In Heavy Metal Music in Latin America: Perspectives from the Distorted South, the editors bring together scholars engaged in the study of heavy metal music in Latin America to reflect on the heavy metal genre from a regional perspective. The contributors’ southern voices diversify metal scholarship in the global north. An extreme musical genre for an extreme region, the contributors explore how issues like colonialism, dictatorships, violence, ethnic extermination and political persecution have shaped heavy metal music in Latin America, and how music has helped shape Latin American culture and politics.
NelsonVaras-Díaz is professor of social-community psychology in the Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies at Florida International University.
Daniel Nevárez Araújo received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Eliut Rivera Segarra is clinical psychologist and assistant professor at the Ponce Health Sciences University in Puerto Rico.
Section I: Understanding Metal Music in Latin America
Chapter 1: Conceptualizing the Distorted South: How to Understand Metal Music and its Scholarship in Latin America
Nelson Varas-Díaz, Daniel Nevárez Araújo, and Eliut Rivera-Segarra
Section II: A Soundtrack for a Violent Context
Chapter 2: “Decomposición cerebral:” The Salvadoran Civil War and the Birth of Salvadoran Brutal Death Metal
Christian M. Pack
Chapter 3: Metal and Dictatorship, A Chance Association?: A Case Study on Chilean Metal
Chapter 4: Death Metal and its Roles in Colombia’s Armed Conflict: The Case of MASACRE
Pedro Manuel Lagos Chacón
Chapter 5: Sounds of Exclusion and Seclusion: Peruvian Metal as a Model for Cultural Self-segregation
José Ignacio López Ramírez Gastón
Section III: Decolonizing Local Histories through Music
Chapter 6: Heavy Metal in Havana: Assessing the Scene’s Cultural Development from 2007 to the Present
Chapter 7: “Por siempre Heavy Metal:” A Historiographic Approach to Uruguayan Heavy Metal in the Shadow of the Dictatorship
María Ximena Rodríguez Molinari
Chapter 8: Metal and Politics in Argentina: A Case Study on Ricardo Iorio and the Audiences That Follow Him
Manuela Belén Calvo
Chapter 9: America, Avenge Yourself: The Emergence of Combative Discourse and Other Recent Directions in Contemporary Argentinian Metal
Section IV: Marginality and Cultures of Resistance
Chapter 10: Maximón in The Maximones: The Transfiguration of a Deity as a Resistance Tactic in Guatemalan Metal Music
Mario Efraín Castañeda Maldonado
Chapter 11: La Periferia: Metal Music in the Marginal Context of the State of Mexico
Alfredo Nieves Molina
Chapter 12: Metal Völkisch: A Comparative Analysis of the Sociopolitical Perspectives Found in European Metal and Brazilian Metal
Guilherme Alfradique Klausner
Section V: Liberation through Metal Music
Chapter 13: Heavy Metal Music as Liberating Praxis in Latin America: A “Psychology of Liberation” Perspective
Eliut Rivera-Segarra, Jeffrey W. Ramos, and Nelson Varas-Díaz
Chapter 14: Metal Migration: The Latin American Diasporic Experience in Heavy Metal
Daniel Nevárez Araújo
Finally! With this pathbreaking volume, the vitality and iconoclastic spirit of Latin American metal studies scholarship becomes accessible to English readers. Heavy metal now belongs to the whole of humanity, but its intense, community-affirming roar has special significance in the Latin American region as a rallying cry for anti-colonial resistance and self-assertion in the context of oppression, injustice, and war. This collection of insightful essays on metal culture in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and the Latin American diaspora deserves mandatory reading status for metal scholars, Latin America specialists, and cultural theorists of all persuasions.
With this truly novel intervention into the study of music, society, and politics, Varas-Díaz, Nevárez Araújo, and Rivera Segarra have compiled a fabulous assortment of perspectives on metal all across the Latin American and Caribbean regions. Adopting “distortion” as a lens, and demonstrating how Latin American metal has never been simply a derivative product from the North, their global south perspective places the region’s multiple different metal traditions in a complex series of dialogues, past and present. They tread through complex terrain, paying attention to how Latin American metal creatively responds and actively shapes social problems that define the region, the long durée of coloniality, the immediate history of military regimes and armed conflict, contemporary activisms around inequality and decolonial dreams, repertoires of sonic mestizaje and more....a wonderful read.
Varas-Díaz, Nevárez Araújo and Rivera-Seguerra have accomplished a significant feat with this book: as a work based on translations from Spanish and Portuguese, it is a generous gift to the admittedly embarrassingly restricted English-speaking field of metal scholarship. Representing 10 Latin American countries, metal music and culture enduring under a politics of violence, political oppression and marginalization make it strange that scholarship this loud has rarely been read before outside its context. Having broken free from its origins in the Global North, Latin American metal has become a decolonizing force best understood by paying attention to the context from which it has emerged. Creative, malleable and respectful to the diversity of its sources, rather than gazing at it, these scholars defiantly stand alongside what is studied. This book is a shining example on how metal studies is to be done.
Without a doubt, a milestone in the field and history of Latin American metal music historiography. This varied collection of essays about metal music, originally conceived in Spanish and Portuguese, represents the first publication of its kind in the English language entirely devoted to the topic of metal in Latin America. Metal music has spawned one of the most relevant liberation and resistance cultures to be found in the continent. Showcasing 10 countries in the region, the book provides a historical and analytical survey of the different local scenes, in the process demystifying many of the ideas that have surrounded and served to stereotype the juncture between metal music and Latin American society for decades. The book brings to the fore the issues, roles, and dynamics that originate within the cultural practices of the various metal communities within the socio-historical context of the continent. The historically silenced voices, the marginalized communities, the theories and practices developed by the musicians and their audiences, the genre’s relationship to politics, the influence of language, the move to decolonize local histories, and even the experiences of the Latin-American diaspora are but a few of the imperative narrative explorations enacted by the authors.