Heavy Metal Music in Argentina (Book)

In Black We Are Seen

This work is an interdisciplinary study of heavy metal culture in Argentina between 1983 and 2002. The seven authors address the music’s rituals, circulations, cultural products, lyrics, and intertexts, thus allowing readers to rethink the place of national heavy metal within the Argentinean politics and economics, after the end of the dictatorship.

Category: Music


Heavy Metal Music in Argentina: In Black We Are Seen is an interdisciplinary study of Argentina’s heavy metal subculture between 1983 and 2002: A period in which metal music withstood the onslaught of military dictatorship and survived the neoliberal policies of bourgeois democracy.

Edited by leading researchers, this collection addresses the music’s rituals, circulations, cultural products, lyrics and intertexts, allowing readers to rethink national heavy metal’s place within Argentinean politics and economics. Exclusively written by members of the Group for Interdisciplinary Research on Argentinian Heavy Metal (GIIHMA) in a communal approach to scholarship, the book echoes the working-class voices that marked early post-dictatorship metal music in Argentina. An in-depth regional discussion of heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Music in Argentina explores metal music as a catalyst for social change and site for engaging political reflection.

Emiliano Scaricaciottoli. Born in Quilmes, Buenos Aires Province. Professor at the University of Buenos Aires. As the coordinator for the GIIHMA he has edited two books of essays and another seven productions on rock and metal in Argentina.
Nelson Varas-Díaz. Professor of social-community psychology at Florida International University. He serves as a co-editor of the Metal Music Studies Journal and directed the  documentary film 'Songs of Injustice: Heavy Metal Music in Latin America'.
Daniel Nevárez Araújo. Holds a doctorate in comparative literature from the University of Massachusetts - Amherst, as well as an M.A. in English Literature and a Bachelor’s in accounting, both from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. 
The Group for Interdisciplinary Research on Argentinian Heavy Metal was born at the Heavy Book Fair in Boedo, Buenos Aires, 2013. They have published two books and multiple articles, while providing courses on metal music at the University of Buenos Aires. They are part of the Diploma on Anthropology of Music at Mexico’s Autonomous University and of the Collective for Research and Action from Spanish Speaking Metal since 2019.

Preface to the Second Edition vii

Group for Interdisciplinary Research on Argentinian Heavy Metal (GIIHMA)

Foreword ix

Emiliano Scaricaciottoli

Translator’s Note xiii

Juan Manuel López Baio

Introduction: A Window into Heavy Metal Scholarship in the Global South xv

Nelson Varas-Díaz, Daniel Nevárez Araújo, and Emiliano Scaricaciottoli

1. Heavy Metal as a Subculture in Argentina: Identity and Resistance 2

Gustavo Torreiro

2. Genre Violence: Argentinean Heavy Metal in the Music Market 16

Luciano Scarrone

3. Heavenly Hosts and Other Demons: Reflections Concerning a

Difficult and Transversal Relationship in the History of Our Heavy Music 28

Gito Minore

4. Walkabout, Just Walking about for the Sake of Walking: The Journey

as an Ethos in the Poetics of Ricardo Iorio 46

Manuel Bernal and Diego Caballero

5. Passion and Ethics: A Space for Voice and Tradition in Iorio’s Lyrics 58

Juan Ignacio Pisano

6. The Reason Behind My Writing: Another Day of Being 72

Ezequiel Alasia

7. Piedra Libre: Referential Tensions in Argentinean Heavy Metal

Lyrics Since the Political Crisis of 2001/2002 84

Emiliano Scaricaciottoli

Notes on Contributors 100

This book asserts that metal music is part of Argentinian culture. It is a compelling read, as both an illuminating and a pointed rebuke. Illuminating in that it opens a window onto a contained and vibrant subculture kept within Argentinian borders, emerging in the 1980s under a military dictatorship; a rebuke in the sense that the reach of metal music and metal music studies can no longer be confined to the global North.  This collection of chapters, translated from Spanish, shows that the Argentinean metal scene is deeply embedded in a social and political currency that reaches far beyond its borders. The hope is that this work paves the way for an increased attention to metal music subcultures, one that generates new knowledge for a truly global audience. 

Dr Niall Scott, Reader in Philosophy and popular culture, University of Central Lancashire

This is an indispensable collection for anyone who cares about metal in the global south, or about music and politics in general. A fascinating, groundbreaking contribution to the emerging field of global metal studies.



Jeremy Wallach, Professor, Bowling Green State University
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