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FOR THE DON’T KNOW, metal music—especially its more extreme forms like death metal and grindcore—sounds like melodies written by angry cavemen. It was punishing, chaotic, brutal, aggressive, frenzied. But like the “caveman” concept itself, recent research has constructed a much more nuanced picture of the genre. Scholars and fans alike are now exploring its role in emotion regulation—and its potential to help us survive the catastrophe to come. A little ambitious? Possible. But metal is always impudent.

Metal emerged as a distinct genre from rock in the early 1970s, as artists were encouraged to create heavier music. According to Zett, a formally trained musician and guitarist in the black/thrash band Kömmand, “First and foremost, metal must have distorted guitars. It also usually has a riff — a repeating cycle of musical ideas — and is usually ‘heavy’, i.e. loud or crisp.”

Beyond that, what makes metal metal difficult to put into words. Its particular mix of drum-and-bass rhythms, distortion, and vocal overtones—from growls to soaring falsetto—set it apart from punk and other edgy styles. But even those qualities don’t get to the heart of the matter, because metal contains a lot of it.

“For whatever kind of music you like, there are metal bands you might like too,” says Kim Kelly, a journalist who has spent years covering the topic for publications such as Noisey and MetalSucks. “If someone likes smooth melodies and clean singing and an emotional, atmospheric vibe, there’s a metal band for that. If you’re into hip-hop, there’s crossover and connective tissue there too.”

Metalheads aren’t who you think they are

Just as the genre is more complex than you might think, so is the sheer number of its fans. They are more diverse—and less angry—than the stereotypes might suggest. To see also : In terms of fun: making music on Lake Avon. For starters, they’re everywhere: 145 countries in the world have at least one active metal band by 2021.

And contrary to popular belief, fans don’t all look like burly Vikings. Laina Dawes, ethnomusicologist and author of What Are You Doing Here? A Black Woman’s Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal, has seen a lot when investigating why young black Americans tend to be attracted to intense music. His interviews with artists and fans over the past few years have shown that punk, powerviolence, grindcore, and other genres known to be explicitly political can offer a form of catharsis for young people dealing with individual and systemic oppression.

In the ’70s through the early ’90s, rap filled that need, pairing raw production with the relentless dissection of police violence and racism, poverty, and life on the fringes of the economy. “Rap used to be more extreme than it is now, and that’s where young black people got their ya-ya and were able to deal with that internalized anger,” he said. But Dawes’ research shows that modern tracks, with their slick audio engineering and broader lyrical focus, don’t offer the same release. “Right now heavy metal might be a better genre to be involved in,” he added.

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OK, metal is intense. But is it bad for you?

Despite growing evidence, stereotypes of brooding and violent metal fans are spreading, much to the concern of parents and educators. Because of this, interdisciplinary researchers have paid a lot of attention to how this music can shape the mind. This may interest you : Joint Statement by the United States of America and Denmark on Cooperation in Quantum Information Science and Technology – United States Department of State. They’ve looked at the personality traits of metalheads, questioned their propensity for self-harm and violence, and even talked about the risk of brain injury related to headbanging.

Metalhead do have something in common, just not what outsiders think. According to a 2013 study at the University of Westminster and HELP University College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, they tend to care more about being considered “unique” than the average person; they are also less religious and have lower self-esteem. In 2015, Stanford and Cambridge University psychologists reported that people with “systematic” traits — who tend to analyze things and look for patterns — are more likely to enjoy intense music and reject softer singers. In 2010, psychologists at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland found that headbangers are attracted to theatrics, the same preference as classic fans. In fact, the only thing that separates the groups is age: Younger people tend to prefer Metallica over Mozart. And research from Macquarie University in Australia published in 2018 shows that a penchant for brutal songs doesn’t make serial killers; listening does not desensitize fans to violence.

But that doesn’t mean that metal doesn’t affect us. A 2015 study surveyed 377 people who were metalheads in the 80s. Although they often engaged in risky “sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll” habits as teenagers, they were also significantly happier during that time than their peers—and adjusted better as adults. It may be that being on the margins of a culture can help a person develop a strong sense of self, and it may even help build supportive friendships.

If you ask fans why they listen to metal music, they’ll probably tell you that it makes them happy—and some research shows that heavy songs can even help us deal with our emotions. A 2015 study from the University of Queensland, Brisbane assessed how extreme music affects anger processing. The researchers first directed 39 metalheads to “anger induction” by strategically encouraging them to remember the incident that made them particularly angry, then instructing some of them to listen to metal from their own playlists. If the general assumption about intense music that actually causes anger is true, the study subjects would become more agitated when they listened to it. But that wasn’t the case: Participants reported feeling positive and “inspired” during and after the metal sesh. The authors argue that intense music can provide an outlet for difficult feelings rather than being their origin.

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Could metal help us save the world?

When you accept that metal builds community (and often serves as the ultimate cry of cleansing), then headbanging can help us survive tough times—including, according to one scientist, the impending climate apocalypse. To see also : Bill Schubart: Will artificial intelligence improve life or just make business more profitable?.

Be patient with us here. Maintaining mental and emotional resilience—that is, processing difficult feelings—will be the key to surviving the upheaval and building a stronger future. That’s why David Angeler, an ecologist and complex systems researcher, published a 2016 paper in SpringerPlus about the potential of metals to keep us going. According to Angeler, building a resilient society depends on a complex set of factors that affect systems and individuals. Anything that helps people deal with their own emotions, including the catharsis that many people feel when listening to metal music, also helps keep their community strong.

But Angeler’s idea is more than that. What if metalheads could collaborate with the sustainability community? “We need to return to the era of Romanticism, where various fields, such as art and science, were not mutually exclusive,” he said. If you think of metals and sustainability as complex ecosystems analogous to those we see in nature, it’s easy to imagine how the two could interact and create change at a systemic level for humans.

In some ways, this has already happened. An increasing number of bands—particularly in black metal, thrash, and grindcore—focus in their lyrics on topics such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental collapse. After all, if your brand is gloomy and doomed and raging against the engines, there are few things that are more universally unsettling. When actions talk about the problems they see every day, they help tell others about their experiences and let people know that they are not alone in their grief. Some fans may even become scientists themselves, or run for office. Sustainability specialists, in turn, can listen to challenges and concerns in music and shift their studies to areas that address those concerns. That kind of connection and feedback, says Angeler, can result in “reduced suffering, reduced costs, and more tolerance.” He adds that metal’s rich sound structure — and the extent to which they vary between subgenres — can prove ideal for creating artistic representations of complex issues. One can get a harmonic and empowering feeling through symphonic metal, for example, while conveying chaos with mathcore or hopelessness on a doom track.

Could other types of music also provide this benefit? Of course. But metal’s consistent will to overcome ugly truths, its penchant for turning adversity into emotional resilience, and its ability to create communities around the world make it a model for how art can continue to provide us with meaning and support, even when everything around us exists. falling apart. “Metal never gets the credit it deserves,” says Kelly, a music journalist. “Metal doesn’t want your approval, but fuck it for disrespecting us.”

This story originally appeared in the Summer 2022 Metal issue of PopSci. Read more PopSci+ stories.

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Does listening to heavy metal make you fat?

‘Heavy metal’ has taken on a whole new meaning, according to the British tabloid newspaper, Daily Star. Under the heading ‘Metals Makes Us All Heavy – Hard rock is linked to fatty food cravings’, the newspaper reports that the type of music we listen to can determine what foods we eat, and subsequently, the size of our waistline.

Why do teenagers listen to heavy metal music? He says young people turn to heavy metal because they find an escape from reality and like that some music reflects the pain they are feeling, making them feel less alone. But the results also found that some teens had an elevated mood by listening to heavy metal music.

Does listening to metal make you edgy?

Listening to ‘extreme’ music makes you calmer, not angrier, research suggests. Heavy metals are more commonly associated with headbanging, Satanism, moshpits, and the beheading of small mammals.

What are the effects of listening to heavy metal?

Studies have shown an association between listening to heavy metal music and an increased risk of suicide or desensitization to violence, but these often fail to account for external factors, such as poor family relationships, drug abuse and feelings of alienation.

Is listening to heavy metal healthy?

Heavy metals are no exception. If you like metal music, listening to it can provide many benefits for your mental health and well-being. Many fans may be moved by his powerful voice and find solace in the emotionally intense lyrics. Listening to this genre of music can improve symptoms of stress and depression.

Is metal music good for your brain?

For example, “extreme” music genres, such as heavy metal, seem good for reducing negative emotions and managing anger and depression. Holding back these negative emotions will pay dividends for your brain’s ability to function at peak performance.

How does metal music affect your brain? The researchers found that, instead of making them angrier, listening to extreme music improved their emotional state, and could help process anger. In a 2018 study at Macquarie University, death metal fans reported using the emotional content of music to motivate them or deal with angry feelings.

Is metal music good for mental health?

Listening to this genre of music can improve symptoms of stress and depression. Metal can also help some people feel welcome, to be part of a community of like-minded fans. People who like metal may also have higher cognitive functions based on logic and scientific thinking.

Does metal make you smarter?

In fact, certain metal genres can make you smarter, improve critical thinking skills and memory retention. This phenomenon was seen in a study at Heriot-Watt University.

Is metal music good for studying?

Metal music can improve memory skills and help your imagination grow stronger. Overall, metal music was preferred by many students during study sessions to help focus and remember information better.

Are metalheads nice?

But in addition to music that sounds the same and shares similar standards of excellence, metalheads and classical fans alike have a similar temperament. According to research from Heriot-Watt University, both groups of fans tend to be creative and gentle individuals, comfortable in their own skin.

Why are metalheads so happy? “People feel that their anger matches the music when they listen to metal music, and therefore process it more easily. Metal formulates a safe and healthy space for this to happen. In some cases, metal also combats loneliness and keeps us from feeling alone in this emotion, allowing listeners to accept it.â€

Are metal people nice?

This reveals that death metal fans are not “sensitive” to violent images. The findings, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, “[Death metal] fans are good people,” said Prof Bill Thompson, from the Australian university, based in Sydney. “They’re not going to go out and hurt someone.”

Are metalheads calmer?

There’s been some pretty interesting research depicting metals in a favorable light lately. We’ve learned that people who listen to metal are less likely to cheat on their partners, metalheads are the most loyal fans of music and metal makes you happy. Now we have research that metal also calms you down.

Can music make you lose weight?

Endorphins are “feel good” a hormone released after prolonged exercise, dancing, laughter, excitement and stress. These endorphins have been shown to greatly reduce appetite and mobilize energy stores i.e. burn fat. Music can even have the ability to “reduce the point” fat stores, especially in the stomach.

Can music make your metabolism go faster? More recent findings suggest a role for music in metabolic recovery from stress, regulation of gastric and intestinal motility, moderation of cancer-associated gastrointestinal symptoms, and enhancement of lipid metabolism and lactic acid clearance during exercise and post-exercise recovery.

Can your mind make you lose weight?

A new study shows that applying a simple mind image technique can significantly improve weight loss. Share on Pinterest The mental imagery technique is very useful in helping people lose weight. Recently, Dr. Linda Solbrig and her colleagues, from the University of Plymouth in England, conducted the study.

How can I lose weight by listening to my body?

Learning to listen to your body’s reaction to food can do more than just help you lose weight. Research shows that mindful eating–a nonjudgmental awareness of the complete eating experience—can contribute to weight loss, decreased negative emotions, and a healthier relationship with food.

Can listening to music make you fat?

‘Heavy metal’ has taken on a whole new meaning, according to the British tabloid newspaper, Daily Star. Under the heading ‘Metals Makes Us All Heavy – Hard rock is linked to fatty food cravings’, the newspaper reports that the type of music we listen to can determine what foods we eat, and subsequently, the size of our waistline.

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