Black Metal, Trauma, Subjectivity and Sound: Screaming the Abyss

Jasmine Hazel Shadrack
Independent researcher, UK

Product Details
18 Dec 2020
Emerald Publishing Limited
256 pages - 152 x 229mm
Emerald Studies in Metal Music and Culture
Black Metal, Trauma, Subjectivity and Sound: Screaming the Abyss weaves together trauma, black metal performance and disability into a story of both pain and freedom. Drawing on her years as a black metal guitarist, Jasmine Hazel Shadrack uses autoethnography to explore her own experiences of gender-based violence, misogyny, and the healing power of performance.

This profoundly personal book offers a detailed explanation of autoethnography, followed by a careful exposition of the relationship between metal and gender, considering - among other things - how women are engaged with by metal music culture. After examining the various waves of black metal and how this has impacted black metal theory, the book moves on to consider female performers and performance as catharsis, including a discussion of the author's work as guitarist and vocalist with the black metal band Denigrata and her alter-ego, the 'antlered priestess' Denigrata Herself. The book concludes with some thoughts on acquired disability, freedom and peace.

The book includes a foreword from eminent gender researcher Rosemary Lucy Hill, a guest section from metal scholar Amanda DiGioia, an epilogue from Rebecca Lamont-Jiggens (a legal pracademic specialising in disability), suggestions of sources of help for those in abusive relationships and further reading for those wishing to learn more about black metal theory.
Chapter 1. Interpretive Performance Autoethnography 
Chapter 2. “Women! Stop Ruining Metal!” Mapping Extreme Metal 
Chapter 3. Black Metal’s Historical Analysis: The Story of Male Metal 
Chapter 4. The Feminine Absent 
Chapter 5. Of Wolves and Witches
Chapter 6. Denigrata as Performance 
Chapter 7. Conclusion. Liber Sum: Restorative Visibility and the Feminine Present 
Epilogue from Rebecca Lamont-Jiggens
Peroration: Dying Words as Abominable Lifeblood
Jasmine Hazel Shadrack is a trauma researcher, musicologist, autoethnographer, and conductor. She has played guitar in extreme metal bands for the last twenty years. She now devotes her time to researching and composing.
'Shadrack's brave usage of autoethnography to explore how black metal is a movement beyond music presents a new and refreshing paradigm through the exploration of an often-misunderstood subculture. Her skill in intertwining methodology with her own subjective reflexivity is an important and much-needed addition to gender, music, and performance studies.' - Laina Dawes, Author of What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal (2013)

'Seldom do we as scholars get to interact with a professional musician who sees their work as autoethnographic; even more seldom do we see that valuable and difficult work coming from women in genres such as heavy metal. With an eye on both critical theory and musical performance, Dr Shadrack creates an interwoven story of personal experience, gender studies and women’s studies, sexual oppression and sexual violence, and brings forth deep discussions of religion, iconography, existentialism, women’s voices in and out of metal, and the many ways in which women are symbolized, represented and delimited. It is a ground-breaking work, one that continues a line of work in gender and heavy metal that represents some of the best work on gender in publication right now. The image of Denigrata Herself, the horned goddess screaming into the patriarchy, is an icon for our times.' - Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone, Professor of Anthropology and Director, McClure Archives and University Museum University of Central Missouri, USA

Dr Jasmine Shadrack has accomplished a tremendous feat in this book: as an autoenthnographic study, she has combined the rigours of academic research with an unsurpassed level insight that sets a new standard in how reflection and experience can be expressed. Despite its complexity, the text is extremely accessible and weaves a narrative making it a guide for others on how music and the arts can be a friend to those suffering from the effects of trauma and abuse where the two intersect. This is a book of hope and a source of healing. Even though it articulates a principled stand through Shadrack’s use of Black Metal, the relevance of her discussion reaches far beyond the music culture where she finds her solace. Her work will resonate with a wide ranging audience, not only those working in the field of gender, feminism, metal studies and cultural studies, but also the many victims of abuse, marginalization and those suffering oppression. - Dr Niall Scott, Reader in Philosophy and Popular Culture at the University of Central Lancashire

Make no mistake - this is a tough and complex subject and this book is characterized by unflinching emotional honesty; it is also beautifully written and exquisite in its richness, depth, and academic rigor. Despite the autoethnographic framework, Black Metal, Trauma, Subjectivity and Sound: Screaming the Abyss is not insular and inward-looking but rather remarkably far-reaching in its insight and relevance. It will resonate particularly with those working within the fields of music, gender, feminism, disability or cultural studies. It is an account of healing, of restoration, of reconstitution of self through music. I cannot recommend it highly enough. - Dr Amanda J. Haste, Bristol University, UK

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