Community at the extremes: The death metal underground as being-in-common
This article asks what the early death metal underground teaches us about the relations between community and aesthetics. After tracing the emergence of death metal as a genre, the article examines the accounts of musicians, artists and recording engineers collected in Jason Netherton’s Extremity Retained (2014). Drawing on contemporary theories of non-human agency, research in animal studies, and Continental philosophies of community, the article focuses on ‘brutality’ as a crucial marker of death metal’s political significance, arguing that this involved experiments with new ways of embodiment that outstrip humanist presuppositions about what a body can do. Then, the article examines how international tape trading networks allowed for the emergence of forms of ‘being-in-common’ that cannot be understood in merely human terms. Finally, the article argues that the death metal underground’s particular importance lies in its linking of more-than-human practices of community with a focus on death and negativity.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2016-09-01
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