Achieving Intelligibility whilst Maintaining Heaviness when Producing Contemporary Metal Music

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Metal is part of the Westernised, commercial pop and rock music industry that has imposed itself on the rest of the world… metal has played and continues to play a key role in the globalised entertainment industries. (Hill and Spracklen, 2010, p.vii)

The term ‘heavy metal’ was first used as an adjective relating to popular music in the late 1960s, however in the early 1970s the expression began to be employed as a noun and therefore as a descriptor for a music genre (Walser, 1993, p.7). Heavy metal has therefore existed for approximately four decades. In the past five years there has been a dramatic increase in academics researching and studying the area (Scott and Von Helden, 2010, p.ix). This is evidenced by the world’s first scholarly conference on the metal genre, ‘Heavy Fundametalisms – Music, Metal and Politics’, being held in Salzburg, Austria in 2008 (Sheppard, 2008). To date, the focus of this academic study has tended to address the importance and relevance of metal from a historical, sociological, cultural, musicological and political science perspective (e.g. Weinstein, 1991; Walser, 1993; McIver, 2000, 2002, 2005; Kahn-Harris, 2007) and additionally, Weinstein points to metal studies comprehending the fields of economics, literature, communications and social psychology (Weinstein, 2011, p.243). In contrast, this paper focuses on the specific approaches and techniques involved in music production for this style and builds on the author’s previous work in the area.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal on the Art of Record Production
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

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