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Death metal music inspires joy not violence, study shows

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 7:08 AM PT

Bloodbath band
courtesy of Bloodbath Facebook

The latest installment of a decades-long investigation into the emotional effects of music concludes that death metal music inspires "joy and empowerment," not violence, as is traditionally assumed.

According to the BBC, the study was conducted within the music lab of Australian university Macquarie University. Researchers used a psychological test called "binocular rivalry," in this instance comparing emotional reactions to "Eaten," an explicit track by Swedish death metal band Bloodbath, with those inspired by the Pharrell Williams hit, "Happy."

The test featured 80 participants, 48 of whom were described as non-fans of death metal. Lead researcher Yanan Sun said the experiment was designed to "measure how much participants' brains noticed violent scenes, and to compare how their sensitivity was affected by the musical accompaniment."

Results suggest that fans of death metal are not desensitized to violence or violent imagery.

"[Death metal] fans are nice people," Macquarie psychology professor Bill Thompson told the BBC. "They're not going to go out and hurt someone."

"The dominant emotional response to this music is joy and empowerment," said Thompson added. "And I think that to listen to this music and to transform it into an empowering, beautiful experience - that's an amazing thing."

You can read more about the study and its findings here.

[via Loudwire]

Related:  Bloodbath

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