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Metal fans angry? Nope, they're happier than everyone else, says new study

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The stereotype of the angry, angsty, depressed metal music fan has been quashed by the results of a study. 

The article, published in the journal International Society for Self and Identity, says people who were metalheads in the 1980s were "significantly happier in their youth, and better adjusted currently" than people who were fans of other genres of music. 

The study looked at 377 participants, almost half of whom were metal fans in the 1980s. The rest of the group were made up of peers who had listened to other genres of music in their youth, as well as current college students in California. 

It cited rising fears in the 80s that the growing popularity of metal music had a destructive influence on its young fans, specifically relating to drug use, sex, and suicide. 

Bands like Judas Priest, noted The Guardian, were hauled to court about whether subliminal messages in their album Stained Class led two fans to kill themselves in the mid-80s. 

While this latest study does note that "metal enthusiasts did often experience traumatic and risky 'sex, drugs and rock-n-roll' lives", it also noted that the kinship in the metal community contributed to "eventual positive identity development". 

"Today, these middle-aged metalheads are middle class, gainfully employed, relatively well educated, and look back fondly on the wild times they lived in the 1980s," states the report.

"In fact, the metal groups were less likely than both comparisons to have regrets about things they did in their youth."

Sources: Taylor and Francis Online, The Guardian