Book Review: “Heavy Metal Rules the Globe”


Metal Rules the Globe

Jeremy Wallach and Jeremy Wallach

Grade: B

“Heavy Metal Rules the Globe: Heavy Metal Music Around the World” is a compilation of academic essays on metal music around the world.

Some of the essays were written by the University’s own Jeremy Wallach, an associate professor in the Popular Culture Department.

The book focuses on the roots and development of what some people believe is the best music ever, and is broken down into six parts. Each part provides a thorough history on metal music and a lengthy list of its effects on race and gender; it discusses how metal music has played a part in spreading extremist ideologies and how metal has evolved over the years and developed in other cultures.

Personally, I am not a huge metal music fan. It is definitely a genre that I am less familiar with. I was not thrilled with the book because it was not exactly what I was expecting. I went into reading this book thinking that it would be more of a novel-like book. It’s more like a database, rather than a book. It was a frustrating read simply because I did not have any prior knowledge on the subject, and I definitely did not realize the true depth of the genre.

Despite my troubles, the book is very informative. I learned a lot about metal culture that I certainly did not know before. By the time I was done with the book I realized that some of the misconceptions they spoke of were some that I had myself. For example, the “it’s just noise” argument is one that I frequently find myself falling into. They quickly explain that the biggest critics of metal music are the ones who don’t understand it.

This may be why I found the book so unenjoyable. It is very easy to be a critic of something that you do not understand. Being so, I found myself getting frustrated extremely quickly with every turn of the page — and there are 332 pages. With every page a new word popped up, a new country would be explored and my headache would become worse. So when I found a section halfway through the book that interested me, I might have done a happy dance.

Even so, there was a section within the book that interested me immensely: “The Marketing of Anglo-Identity in the North American Hatecore Metal Industry.” Translated, that means “How White Supremacist Groups Use Heavy Metal Music To Spread Their Hate.” This section within Part 4 (“Metal and Extremist Ideologies”) chronicles the rise of supremacist groups such as the Aryan Brotherhood within the heavy metal culture.

All in all, the book is not bad at all. It just didn’t interest me. This type of book caters to a specific niche, one that I obviously do not fit into. However, if this is really relevant to your interests, I would definitely recommend this book as a go-to kind of source for everything you need to know.