NEVER let it be said that University of Leeds don’t know how to get into the festive spirit; while people all over the country next week will be planning their last bits of Christmas shopping or thinking of an outfit for their office night out, UoL are hosting a symposium titled “Metal, Extreme Music and the Holocaust”. And a...partridge in a pear tree?
The symposium looks to neither celebrate nor attack metal, but to seriously engage with a serious topic which will reward investigation.
The symposium takes place all day Monday 12 December, and features speakers including former Terrorizer magazine editor and Holocaust historian Dr Nicholas Terry, author of Holocaust Impiety Dr Matthew Boswell, and Dr Keith Kahn-Harris, author of Extreme Metal: Music and Culture on the Edge.
2016 marks the thirtieth anniversary of Slayer’s seminal thrash metal album Reign in Blood - which wastes no time in getting its Holocaust references in there:
“The beginning of this whole process was when Tom Araya barked out the word ‘Auschwitz’ – the first word of the album’s first song: ‘Angel of Death’.
This opening song of the founding text of extreme metal laid the groundwork for a recurring interest in the Holocaust in the metal scene over the three decades since”
The University’s website goes on to explain:
“It is high time, therefore, that the tangled relationship of metal and the Holocaust be unpicked and examined. The University of Leeds is hosting a day event to start to make sense of the significance of the Holocaust in metal.”
The symposium - the timing of which seems appropriate, with some extreme bands referencing, and in some cases fully endorse far-right and neo-Nazi politics - looks to neither celebrate nor attack metal, but to seriously engage with a serious topic which will reward investigation.
There’ll also be an opportunity to discuss the place of the Holocaust in other forms of extreme music, such as Industrial and Punk, comparing and linking the references between genres.
10am - 18:30pm, Monday 12 December. Room SR 1.33, Leeds University Business School, Maurice Keyworth Building, University of Leeds. Tickets £10