Since its inception, the Heavy Metal music genre has received a lot of bad press ranging from the ludicrous (it’s the devil’s music) to the downright absurd (it’s not even music). The truth, however, is a lot stranger than fiction and although we all know that listening to music can be therapeutic, it has now been proven that Heavy Metal can benefit your mental and physical well-being. A wild statement we know, but let’s take a look at the facts, and while we’re at it disprove a few stereotypes along the way.
Is Heavy Metal Good For You?
Yes, it is but there is a caveat to that answer because it does boil down to if you enjoy Heavy Metal or not. But if you do, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what we have to say below. But before we even get to that let’s take a look at the role music in general plays in our lives before whittling things down to Heavy Metal.
For starters, the human brain responds to music in both a physical and emotional manner. People can (and do) see music as an expression of emotion and form a personal bond with their favourite genres of music which manifest as an extension of who they are. Music can be tied to memories, both good and bad, and can bring out physical reactions in many and what a person listens to can be influenced by mood.
Ok, now back to the Heavy Metal! Regardless of the misconceptions of this misunderstood music genre, the science behind it may just point to some significant mental health benefits.
It is good for overall mental health!
It’s loud and energetic and both qualities have a positive effect on many people regardless of the lyrical content. That said, most Metal music contains emotional lyrics backed by a BIG sound. This larger-than-life approach to making music allows listeners to better process strong emotions such as anger, love and sadness. Its high-energy beats can also help alleviate stress and anxiety.
There are possible benefits to the immune system
According to a study of music undertaken in 2002, there is evidence that listening to metal music may help one’s immune system. But that can also be said for any music that appeals to a listener according to the same research.
It may assist with relieving some symptoms of depression
Low moods and loss of interest in things which were previously enjoyed are just two of the debilitating symptoms of depression and if a person loves Metal music the energy behind the songs can lessen their impact by reducing cortisol levels. This will usually result in lowered stress levels.
It offers group acceptance
Listeners of Heavy Metal are part of a brotherhood of music and generally are accepting of others that love the same and even other music genres. Going to concerts, becoming fans of Top Metal Bands and simply listening to the music that a group of people all love can reinforce bonds of friendship and trust. This helps to combat feelings of loss, loneliness and lack of acceptance.
It may indicate cognitive preferences
A previous study which took a closer looked at musical preferences and their link to cognition found that intense music such as Heavy Metal was enjoyed by listeners who tended to think more logically and in complex terms. A 2019 survey done within the development and coding community seemed to corroborate this as 90,000 participants indicated that their chosen music preference helped them to focus. 2,000 participants specifically listed Metal as the music type that helped them focus most.
Missconceptions of Metal Music Addessed
It’s violent, it’s evil, it’s loud (ok that one is true) and it’s harmful to kids were just some of the misconceptions believed about Metal Music thanks to the 80’s “Satanic Panic” and an early 90’s campaign that tried to link rising violence rates in the U.S.A to Heavy Metal Music. These are not just simply untrue, but it was also blatantly unfair to try and use such a broad brush to paint a genre of music which embraces a wide scope of emotions and topics with such negativity. Unfortunately even today many of these Metal Music Myths persist and below we’re giving you the facts:
Metal Music will harm your brain
Absolutely not, and there is NO scientific evidence to back this claim up..
Metal Music will make you angry
Although the lyrics to many Metal songs do express rage, there is no evidence to show that it desensitises the listener to violence.
Metal Music is evil
Metal Music does encompass dark topics, and some popular bands do explore unpleasant parts of the human psyche, but its fans see it as artistic expression and a creative way of breaking from the norm or dealing with things in life that are less savoury such as war and death.
Metal Music is not longer popular
Modern Heavy Metal is in a similar situation to where Las Vegas and the gambling industry were back in the 1970s. People predicted its decline and ultimately its demise, but just as the casino business has grown and prospered (not just in the US but globally) so to has the popularity of heavy music. There are still many music festivals dedicated to this form of music, such as Wacken in Germany which hosts up to 80,000 fans once a year and the online environment continues to be dominated by metal bands such as Rammstein and Iron Maiden. Just as the aforementioned casino industry moved into popular culture over the last few decades so has Heavy Metal. It has transcended music and become a lifestyle icon that has influenced the movie industry starting with the legendary “This is Spinal Tap” in 1984 and carrying on until today with the release of Studio 666 by the Foo Fighters. It’s not just t-shirts and jackets which fly the metal flag either because other industries have also jumped on the bandwagon and this includes console games such as Guitar Hero: Metallica, Rock Band and Iron Maiden: Legacy Of The Beast. There have even been a series of Slot Games themed around some of the biggest names in the industry, including:
- Guns n’ Roses
- And others…
All of these can be found in major global casinos and australiainternetpokies.com sites and continuously attract metal and heavy music fans onto their casino floors and into the online casino software. There have even been a few spinoff games such as The Osbournes slots from Microgaming. This has resulted in an ongoing pop culture relevance that is most certainly not on the wane and is in fact going from strength to strength.
How Metal, and music in general, impacts you is down to personal taste and how comfortable you feel with the genre and the topics it covers. If you love it, it will certainly be beneficial to listen to it, but so would any music genre that a person loves or identifies with. So yes, although it can rightly be said that Metal Music is something to soothe the savage soul, the same can be said about all forms of music.