Saturday, 12 June 2010

Conference Paper

I'm presenting at this year's International Association for the Study of Popular Music conference at Monash University, Melbourne in November:


We’re All Doomed: The Democratising Potential of Drone Doom Metal.

In recent years, the rise in popularity of arcane heavy metal sub-genre Drone Doom has attracted a passionate chorus of detractors. Within metal and avant-garde circles, this music – typified by bands such as Sunn O))), Earth, Monarch and Grey Daturas – has been criticized for appearing simplistic, monochromatic and camp. Yet much of this negative commentary overlooks the exciting potentialities inherent in Drone Doom’s aesthetic palatte. As a music that can be easily accessed, composed and performed, it presents a remarkably democratic opening into heavy metal. As a body of established sound, Drone Doom is a popular form in which a range of experimental practices have found a wider audience. Drawing upon a range of secondary resources and the author’s own creative practice within the sub-genre, this paper strives to map and explore the democratising aspects of this emergent form of heavy metal. I argue that within Drone Doom resides a homological and broad-reaching set of tools and ideas that encourage participation from a range of listeners and musicians and thus a greater understanding of this framework speaks directly to the popularity of an otherwise difficult music.

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