All posts by Catherine Hoad

Thrashtalgia in the heavy metal heritage market

Some recent research I’ve been doing on metal’s discursive ‘death’ in the 1990s has coincided with the release and promotional whirlwind of Metallica’s latest album (which I unapologetically love, by the way) in ways that have made me consider a few different questions surrounding traditionalism, longevity and nostalgia within metal markets. The fact remains that my love for Hetfield will never fade, let’s get that out of the way first. If I could make an entire blog post about his adventures in fashion I would. Yet Metallica and many of their 80s thrash peers remain intriguing examples of bands which emerged from an initial ‘outsider’ position to achieve substantial international success, and outlast the glam metal market which they and the wider thrash metal scene were initially rebelling against. The ongoing valorisation of thrash’s ‘traditional’ acts suggests that approaches to thrash authenticity are still firmly rooted in decades past. Which leads me to a few questions – why are the 1980s still given such significant subcultural capital within discussions of thrash metal? And does this then mean that modern thrash acts can only ever be referential nostalgia to the ‘glory days’, playing the Blackened riff for all eternity? Continue reading Thrashtalgia in the heavy metal heritage market

Works of art, painted black

I went to a heavy metal art exhibition on Sunday. Not only did I go to the exhibition, but I spent the rest of the weekend ‘casually’ telling people that I went to the exhibition. This was for two key reasons: 1) As a cover for my otherwise unfulfilling social life and 2) because it featured work by incredibly talented artists ‘inspired by the heavier realms of art and music’. Arte Diabolica II was the second annual event showcasing the work of visual artists influenced by the cultures and aesthetics of heavy metal – many of whom are also Continue reading Works of art, painted black