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Dr Owen Coggins
Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow

Gaskell Building 027


Owen has a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (September 2019 – September 2022), investigating ambiguity, ideology and marginal religiosity in black metal music culture. He previously worked as a Researcher at music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, and before that completed a PhD in Religious Studies and Music at the Open University.

Owen’s interdisciplinary research concerns how religion, particularly in marginal or oppositional forms, is imagined, practiced, discussed and represented in popular music cultures. Ambiguity and ambivalence are often important issues in this research, especially when exploring music which features noise, distortion or other extreme sounds.

A monograph, Mysticism, Ritual and Religion in Drone Metal, was published by Bloomsbury Academic in 2018, and was awarded the International Association for the Study of Popular Music's 2019 Book Prize. Other publications have appeared in Popular Music, Implicit Religion, Metal Music Studies and elsewhere, addressing questions of reception, ambivalence and ideology in noise, industrial, extreme metal and other popular music genres.


PhD, Religious Studies & Music, The Open University.

MA, Religions, SOAS, University of London.

BA, Philosophy, King's College, University of London.

Newest selected publications

Coggins, O. (2019) 'Distortion, restriction and instability: Violence against the self in depressive suicidal black metal'. Metal Music Studies, 5 (3). pp. 401 - 418. ISSN: 2052-3998 Open Access Link

Journal article

Coggins, O. (2019) 'Dirty, soothing, secret magic: individualism and spirituality in New Age and extreme metal music cultures'. Popular Music, 38 (01). pp. 105 - 120. ISSN: 0261-1430 Open Access Link

Journal article

Coggins, O. (2018) 'Evil I?: Witchfinders and the magical power of ambiguity at stake in doom metal'. Metal Music Studies, 4 (2). pp. 309 - 328. ISSN: 2052-3998 Open Access Link

Journal article

Coggins, O. (2018) 'Mysticism, Ritual and Religion in Drone Metal'. London: Bloomsbury Academic. ISSN 13: 978-1350025097


Coggins, O. (2017) 'Imagined Drone Ecologies: Listening to Vibracathedral Orchestra'. Evental Aesthetics, 6 (1). pp. 63 - 71.

Journal article
More publications(15)