Metal Rules the Globe

Heavy Metal Music around the World

Metal Rules the Globe

Book Pages: 392 Illustrations: 14 illustrations Published: December 2011

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Music > Popular Music

During the past three decades, heavy metal music has gone global, becoming a potent source of meaning and identity for fans around the world. In Metal Rules the Globe, ethnographers and some of the foremost authorities in the burgeoning field of metal studies analyze this dramatic expansion of heavy metal music and culture. They take readers inside metal scenes in Brazil, Canada, China, Easter Island, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Nepal, Norway, Singapore, Slovenia, and the United States, describing how the sounds of heavy metal and the meanings that metalheads attribute to them vary across cultures. The contributors explore the dynamics of masculinity, class, race, and ethnicity in metal scenes; the place of metal in the music industry; and the ways that disenfranchised youth use metal to negotiate modernity and social change. They reveal heavy metal fans as just as likely to criticize the consumerism, class divisiveness, and uneven development of globalization as they are to reject traditional cultural norms. Crucially, they never lose sight of the sense of community and sonic pleasure to be experienced in the distorted, pounding sounds of local metal scenes.

Contributors. Idelber Avelar, Albert Bell, Dan Bendrups, Harris M. Berger, Paul D. Greene, Ross Hagen, Sharon Hochhauser, Shuhei Hosokawa, Keith Kahn-Harris, Kei Kawano, Rajko Muršič,Steve Waksman, Jeremy Wallach, Robert Walser, Deena Weinstein, Cynthia P. Wong


“If you’re a fan of musicology, sociology, anthropology or ethnographic discourse, then Metal Rules the Globe is well worth exploring. It underscores just why metal is such a crucial medium of support and nourishment for millions of fans. It’s a fascinating insight into how metal constructs different notions of identity around the world, yet reinforces those all-important commonalities we share as fans.” — Craig Hayes, PopMatters

Metal Rules the Globe is a groundbreaking work for the field of metal studies, demonstrating through a wide selection of case studies how metal fans and musicians make meaning and offer social critique in the loci of global/local tensions resulting from globalization. . . . The editors have synthesized decades’ worth of theory with a survey of the global field of metal studies today, thus making this volume a must-read for any scholar of metal.” — Lauren Welker, Journal of Folklore Research

Metal Rules the Globe is incredibly diverse. It is comprehensive and covers the effect metal has had worldwide, the ways in which unique cultures and subgenres have utilized heavy metal to make it achieve their own goals, and how it is reflected in their own struggles and lives. The authors are a range of academics from around the world. A number of them are also heavy metal musicians. It’s safe to say that all of them are fans of the music. Even though the text may be academic, beneath a number of the chapters you can tell there are some serious fanboys and girls, which is pretty awesome.” — Kurt Morris, Razorcake

“[I]f you are interested in Metal in Japan, there is something here for you. If you are into Sepultura there is something here for you. If you like Kiss and Zeppelin, we got ya covered. Don't think of this book as homework, think of it as a collection of Metal Essays Greatest Hits, with a bonus track being the Afterword by Robert Wasler, author of 2001’s, Running with the Devil. . . . I believe the editors and authors can all be proud of this monumental work. . . . Me like!” — Josh Wood, Metal Rules

“I would recommend this book highly to ethnomusicologists, popular culture scholars, and social scientists interested heavy metal music. . . . [M]ost of the articles are written in such a way that they present and embrace the historical depth of their subjects in such a way that a fairly educated reader would still find the book interesting. Many anthropology professors assign a general reading list for introductory courses. This book is well suited for such practices because it might provide a disinterested student a chance to apply anthropology to something they already enjoy.” — Troy Belford, Anthropology Review Database

“This is a timely collection, as recent books and films about punk and metal in the Middle East and South Asia shed light on a worldwide audience. Ethnomusicology collections and students of popular culture take note.” — Ed Graves, Library Journal

“This anthology is very instructive and any reader will find these various accounts very enlightening.” — Hélène Laurin, Popular Music

“The book deserves a prominent place among the scholarship of heavy metal and readers interested in this musical genre will certainly have their knowledge enhanced by reading it. Readers may also be inspired (as I was) to seek out the music of some of the bands mentioned in the essays. . . . Metal Rules the Globe is an important book that makes valuable scholarly contributions to the literature about heavy metal and globalization.”  — Michael P. Marino, Popular Music and Society

“Given the range of perspectives, genres, and geographic locales, this book will appeal to a broad audience—academic and popular, graduate and undergraduate, metalhead and uninitiated alike—and provides both a journey and destination.” — John Fenn, Western Folklore

“[A] very instructive read that directly addresses the quickly changing landscape of cultural studies, and answers a very real and current need in popular music studies.” — Daniel Ferreras Savoye, Popular Culture Review

Metal Rules the Globe is set to become required reading for anybody interested in how heavy metal has turned from a minor taste in small post-industrial British and, later, American working class communities into a global phenomenon.” — Gerd Bayer, Music and Letters

“The book excels in two ways. First, it presents a strong introduction that anchors the contributions to an emerging research agenda. Second, the editors have arranged the chapters in such a way that enables them to converse with one another, and not just with the research agenda outlined in the introduction. This is something that editors of collections often hope to achieve, but rarely do.” — Emma Baulch, Journal of World Popular Music

“The contributors to Metal Rules the Globe venture far and wide, providing an engaging overview of heavy metal music across the world. This collection will find an international audience and become the standard reference on the global heavy metal scene.” — Will Straw, co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock

Metal Rules the Globe will surely join the ranks of Robert Walser’s Running with the Devil and Deena Weinstein’s Heavy Metal as one of the classics of heavy metal scholarship. A fascinating and valuable read!” — Sam Dunn, director of Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey and Global Metal

“The authors stoke the flames of heavy metal high and wide as the united forces of fans, bands, and mediators mount local-to-global resistance against the contradictory claims on identity, economy, history, and society. Valiant against anomie, disempowerment, and meaninglessness, we see an Alloy International Army standing proud and strong. A treasure chest of brutal truth for scholars, planners, metal maniacs, and globalization geeks from sea to toxic sea.” — Donna Gaines, author of Teenage Wasteland and A Misfit’s Manifesto


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Jeremy Wallach is Associate Professor in the Department of Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He is the author of Modern Noise, Fluid Genres: Popular Music in Indonesia, 1997–2001.

Harris M. Berger is Professor of Music at Texas A&M University. He is the author of Stance: Ideas about Emotion, Style, and Meaning for the Study of Expressive Culture and Metal, Rock, and Jazz: Perception and the Phenomenology of Musical Experience.

Paul D. Greene is Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology and Integrative Arts at Pennsylvania State University, Brandywine. He is a co-editor of Wired for Sound: Engineering and Technologies in Sonic Cultures.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Part 1. Introduction: The Global Conquest of an Outcast Genre
Affective Overdrive, Scene Dynamics, and Identity in the Global Metal Scene / Jeremy Wallach, Harris M. Berger, and Paul D. Greene 3
The Globalization of Metal / Deena Weinstein 34
Part 2. Metal, Gender, Modernity
"A Dream Return to Tang Dynasty": Masculinity, Male Camaraderie, and Chinese Heavy Metal in the 1990s / Cynthia P. Wong 63
Unleashed in the East: Metal Music, Masculinity, and "Malayness" in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore / Jeremy Wallach 86
Part 3. Metal and the Nation
Electronic and Affective Overdrive: Tropes of Transgression in Nepal's Heavy Metal Scene / Paul D. Greene 109
Otherwise National: Locality and Power in the Art of Sepultura / Idelber Avelar 135
Part 4. Metal and Extremist Ideologies
The Marketing of Anglo-Identity in the North American Hatecore Metal Industry / Sharon Hochhauser 161
Musical Style, Ideology, and Mythology in Norwegian Black Metal / Ross Hagen 180
"You Are from Israel and That is Enough to Hate You Forever": Racism, Globalization, and Play within the Global Extreme Metal Scene / Keith Kahn-Harris 200
Part 5. Metal and the Music Industry
Arenas of the Imagination: Global Tours and the Heavy Metal Concert in the 1970s / Steve Waksman 227
Thunder in the Far East: The Heavy Metal Industry in 1990s Japan / Kei Kawano and Shuhei Hosokawa 247
Part 6. Small Nation/Small Scene Case Studies
Metal in a Micro Island State: An Insider's Perspective / Albert Bell 271
Noisy Crossroads: Metal Scenes in Slovenia / Rajko Muršic 294
Nako: The Metal in the Marrow of Easter Island Music / Dan Bendrups 313
Afterword / Robert Walser 333
Acknowledgments 337
Works Cited 339
Contributors 367
Index 371
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-4733-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-4716-3
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