Kartheus, Wiebke (2015):
"The ‘other’ as Projection Screen: Authenticating Heroic Masculinity in War-Themed Heavy Metal Music Videos." Metal Music Studies 1.3: 319-340.
Journal Article

This article tries to come to terms with Islamophobia as an undercurrent of US culture, heavy metal’s notions of masculinity and authenticity, and the ways in which these two seemingly separate issues intersect in war-themed music videos. By analyzing the official music videos of Metallica’s ‘The Day That Never Comes’ and Lamb of God’s ‘11th Hour’, I will illustrate how the Arab or Muslim ‘other’ is used as a trope to affirm genre-specific notions of masculinity and authenticity. In support of my reading, and to help understand the ways in which music videos are used to communicate with a broader audience, the formal features of the medium will be investigated. Focusing on the structure of my chosen examples and on the way in which meaning-making processes are shaped and perceived by a knowledgeable, pre-informed audience, offers a new perspective to scrutinize the cultural impact of Islamophobic sentiments and shows that they found their way from the mainstream into heavy metal counter-cultures.