Webster's defines "headbanging" as such: "A special dance form that encompasses violent shaking of the head in rhythm to music. One 'bangs' one's head back and forth or around so that one's hair wildly follows in correlation to the rhythm. This form is most common for rock music and heavy metal."
Wait, that's not Webster's. That's Headbangers, award-winning photographer Jacob Ehrbahn's collection of 67 headbanger portraits, shot at metal festivals in Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. Following short introductions including a glossary of nine "Styles of Headbanging" and comments on technique and physical impact--as well as his motivations for doing this at all--Headbangers dives straight into its Charybdis of churning hair and inked, wan flesh. Ehrbahn's images are more Humans of Nü Metal than Humans of New York (it's not exactly a diverse crowd) but individuality is definitely at work here, along with expressions of total abandon, catharsis, and occasional joy. That's how you know it's working.
Actually, headbangers are nothing like us. And that's fine: they don't want to be. Enjoy these images from the book, or move on to the next post, as if you never saw this.
You might also like:
- Pürr for Me: Hardcore Cats and Their Softhearted Keepers
- Gather Near, Children, and I Will Tell You a Story (All Known Metal Bands)
- The Observer: David Cronenberg's Consuming New Novel
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