The religious ferocity of Heavy Metal fandom is one of the most fervent in the history of subculture. The display of this fervor has been channeled and distilled throughout time into one sacred object: the battle vest. Often referred to as the Kutten (German for monk’s robe), the battle vest serves a multitude of purposes: as a musical CV, a badge of authenticity, a creative practice of identity, and a fashion statement. Defenders of the Faith documents the timeless and universal concept of fandom through the elevation of the battle vests, revering them beyond the sweaty bodies they adorn and the mosh pits they live in, to the status of religious artifact. Photographer Peter Beste has been documenting subcultures for over 20 years. His first book True Norwegian Black Metal (Vice Books) was a portrayal of the extreme end of the genre and the stunning photos contained within translated far beyond the niche fans of the music, selling tens of thousands of copies.