Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music

by William Phillips and Brian Cogan


Providing an extensive overview of the music, fashion, films, and philosophies behind the movement, this inclusive encyclopedia chronicles the history and development of heavy metal, including sub-movements such as death metal, speed metal, grindcore, and hair metal.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music

March 2009


Pages 285
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Popular Culture/Music and Performing Arts

It has been reviled, dismissed, attacked, and occasionally been the subject of Congressional hearings, but still, the genre of music known as heavy metal maintains not only its market share in the recording and downloading industry, but also as a cultural force that has united millions of young and old fans across the globe. Characterized by blaring distorted guitars, drum solos, and dramatic vibrato, the heavy metal movement headbanged its way to the popular culture landscape with bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath the 1970s. Motley Crue and Metallica made metal a music phenomenon in the 1980s. Heavy metal continues to evolve today with bands like Mastodon and Lamb of God.

Providing an extensive overview of the music, fashion, films, and philosophies behind the movement, this inclusive encyclopedia chronicles the history and development of heavy metal, including sub-movements such as death metal, speed metal, grindcore, and hair metal.

Essential and highly entertaining reading for high school and undergraduate courses in popular music studies, communications, media studies, and cultural studies, the Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music and Culture offers a guide to the ultimate underground music, exploring its rich cultural diversity, resilience, and adaptability. Entries for musicians include a discography for those wanting to start or develop their music collections.

Table of Contents

List of EntriesGuide to Related TopicsIntroductionPrefaceAcknowledgmentsTimelineThe EncyclopediaHeavy Metal Music: An IntroductionEntries A-ZThe EncyclopediaSelected BibliographyIndex



"[I]nformation provided by Cogan (The Encyclopedia of Punk) and independent music scholar Phillips is enlightening and reveals the personalities driving the rise, fall, resurrection, and subsistence of profiled bands."Library Journal

"Phillips (digital technology and music culture, New York U.) and Cogan (media ecology, Molloy College) have written this encyclopedia on heavy metal to define the specific boundaries for this musical genre while being as broad and inclusive to as many performers as possible. Entries offer biographies, discographies and critical analysis of bands and solo
performers as well as books, films, festivals and record labels that are considered essential to the genre. General audiences will appreciate descriptions of sub-genres such as grindcore, grunge and death metal, and artifacts of the culture such as body piercings, leather and even the video game Guitar Hero are also explained."Reference & Research Book News

"We know what you are thinking, 'Oh no, another metal encyclopedia that will be inaccurate and useless'. However, this book is first of it's kind that actually works. The authors researched, they learned the metal scene and they debated on the content before deciding on including it. This work is an incredible collection of information that will be of use to the seasoned metal fan as well as the uninitiated. Written to be a college level textbook for a music class, this book is more 'grown up' than a lot of other similar works. . . . Overall, the diversity of subject matter and the bands included paint a fairly complete picture of the world of heavy metal. The authors have lived up to their introductory statement about being authentic and they have given the metal world the first truly worthwhile work of this type. The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music delves deep into the world of metal while allowing the novice to understand what they are experiencing. We can only hope that William Phillips and Brian Cogan may one day work together again and write more on the subject that is our lives, Heavy Metal."Metal Life Magazine

"More than 350 entries ranging from several paragraphs to several pages in length provide capsulated biographies of bands and their key members and include discographies. The authors also include entries for cultural topics such as fashion and metal and Moshing and metal subgenres like Death metal and Grunge. More than 50 black-and-white images of performers and metal fans supplement the text. There are other reference books on this topic, including The Guinness Book of Heavy Metal (1995) and The Rough Guide to Heavy Metal (2005), among others, making this volume a well-researched update on the genre."Booklist

"Most notable is its inclusiveness of the artists and related topics that best embody heavy metal's broad context. The introduction alone can assist scholars with understanding the music's complexities and the elements informing its practitioners. . . . Band entries conclude with complete discographies that enumerate an artist's creative output, followed by a list of compilation releases (i.e., greatest hits)--a beneficial approach for comprehending a band's body of work. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers."Choice

Look Inside

Other Titles of Interest

Guitar Gods cover imageStory behind the Protest Song cover imageEncyclopedia of Indie Rock cover image
The Rodgers and Hammerstein Encyclopedia cover imageEncyclopedia of Asian Theatre cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips