Heavy metal. Punk rock. Hardcore. Screamo. Metalcore. The heavier side of the rock genre has evolved and diversified plenty since its breakout years in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Many regard it as the antithesis to the jams of the “free love” movement in the 1960’s that clashed with the sociopolitical upheaval of the era (like the continued U.S. involvement in Vietnam). Consequently, a new form of expression found its way into pop culture through angst-ridden themes and heavier tunes.
From the big four (Metallica, Megadeth, Antrhax, and Slayer) to newer groups making waves like A Day to Remember, Parkway Drive, and System of a Down, the list goes on and on of bands who have a following transcending generations. Although the sub-genres have accumulated a broad and dedicated fan base, debate still rages regarding metal’s link to inducing anger and facilitating delinquent and violent behaviors. For too long these antagonistic claims have been founded on loose assumptions and generalizations, but it is not an accurate representation. That’s right, metal may have a myriad of positive effects on the health of its listeners, like facilitating personal development, enabling the ability to deal with difficult emotions and process anger, and even creating communities.