Islamic religion and death metal music in Indonesia

Kieran James, Rex John Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
110 Downloads (Pure)


The Bandung (Indonesia) Death Metal scene is known for its secular orientation whereby religion and religious belief are viewed as private matters which should be restricted to the private realm. Metalheads may freely go the mosque or church but in their capacities as private citizens only; religious identification and activity is not permitted to infringe upon the scene’s dominant discourses and practices. We look at the differences in discourses and practices between the Jakarta-based One Finger Movement (Islamic) bands and the Bandung secular scene and we consider the response of Indonesian metalheads to the Islamic bands. We also investigate the dominant discourses and practices of the secular Bandung scene and highlight the commitment of its members as an outgrowth of the Sundanese pride movement and as part of the broader historical rivalry between Sundanese Bandung and the capital-city Jakarta. We also look at the history and perspective of the band Saffar and why its Bandung scene location is significant in explaining its members’ attitudes towards the Islamic bands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-152
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Popular Music Studies
Issue number3
Early online date3 Sep 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2018


  • Bandung
  • Death Metal music
  • Heavy Metal music
  • Indonesia
  • Indonesian Islam
  • Indonesian popular music
  • One Finger Movement
  • Jakarta


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