eCite Digital Repository

Death metal and music criticism: analysis at the limits

Citation

Phillipov, M, Death metal and music criticism: analysis at the limits, Lexington Books, Lanham, Maryland USA, pp. 172. ISBN 978-0-7391-6459-4 (2012) [Authored Research Book]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Lexington Books

Official URL: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780739164594

Abstract

Death metal is one of popular music's most extreme variants, and is typically viewed as almost monolithically nihilistic, misogynistic, and reactionary. Michelle Phillipov's Death Metal and Music Criticism: Analysis at the Limits offers an account of listening pleasure on its own terms. Through an analysis of death metal's sonic and lyrical extremity, Phillipov shows how violence and aggression can be configured as sites for pleasure and play in death metal music, with little relation to the "real" lives of listeners. In some cases, gruesome lyrical themes and fractured song forms invite listeners to imagine new experiences of the body and of the self. In others, the speed and complexity of the music foster a "technical" or distanced appreciation akin to the viewing experiences of graphic horror film fans. These aspects of death metal listening are often neglected by scholarly accounts concerned with evaluating music as either 'progressive' or "reactionary."

By contextualizing the discussion of death metal via substantial overviews of popular music studies as a field, Phillipov's Death Metal and Music Criticism highlights how the premium placed on political engagement in popular music studies not only circumscribes our understanding of the complexity and specificity of death metal, but of other musical styles as well. Exploring death metal at the limits of conventional music criticism helps not only to develop a more nuanced account of death metal listening—it also offers some important starting points for rethinking popular music scholarship as a whole.

Item Details

Item Type:Authored Research Book
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and Media Studies
Research Field:Media Studies
Objective Division:Cultural Understanding
Objective Group:Arts and Leisure
Objective Field:Music
Author:Phillipov, M (Dr Michelle Phillipov)
ID Code:79421
Year Published:2012
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:2012-09-11
Last Modified:2018-03-09
Downloads:0

Repository Staff Only: item control page