The main aim of the chapter is to examine the prevalence of Slavic and, more specifically, Slovenian mythological elements in Slovenian heavy metal music. No such analysis had previously been attempted, so a database had to be established anew. Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives (MA) was chosen as the most comprehensive available source on metal music, supplemented by information gleaned from other sources. All 290 bands listed as Slovenian on MA were inspected for evidence of Slavic and Slovenian mythological content. Each band's name, genre, lyrical themes as listed in their profile, song titles, and lyrics were taken into account. The compiled corpus was then analysed in terms of information availability, prevailing languages used by the bands, and, subsequently, their relation to Slovenian mythological heritage. The search for Slavic and Slovenian mythological content began with keyword-based computer-assisted analysis followed by manual annotation. Elements directly concerning the Slavic mythos, Slovenian legends, and folk tales, were featured in a ‘Slavic content database’, their suitability ascertained through inclusion in prominent publications on the topic, e.g. Mikhailov (2002), Ovsec (1991), and Šmitek (2004, 2006). The acquired results were then divided into seven categories in order of prevalence, namely, deities, mythical creatures, history, nature, literary references, mythical places and phenomena, and idiosyncratic folklore. Our intention was to also present the contents of each category in a short overview aimed at acquainting the reader with individual phenomena, yet only the most prominent two categories could be presented here due to spatial constraints. The remaining categories will be dealt with in more detail in a follow-up paper. The findings featured will also enable the commencement of the second part of the research, a qualitative analysis of the afore-mentioned ‘Slavic content database’.
The authors would like to thank HellBlazer from The Metal Archives for providing them with a CSV file of all content available at MA for Slovenian metal bands, enabling them to process the data much more easily.
Šporčič, A. and Pesek, G. (2020), "Local Folk Tales, Legends, and Slavic Mythology in Slovenian Heavy Metal Lyrics: A Quantitative Analysis", Valijärvi, R.-L., Doesburg, C. and Digioia, A. (Ed.) Multilingual Metal Music: Sociocultural, Linguistic and Literary Perspectives on Heavy Metal Lyrics (Emerald Studies in Metal Music and Culture), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 263-282. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-83909-948-920200022
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