Thompson and colleagues conducted a study published this year aimed to identify personality traits that distinguish death metal fans from non-fans. For their investigation, they recruited 48 self-described death metal fans as well as 97 non-fans for testing purposes.
Why are death metal fans often unaffected by lyrics depicting violence against women, murder, decapitation and necrophilia? One possible explanation could be that listeners psychologically distance themselves from such content.
Thy Art Is Murder
Australian deathcore band Thy Art Is Murder has delivered their fifth record, Human Target, with an intense political undercurrent. Not surprising given that Thy Art Is Murder have long been considered leaders of their genre and known for writing songs addressing world events; but for this release there seems to be more emphasis on political themes than usual.
“Privatised prisons enforce police states in which nonviolent offenders languish for years while pharmaceuticals dull the mind,” opens this record’s first track. “Our world careens toward an inevitable climate disaster that will annihilate humanity.”
Thy Art Is Murder’s music has previously addressed an array of subjects – ranging from anti-intellectualism driving much of America’s public policy decisions, to China’s organ harvesting industry exploitation of people. However, their latest album’s lyrics take a much narrower approach, targeting globalism and fear of mortality at its root.
McMahon’s delivery and style from prior albums may no longer hold their interest, however.
Not to say the album isn’t enjoyable — it still sounds like an enjoyable death metal album with its trademark churning guitars and blast beats; moreover, there are numerous novel ideas in its entirety which should make this record a hit with some listeners.
But in order for their band to compete with Whitechapel and Carnifex – two young bands which are fast replacing them as death metal titans – they need to step up their creativity, innovation and songwriting efforts significantly in order to stay competitive in today’s overly saturated death metal scene. A few minor changes alone won’t do.
Human Target is an enjoyable album, sure to please their core fan base, yet may fail to bring them new fans and broaden acceptance for their brand of extreme metal music.
Death metal music may seem associated with violence and murder, but its roots lie elsewhere: love. Death metal’s music expresses feelings of grief and loss according to a recent study published in PLOS ONE that employed classic psychological experiments to gauge subconscious responses from its listeners. Researchers recruited 32 death metal fans and 48 non-fans for an experiment where participants looked at unpleasant images while listening either death metal or pop and were then measured for brain activity that correlates with how sensitive people were when viewing these images.
Results revealed that death metal fans could perceive more images when music was playing than when it wasn’t, likely due to increased emotion expression during music’s accompaniment. Researchers suggest death metal music as a form of “art therapy” for those suffering grief and loss.
No matter the state of your emotions, whether they be depression, anger or lack of direction there’s likely a band out there that can provide some form of therapeutic help – whether through live shows or simply listening to their songs on radio and/or at home.
Melodeath metal, also known as melodic death metal or “melodeath,” focuses on melody and is catchy as hell. Melodeath first emerged in Sweden where Entombed and Dismember popularized this form with epic hooks and galloping rhythms designed for headbanging. Later it made its way over to America through metalcore bands like Killswitch Engage who combined heavy guitar riffs with screaming vocals for added interest.
Cult Never Dies are back on top with a new album and music video available now and an extensive Asian tour scheduled. Check out their “Flayed The Swine” video below!
Sleep Token have quietly emerged as one of metal’s premier acts despite remaining anonymous. The masked collective, who nominally worship a deity named Sleep, have made headlines within the scene thanks to their singles “Chokehold” and “The Summoning”, drawing in over 250,000 monthly Spotify listeners each month with these records. Although some may find them an unlikely mix of art-pop, R&B, and djent sounds; something is drawing them in nonetheless.
Vessel stands out with their emotive and unusual vocal delivery that carries the weight of their mysterious lyrics, creating a captivating mystery. Their trademark groovy progressive sound stands out while there’s so much more going on than meets the eye; for instance, their drums chug relentlessly beneath an impressive synth layer and then come icy synth solos and an unforgettable breakdown which you won’t forget all year.
Slower tracks such as “Aqua Regia,” with its beautiful piano ballad style, transcendent electronic overtones, and angelic vocals, is sure to earn them even greater appreciation from fans; similarly “Missing Limps” may cause even deeper connections among their fanbase than previous work did.
Sleep Token are set to disprove those who questioned them as flash-in-the-pan with their debut release ‘Sundowning’ with this album titled ‘Take Me Back To Eden’, an ambitious piece that showcases all they are capable of and will no doubt cement them as one of metal’s leading acts. No doubt about it: this is their strongest work yet and may divide opinions; while Marmite-lovers may still find them controversial but this record expands their universe, pushes metal’s boundaries while exploring humanism while exploring what it means to be humane – all while expanding universe and pushing metal’s boundaries to consider what it means to be humane; all while considering what makes us humane beings! ‘Take Me Back To Eden’ will surely cement Sleep Token as one of metal’s leading acts.
Death metal music has long been popular in Scandinavian countries. As it can be both beautiful and brutal at once, its appeal likely stems from appealing to Norway and Sweden’s more conservative cultures; death metal also seems like an effective form of rebellion against social norms; its listeners often use death metal to express violent or intense thoughts that society otherwise would suppress.
But often overlooked is the underlying philosophy driving these artists to create such horrifically violent art. A lot of death metal’s ideas stem from totalitarianism – let me provide a brief history lesson to illustrate my point.
Totalitarianism is an ideology that advocates that states should exercise complete control over all aspects of society’s existence, from economy and culture through to freedom suppression and surveillance policies. Such regimes typically enact restrictive policies such as censorship, mass surveillance and suppression.
George Orwell’s novel 1984 is an iconic example of totalitarianism. Oceania, led by Big Brother and his Party, is controlled by them to the point that they name all citizens using Newspeak censoring any thought contrary to their principles and imposing strict quotas on citizens such as only allowing one child per couple, punishing any who exceed this policy with imprisonment or even death.
Though this might sound dystopic, it’s important to keep in mind that totalitarian beliefs have existed throughout history and were used by different people for various purposes at different points in time. But it was only after decades of national wars, civil wars, revolutions, and counterrevolutions did these systems begin to emerge as fully developed political theories.