An interesting report has recently surfaced on City Lab
, elaborating how the presence of heavy metal music is in fact an indicator of the given country's wealth.
Noting how metal "sprouted originally from working-class kids in economically ravaged, de-industrialized places like Birmingham, England,"
the article goes on to point at the world map presented two years ago, showing the density of metal bands per 100,000 residents.
As the image clearly shows, the highest metal density is scored in the Scandinavian region, a part of the world known for wealth and rather high life quality.
The report continues by quoting a decade-old Mark Ames
article "Black Metal Nation: What Do Norwegian Dirtheads and Richard Perle Have in Common?""Norway is not only a completely humorless society ... but ... a deeply oppressive society, in a recognizably bland, caring, pious, Social Democratic way,"
the Ames piece reads.
Based on that, the author adds, "Metalheads experience their boredom, he speculated, as 'real suffering.' According to this logic, metal may instead be the product of affluent societies, a countercultural backlash for the privileged."
Digging a little deeper, the author found that "Scandinavia's proclivity for heavy metal bands"
can be attributed "to its governments' efforts to put compulsory music training in schools, which created a generation with the musical chop to meet metal's technical demands."
Additionally, a surprising conclusion was reached - "the number of heavy metal bands in a given country is associated with its wealth and affluence."
Summing it all up, the author noted, "Though metal may be the music of choice for some alienated working-class males, it enjoys its greatest popularity in the most advanced, most tolerant, and knowledge-based places in the world."Strange as it may seem, heavy metal springs not from the poisoned slag of alienation and despair but the loamy soil of post-industrial prosperity. This makes sense after all: while new musical forms may spring from disadvantaged, disgruntled, or marginalized groups, it is the most advanced and wealthy societies that have the media and entertainment companies that can propagate new sounds and genres, as well as the affluent young consumers with plenty of leisure time who can buy it,"
the report concludes.