Shrill Demented Choirs

  • Peter Grant
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures and Popular Music book series (PSHSPM)


This chapter is concerned with music from more ‘extreme’ genres. The nature of martial industrial, neofolk and extreme metal music is introduced including the extent to which it is ‘political’. Martial industrial and neofolk artists such as Blood Axis and Pale Roses are covered before considering the work of Slovenia’s Laibach and Germany’s Einstürzende Neubauten. The way in which metal music has employed the themes of war and violence precedes an in-depth discussion of the work of, notably, Saxon, Bolt Thrower, Sabaton, God Dethroned, Iron Maiden, Metallica and System of a Down.


Extreme Metal Metal Band National Front Turkish Government National Anthem 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Allen, A. (n.d.). Review of Black Boned Angel Verdun, Freq website. Accessed 13 Apr 2015.
  2. Allmusic. (n.d.). Pop/rock: Heavy metal, Allmusic website. Accessed 13 Apr 2015.
  3. Armenian National Committee of America. (2001, May 1). System of a Down steps up Armenian genocide awareness campaign, Press Release. Accessed 13 Mar 2013.
  4. Bohigian, K. (2010). ‘Armenians’. Accessed 13 Apr 2015. Google Scholar
  5. Broden, J. (2011, September 24). Sabaton Frontman: Under any circumstances, if possible, the show must go on, interview in Metal Accessed 12 Nov 2012.
  6. Brown, A. R. (2016). The Ballad of heavy metal: Re-thinking artistic and commercial strategies in the mainstreaming of metal and hard rock. In B. G. Walter et al. (Eds.), Heavy metal studies and popular culture (pp. 61–81). Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  7. Bryson, B. (1997). What about the univores? Musical dislikes and group-based identity construction among Americans with low levels of education. Poetics, 25(2-3), 141–156.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. ‘Caspian’. (2009). Black Boned Angel deliver again, Encyclopaedia Metallum, The Metal Archives. Accessed 13 Apr 2015.
  9. Chaker, S. (2010). Extreme music for extreme people: Black and death metal put to the test in a comparative empirical study. In N. W. R. Scott & I. von Helden (Eds.), The metal void: First gatherings (pp. 265–278). Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.Google Scholar
  10. Christenson, P. G. & Roberts, D. F. (1998). It’s not only rock and roll: Popular music in the lives of adolescents. Cresskill N.J.: Hampton Press. Google Scholar
  11. Christgau, R. (1970). Review of Black Sabbath. Accessed 15 Aug 2015.
  12. Cloonan, M. (2002). Exclusive! The British press and popular music. In S. Jones (Ed.), Pop music and the press. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Cohen, S. (1973). Folk devils and moral panics: The creation of the mods and rockers. St Albans: Paladin.Google Scholar
  14. Cope, A. L. (2010). Black Sabbath and the rise of heavy metal music. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  15. Cowgill, R. (2011). Canonizing remembrance: Music for Armistice day at the BBC, 1922–7. First World War Studies, 2(1), 75–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Currie, J. C. (2015). Laibach is Laibach: Overidentification as Dissensus in Neue Slowenische Kunst. In S. A. Wilson (Ed.), Music at the extremes: Essays on sounds outside the mainstream (pp. 85–100). Jefferson: McFarland.Google Scholar
  17. Davisson, J. (2010). Extreme politics and extreme metal: Strange bedfellows or fellow travellers? In N. W. R. Scott & I. von Helden (Eds.), The metal void: First gatherings (pp. 175–210). Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.Google Scholar
  18. Dean, J. (2015, November 13). Now that’s what I call niche music, The Times. p. 25.Google Scholar
  19. Death on the Road. (2007). Amazon website reviews. Accessed 16 Apr 2013.
  20. Fildes, N. (2012, November 17). Lighten up: Heavy metal fans are brighter than you think, The Times, 43.Google Scholar
  21. Floeckher, R. J. (2010). Fuck euphemisms: How heavy metal lyrics speak the truth about war. In N. W. R. Scott & I. von Helden (Eds.), The metal void (pp. 233–241). Witney: Inter-Disciplinary Press.Google Scholar
  22. Foster, R. (2014, November 11). Reviews Einstürzende Neubauten Lament, The Accessed 13 Apr 2015.
  23. Frith, S. (1996). Performing rights: On the value of popular music. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Gilman, L. (2016). My music, my war: The listening habits of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
  25. God Dethroned. (2013). Band website. Accessed 28 Jan 2013 (no longer accessible).
  26. God Dethroned (2015, March 3). Band Facebook page post. Accessed 14 Apr 2015.
  27. Granholm, K. (2011). “Sons of northern darkness”: Heathen influences in black metal and neofolk music. Numen, 58, 514–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Gregory, A. (1994). The silence of memory: Armistice Day, 1919–1946. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  29. Grow, K. (2015, January 8). Genocide and Kim Kardashian: The bloody history behind System of a Down’s tour, Rolling Stone. Accessed 13 Apr 2015.
  30. Gurney, I. (1991). In R. K. R. Thornton (Ed.), Collected letters. Manchester: Carcanet.Google Scholar
  31. Hagen, R. (2011). Musical style, ideology and mythology in Norwegian black metal. In B. Wallach & P. D. Greene (Eds.), Metal rules the globe: Heavy metal music around the world (pp. 180–199). Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hebdige, D. (1991). Subculture: The meaning of style. London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  33. Hecker, P. (2012). Turkish metal: Music, meaning, and morality in a Muslim society. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  34. Hegarty, P., & Halliwell, M. (2011). Beyond and before: Progressive rock since the 1960s. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  35. Hickam, B., & Wallach, J. (2011). Female authority and dominion: Discourse and distinctions of heavy metal scholarship. Journal of Cultural Research, 15(3), 255–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Hill, R. (2014). Reconceptualising hard rock and metal fans as a group: Imaginary community. International Journal of Community Music, 7(2), 173–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hjelm, T., Kahn-Harris, K., & LeVine, M. (2011). Heavy metal as controversy and counterculture. Popular Music History, 6: 1/6:2, 5–18.Google Scholar
  38. Jones, S. (Ed.). (2002). Pop music and the press. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Kahn-Harris, K. (2007). Extreme metal: Music and culture on the edge. Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  40. Kristeva, J. (1982). The powers of horror: An essay on abjection. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Kummer, J. (2016). Powerslaves? Navigating femininity in heavy metal. In B. G. Walter et al. (Eds.), Heavy metal studies and popular culture (pp. 145–166). Basingstoke/New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  42. Lee, C. (2006, May 1). Review of Those Once Loyal, Stylus. Accessed 9 Jan 2013.
  43. LeVine, M. (2008). Heavy metal Islam: Rock, resistance, and the struggle for the soul of Islam. New York: Three Rivers Press.Google Scholar
  44. LeVine, M. (2009). Headbanging against repressive regimes: Censorship of heavy metal in the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and China. Copenhagen: Freemuse. Accessed 15 Apr 2015.
  45. Macan, E. (1997). Rocking the classics: English progressive rock and the counterculture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Manifesto Futurista press release. (2009). Accessed 17 Nov 2012.
  47. Mansell, J. G. (2009). Musical modernity and contested commemoration at the festival of remembrance, 1923–1927. Historical Journal, 52(2), 433–454.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Marinetti, F. T. (1909). The founding and Manifesto of futurism. In U. Apollonio (Ed.), Documents of twentieth century art. New York: Viking, 1973.Google Scholar
  49. Marinetti, F. T. (1911). War, the only hygiene of the world. In C. Possi & L. Wittman (Eds.), Futurism: An anthology. Cambridge MA: Yale University Press, 2009.Google Scholar
  50. McClary, S., & Walser, R. (1988). Start making sense: Musicology wrestles with rock. In S. Frith & A. Goodwin (Eds.), On record: Rock, pop and the written word (pp. 277–292). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  51. Neilson, T. (2015). Where myth and metal collide: Finnish folk metal. In S. A. Wilson (Ed.), Music at the extremes: Essays on sounds outside the mainstream (pp. 129–142). Jefferson: McFarland.Google Scholar
  52. Pale Roses. (n.d.). Website. Accessed 12 Apr 2015.
  53. Petridis, A. (2014, December 4). Einstürzende Neubauten: Lament review – The weirdest first world war commemoration of all. The Guardian, Accessed 12 Apr 2015.
  54. Phillipov, M. (2012). Death metal and the critics. Lanham: Lexington.Google Scholar
  55. Pieslak, J. (2009). Sound targets: American soldiers and music in the Iraq War. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Pinnock, T. (2015, January). Einstürzende Neubauten Lament: Extreme noise terrorists conjure WW1. Uncut, 72.Google Scholar
  57. Purcell, N. J. (2003). Death metal music: The passion and politics of a subculture. Jefferson: McFarland.Google Scholar
  58. Puri, S. (2010). Machine guns and machine gun drums: Heavy metal’s portrayal of war. In R. Hill & K. Spracklen (Eds.), Heavy fundamentalisms: Music, metal and politics. Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.Google Scholar
  59. Randell, K. (2015). Preface. In C. Tholas-Disset & K. A. Ritzenhoff (Eds.), Humor, entertainment and popular culture during World War 1 (pp. i–xvi). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  60. Sabaton. (2008). Booklet accompanying The Art of War (Black Lodge Records).Google Scholar
  61. Sassounian, H. (2011, February 23). System of a Down and Eurovision: False Turkish claim exposed. Huffington Post. Accessed 13 Apr 2015.
  62. Sattler, H. (2009). Booklet notes for Passiondale (Metal Blade Records).Google Scholar
  63. Scherzinger, M. (2012). Double voices of musical censorship after 9/11. In J. Ritter & J. M. Daughtry (Eds.), Music in the post-9/11 world (pp. 91–122). New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  64. Scott, N. (2011). Heavy metal and the deafening threat of the apolitical. Popular Music History, 6(1/2), 224–239.Google Scholar
  65. Shekhovtsov, A. (2009). Apoliteic music: Neo-Folk, martial industrial and “metapolitical fascism”. Patterns of Prejudice, 43(5), 431–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Spracklen, K., Brown, A. R., & Kahn-Harris, K. (2011). Metal studies? Cultural research in the heavy metal scene. Journal for Cultural Research, 15(3), 209–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Spracklen, K., Lucas, C., & Deeks, M. (2014). The construction of heavy metal identity through heritage narratives: A case study of extreme metal bands in the North of England. Popular Music and Society, 37(1), 48–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Storm of Capricorn. (n.d.). lastfm. Accessed 13 Apr 2015.
  69. Stormbringer. (2010). ‘God Dethroned talks about Under the Sign of the Iron Cross’ interview with Henri Sattler, Austrian Heavyzine. Accessed 13 Apr 2015.
  70. System of a Down (2010) System of a Down – P.L.U.C.K. live, You Tube. Accessed 13 Apr 2015.
  71. Taylor, L. W. (2009). Images of human-wrought despair and destruction: Social critique in British apocalyptic and dystopian metal. In G. Bayer (Ed.), Heavy metal music in Britain (pp. 89–110). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  72. tcgjarhead. (2011, January 24). Review of Those Once Loyal, encyclopaedia metallum. Accessed 9 Jan 2013.
  73. Tinker, C. (2005). Georges Brassens and Jacques Brel: Personal and social narratives in the post-war Chanson. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.Google Scholar
  74. Van Berlo, A. (2006, March 4). Skyforger interview, Tartarean Desire Webzine. Accessed 16 Nov 2015.
  75. Wagner, J. (2010). Mean deviation: Four decades of progressive heavy metal. Brooklyn: Bazillion Points.Google Scholar
  76. Wallach, J., Berger, H. M., & Greene, P. D. (2011). Affective overdrive, scene dynamics and identity in the global metal scene. In J. Wallach, H. M. Berger, & P. D. Greene (Eds.), Metal rules the globe: Heavy metal music around the world (pp. 3–33). Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Walser, R. (2014). Running with the devil: Power, gender and madness in heavy metal music. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press fp 1993.Google Scholar
  78. Webb, P. (2007). Exploring the networked worlds of popular music: Milieu cultures. New York/London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  79. Webb, P. (2012). The affects and trajectories of “New Right” and “Fascist” ideology within the “Neo-Folk” and “Post-industrial” music milieu, Patterns of Prejudice Special issue on Music and the Other, July –September, 431–57.Google Scholar
  80. Weinstein, D. (2000). Heavy metal: The music and its culture. Boston: DaCapo Press.Google Scholar
  81. Weinstein, D. (2011). The globalization of metal. In J. Wallach, H. M. Berger, & P. D. Greene (Eds.), Metal rules the globe: Heavy metal music around the world (pp. 34–59). Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Whiteley, S. (2000). Women and popular music: Sexuality, identity and subjectivity. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  83. Wikipedia. (n.d.). Heavy metal subgenres. Accessed 13 Apr 2015.
  84. Willetts, K. (2014). Interview with the author recorded on 29 June.Google Scholar
  85. Zizek, S. (n.d.). Why are Laibach not Fascists?, Retrograde Reading Room. Accessed 3 Sept 2015.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Grant
    • 1
  1. 1.Cass Business SchoolCity University of LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations