Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

English

First Advisor

Keri Holt

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis is to examine and analyze the lyrics of a Christian metal band through the lens of men and masculinities. Heavy metal music is known for its controversial and transgressive elements in its music, lyrics, and image. Through their transgressive performances, metal musicians challenge power structures informed by hegemonic masculinity. Christian metal musicians perform what Moberg calls a "double-controversy" or a double-challenge to hegemonic masculinity, as they transgress the traditions and hegemonic masculinity of the metal scene.

While many metal bands write lyrics about social issues, it is not typical for a Christian metal band to do so. Generally, Christian metal artists write lyrics on topics of spirituality and personal struggle. However, August Burns Red (ABR) have written songs on social topics, and they have taken a critical stance toward fellow Christians. Thus ABR participate in a multifaceted challenge to hegemonic masculinity through their music and lyrics. Through the lyrics of "Treatment," ABR argue for social tolerance and inclusivity, challenging the bigotry and intolerance of hegemonic masculinity. The lyrics of "Treatment" also stand as a challenge to conventional individualistic narratives of metal music. Through the lyrics of "The Wake," they argue for environmental consciousness, challenging the human-over-nature power structure that is informed by hegemonic masculinity.

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