Deadline for the next issue of Metal Music Studies (4.1) – 10 September 2017

Please note that the deadline for the first issue of 2018 (4.1) of Metal Music Studies is 10 September 2017. Send your contributions now! We consider submissions at any time. We accept full papers up to 8000 words in the first section, and shorter contributions of up to 3000 words in the second section. Style guidelines can be found at the Intellect web-site (follow link below). Please email Karl Spracklen ( for details about submitting to the first section, and Niall Scott ( for details about the second section. You can also email submissions straight to Karl for the first section, and Niall for the second section, at the email addresses previously listed.

ISMMS Elections to the Executive Board 2017

International Society for Metal Music Studies (ISMMS) Elections to the Executive Board, 2017:

At the Annual General Meeting of ISMMS in 2017, which will be held in connection to the ISMMS Conference in Victoria, Canada, between June 9-11 2017, two posts on the Executive Board will become vacant: The Chair, and one ordinary member. The elections to these posts will take place online prior to the Annual General Meeting and are open to all ISMMS members. Anyone who wishes to stand for the posts should submit a 100 word election statement and CV detailing relevant experience to the ISMMS Secretary, Toni-Matti Karjalainen (, by Wednesday May 31st (midnight, British Summer Time/UTC+1). Candidates for election must be active in metal music studies, as a student, academic, or author. The posts will be for four years and are not renewable. For more details about the roles and responsibilities please contact Toni-Matti Karjalainen by email ( or the current ISMMS Chair Niall Scott (

Rock the Uni with Heavy Metal – Metal Summer School

Rock the Uni with Heavy Metal
“Heavy Metal needs more researchers.”
“Tour” dates (8th to 24th Aug) at Helsinki Summer School, Finland announced

Hellsinki, Finland, April 21, 2017

Metal is often considered to be mainstream only in Finland. And indeed as Heavy Metal music and the subculture related to it is particularly strong in this country, and Finnish Heavy Metal is recognised worldwide as a key manifestation of this musical style, it is only natural that Finland’s leading university, the University of Helsinki, offers this August an academic course about the history of Heavy Metal music and its importance in contemporary western society. Continue reading Rock the Uni with Heavy Metal – Metal Summer School

On Not Being a Douchebag: The Moral Obligation to Confront Sexism

Today I’d like to discuss sexism in metal. Don’t we talk about that all the time? I hear you ask. If you pay attention to publications in the field of metal studies, it appears that yes, we do. The topic is even getting significant uptake in mainstream metal press outlets like Decibel, Noisey, and MetalSucks. All of this is a good thing. So why am I bringing it up again, you may ask? Well, there are a couple of reasons. First, and most importantly, it would be harmful to assert that we have reached a point where it is not worth talking about. To quote an article (which is currently under review) I submitted with my friend, colleague, and fellow blogger Amanda DiGioia, ‘as academic feminists. . .we will be “post-feminists” in the “post-patriarchy.”’ The second reason, and this is the point of this little discussion, is that I believe that members of the metal community have an obligation to confront sexism and sexist behaviour within the scene. Continue reading On Not Being a Douchebag: The Moral Obligation to Confront Sexism

No remorse, no regrets: A night with Primordial, Fen, and Crom Dubh

On March 31st, I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Primordial, Fen, and Crom Dubh show at the Underworld in Camden. Accompanying me was a fellow metal music academic, composer, and Primordial fan Bill McGrath.

The Underworld is a suitably named venue. You descend almost immediately after entering, and are placed into an intimate venue that has a capacity of 500. I was thrilled to see Primordial in this setting: prior to this, I had only seen the band at festivals. Because both Bill and myself are staunch believers in seeing opening acts, we arrived at The Underworld in plenty of time to see all three bands. Continue reading No remorse, no regrets: A night with Primordial, Fen, and Crom Dubh

Interrogating the Origin Myth of Celtic Frost

The history of Celtic Frost begins with the band Hellhammer. Hellhammer was founded as a trio in 1981, and they released a couple of demos and an album before two of the members decided to end the Hellhammer project, kick out half the band, and reform under the name “Celtic Frost.” The band has promoted the idea that their work as Hellhammer was amateurish and earned such a bad reputation that they had to change their name to get people to take their music seriously. While I’m sure there is some truth to this story, the fact is that not quite *everyone* hated Hellhammer. One of the early German fanzines I’ve been reading recently actually gives a glowing positive review of Hellhammer’s first release! But as you will see, it doesn’t entirely contradict the story Celtic Frost tells, just adds some fascinating nuances. Continue reading Interrogating the Origin Myth of Celtic Frost

Bibles and Banging Heads: Dr Charlotte Naylor Davis and Striker/Thunderstone/Sonata Arctica

After trekking to the North of England for the day to see an academic presentation on heavy metal music and a gig, I can now say, without reservation, that the perfect gig pre-game is to attend a Biblical Studies paper.

The said Biblical Studies paper was presented by Dr Charlotte Naylor Davis, at the Ehrhardt Seminar, hosted by The University of Manchester. Continue reading Bibles and Banging Heads: Dr Charlotte Naylor Davis and Striker/Thunderstone/Sonata Arctica

Metal Music Studies journal is looking for reviewers

We are creating a database of reviewers for the journal to get more people involved from ISMMS and metal scholars around the world. If you are interested in reviewing material for the journal at some point, please fill out the form (also accessible from the menu above, under MMS Journal).

These are academic reviews written in English, however we are happy to have reviews of publications in any language.

Metal Music Manual and musings on ‘heavy’

Written by Mark Mynett,

If you are reading this, then you likely share a passion for metal music; so hopefully you’ll bear with me whilst, briefly, I wax lyrical about my love for the genre.

I was just 12 years old when my Dad took me to see Thin Lizzy at Preston Guildhall (FYI; 1981– the ‘Renegade’ tour). It was the closest thing I could imagine to a religious experience; the power, energy and glory of the show was mind-blowing beyond belief. This was quickly followed by a moment of clarity in the form of ‘That’s what I want to do with my life – rock musician!’ I got a guitar for my thirteenth birthday, and after entirely losing my teens to my newfound obsession, joined a band and played my first gig. Continue reading Metal Music Manual and musings on ‘heavy’

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