMS’ website and social media. The first is called Metal Music Studies 101 and is the brainchild of Didier Goossens, an emerging scholar in metal studies and a strong supporter of the work ISMMS is doing. Metal Music Studies 101 is a collection of weekly blog posts, each focusing on a different topic in...

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IASPM-US Call For Papers – 2021 Annual Conference

The International Association for the Study of Popular Music-United States invites proposals for its 2021 annual conference. In recognition of these extraordinary times and the continuing public health concerns and struggles for social and racial justice that we face, this meeting will take place virtually on May 19-22, 2021. We encourage proposals that speak to the specific challenges of this historic moment, but more broadly welcome proposals for individual papers and panels (up to four individuals) on any aspect of popular music.Papers will be 10-15 minutes in length and will be uploaded...

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ISMMS 2021 in Mexico City Website

Hi everyone,The website for ISMMS’ conference in 2021 in Mexico City, in collaboration with the Institute for Anthropological Research, Colegio de San Ildefonso, of Mexico’s National Autonomous University, is now live! Due to the uncertainties around the coronavirus pandemic and its potential effects on travel and gatherings in the future, the conference is being postponed from June 2021 to November 2021. The exact dates are still being finalized, but we wanted to give you all this update. Thanks to everyone who is working very hard to make this...

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New Metal Music Studies Special Issue – Metal and the Holocaust

The Metal Music Studies journal has a new special issue on Metal and the Holocaust, co-edited by Keith Kahn-Harris and Dominic Williams.  The table of contents is:KISS: Jewishness, hard rock and the Holocaustpp. 277-297(21)Author: Stratton, JonFrom ‘The Fading’ to ‘Scream with Me Never Again!’: Shoah and Jewish identity in Israeli and US metalpp. 299-318(20)Author: Jackson, ItayEmbodying the Auschwitz Sonderkommando in extreme metalpp. 319-336(18)Author: Williams, Dominic‘Auschwitz awaits’: Different readings on Sabaton’s ‘The Final Solution’ (2010) and the question of...

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CFP: Themed session “Popular Music and Philosophy”, MPSG 2021, July 2021, King’s College London.

CFP: Popular Music & PhilosophyConceptual reflection on music has an eminent tradition in western philosophy that can be traced back to Pythagoras. Yet, what emerged as popular music at the end of the nineteenth century has long been ignored, whether in debates regarding musical hermeneutics and phenomenology in the continental tradition or in debates over musical ontology and understanding in analytical philosophy. At best, popular music was a subject of (Adornian) socio-philosophical critique, attacking the standardization, pseudo-individualization and alienation it represented. In...

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