Death Metal is among the most despised forms of violently themed entertainment. Many politicians, conservative groups and typical Americans attribute youth violence and the destruction of social values to such entertainment. The usual assumptions about the Death Metal scene and its fans have rarely been challenged. This book investigates the demographic trends, attitudes, philosophical beliefs, ethical systems, and behavioral patterns within the scene, seeking to situate Death Metal in the larger social order. The Death Metal community proves to be a useful microcosm for much of American subculture and lends insight into the psychological and social functions of many forbidden or illicit entertainment forms. The author's analysis, rich in interviews with rock stars, radio hosts, and average adolescent fans, provides a key to comprehending deviant tendencies in modern American culture.
Natalie J. Purcell is a professional in the nonprofit sector and a sociopolitical activist associated with the Amnesty International. She lives in San Francisco, California.