Don't Blame Metal! Page 2
by C.J. Cain

"The youths must have been doing the devil's work because they were listening to heavy metal when they decided to (insert name of criminal act here.)" Guess what? The straight-A student down the block also listens to heavy metal during study breaks! The type of music may be particular among an age group more prone to questionable activities, but it is not a direct cause. "Well maybe, but there's all that violent head-banging and the words are all about death and destruction." Heavy metal can be a physical and emotional release for stress. I'm sure everyone has heard of primal scream therapy, where a person is encouraged to scream his or her loudest as a way to alleviate stress. Heavy metal is primal scream therapy. I think it is far better to pump a fist into the air than it is to pound it into a spouse or child who makes a convenient scapegoat. Head-banging can feel as therapeutic as drawing your knees up into your chest and rocking back and forth in a rocking chair.

As for the lyrics, they can help promote a feeling of normalcy in a person who feels out of touch with the world around them. A classic example is Metallica's "Fade to Black." It expresses an intense feeling of desperation in words, letting listeners know that they are not the only ones who have experienced the feelings they may be going through - it provides a support system of sorts.

Heavy metal is entertaining, aggressive, and can be thought provoking, but it is not a killer, nor is it a lethal weapon. Instead of concentrating on what the lyrics to a song are saying, be aware of what people in your life are communicating by words and actions. Never be afraid of what "stigmas" you think will be attached to whatever level of trained professional help you seek for yourself or others - the alternative is sometimes fatal.