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Gifted Children Find Heavy Metal Comforting 585

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-soothing-side-of-slayer dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Daily Telegraph is reporting that intelligent teenagers often listen to heavy metal music to cope with the pressures associated with being talented, according to research. Researchers found that, far from being a sign of delinquency and poor academic ability, many adolescent "metalheads" are extremely bright and often use the music to help them deal with the stresses and strains of being gifted social outsiders."
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Gifted Children Find Heavy Metal Comforting

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  • by Swift Kick (240510) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @08:57PM (#18437465)
    From the article:

    The researchers surveyed 1,057 members of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth - a body whose 120,000 student members are within the top five per cent academically in the 11-19 age range.

    Asked for their favourite type of music, 39 per cent said rock, 18 per cent R&B and 14 per cent pop. Six per cent said heavy metal and a third rated it in their top five genres.

    So no, not 'many adolescent metalheads', but a few happen to be gifted, compared to the rest who listen to other types of music.

    Also from the article:

    The heavy metal fans in the study had lower self-esteem and more difficulties in family relationships and friendships.

    So, if anything, one could hypothesize that gifted teenages that listen to heavy metal are more likely to have shitty self-esteem and quite possibly being perceived as asshats by family and friends, and listened to heavy metal as a way to 'cope' with the anger.

    Just you wait until they start playing those tracks backwards....
  • Re:Punk (Score:4, Informative)

    by BWJones (18351) * on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @08:58PM (#18437481) Homepage Journal
    Really? Isn't most head bangin' heavy metal disseminated by the recording industry?

    Perhaps you are revealing just how aware you are.... ;-)

    Seriously though, there is *lots* of very good music out there including metal and punk that does not come through the big RIAA dominated scene. If you will note, that is why I invoked punk.

  • RTFA, baby. (Score:5, Informative)

    by khasim (1285) <> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @08:59PM (#18437493)

    Asked for their favourite type of music, 39 per cent said rock, 18 per cent R&B and 14 per cent pop. Six per cent said heavy metal and a third rated it in their top five genres.

      6% - Heavy Metal
    14% - Pop

    More of them listed the Britney Spears genre than the Angus Young genre.

    I'd say there might be some flaws in this "study". :)
  • Pantera! (Score:3, Informative)

    by Saint Stephen (19450) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:15PM (#18437663) Homepage Journal
    Go youtube Pantera - Walk. Now.

    Or maybe watch Lemmy sing Ace of Spades on the Young Ones. Loser!
  • by mushadv (909107) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:28PM (#18437807)
  • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:09PM (#18438191) Homepage
    'Gifted Child Industry' Preys on Parents' Insecurities &cID=259124&pID=259049 []

    The "Gifted and Talented" Fraud []
    "The truth is that "gifted and talented" programs are fast-track indoctrination courses, not real academics." []
    "I could regale you with mountains of statistics to illustrate the damage schools cause. I could bring before your attention a line of case studies to illustrate the mutilation of specific individuals--even those who have been apparently privileged as its "gifted and talented." What would that prove? You've heard those stories, read these figures before until you went numb from the assault on common sense. School can't be that bad, you say. You survived, didn't you? Or did you? Review what you learned there. Has it made a crucial difference for good in your life? Don't answer. I know it hasn't. You surrendered twelve years of your life because you had no choice. You paid your dues, I paid mine. But who collected those dues?" e_print.html []
    "In 30 years of teaching kids rich and poor I almost never met a learning disabled child; hardly ever met a gifted and talented one either. Like all school categories, these are sacred myths, created by human imagination. They derive from questionable values we never examine because they preserve the temple of schooling."

    "Old-fashioned dumbness used to be simple ignorance; now it is transformed from ignorance into permanent mathematical categories of relative stupidity like "gifted and talented," "mainstream," "special ed." Categories in which learning is rationed for the good of a system of order. Dumb people are no longer merely ignorant. Now they are indoctrinated, their minds conditioned with substantial doses of commercially prepared disinformation dispensed for tranquilizing purposes. Jacques Ellul, whose book Propaganda is a reflection on the phenomenon, warned us that prosperous children are more susceptible than others to the effects of schooling because they are promised more lifelong comfort and security for yielding wholly: Critical judgment disappears altogether, for in no way can there ever be collective critical judgment....The individual can no longer judge for himself because he inescapably relates his thoughts to the entire complex of values and prejudices established by propaganda. With regard to political situations, he is given ready-made value judgments invested with the power of the truth by...the word of experts."

  • Re:Also.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by dc29A (636871) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:10PM (#18438201)
    Consider that some heavy metal is very intellegent music. Sure, when most people hear "heavy metal" they think Slipknot, Korn, Marilyn Manson and the ilk, but I can get into some Iron Maiden (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is singularly the greatest metal song ever, and not only for it's music), Metallica (80's era) has some great political meaning, and Tool is fun to listen to and try to contemplate the possible meanings of the song. Or am I the only gifted nerd who thinks so?

    The beauty of metal, especially after it's "death" in the early 90s is that it's been reborn and many new sub genres are born. Everything from Symphonic Metal to Melodic Death to Progressive to Doom to Gothic to whatever!

    Some lesser known but very talented bands:

    Therion [] - Sopranos, tenors, baritones, lot of classical instruments. Pure genius. Theli, Vovin, Secret of the Runes are great albums. Their live shows are also very interesting, they usually travel with about 5-6 opera singers.

    The Gathering [] - One of the first gothic metal bands (now more gothic/atmospheric rock). Mandylion, if_then_else, How to measure a planet, are all very good. Due to some experimental guitar work, their style has been labeled sometimes "shoe gazing".

    Tiamat [] - Pink Floyd meets Gothic Metal. Wildhoney is among the best gothic metal albums. Awesome albums are also Prey and A deeper kind of slumber. Another band that evolved from extreme metal to some weird psychedelic gothic style.

    Agalloch [] - Atmospheric, lot of doom/dark ambiance. Every record from this band is worth it's weight in gold. I do have a soft spot for Ashes against the grain.

    Nightwish [] - One of the bands who defines the Symphonic Metal sub genre. Lot of uplifting melodies, great shows. Once, Century Child and Oceanborn are really good.

    Katatonia [] - Everything from doom metal to gothic rock. They started as some extreme metal band and evolved into some weird dark/doom rock/metal mix. Viva Emptiness and The Great Cold Distance are great.

    Symphony X [] - Progressive Metal at it's best. Jazz and classical influences. Albums like The Diving Wings of Tragedy and V are their best.

    Iced Earth [] - How Metallica should have evolved. The Gettysburg 1863 trilogy is a pure masterpiece of symphonic metal. The rest of their work is more classical thrash with Iron Maidenesque melodies and gallops. Something Wicked and Dark Saga are very strong albums.

    Opeth [] - Progressive Death Metal, extreme on some albums and some dark haunting lullabies on some others. Orchid, Damnation and Deliverance are my favorites.

    Ayreon [] - One composer, Arjen Lucassen, almost every album is a concept album. Invites various singers to sing for him. Style is mostly progressive rock/metal.

    Tristania [] - Probably the most beautiful female voice in the metal world (hopefully the future Nightwish singer). Ashes and World of Glass are amazing gothic metal albums.
  • Re:Punk (Score:4, Informative)

    by Terminal Saint (668751) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:31PM (#18438397)
    Strictly speaking, punk ONLY comes from non-RIAA sources. As soon as you sell out you're not playing punk anymore, just a sad mockery of it.
  • Re:Yep. (Score:4, Informative)

    by psykocrime (61037) <(ku.oc.rekcahppc) (ta) (emircdnim)> on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @11:00PM (#18438625) Homepage Journal
    Dream Theater owns my face. And you're exactly right about social issues, how about Kick the Chair by Megadeth, or The Great Debate by DT? Better than some hip gangsta rollin on dubs.

    Yep. And how about S.D.I. by Bonfire, Fight for Your Rights by Motley Crue, Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth, When Freedom Dies by Nuclear Assault, The Needle Lies by Queensryche, Lack of Communication by Ratt, Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies, etc., etc. Lots of metal bands have written songs that were raised awareness and created discussion about important social issues. The myth that metal is all nihilistic "suicide music" is so much bullshit...
  • Re:Punk (Score:5, Informative)

    by alienuforia (1009777) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @11:57PM (#18439097)
    Really? Isn't most head bangin' heavy metal disseminated by the recording industry?

    Nope. Actually, there's a truckload of metal out there that is completely dissociated from the current Top 40 music scene. In many ways, the realm of Top 40 radio hits has been on a dying path for some years. It still persists because it was a convenient way to find good music before the dawn of the digital age, and there will always be those among the masses too lazy to find what suits them best. Top 40 music is consistently available for those people looking for catchy tunes, but I believe you will find a much richer world of music if you look deeper into the lists of independent artists and bands out there. That feeling of discovering a new group with fresh sounds is unsurpassed by the record industry's efforts to pump out "Top Hits" every month.

    If you think a record label and great music are exclusively hand-in-hand, then you are short-changing yourself in the world of music that exists today. You can find just about any genre that will blow your ears away from the lyrical depth, passion, and creative quality not found in the work of artists signed by the RIAA. Independent labels are unbound by the chains of corporate earnings and contract clauses that each record label artist must sign upon entering the business. That kind of unbridled freedom to make music is exciting in the mind of this audiophile. That's not to say that the RIAA doesn't have some great bands signed up, but the worldwide music scene has grown larger than the industry itself. You no longer need them to bring you good music when it's already sitting out there.
  • by plasticsquirrel (637166) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @11:58PM (#18439103)
    We should remember that today's kids aren't necessarily listening to Iron Maiden and early Metallica. Today when people mention "metal", kids just think of teen angst nu-metal bands like Slipknot and Mudvayne. Actual heavy metal is an entirely different subculture (and a much more varied and informed one, IMHO), and the music tends to be much more complex. One listen to a band such as Opeth or Emperor serves as a good demonstration of this point.

    But the parent is right about heavy metal soothing anger. I can't manage to stay angry after a few minutes of listening to death metal. Ironically, it's often the most calming music I have.
  • complexity (Score:2, Informative)

    by inigo_jones (1041346) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @12:41AM (#18439391)
    im suprised no one is focusing on musical complexity in this thread. The rhythms, patterns and speed of some types of metal (especially death, thrash and math metal) really sets it apart from most all other (popular) genres. it seems logical that intelligent kids would be better able to comprehend or appreciate some of these complexities.

    ok time to mention some great metal bands!
    death metal - opeth, nile, necrophagist
    melodeath - nightrage
    power metal - dragonforce
    thrash - dead head
    alt metal - porcupine tree, gojira
    doom - my dying bride
    math metal - dillinger escape plan
    american doom/stoner - high on fire, the sword
    avant garde/other - agalloch, the red sparrows, pelican
  • umm yea (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 22, 2007 @01:41AM (#18439781)
    Just because some gifted kids listen to punk, doesn't necessarily mean that kids who listen to punk are gifted.

    I was born in '82 and grew up in the suburbs with Nirvana, resulting into alternative/ indie listening. Most of my friends were outcasts and smart, but our music choices never included punk/rap. We played Doom multiplayer on ghetto 486s over COM ports to let out the "stress". But now that I think about it, I should've just played sports.

    Our HS valedictorian was a very social guy and rightfully deserved the title. He was genuinely smart and had a gf at the time. Punk listener? No.

    The "real" punks at our HS were rednecks who were rebellious just for the sake of looking threatening, but the few "smart" punks and goths (or pre-emo), were socially awkward but articulate folks.

    Now that I'm out in the real world, the "smart punk" subset grew up to become hipsters who complain how everybody else is stupid. They may be right, and very intellectual, but they haven't done jack shit with their lives. They are smart enough to go for phDs, but are delivering/making pizzas instead. And no, it's not a temporary thing.

    Alternatively, just because you listen to NPR it doesn't make you smart; but informed people tend to keep up with current events. And I've encountered plenty of those in college who can't form or defend their opinions.

    It's what you do with the fucking knowledge is what counts in the real world; not hot much information you can regurgitate or how fast you can solve a godamn sudoku puzzle. Music is just background noise.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 22, 2007 @02:36AM (#18439987)

    I would always follow up my P-chem Schroedingers with some WASP or GnR. The bad Euler expansions that got pages wide... yeah, buttrock required. Same goes for my friend who got his math degree from MIT. Buttrock.

    In fact 11 years later, I was just telling Tommy Lee's former Drum tech (who I befriended while working with in an interim sabbatical when I stepped away from my research to be a stagehand) to thank Blackie Lawless for the straight 4.0 I pulled this quarter. I will definitely put a thanks to Mr. Lawless and Carl McCoy in the special thanks for my Doctoral thesis, Perhaps Axel Rose also. I'm looking forward to Dominator coming out next month for spring quarter when I have some ugly genomics programming to do.

    I have to admit though, Heavy Metal is only part of it... I prefer the Ramones and Fields of the Nephilim as my favorite all time bands. Hell, I am probably going to actually finish my PhD just for the sake of the Ramones. But I digress.... metal, good thrashy metal... King Diamond, Krokus, GnR, Motorhead..and of course WASP... yeah, they do hit the spot after some deadly brain burning mental gymnastics.

    Anyway, the article kicks fucking ass.

  • by muffen (321442) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @06:40AM (#18441035)
    This is interesting. Growing up, I was the only one that really liked metal music, none of my friends did.
    They asked me how I could listen to it and not get stressed out or even how I could enjoy listening to it, and I always told them that it actually calms me and thats why I listen to it.

    I never looked like a metalhead (well, except a jeansjacket I had in my early teens with metallica/sepultura/megadeth marks stiched all over it), but I pretty much only listened to metal.

    Always thought I was weird in this aspect because still today, I haven't found anyone else who thinks that metal music is calming, whereas I still listen to it every now and then just to relax.

    Nice to finally see that I'm not alone in this :)
  • by StringBlade (557322) on Thursday March 22, 2007 @06:49AM (#18441075) Journal
    Jesus is fucking metal []!

Never put off till run-time what you can do at compile-time. -- D. Gries