Superdiversity and translocal brutality in Asian extreme metal lyrics

Jess Birnie-Smith, Wesley C. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores how local linguistic resources can transform into indexes of transnational subcultures. Drawing on indexicality and chronotopic frame theory, we examine how the lyricists of two Asian extreme metal bands selectively draw on Chinese, Taiwanese, and Japanese language features to reproduce a metal affect known as ‘brutality’, expanding the chronotopic configuration of forms formerly considered strictly local to communicate with a global participation framework and create complex layers of social meaning. The findings illuminate new directions for superdiversity research by questioning the presumed necessity of presupposed ‘international’ languages or explicit ‘borrowings’ in participating within a translocal scene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-63
Number of pages16
JournalLanguage and Communication
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • Chronotopes
  • Extreme metal
  • Indexicality
  • Japan
  • Superdiversity
  • Taiwan

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