Metal may be finally getting its due allegiance in the highbrow world of non-music website music analysis. In a recent article published online by The Atlantic, the genre is not only getting credit for being a valid emotional release but also for the graciousness of the artists creating the effects.
Author Leah Sottile talks to reserach experts and cites a recent study conducted by Maya Tamir and Brett Ford from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The research addressed music choices under different emotional circumstances and the results. One of the conclusions drawn from the study was that listening to perceived angry music can in fact make people feel more calm and happier because they are addressing their emotions constructively.
Sottile also spoke with Bill Kelliher of Mastodon for the musician’s side of the argument.
“When I go out to see my favorite band and I see somebody just shredding the guitar riffs I know, I just kind of laugh,” Kelliher said. “I have an overwhelming sense of happiness.”
He also addressed the misconceptions the general public may have regarding metal rockers
“Most of the people I’ve met in this genre have been super cool people to me,” he said. “Tom Araya from Slayer is one of the most laid-back, nicest, always-smiling guys. He plays [some of] the heaviest, most satanic music out there.”
He says many of the misconceptions on his band are cleared up after actual engagement.
“‘What a nice, lovely bunch of people you all are.’” he said. “I always hear that.
The fact that listening to metal doesn’t make everyone that listens to it an angry rage monster and that there’s actually beauty in heaviness isn’t a new concept. Especially to any fan of heavy music. It’d be preaching to the converted to talk about it amongst the metal community. However, to see it covered by a relatively highbrow magazine read by intellectuals might make some look at the genre in a slightly different light.