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Decolonial Metal Music in Latin America

A historical and sociological journey through Latin American heavy metal music.

The long-lasting effects of colonialism—racism, political persecution, ethnic extermination, and extreme capitalism—are still felt throughout Latin America. This volume explores how heavy metal music in the region has been used to challenge coloniality and its present-day manifestations. Drawing on extensive ethnographic research in Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Argentina, Nelson Varas-Díaz documents how metal musicians and listeners engage in “extreme decolonial dialogues” as a strategy to challenge past and present forms of oppression. 

Most existing work on metal music in Latin America has relied on theoretical frameworks developed in the global North. By contrast, this volume explores the region through its own history and experiences, providing a roadmap for this emerging mode of musical analysis by demonstrating how decolonial metal scholarship can be achieved. 

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Table of Contents



Chapter 1

Metal Music’s Decolonial Role in Latin America


Chapter 2

Colonialism is Still Here / Metal is Still Here – Puerto Rico


Chapter 3

The Experience and Sound of Ethnic Extermination – Peru


Chapter 4

Dictatorship/Resistance/Inspiration – Chile


Chapter 5

Social Movements and Hybrid Sounds – Mexico


Chapter 6

Decolonizing Space and Culture amidst Revolutionary Entanglements – Cuba


Chapter 7

Navigating Racism, Classism, and Complex Airwaves – Dominican Republic


Chapter 8

Restoring Memory and Surviving Violence – Colombia


Chapter 9

Education for the Very Few – Guatemala


Chapter 10

An Elusive Word? Aguante as a Decolonial Reflection – Argentina

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