Medievalism and Metal Music Studies: Throwing Down the Gauntlet

Ruth Barratt-Peacock
Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany

Ross Hagen
Utah Valley University, USA

Product Details
06 Sep 2019
Emerald Publishing Limited
216 pages - 152 x 229mm
Emerald Studies in Metal Music and Culture
Metal music has long nurtured an obsession with visions of the Middle Ages, with countless album covers and lyric sheets populated by Vikings, knights, wizards, and castles. Medievalism and Metal Music Studies: Throwing down the Gauntlet addresses this fascination with all things medieval, exploring how metal musicians and fans find inspiration both in authentically medieval materials and neomedievalist depictions of the period in literature, cinema, and other media. Within metal music, the medieval takes on multiple, and even contradictory meanings, becoming at once a cipher of difference and grotesque alterity while simultaneously being imagined as a simpler, more authentic time, as opposed to the complexities and stresses of modernity. In this fashion, the medieval period becomes both a source for artistic creativity and a vector for countercultural social and political critique.  

The contributors in this book hail from a wide range of fields including medieval history, music performance, musicology, media studies, and literature, and computer linguistics, bringing a variety of critical perspectives to bear on the topic. Engaging in analyses of cover art, liner notes, lyrics, and musical style, the contributors investigate issues of research methodologies, crucial concerns over identity and nationalism, and the recontextualisation of historical materials, all aimed at critically examining how and why medievalism has permeated heavy metal music and culture. Hearken to our tales!
Foreword; Scott G. Bruce 
Introduction; Ruth Barratt-Peacock and Ross Hagen 
Section I: Metal's Medieval Frames
Chapter 1. The Trans-Medial Fight for Glory; Johannes Hellrich, Christoph Rzymski, and Vitus Vestergaard 
Chapter 2. Medieval Media Transformations and Metal Album Covers; Vitus Vestergaard 
Chapter 3. Getting Medieval: Signifiers of the Middle-Ages in Black Metal Aesthetic; Eric Smialek 
Chapter 4. Computational Detection of Medieval References in Metal; Johannes Hellrich, and Christoph Rzymski 
Section II: Nationalism and Identity in Metal Medievalism 
Chapter 5. The Politics and Poetics of Metal's Medieval Pasts; Shamma Boyarin, Annika Christensen, Amaranta Saguar García, and Dean Swinford 
Chapter 6. The New Metal Medievalism: Alexander the Great, Islamic historiography and Nile's "Iskander Dhul Kharnon"; Shamma Boyarin 
Chapter 7. The Return of El Cid: The Topicality of Rodrigo Díaz in Spanish Heavy Metal; Amaranta Saguar García 
Chapter 8. Making Heritage Metal: Faroese Kvæði and Viking Metal; Annika Christensen 
Chapter 9. Black Metal's Medieval King: The Apotheosis of Euronymous through Album Dedications; Dean Swinford  
Section III: Historical Source Materials in Metal Musics 
Chapter 10. Finding the Past in the Present and the Present in the Past; Ruth Barratt-Peacock, Ross Hagen, and Brenda S. Gardenour Walter 
Chapter 11. Obsequiae: Reconciling 'Authentic' Medieval Musical Styles with Metal; Ross Hagen 
Chapter 12. The Villon that Never Was; Ruth Barratt-Peacock 
Chapter 13. Satanic Bowels: Medieval Inversion and the Black Metal Grotesque; Brenda S. Gardenour Walter
Ruth Barratt-Peacock, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany
Ross Hagen, Utah Valley University, USA

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