Running with the Devil

Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music
by Robert Walser (Author)
Buy for $16.99 Excerpt

“A solid, scholarly analysis of the power, meaning, musical structure, and sociopolitical contexts of the most popular examples of heavy metal.” —Library Journal

Dismissed by critics and academics, condemned by parents and politicians, and fervently embraced by legions of fans, heavy metal music continues to attract and embody cultural conflicts that are central to society. In Running with the Devil, Robert Walser explores how and why heavy metal works, both musically and socially, and at the same time uses metal to investigate contemporary formations of identity, community, gender, and power. This edition includes a new foreword by Harris M. Berger contextualizing the work and a new afterword by the author.

Ebook Edition Note: all photographs (sixteen) have been redacted.

“Walser belongs to a small but influential group of academics trying to reconcile ‘high theory’ with a streetwise sense of culture . . . an excellent book.” —Rolling Stone

“Takes musicology where it has never gone before; I once saw the chapter on metal guitarists and the classical tradition performed live in a lecture hall, but even on paper it smokes.” —SF Weekly

“Walser is truly gifted at doing what few critics before him have done: analyzing the music . . . In virtuoso readings of metal music that forge persuasive links between metal and particular classical music traditions, Walser reveals the ways that musical structures themselves are social texts.” —The Nation

“Making surprising connections to classical forms and debunking stereotypes of metal’s musical crudity, Walser delves enthusiastically into guitar conventions and rituals.” —The Washington Post

Harris M Berger (Introduction author)
Publication date
January 21, 2022
Page count
Paper ISBN
File size
7 MB

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