UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Multilingual Metal – Sociocultural, Linguistic & and Literary Perspectives on Heavy Metal Lyrics

11 January 2021

Multilingual Metal Music

We would like to bring to your attention a new publication ‘Multilingual Metal – Sociocultural, Linguistic and Literary Perspectives on Heavy Metal Lyrics, edited by Dr Riita-Liisa Valijärvi, Associate Professor (Teaching) in Finnish and Minority Languages, and our research students Charlotte Doesburg and Amanda Digioia. It was published by Emerald Publishing Limited in December 2020.

This multi-disciplinary collection explores the textual analysis of metal music lyrics written in lyrics other than English, including Russian, Slovenian, Norwegian, Japanese, Yiddish, Latin and Norwegian. The volume features fascinating chapters on the role of language in heavy metal, the significance of metal in minority-language communities, analyses of Slovenian mythology in metal, heavy metal lyrics and politics in the Soviet Union and Taiwan, processing bereavement in Danish black metal, cultural identity in Norwegian-medium metal, and the Kawaii metal scene in Japan, amongst others. 

Applying a range of methodological approaches – from literary and content analysis to quantitative corpus methods and critical approaches – the book conceptualises various forms of identity via lyrical text and identifies a number of global themes in heavy metal lyrics, including masculinity, authenticity, parody and the desire to sound extreme, that reoccur across different countries and languages.