In this article we aim to address the complex interrelation between metal music and academia through a case study design and analysis. The case study examined is an academic conference held during the past seven years at the University of Jaén, located in Jaén, a province in the south of Spain. This sociocultural project, entitled the ‘Rock and Metal Encounter’ (RME), has taken place in a context of frequent out-migration, with a precarious rural economy, and poor communication networks. There a small metal scene has resisted a precarious setting characterized by restrictive public policies towards music and culture. The RME has combined two lines of action; a purely academic one, through the diffusion of studies on metal music; and a social one, in which community interventioncomponents have been interspersed with the aim of promoting social cohesion and cultural development among Jaén’s metal scene. In light of this experience, we discuss the potential use of metal music as a form of community intervention to foster the cultural development of small music scenes in disadvantaged settings, and the university’s role in this process. We also explore resistance and tensions faced by the incursion of metal music as a community intervention practice in this particular academic setting.