Doom Metal and Experiential Richness

Do you know your Doom Metal from your Goregrind, or your Blackened Death Metal from your Funeral Doom? If not, help is at hand in the form of a taxonomic ‘map’ which was developed by Jonathan Nicholas Piper as part of his PhD in Critical Studies/Experimental Practices at the University of California, San Diego.


The thesis is entitled ‘Locating experiential richness in doom metal’. In which the author emphasizes that:

“ […] doom metal provides a pleasurable musical experience. This experience envelops the listener in something that might be variously described as special, magical, spiritual, amazing, or any number of other descriptors that place it outside of everyday, rational existence. It allows, or even forces, one to experience one’s body in a novel way. Portions of that body of which we are normally unaware are suddenly at the forefront of consciousness; the body is subjected to processes that defy the strict control of rational subjectivity. It is an encounter with the immanence of these portions and processes, a reminder that we are not so simple and cleanly packaged as we might like to think. In these moments, practitioners of doom metal are opened up to experiences, knowledges and understandings from which they are typically cut off. They are provided with a space in which difficult and profoundly significant questions can be explored safely and meaningfully, all the while finding gratifying pleasure in the present moment.”

BONUS: Jonathan Piper is lead tuba player for the California-based band Aquapuke. Here they are performing at UCSD, Nov. 2011. [tuba starts at around 1:00]