• ‘My Body, a Funeral’: dark leisure activity and death reflections in death/doom and gothic/doom metal music

    M.Selim Yavuz (see profile)
    Music and Sound
    Heavy metal (Music)--Instruction and study, Musicology, Popular music, Music--Sociological aspects
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    Death and Culture Conference
    Conf. Org.:
    University of York
    Conf. Loc.:
    York, United Kingdom
    Conf. Date:
    2-3 September 2016
    dark leisure, doom metal, extreme metal, metal music studies, music worlds, Metal Music Studies, Popular Music Studies, Sociology of music
    Permanent URL:
    Death/doom emerged as a subgenre in extreme metal music during 1990s mostly based in Yorkshire. Interestingly, these Yorkshire-based bands changed their style significantly to what is generally accepted as gothic/doom. This change also illustrates two different approaches to death in the music. While the early repertoire engages with the idea of death focussed on the experience and through bereavement, the later style employs this idea in a glorified way. Death in gothic/doom can be seen as a fantasy and a desire. Karl Spracklen states that dark leisure activity rejects the mainstream and transgresses norms. Furthermore, ethnographic data suggest that this dark leisure activity provides spaces for musicians of these styles to have Foucauldian limit-experiences. The audience experience also indicates this music culture to be a safe transgressive leisure space used to explore the morbid fascination. This paper discusses different death experiences explored through these styles of music supported by testaments from musicians. Another intriguing issue arises when the reception of death/doom and gothic/doom cultures are analysed. These styles, since their inception almost three decades ago, remained underground even when positioned in an extreme metal music world, which in itself is underground relative to larger and more popular music worlds. Musicians belonging to death/doom and gothic/doom music worlds remain part-time musicians even after thirty years of music-making. Thus, this paper also shows the culture in question to be one devoid of Habermasian instrumentality when compared to its neighbouring cultures, such as death metal or gothic metal, within an extreme metal world.
    Last Updated:
    7 years ago
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