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Customer Review

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For EggHeadBangers Everywhere., 16 Aug. 2007
This review is from: Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge (Paperback)
Firstly I would like to apologise for the horrendous title for this review. It's late and Im knackered. Poor excuse.

I read this book as soon as I found out about it (and I'd persuaded my local library to buy a copy - bringing TRVE EVIL to the unsuspecting herd). As the above review stresses, this is an academic text rather then a scene overview/biography. It's an expansion of the author's Sociology PHD thesis. Most people (two of the three of you) have probably stopped reading by now.

It's certainly not an easy read but it's not utterly inpenetrable either. Some of the terminology is obtuse and esoteric, I did a an English degree so fortunately am reasonably familiar with some of it. However I would say there aren't many concessions to readers without an academic back ground. The language can be a litle dry at times too.

Unsurprisingly the text explores the "extreme metal scene" defined here as death, thrash, black and doom including their many sub-divisions; from a Sociological perspective - how "Capitol" (power, influence, status and even enjoyment) is distributed within the scene.

Few dedicated Metallers will find out much about the music or the history of bands they enjoy that they haven't already learned. However I was fascinated by the coverage of tape trading and letter writing, which the net still hasn't yet killed off.

Kahn Harris's take on power in the scene, especially the conflict between its more egalitarian aspects and the inherent racism, sexism and homophobia is interesting, but could have been deeper. Like many other Metaller's I am horrifed by the overt fascism/Nazism within elements of Black Metal in particular, as well as the widespread and casual misogyny and homophoia. Terrorizer, although excellent and full of highly sophisticated writing, doesn't go far enough to oppose this. This book is a vitally important step in the right direction.

A landmark for the status of Metal in the wider world. Recomended.
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