Innovation and Tradition in Metal Music Production

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Technological development has changed the way record producers need to work with Metal music; employing a far more fragmented and, sometimes, anxious approach to producing Heavy Metal Records. Technology permeates the recording process in unique ways, both influencing the recording itself, and the performance styles that Metal artists have developed since the late 1960s. The view of literature that focuses on the socio-cultural influence of Metal would suggest that production has evolved as a direct result of subculture; and that aesthetic choices made by record producers are influenced by both socio-cultural anticipations and an abstract production methodology. This paper analyses the experience of seven renowned Metal producers to determine the role of technology and how it has influenced the narrative of contemporary Metal music production.

Whilst the technology that defines the sound of the genre remains, more innovative technological processing, and approaches to producing the instrumental elements of the genre, takes place. It is this observed movement away from traditional, performance focused, recording, towards a more fragmented, technologically architectural approach that presents phenomenological problems for record producers and researchers alike; how to balance tradition and innovation in the production of HM music. The difficulties and intricacies of producing HM music are explored and re-evaluated in the context of the participant interviews.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Specialist publicationMetal Music Studies
PublisherIntellect Ltd.
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021


  • Metal Music
  • Music
  • Popular
  • Production
  • Technology
  • Phenomenology
  • Tradition
  • Innovation

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