Metallica the state/Metallica the war machine: A Deleuzoguattarian analysis of the world’s biggest metal band | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 8, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2052-3998
  • E-ISSN: 2052-4005

Abstract

Metallica has offered a diverse catalogue of music and breadth of performance over their careers. As a band occupying an integral cultural placement as measured by both level of fame and influential import, many academic inroads have been opened to their work, career and music. These lines of inquiry, along with more general lines of inquiry into the genre of heavy metal itself, frequently position Metallica as the unofficial ambassadors of the music. However, despite the depth and breadth of research devoted to these areas, an underdeveloped opening exists when it comes to the potential parallels and connections between the music and actions of Metallica and the philosophical works of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, specifically their notions of the state and the nomadic war machine. These theories serve as the basis of exploration in this research and provide new considerations and perspectives of both the career of Metallica and the larger implications to the study of popular music. The relations between Deleuze and Guattari and popular music offer many connections and examples, but the work of Metallica was selected as a representation of all of these connections as they are the ideal band from which to launch and develop these notions. Metallica is a group with clear distinctive phases to their career that fall within the concepts of the war machine (1981–91) and the state (1991–2008). While Metallica is not the only example of a band that falls into these dichotomous categorizations, they offer the best opportunity to define and clarify the connections to the ideas of Deleuze and Guattari. This can then be applied to other bands, genres of music and aspects of popular culture. Metallica is symbolic of this undertheorized connection to the works of Deleuze and Guattari. While these theoretical connections to the ideas of Deleuze and Guattari may not serve as the final piece to a full comprehension of the complexities of Metallica’s controversial career, they offer insights and open nascent pathways towards further analysis of the band. This is important because they have existed both on the fringes of marginalization and as a significant part of the discourse of popular culture.

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2022-09-01
2024-05-22
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