Introduction: reflections on the literary imagination in progressive rock and metal

Chris Anderton, Lori Burns

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapter


This introductory chapter offers a brief overview of the intersections between the broad-based genre formations known as progressive rock and metal in order to support the inclusion of these forms alongside each other within one text. The roles of the concept album and broader transmedia storytelling are discussed, recognizing that there is a strong identification between such presentational forms and the albums released by progressive rock and metal artists. The final section outlines the different sections and chapters that comprise the book, chapters that address the fundamental question which underpins this book: “How are narratives and fictions translated into the works of progressive rock and metal artists and bands?” Our authors and their objects of analytic inquiry offer global and diverse perspectives on these genres and their literary connections: from ancient times to the modern world, from children’s literature to epic poetry, from mythology to science fiction, and from esoteric fantasy to harsh political criticism. The musical treatments of these literary materials span the continents from South and North America through Europe and Asia. The collection presents critical perspectives on the enduring and complex relationships between words, music, and diverse cultures, as these are expressed in progressive rock and metal.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Progressive Rock, Metal, and the Literary Imagination
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 4 Jul 2024

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