Books | Recommended Reading list for Metalheads
Aug 11th 2010 Patrick Saad What do you think?

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The misconceived image of a Metalhead is an uneducated person with lack of purpose in life and an aggressive violent attitude. Some online studies say that “Metal fans formed an “exclusionary youth community” which was distinctive and marginalized from the mainstream” society”.

Metalheads are truly society’s elites, at least the ones who relate to every form of art and enjoy reading. Indeed, I’ve taken the initiative of collecting some statistics on the matter: I’ve asked 30 people, young and old, band members and dedicate fans about their reading habits, and I got the following results:


Some quick observations: 6 out of 30 (20%) don’t read at all, most of the readings happen online (ebooks, online news, etc), the average number of books read per year is 30, most of the 80 % read 100+ science/art/general information articles per year and 4 out of 30 (7.5%) read more than 300 articles per year (at least 1 article per day!).

I’m sure most of you are aware of your appreciation for ‘intriguing’ topics, the same way great bands express their love for myths and concept albums about unexplained events, philosophy, life and death, corrupt politics, ignorant social issues and taboos. Therefore, I don’t see any reason not to share this following reading list for all of us to check out. I’m looking forward to your suggestions in the comments!

  • Recommended Reading List for Metalheads
  • Beyond Good and Evil by Nietzsche

Countless black metal bands have cited Nietzsche as a major influence (check our article on Nietzscheism here)

Beyond good and evil

  • Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

Dante’s masterpiece also influenced many bands (Iced Earth’s “Dante’s Inferno”, Sepultura’s “Dante XXI”, Him’s “Venus Doom”, etc).

  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World’s society changing messages naturally appealed to metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Motorhead.


  • The Call Of Cthulhu by H.P Lovecraft

Lovecraft’s horrid fiction / philosophy affected the likes of Metallica, Nile, Septic Flesh, Hypocrisy and more (check our Lovecraft and Metal article here)

  • Dracula by Bram Stoker

Dracula, what can be said here? Countless Gothic tales revolving around vampires, immortals and outcasts who live at night (check the Dracula article on LebMetal here)

  • The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe

Murders and morgues, can it get any Metal than that? Aside from the famous Iron Maiden song, it turned out that not too many bands have inspired songs from this subject, which is pretty weird. Nevertheless, a must read tale by one of the main fiction writers of the 19th century.

The Murders in the Rue Morgue

  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

A case to be admired, two sides of one person collide in this magnificent imaginative tale by Stevenson. From The Who to Iced Earth, Jekyll and Hyde has always been a subject of admiration for Metalheads.

  • The Shining by Stephen King

Psychic powers, clairvoyance, horror and supernatural powers. A recipe for Metal and of course, for the freaks out there.

  • The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien

Battle themes, horde, trolls and elves: Folk Metal at its best. The rings have captivated the minds of hundreds of Metal bands such as Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved, Helloween, Unholy and many more!

Lord of The Rings Trilogy

  • Heavy Metal Islam by Mark Levine

Mark Levine talks about the Middle East and Heavy Metal, he visits Lebanon and watches the Chordz, he attends a Death Metal live show in Egypt to be appalled by female fans in Iron Maiden and Cannibal Corpse t-shirts. A must read for all Arabs, Islam or not, since we know that repression, resistance and struggle represents us all.



Have suggestions? Add them in the comments!

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  • y3rvant0

    mesh ma32oul shou azkiya w shattourin l metaljie 😛

  • Patrick

    Actually they are. Especially if they defend political or social causes, they must have an idea of what’s going on right?

  • Mary

    Interesting article.
    I would suggest:
    -Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series
    -Harry potter – R.K. Rowlings
    -Agatha Christy, all of her books are good to read
    -Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons and The lost Symbol
    -Papillon – Henri Charriere
    -Enfance – Nathalie Sarraute
    -L’homme qui rit – Victor Hugo
    -Ken follet’s The Pillars of the eart and World without end
    -The Dark Tower – Stephan King
    And more.
    And many many other books…

  • Patrick

    Thanks a bunch Mary!

  • Teddy

    great article and i wld like to add to the list:
    -A million little pieces by James Frey
    -Salem’s lot by Stephen King
    -Grunge by Michael LAvine

  • Patrick

    Thanks Teddy 😀
    More Stephan King!

  • having read the article and read the suggestions!

    i guess my taste would deffer but definetely something EVERYONE should read is this book:

    Sophie’s world (Jostein Gaarder)

    and id also be glad to suggest:

    Leaves Of Grass (Walt Whitman)

    such social poetry should be read by metalheads and by the world!

  • nassim

    i would suggest:
    A.B.C murders – Agatha Christie
    Peril at End House – Agatha Christie
    Lord Edgware dies – Agatha Christie
    Deception point – Dan Brown
    Digital Fortress – Dan Brown
    War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
    The Lost Symbol – Dan Brown

  • Sako

    Yea, Sophie’s World is an amazing book, specially for all those who are philosophy freaks !
    There are some wild new insights about the world, life, and pretty much everything !

  • Patrick

    Thanks for the suggestions you guys, I’m sure this article will be a reference for many people!
    I’ll update you when reading some of your suggestions for sure 😀

  • Dana Halabi

    Nice idea for an article :).
    There are lots but I would like to specifically suggest Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
    It’s a must read!

  • GrayAnguish


    yeah i agree!
    besides it isnt anything like any other boring philosophy!
    u end up asking urself those questions that were asked!

  • Manar

    Good work on that article, at last some books to talk about.

    1- Nietzsche is hard to read, and interpret, and if read and interpreted, I assure you more than 95% would interpret Him wrongly.
    So Nietzsche’s books are not to suggest for just anyone =P. Meaning, one should educate oneself and reach higher levels before one starts with Nietzsche.
    Brings us to Sophie’s World.

    2- Sophie’s World, one of the routes to the sort of “Education”(Philosophical), I am talking about. Sophie’s World is one of the most suggested books for people who want to start reading philosophy, good suggestion guys!

    3- Poe’s books, short novels and poems are all suitable in that case (The book you mentioned is also an Iron Maiden Song). The Stevenson book you mentioned is a must read! (They also mention these characters in many Metal Albums). Same goes to Lovecraft.

    4- Usually, most Metalheads are those most interested in Nihilism(For Black Metal Fans=P) and Existentialism for those, I suggest :

    – Camus, The Stranger.
    – Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling.
    – Sartre Nausea
    – Dostoyevsky, Letters from the Underground and of course, as I totally agree with Dana, Crime and Punishment(One of my favorite books of all time, a total must read)
    5- Many of the books Patrick mentioned are the classics which everyone read, so finish up with those and start with the deeper ones, you’ll find later on your own. Dig deeper, more Philosophy, less literature(Russian Literature excluded=P).

    Enjoy all those.

  • Patrick

    Thanks for the feedback 😀
    All these comments will be considered as reference to many people 😀 Trust me, there are very few online articles regarding this topic.

  • Nihilist

    Lovin the review! It’s 100% true, ive read The Shining and Brave New World and they’re gr8…
    A very goood book is Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs Du Mal.
    Peste Noire, A black metal band from france, took 2 of his poems for songs.
    Another masterpiece would be “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything” by Christopher Hitchens.

  • Tim B.

    Johnny Got his gun is a good one if you like anti-war books that are full of suffering and hopelessness.

  • Manco

    Karl Edward Wagner, Robert E. Howard, and H. Rider Haggard. All dark fantasy adventure.

  • Chaz

    Hooligans by Chaz Fenwick is also a good heavy metal themed fiction novel lol