Song lyrics in contemporary metal music as counter-hegemonic discourse: An exploration of three themes

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Adam Rafalovich
Andreas Scneider


This paper discusses modern forms of metal music as extensions of the politics of youth culture, Based upon the premise thai texts form an 'ideological contract' with their audiences, an extensive examination
of the aesthetic and lyrical content of metal music is provided. The authors conclude thai the conlenl of metal music exists in a reciprocal relation with its listening base, and provides a lens through which their modern-day subjective experiences lllay be understood. In illustrating this reciprocity the authors explore the vasl literature which casts a condcnlnalory gaze upon metal music and then demonstrates how a discourse analysis of this musical genre may avoid such condemnation. and posit a political discussion of it. Three of metal music's most predominant themes are discussed at length: I) psychological chaos: 2) nihilism/violence: and 3) alternative religiosity. Such themes arc placed against a cultural backdrop depicting the dominant modes of 'appropriate conduct: and arc articulated as a political reaction against such modes in Western societies.

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