The Invocation at Tilburg

Mysticism, Implicit Religion and Gravetemple’s Drone Metal


  • Owen Coggins The Open University



Heavy Metal Music, Mysticism, Drone, Certeau, Implicit Religion


This paper investigates implicitly religious practices and explicitly (though ambiguously) religious descriptions of the extreme heavy metal music subgenre of drone metal, in a case study focussing on a concert tour of the band Gravetemple. Responding to a conception of “experience” found in scholarship on mysticism and in Bailey’s theoretical framework of Implicit Religion, I suggest a contribution via the work of Michel de Certeau. In The Possession at Loudon (1966), Certeau investigates a seventeenth century incident of demonic possession by presenting a “history of the history” of the event in a compilation of documents with commentary. Adapting this methodology to include ethnographic participant observation fieldwork at Gravetemple concerts and interviews with audience members, I also examine and present here fragments of previews, promotion material, artwork, reviews and comments by attendees, in order to assess the relation between such texts, understandings of implicit religion, and listeners’ experience of drone metal.


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How to Cite

Coggins, O. (2015). The Invocation at Tilburg: Mysticism, Implicit Religion and Gravetemple’s Drone Metal. Implicit Religion, 18(2), 209–231.