“I am Satan!” black metal, Islam and blasphemy in Turkey and Saudi Arabia

Jonas Otterbeck, Douglas Mattsson, Orlando Pastene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


During the last decade, black metal bands have recorded anti-Islamic music in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Black metal is renowned for being anti-authoritarian and especially against organized religion. As such, black metal music is a strong expression of protest against, and repudiation of, society, manifesting social pressure, and contrasting with the discursively normal. Using the results from two case studies – one on Turkey, the other on Saudi Arabia – this article argues that black metal expressions in the two countries must be perceived as subcultural expressions to the Islamic ideology of the respective states as well as the dominant culture in society at large. Further, we argue that a multimodal, semiotic reading of the bands’ musical expressions opens up a field for Islamic studies seldom approached before.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-286
Number of pages20
JournalContemporary Islam
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Black metal
  • Blasphemy
  • Islam
  • Islamic studies
  • Saudia Arabia
  • Turkey


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