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“Why do people like Death Metal?”
It’s a question sometimes asked, and often rhetorically, but now it has a scientific answer.
A study from Macquarie University shines a light on the emotions Death Metal fans feel when they listen to their favourite music… and they’re not the ones you might expect.
Writing in The Conversation today, Macquarie University researchers Bill Thompson and Kirk Olsen say they’ve found those guttural vocals, chugging guitars and lyrics about murder and torture give rise to positive feelings like power, joy and even peace.
“Fans, it seems, can selectively attend to particular acoustic and lyrical attributes of violent music in a way that promotes psychosocial goals,” Thompson and Olsen write.
However, they also note it’s a vastly different story for non-fans, who were left feeling “tense, afraid and angry” after being made to listen to the same music for the study.
So it looks like Death Metal is an acquired taste. Is it for you? Have a listen to Cannibal Corpse’s “Hammer-Smashed Face” below and see how you feel…