The music is loud, fast and aggressive and the lyrics can be gruesome and violent. But don’t jump to any conclusions – death metal fans are nice people. Really.
Macquarie University in Australia used a cannibalism-themed track by Swedish band Bloodbath to determine if death metal fans were desensitized to violent imagery. The findings, in short, were “no.”
"(Death metal) fans are nice people," said Professor Bill Thompson told the BBC. "They're not going to go out and hurt someone."
The study was done by recruiting 80 people – 32 death metal fans and 48 non-fans. The participants were asked to listen to one track by Bloodbath and “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, while being shown corresponding violent and non-violent images. Researchers studying their reactions found participants from each category reacted to both stimuli the same way.
Bloodbath lead singer Nick Holmes told the BBC he wasn’t surprised. "The majority of death metal fans are intelligent, thoughtful people who just have a passion for the music," he said. "It's the equivalent of people who are obsessed with horror movies or even battle re-enactments."