Skip to main content
Palgrave Macmillan

Heavy Metal Studies and Popular Culture

  • Book
  • © 2016


Part of the book series: Leisure Studies in a Global Era (LSGE)

Buy print copy

Hardcover Book USD 109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

About this book

Elaborating on themes of resilience, memory, critique and metal beyond metal, this volume highlights how the development and future of metal music scholarship is predicated on the engagement with other forms of popular culture such as comics, documentaries, and popular music. Drawing from a range of theoretical perspectives and methodological approaches, Heavy Metal Studies and Popular Culture's transnational approach and rootedness in metal scholarship provides the collection with a breadth and depth that makes it a critical resource for academics and students interested in the theories and trends shaping the future of Metal Music Studies.


  • Heavy metal music
  • popular culture
  • metal music studies
  • resilience
  • memory
  • critique
  • reflexivity
  • Comic
  • culture
  • identity
  • Nation
  • Ritual


“The book is a welcome addition to the metal studies canon. Although the chapters are of varying quality, all of them contribute to current and future discussions about the role of metal music and culture in the contemporary world.” (Titus Hjelm, Journal of Popular Music Education, Vol. 1 (1), 2017)

“Heavy Metal Music Studies and Popular Culture does an excellent job at describing the ever-evolving research topics in metal studies, as well as laying the foundation for forthcoming research. Heavy Metal Music Studies and Popular Culture is inclusive in its appeal: both academics and metal music fans can enjoy the book. … Academics can use Heavy Metal Music Studies and Popular Culture as a springboard to foster new ideas as metal studies expands into more theoretical spaces.” (Amanda DiGioia, Metal Music Studies, Vol. 3 (1), 2017)

"The sophisticated yet accessible essays here exemplify the diversity and depth of metal studies, a new discipline which began to explode around 2008. Together, the various authors show metal's richness and diversity, exposing aspects previously neglected in more stereotypical accounts, and deconstructing its tropes. Gerd Bayer's piece on metal documentaries and Andy Brown on balladic songs bring forward metal's emotional sentimentality, whereas Niall Scott points out the political focus of a variety of well-known bands. This collection shows that metal studies is more than up to the task of grasping metal's increasing complexity. As Brad Klypchak's contribution cogently argues, metal continually morphs not only in each of its dimensions, but in the conceptions of what has been."-Deena Weinstein, DePaul University, USA

"This fascinating and insightful collection of papers regards the diversity of heavy metal music, not only as a prominent popular cultural phenomenon but also as a subject of academic study. They provide the reader with critically engaged views into the past, current, and future of metal music studies. The unique spirit, as well as the scholarly width and depth, that characterized the Bowling Green Conference becomes very tangible through the texts. Altogether, the book is a pivotal piece of work for academics interested in the study of metal and popular culture. I would warmly recommend it also for any friend of metal music who wants to dig deeper into the concepts and constructions designating specific social, cultural, philosophical, or commercial features of the metal genre(s)."-Toni-Matti Karjalainen, Aalto University, Finland

"This book makes an important intervention into the entangled fields of metal, and cultural, studies. The collection is a significant contribution to the burgeoning field of critically engaged metal studies. HMSPC offers lively discussions of metal as hegemonic resistance, community building and a site of – often productive – tensions in terms of gender, sexuality and race. This is a rich collection tackling the complexities of the metal genre as a site of political struggle and articulation. More than a simple celebration, this is a provocation to metal studies practitioners to push their work into more theoretical spaces and a call for a reinvigorated cultural studies field to take notice!"- Rosemary Overell, University of Otago, New Zealand

About the authors

Brenda Walter is Associate Professor of History at the Saint Louis College of Pharmacy, US. Her research examines the role of Aristotelian discourse, learned medicine, and scholastic theology in the construction of alterity and the continued influence of medieval otherness on the horror genre, black metal, and beyond.

Gabby Riches is a PhD student at Leeds Beckett University, UK. Her research examines women's participation in moshpit practices within Leeds' extreme metal scene. She is on the editorial board for Metal Music Studies. Her doctoral research has been published in the International Journal of Community Music, IASPM@Journal and Journal for Cultural Research.

Dave Snell is Research Coordinator at the Waikato Institute of Technology, New Zealand. He is the author of Bogans: An Insider's Guide to Metal, Mullets, and Mayhem and features in the documentary series Bogans. His research interests include social identity theory, communities of practice, andeveryday life.

Bryan Bardine is Associate Professor of English at the University of Dayton, US. He was the Coordinator of the Metal and Cultural Impact Conference, has given multiple papers on teaching, writing and using metal music, and his most recent research examines Gothic Literary characteristics in Death Metal music lyrics.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Heavy Metal Studies and Popular Culture

  • Editors: Gabby Riches, Dave Snell, Bryan Bardine, Brenda Gardenour Walter

  • Series Title: Leisure Studies in a Global Era

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan London

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-137-45667-0Published: 13 January 2016

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-1-349-56251-0Due: 12 August 2024

  • Series ISSN: 2946-3173

  • Series E-ISSN: 2946-3181

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XIV, 214

Publish with us