A pseudo-rebellion: Ujung Berung metalheads in the contestation of identity space in Bandung, 2010–22

Zeffry Alkatiri, Mochamad Aviandy, Fajar Muhammad Nugraha, Hawe Setiawan, Melisa Indriana Putri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social segregation in Bandung, Indonesia, is the primary cause of stratification of youths in the city’s northern, southern and eastern regions. As a region filled with colonial legacy and inhabited by the upper-middle class, northern Bandung is equipped with infrastructures for youth activities. Southern and eastern Bandung, on the other hand, carries an image of rather undeveloped regions. This social, political and economic background has prompted Bandung youths to compete among each other, specifically in terms of expressing their identity through music. In particular, youths from Ujung Berung express their identity through metal music due to the genre’s perceived capability of conveying youth aspirations, marginality and identity expression in public space. Through djent and headbang-ing, these youths held onto a do-it-yourself (DIY) ethos to fight against political and capital-related power. Nonetheless, as the movement developed, these youths failed to compete with the capital of major record labels. With these issues as a back-ground, this article aims to examine the youths’ rally against the power of politics and capital. We assume that their resistance against the contestation of identity space in 2010–22 Bandung consists of four layers. Based on the data we gathered during observation, we argue that the youths’ resistance was rather a pseudo act which granted them mobility to a higher social status. This article is a result of a six-month qualitative research project conducted from June to November 2022 in Bandung. The data were gathered from various relevant sources, including books, articles, media social news coverage and other internet sources. In addition, twelve informants actively involved in the Bandung metal scene were interviewed. A cultural studies approach was taken during the whole process of observation and analysis of the aforementioned data and phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-255
Number of pages23
JournalMetal Music Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • four layers of struggle
  • Indonesia
  • metal movement
  • metal music
  • segregation
  • youth culture


Dive into the research topics of 'A pseudo-rebellion: Ujung Berung metalheads in the contestation of identity space in Bandung, 2010–22'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this