Hispanic Epic Themes in Metal Music (Book)

Intersections with Pop Culture, Group Identity, Nationalisms, and Fascism

Epics create communal feelings through admiration of heroism. Metal music, pop culture, nationalisms, and fascism rely on epic narratives to build their communities. This book explores how the coincidences with nationalism and fascism put the epic narratives of metal under suspicion and the consequences (ethical and political) for the scene.

Category: Cultural Studies, Music


It is no secret that metal music has an affinity for anything epic, in particular if it is medievalising. What is less known is that its inclination towards epicism may have played an essential role in the configuration of the metal community as we know it nowadays and, more importantly, in its current problems of sexism, homophobia, and, above all, white supremacism. In this book, Amaranta Saguar García proposes the pop culture of the years of formation of heavy metal and the redefinition of the attitudes towards heroism in post-war Western society as the most likely sources of the fascination of metal music with medieval epic themes, while evidencing its similarities to the draw the Middle Ages have on European nationalisms, fascism, and the alt-right. Through a corpus of songs that deal with Medieval Hispanic topics, the author exemplifies the different uses of medieval epic themes in metal music, and explores the rhetorical, ethical, and ideological consequences for the scene of this recurrence of medievalising epicism.

This Open Access publication is funded by the research project PoeMAS: POEsía para MÁS gente. La poesía en la música popular española contemporánea (PGC2018-099641-A-I00, Ministerio de Ciencia Innovación y Universidades de España).

Amaranta Saguar García is a research professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Her interest in metal music studies arises from her research on the reception of Medieval Hispanic topics in popular music.


Chapter 1. Context

Chapter 2. Epicism and Heavy Metal

Chapter 3. Hispanic Medieval Epic Themes

Chapter 4. Five Types of Metal Epicism


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