Heavy Metal in The Times of War – Syria’s Refuge
Heavy metal is a genre of music that has a group of related styles. These styles are powerful, intense and accompanied by shrieking, yelling and incomprehensible lyrics. They are driven by the aggressive sounds of a distorted guitar. These aggressive sounds and themes of death are, surprisingly, comforting and offer solace to war victims around the globe. Artists from the war-ravaged country of Syria are travelling to London for the first ever world heavy metal congress to join in the celebration of this genre.
Heavy Metal Heals and is Remarkable
Most often, people wonder if heavy metal can really offer solace to those who see bloodshed, bombings, destruction and war around them on an almost daily basis? Can the music drown the sounds of the battle? Can it offer peace when metal is itself associated with destruction?
A recent study found that this extreme music genre helps to calm and soothe the frayed nerves of the angry listeners. It is believed that music fans usually like to listen to music that matches their emotions. Hence, heavy metal helped in lessening the sadness and increasing positivity in its listeners.
The shouting, shrieking and the distorted music, acts as an outlet to the pent up feelings of people, and that’s exactly what humans do when they are angry or sad. They yell, shout, they bang things. They scream, and they vent any uncomfortable feelings inside them. So, even though the lyrics are incomprehensible to the untrained ear and is distorted, it appeals to the segment of people who are living in troubled times with war and killings around because that’s precisely what they feel inside. It is a great way to release all the pent up feelings they encounter every day.
On the contrary, heavy metal is associated with evil or is considered violence-inducing. It has the stigma of being the Devil’s choice of music. It brings out the dark side of human experience which is just what people from war strife areas are experiencing and hence the solace is a surprise. For some people, playing heavy metal is akin to meditation. It releases them of their restlessness and negativity and brings peace into their lives. Another reason why people from troubled areas take to heavy metal is because they cannot go out on the streets and start shouting or abusing the people responsible for their condition. So, taking to music or art, going up on stage and saying the same things in the guise of music helps them talk about their feelings and supports them.
Many parents in Afghanistan are encouraging their children to play heavy metal because they feel it is better to release their feelings in this form rather than take up something they may regret later on in life. The parents even go and watch the concerts of their children in an attempt to understand what their children are experiencing and how it is affecting them. So, even though heavy metal is unpalatable to quite a lot of music lovers, it has its own fan following, and it does just what other music genres do; bring peace to the fans.