Metal Music Studies 101

This is a collection of weekly blog posts, each focusing on a different topic in metal studies. For instance, some of the topics include literature, drone metal mysticism, sexual violence, nationalism, and musicology.

Each post is 350-500 words length. The goal is to introduce the audience to metal music studies by sharing current research. Furthermore, the posts are meant to be entry-level, to introduce the audience to the research and to increase interest in metal music studies. Each post also provides music examples.

Recent posts

Metal and Borealism w/ Ross Hagen

Metal and Borealism w/ Ross Hagen

Borealism is essentially a form of exoticism, building on Edward Saïd’s “orientalism,” a concept detailing how European artistic depictions of African, Asian, and Middle Eastern cultures tended to emphasize violence, “primitiveness,” and sensuality. It is one way we define ourselves collectively...

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Metal and Nationalism w/ Méi-Ra St. Laurent

Metal and Nationalism w/ Méi-Ra St. Laurent

Ah nationalism and metal music… There are thousands of examples of groups promoting their history and their culture in the lyrics of their songs by using their national language, on their album covers with beautiful pictures of their landscape, or even in their music by utilizing traditional...

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Metal and History w/ Peter Pichler

Metal and History w/ Peter Pichler

Since its earliest days, metal culture has had a deep connection with historical topics. Classic metal songs like Iron Maiden’s ‘Alexander the Great’ (about the historical figure) as well as ‘Invaders’ (dealing with the Nordic invasion of Britain in the middle ages) or Judas Priest’s ‘The...

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Metal and Gender w/ Amanda DiGioia

Metal and Gender w/ Amanda DiGioia

When I entered the Tavastia Club in downtown Helsinki, I immediately noticed what appeared to be a mother-daughter duo watching the main act. During a brief chat, they confirmed that yes, they were mother and daughter, and were curious as to what I was doing in Finland. When I said that I wanted...

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Metal and Sexual Violence w/ Rosemary Lucy Hill

Metal and Sexual Violence w/ Rosemary Lucy Hill

THE PROBLEM OF GIG GROPING, AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT Trigger warning: sexual violence It’s such a long time since I’ve been to a gig:  COVID-19 has significantly restricted the in-person live music scene. It makes me wistful for gigs past. But there are some things I don’t miss: that tall...

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Metal and Musicology w/ Lewis Kennedy

METAL AND MUSICOLOGY  Lewis Kennedy  Metal music studies is an academic field that draws upon and engages a variety of disciplines and methodologies, including musicology (incorporating music theory, ethnomusicology, composition, performance,...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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