Finally getting out of the maze

Understanding the narrative structure of extreme metal through a study of 'Mad Architect' by Septicflesh

Many academics assume that extreme metal music cannot be identified to an understandable narrative, because of the difficulty to perceive the lyrics and the poor harmonic and melodic structure. The author of this paper demonstrates the opposite, using a methodology called narratology, derived from literary studies and musicology. She analyses the song 'Mad Architect' from symphonic death metal group Septicflesh (2011), which narrates the alienation felt by a protagonist who thinks that he is lost in a maze before he realizes that this maze is actually a construction of his mind. The specific narrative of the song, which evokes the madness and the alienation felt by the protagonist, will be better understood by analysing jointly the lyrics (using narratological parameters being the time, the modality and the voice of the narrative) and the musical parameters (namely harmony, melody, vocal timbre or sound technology).

Journal Metal Music Studies
Year 2016
Volume 2
Issue 1
Pages 87-108

St-Laurent, Méi-Ra (2016) Finally getting out of the maze: Understanding the narrative structure of extreme metal through a study of 'Mad Architect' by Septicflesh. In: Metal Music Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 87-108. Available at https://openmusiclibrary.org/article/183977/.

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