Heavy Metal Under Attack: Suicide and Aggression

Essay by vanillavillainCollege, UndergraduateB+, July 2009

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

“The inference that heavy metal causes teen suicide is as implausible as are the conservative’s interpretations of heavy metal”, explains sociology professor and author of “Heavy Metal Under Attack: Suicide and Aggression”, Deena Weinstien. As Weinstien explains throughout her article, heavy metal music has been pursued by many groups and individuals to be a leading cause of teen suicide. Groups such as PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) would work against many popular heavy metal artists and record companies in lawsuits regarding the music’s role and active involvement in teen suicide. According to PMRC, the lyrical content of certain metal songs touched-base with themes of santanism and suicide, and imposed them upon the listeners. However, contrary to the group’s belief, throughout future lawsuits and court decisions, the belief that artists are intentionally manipulating listeners throughout lyrical content was found to be more often a misinterpretation of the song’s meaning.

One of the first examples of an attack against an artist for lyrical content was the lawsuit brought against artist, Ozzy Ozbourne, for his lyrical content in the song, “Suicide Solution”. The attack was led by Susan Baker and PMRC, and was argued that the song encouraged “suicide as a solution” (Weinstein 472) to problems that listeners might have in their every day lives. However, further research found that Ozbourne’s true meaning of the lyrics dealt with alcoholism, and his own personal struggle with alcohol consumption. Weinstein goes on to state that Susan Baker and the followers of the PMRC failed to grasp the song’s true meaning, and the simple pun that was intended along with it.

This type of misinterpretation happened with not only the issue of suicide, but also with the idea of satanic worship within the music of heavy metal bands. The Roman Catholic archbishop of...