On your knees and pray! The role of religion in the development of a metal scene in the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico Article

Varas-Díaz, N, Rivera-Segarra, E, Mendoza, S et al. (2014). On your knees and pray! The role of religion in the development of a metal scene in the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico . 7(2), 243-258. 10.1386/ijcm.7.2.243_1

cited authors

  • Varas-Díaz, N; Rivera-Segarra, E; Mendoza, S; González-Sepúlveda, O

fiu authors

abstract

  • Heavy metal music is simultaneously reflective of, and reactive to, the cultural underpinnings of the spaces in which it is created. Wallach et al. have emphasized the need to understand metal music outside of Anglo-American contexts and culture. Although the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico seems like an unlikely scenario for the emergence of a metal scene, it has in fact existed via underground means for the past 25 years. Due to the Island’s strong Hispanic and Catholic roots, stemming from Spanish colonialism in the fifteenth century, religion has played a central role in the development of the local metal scene. The first systematic organization of a metal scene was structured by Christian metal groups under the name of ‘Metal Mission’ and served as a meeting space for social interaction based on metal music and religion. The objective of this article is to document the role of Christian religion in the emergence and maintenance of a metal scene in Puerto Rico. We will present data from a larger study of the metal scene in Puerto Rico, which used a mixed methods approach including ethnographic observations (300 hours), qualitative interviews (n=50) and surveys (n=400) with members of Puerto Rico’s metal scene. Although metal music has roots in critical perspectives towards religion, our research shows how it has also helped shape the Island’s metal scene.

publication date

  • June 1, 2014

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 243

end page

  • 258

volume

  • 7

issue

  • 2