What Is “Heavy” in Metal? A Netnographic Analysis of Online Forums for Metal Musicians and Producers

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Abstract

Metal music studies defines “heaviness” as the genre’s sonic signature but has rarely explored the sonics or the related discourse. This study analyzes message boards to determine how music producers and musicians use the “heavy” metaphor in their discussions. Practitioners’ strategies employed to achieve heaviness are scrutinized to learn about what considerations influence their decisions. The findings suggest that while heaviness is based on a core set of musical features, it is open to appropriation, modification, and development. Heaviness has become a suitable impetus for the genre’s evolution and iconically represents what metal music stands for to its community.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalPopular Music and Society
Early online date23 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Aug 2022

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