Heavy Fundametalisms: Music, Metal and Politics



Welcome to Heavy Fundametalism: Music, Metal and Politics project homepage. The project seeks to explore the growing critical interest in the music and culture of heavy metal. The project aims to examine, critique and bang heads on what this long standing movement is about, where it is going and what it has to offer, politically socially and philosophically. Characterised by extremes, it is a music movement that has a range of lifestyles attached to it, comprising of quite disparate and radically different views amongst both fans and its progenitors. Recent publications such as Bill Irwin’s edited Metallica and Philosophy: A Crash Course in Brain Surgery (2007), documentary films and past texts such as Deena Weinstein’s 1991 Sociological study Heavy Metal The Music and its Culture an Keith Kahn Harriss’ Metal Studies indicate a continuous, serious interest in Heavy Metal.


The project will critically engage with a number of core themes relating to heavy metal and

  • Politics and the Political. The apolitical; Nationalism; Fascism
  • Imagery and Iconography; Aesthetics
  • Art: Performance; Design; stage; album
  • Misogyny, Homo sociality; gender issues; masculinities
  • Subculture; Underground; Popular Culture
  • Religion/anti religion/ evil/ satanism
  • Philosophical themes: Existentialism; Nihilism; Hedonism; Ethics
  • Literature- horror, gothic
  • Fashion

Related themes will also be identified for development and exploration. Out of our deliberations it is anticipated that a series of related projects will develop with an open door for other associated manifestations of the relevant themes.


A discussion group exists to support the work of the project, to continue the conversations started at the project meetings and to extend the invitation to join the dialogue to any one seeking to explore and wrestle with these issues.

Subscribe/Unsubscribe to the Music, Metal and Politics Discussion Group