Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge

Extreme metal–one step beyond heavy metal–can appear bizarre or terrifying to the uninitiated. Extreme metal musicians have developed an often impenetrable sound that teeters on the edge of screaming, incomprehensible noise. Extreme metal circulates on the edge of mainstream culture within the confines of an obscure ’scene’, in which members explore dangerous themes such as death, war and the occult, sometimes embracing violence, neo-fascism and Satanism.

In the first book-length study of extreme metal, Keith Kahn-Harris draws on first-hand research to explore the global extreme metal scene. He shows how the scene is a space in which members creatively explore destructive themes, but also a space in which members experience the everyday pleasures of community and friendship.

Including interviews with band members and fans, from countries ranging from the UK and US to Israel and Sweden, Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge demonstrates the power and subtlety of an often surprising and misunderstood musical form.

Book cover of Extreme Metal:  Music and Culture on the Edge

Formats available: Hardback, Paperback, E-Book

First Published: December 1, 2006

Publisher: Bloomsbury (Originally: Berg)

Reviews for Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge

Sharp, engaging, and comprehensive. Extreme Metal is a must-read for metal fans and anyone interested in the study of popular music and subcultural politics in a globalizing age

Sam Dunn, Banger Films

Kahn-Harris carefully negotiates his position as sympathetic intermediary and critical observer. Following a quotation from a Danish musician who simultaneously claims antiracist credentials while using racist language, Kahn-Harris notes: "The temptation would be to rely on an easy explanation for this quotation - that (the musician) is a complete idiot." He resists the temptation, and in doing so provides real insights into the margins of our culture.

As the first book-length academic study of extreme metal music and culture, Kahn-Harris's Extreme Metal is an important - and overdue - contribution to scholarship in this field

The scope of his work is magnificent and EXTREME METAL is destined to be the pioneering and definitive study of the topic.

Kahn-Harris importantly extends current discussions of popular music scenes and subcultures, and details elements of recent and
contemporary metal that have received little attention in previous scholarly

Anyone desiring to read further on post-subcultural
thinking and the loaded issue of scene participation within late modernity, or, indeed,
anybody with a passing curiosity about the ‘fear-laden’ culture that is extreme metal,
will find much of interest within this book.

In Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge, Keith Kahn-Harris provides the most piercing critique yet of intolerance in extreme metal.

Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge is a
masterful analysis of an unfairly ignored subculture and musical genre; the book is sure
to become standard reading for those interested in the scene.