'Hold the Heathen Hammer High’: Representation, Re-enactment and the Construction of ‘Pagan' Heritage

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Viking Metal, Pagan Metal and their relatives represent subgenres of Black and Folk Metal characterised by their historical and mythological references, their incorporation of folk melodies alongside traditional music and instruments, and the use of contemporary material culture and dress. Like earlier folk-rock traditions, these subgenres have often steered an interesting course between the hedonistic tendencies which can accompany rock music (the ‘rock “n” roll lifestyle’) and an educational role: metal as heritage and specifically as heritage interpretation. In this paper, the authors explore these various connections through conversations with members of two prominent bands (Týr and Heidevolk) who gave research seminars at the University of York in 2012 and 2013. The connections between music making, landscape, performativity and narration are prominent in both cases, and form the basis of this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-511
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Heritage Studies
Issue number5
Early online date1 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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