‘A Sea to Suffer In’: Death/Doom Fans and Emotions, 13 October 2016


M. Selim Yavuz is a PhD student and part-time lecturer at Leeds Beckett University. Coming from a musicological background, his current research focuses on the genealogy of death doom metal music networks in northern England and on situating these fringe musical spaces in related larger cultural groups such as doom metal and extreme metal, having previously written dissertations about John Dowland and Elizabethan social structures, and death and suicide ideas in depressive suicidal black metal music. He is also an editorial assistant of the journal Metal Music Studies.

Death/doom metal music, with respect to both aspects of the name, usually occupies itself with the darker spectrum of human emotion. Depression, melancholy, and death are all common themes in the music and in the reception of this music from an outsider’s point of view. In line with theories of symbolic interactionism, however, it turns out that these emotional responses differ significantly when they originate from a well-socialized member of this music world. This suggests that one may think of emotional responses as conventions of a music world. Common responses provide an emotional repertoire for members, and, furthermore, they become an adhesive for the community. In this talk, I will discuss my ethnographic research on the fans of death/doom metal, and explore the ways in which the fan responds to the music while contemplating on how death/doom function in the lives of these fans.