Critique on Heavy Metal Music: A New Subculture in American Society by Robert L. Gross

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As a controversial music genre, heavy metal music has made a strong influence on American culture and the mass media. While heavy metal‘s popularity has increased, a growing number of fans have established a new youth subculture and devoted themselves into it. In the article “Heavy Metal Music: A New Subculture in American Society”, Robert L. Gross introduces the heavy metal music and its subculture. He organizes his article in a good way in that he examines five aspects of heavy metal music and the subculture. It does not matter whether the readers know heavy metal or not; they can easily understand how the subculture was built and how it evolved from these five detailed aspects. In addition to some common issue such as social impact brought by the heavy metal subculture, this article especially elaborates on the economics of heavy metal, which is a rare discussed topic. Gross views heavy metal subculture as a financially lucrative subculture shaped by metal marketers trying to make profits through it. His fresh viewpoint is interesting and worth of thinking. However, he has only few assertions expressing his opinions while the article is mostly filled with other citations. Besides, his assertions are obscure that make this article seems to be a good introduction to heavy metal but not a persuasive essay. First of all, I appreciate Robert Gross arranging these five aspects in a proper order. We can imagine these five aspects as five chapters in a textbook. These chapters are correlated and placed in a successively significant order. He first introduces heavy metal from the origin and parameters of heavy metal, and then he further expands his ideas to the main point: heavy metal subculture, which includes metal fans, dispersed messages and economic components. Gross mentions the term “cult” in the aspect “the cult of heavy metal” to name and define those heavy metal fans in his own way. Subsequently he uses cult in the next aspect “the message behind...
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