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Washington Think Tank with W.: What makes metal music scary?

Today’s Question: What makes metal music scary?

Friends, I love Halloween. I have fond memories of trick-or-treating with my family (always wearing a coat over my costume because we typically got our first snow right before Halloween) and of going to fall festivals with my friends. Even the most conservative people can find something to enjoy about the season, even if it is just the colorful displays of death and decay in the leaves of their trees. However, something interesting often happens around Halloween. Our innate desire to embrace the frightful is often enhanced as a cultural norm. Those who don’t typically fare in the darker arts as we metalheads do will find themselves indulging in horror movies or “scary” music. Why? There’s something raw and primal about tapping into your fears. There’s a release of endorphins as you embrace the animal instinct of fight or flight. It can be thrilling to be terrified.

We metal fans should know this more than most as we often willingly force ourselves to confront the confounding and face something frightening. I’ve previously written about bands that legitimately scare me. See the exhibits below.

Exhibit A: Ævangelist


Continue exploring the primal fear of metal at The Toilet Ov Hell.

Ævangelist: F**ked-Up Playlist + Video


I’ve written fairly extensively about how unnerving the inhuman black/death/industrial horror that Ævangelist spew out can be, and on Saturday night, I bore witness to its evil made flesh. The band ended a short tour at Brooklyn’s Saint Vitus Bar, playing alongside Baltimore doom crushers Oak, Profound Lore death technicians Artificial Brain, and new death/doom outfit Disparish. It was fucking terrifying, in the best possible way.

View the video by Pit Full of Shit and our playlist selections here: