Yfantis, Vasileios- Metal Goes Science

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Author: Yfantis, Vasileios
Title: Metal Goes Science-The Academic Bibliography of Metal Music
Publisher: Independent
Released: 2017
Reviewed: May, 2018
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: JP


I’ve read a lot of books about Metal over the years and this is one of the more unique ones I’ve come across.  I’m not even sure how to score and rank it!

METAL GOES SCIENCE is a simple book, more of a published list in reality, that was first published in book form in 2017.  The author, Vasileos Yfantis is an academic who, back in 2011 while working on this Masters thesis started to dabble in the immense and sometimes cryptic world of on-line databases and on-line publications.  Mixing his passion for Metal and his on-line research hand academic career and he has compiled the ultimate reference guide of academic research. In fact, the sub-title is The Academic Bibliography of Metal.

As a book it is a simple, self-published affair, black and white with about four dozen photos, just to break up the text.  There is a brief introduction, he touches on his methodology and includes a big list of all the academic databases he used.  The bulk of the 100-page book are just a giant list of publications, technical info, proper credit, year and internet links.   To an average Metal fan this might sound incredibly dull, but it is a reference guide for academics first and foremost.  This is pure internet stuff, what the net was original designed for, peer-to-peer information sharing for critical analysis between universities and think-tanks…a long way from the from the pop-culture sludge pit that much of the web has devolved into these days.

When I first looked at this book my OCD kicked in and I fought the desire to go print and read every one of these articles!   Who wouldn’t want to read articles about Metal in Mainland China from 2000- 2013 or read an essay called, ‘The Romantic Posthuman Futures of Cascadian Black Metal”?   Any topic you can think of has been studied, and written about by a scholar, somewhere on the planet, and they are all listed here.  The work to compile this must have been tremendous.

This is an incredible resource for any Metal scholar and Yfantis should be applauded for compiling this invaluable book.  This should sit with pride in every University especially those with a Music Department.   In addition every member of ISMMS  (International Society for Metal Music Studies) should own a copy. The heaviest book ever?  Perhaps!  We all know Metal and Science are sexy so METAL GOES SCIENCE is a total winner.

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