Science has finally provent that all those concerned authority figures back in the 1980s were wrong about heavy metal. A new study found people who listen to Death Metal aren't desensitized to violence.
With a classic psychological experiment that probes people's subconscious responses; and by recruiting death metal fans to take part. The test involved asking 32 fans and 48 non-fans listen to death metal or to pop whilst looking at some pretty unpleasant images.
Lead researcher Yanan Sun explained that the aim of the experiment was to measure how much participants' brains noticed violent scenes, and to compare how their sensitivity was affected by the musical accompaniment.
To test the impact of different types of music, they also used a track they deemed to be the opposite of Eaten.
They played "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, then a song called "Eaten" by a band called Bloodbath, and studied how people reacted to various images.
Check out "Eaten" here. The lyrics are:
"Carve me up, slice me apart. Suck my guts and lick my heart. Chop me up, I like to be hurt. Drink my marrow and blood for dessert. Eaten. My one desire, my only wish is to be eaten. The longer I live the more I'm dying to feel the pain. Eaten. I would do anything to be eaten. My one desire, my only wish is to be eaten."
The point is, extreme music doesn't necesarilly make you violent.
Prof Thompson said the findings should be "reassuring to parents or religious groups" concerned about violent music.
More broadly, there is still concern that violence in media leads to social problems. "If you're desensitised to violence, perhaps you wouldn't care if you saw someone on the street getting hurt - you wouldn't help."
But while research has found some evidence of such desensitisation in people who play a lot of violent video games, music, it seems, is different.
"The dominant emotional response to this music is joy and empowerment," said Prof Thompson. "And I think that to listen to this music and to transform it into an empowering, beautiful experience - that's an amazing thing."
Nick Holmes identified with that, saying that most of the music he enjoyed was "melancholic, dramatic, sad or aggressive and not much in-between".