Death Metal Music

The Passion and Politics of a Subculture

$19.99

In stock

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist

About the Book

Death Metal is among the most despised forms of violently-themed entertainment. Many politicians, conservative groups and typical Americans attribute youth violence and the destruction of social values to such entertainment. The usual assumptions about the Death Metal scene and its fans have rarely been challenged. This book investigates the demographic trends, attitudes, philosophical beliefs, ethical systems, and behavioral patterns within the scene, seeking to situate death metal in the larger social order. The Death Metal community proves to be a useful microcosm for much of American subculture and lends insight into the psychological and social functions of many forbidden or illicit entertainment forms. The author’s analysis, rich in interviews with rock stars, radio hosts, and average adolescent fans, provides a key to comprehending deviant tendencies in modern American culture.

About the Author(s)

Natalie J. Purcell is a professional in the nonprofit sector and a sociopolitical activist associated with the Amnesty International. She lives in San Francisco, California.

Bibliographic Details

Natalie J. Purcell

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 242
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1585-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8406-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v
Preface      1

I: DEFINING DEATH METAL
1. The Genre and Its Sub-Genres      9
2. Fundamental Dynamics of the Scene      25
3. Lyrical Content      39

II: THE HISTORY OF THE DEATH METAL SCENE
4. Origins (1984–1988)      53
5. Rise and Fall (1989–1994)      58
6. The Present (1995–2002)      68

III: DEATH METAL AND AMERICAN POLITICIANS
7. The Skeleton in America’s Closet      79
8. The Politics of Censorship      83
9. Content Regulation Today and Tomorrow      89

IV: CONFRONTING THE CONSUMERS OF CARNAGE
10. Facing the Demon      97
11. Demographics      99
12. Attitudes      116
13. Philosophy and Ethics      123
14. Behavior      133
15. Concluding Opinions on Death Metal and Violence      139

V: THE MIND OF THE METAL HEAD AND THE HEART OF THE UNDERGROUND
16. The Subcultural Phenomenon      151
17. Rebellion and Religion      163
18. Horror, Gore, Porn, and the American Mind      170

EPILOGUE
Personal Reflections on Death Metal      187

APPENDICES
A: Project Goals, Implications, and Methodology      195
B: Topics of Focus and Research Hypotheses      198
C: Coded Survey      205
D: Sample Interview Questions      216
E: Criticism of Methods and Suggestions for Future Research      219

Notes      223
Bibliography      227
Index      233

Book Reviews & Awards

“[Purcell] is an intelligent, articulate and concerned fan, and she lets that come through. Some might argue that ‘metalness’ is a symptom of alienation. Purcell rightfully considers it a balm for it, a unique form of identification”—Pop Matters