One of the aspects of heavy metal music that keeps it a young person’s game is the centrality of headbanging. For instance, it is very, very difficult to do your taxes while headbanging, and this fact constitutes a central part of its appeal. Along with pogoing and moshing, there is a visceral thrill to headbanging that perfectly fits the music to which it is linked.
Danish photographer Jacob Ehrbahn spent the summer of 2012 traveling to various European heavy metal festivals (specifically Denmark’s Copenhell, Germany’s Wacken Open Air, and Sweden’s Metaltown) and capturing those jubilant instants in time when the heavy metal fans were at the moment of extreme exultation—in mid-headbang, naturally.
Ehrbahn’s intense, joyous portraits of music fandom in action have been collected in a book called Headbangers, which will be available in September and is available for pre-order.