There’s no better time than now to start seriously defending metal — after it was revealed that the Dayton, OH mass shooter was a metal fan himself, and even the frontman of a misogynistic pornogrind band , it’s imperative that our sacred realm of heavy music doesn’t become the scapegoat for violent behavior. So it’s with relief we report that a new study by Nick Perham, Cardiff Metropolitan University lecturer and die-hard metal fan, has concluded that metal actually offers fans a healthy way to cope with unpleasant emotions and experiences.
“Fans who were made angry and then listened to heavy metal music did not increase their anger but increased their positive emotions suggests that listening to extreme music represents a healthy and functional way of processing anger.
“[Metal] fans tend to be more open to new experiences, which manifests itself in preferring music that is intense, complex, and unconventional, alongside a negative attitude towards institutional authority. Some do have lower levels of self-esteem, however, and a need for uniqueness. One might conclude that this and other negative behaviours are the result of listening to heavy metal, but the same research suggests that it may be that listening to the music is cathartic.”
Perhaps the recent tragedy and its association with metal has something to do with this catharsis. The music doesn’t cause the violence; instead, those that suffer from mental health issues and intrusive thoughts are drawn to the music itself. Metal offers an outlet for these tendencies, a safe way to express anger and frustration without causing physical harm — however, I’m not sure if it’s healthy to fixate on these things, and whether or not the metal scene should continue to defend the free expression of the darkest corners of the mind is still up for discussion.
Aside from the mental health benefits, the study also detailed some other interesting observations:
“Heavy metal can promote scientific thinking but alas not just by listening to it. Educators can promote scientific thinking by posing claims such as listening to certain genres of music is associated with violent thinking. By examining the aforementioned accusations of violence and offence – which involved world-famous artists like Cradle of Filth, Ozzy Osbourne, and Marilyn Manson – students can engage in scientific thinking, exploring logical fallacies, research design issues, and thinking biases.”
So there you have it. Replace the apple in the “an apple a day…” idiom with siqq riffs, and you’ve got yourself the recipe to a long, happy, and super smart life. Via MetalSucks