Quiz: Metal Album or Fictional Dystopia?

Christine Ro

Staff Writer

Christine writes about books for Literary Hub, VICE, and the Ploughshares blog. She occasionally writes about other topics, because someone once told her (although it seemed implausible) that there’s life outside of books. Blog: https://www.christinero.com

metal album

What’s heavier than a description of mayhem and oblivion? A description of mayhem and oblivion, set to a crushing bassline.

There’s a healthy tradition of metal bands being inspired by literature. J.R.R. Tolkien has inspired many a metal song, for better or for worse. The Sepultura album Dante XXI is based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, while Mastodon drank from the Moby Dick well to produce Leviathan. Examples like these demonstrate the power of metal music to encourage fans’ love of reading. (This is just one of the benefits of listening to metal.)

Particularly beloved of metal lyricists are the genres of science fiction and fantasy, whose richly detailed worlds are good fodder for that mainstay of ambitious heavy metal: the concept album. And one literary sub-genre that appears to have plenty in common with metal is dystopian fiction. Both are full of struggle against oppression; each recognizes the dark side of both real and imagined life.

This quiz challenges your literary and musical knowledge. Your task is to guess whether the following titles are metal albums or names of societies in dystopian novels.



  1. The Glade
  2. Nea So Copros
  3. South of Heaven
  4. One State
  5. Ænima
  6. Blackwater Park
  7. The Jester Race
  8. Gilead
  9. Master of Puppets
  10. Airstrip One
  11. Left Hand Path
  12. Hall of the Mountain King
  13. Inland
  14. Erewhon
  15. Iowa



The following are fictional dystopias: 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 13, 14.

It can be hard to recognize these in books with different titles (e.g. “Inland” in Riddley Walker and “Airstrip One” in 1984).

Also, why don’t more dystopian novels contain umlauts?



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