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‘This is the Funeral of the Earth’: The ‘Dead-end’ Environmental Discourses of Australian Ecometal

Australian Metal Music: Identities, Scenes, and Cultures

ISBN: 978-1-78769-168-1, eISBN: 978-1-78769-167-4

Publication date: 4 June 2019

Abstract

Heavy metal music has had a long relationship with environmental and ecological concerns, one that can be traced as far back as Black Sabbath’s ‘Into the Void’ (1971). Academic work has, however, been slow to recognise the entanglements of metal, environment and ecology in either the global or an Australian context. More recently, however, popular music scholars have begun to acknowledge how the sonic anger of black, death and other genres of extreme metal might be an appropriate medium for social and environmental commentary and protest (Lucas, 2015, p. 555). Therefore, according to Wiebe-Taylor (2009), metal’s ‘darker side is not simply about shock tactics and sensory overload…’, because, ‘metal also makes use of its harsh lyrics, sounds and visual imagery to express critical concerns about human behaviour and decision making and anxieties about the future’ (p. 89). Taking an ecocritical approach, this chapter will map and analyse the environmental concerns and ecological anxieties of Australian metal across a range of different bands and metal genres, as they emerge through three ‘dead-end’ discourses-misanthrophism, apocalypticism, Romanticism – which offer little or no hope of survival.

Keywords

Citation

Collinson, I. (2019), "‘This is the Funeral of the Earth’: The ‘Dead-end’ Environmental Discourses of Australian Ecometal", Hoad, C. (Ed.) Australian Metal Music: Identities, Scenes, and Cultures (Emerald Studies in Metal Music and Culture), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 129-144. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78769-167-420191015

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Ian Collinson