The merry mischief makers at Mashable recently released a video of an in-office social experiment based on the premise, “We’ve all heard about studies on classical music and its effects on the human brain—but what about death metal?”

The clip showcases “Francesca,” not a fan of instrumental music, being set up at 9 a.m. to listen to eight hours nonstop of orchestral symphonies and sonatas. At the same time, mild-mannered “Jon,” who claims to have never been “turned on” to death metal, preparing to endure eight hours of sheer skull-pulping sonic brutality.

By 2 p.m., Francesca reports feeling relaxed and inspired while Jon laments feeling “not great.” He says, “I don’t know if I’m listening to the right stuff.” Poor sap!

Maybe Jon really wasn’t listening to the “right stuff.” The next time that Jon—or anyone—wishes to dabble in the dark din of death metal, all they need to do is consult Choosing Death: The Improbable History of Death Metal and Grindcore by Albert Mudrian. The book is an incomparable account of extreme rock’s most ferocious genres, and comes complete with an appendix of essential listening by year dating back to the mid-1980s.

Oh, by the way—the benefits of death metal are official. In 2015, the University of Queensland, Australia, reported that “the music regulated sadness and enhanced positive emotions. When experiencing anger, extreme-music fans liked to listen to music that could match their anger. The music helped them explore the full gamut of emotion they felt, but also left them feeling more active and inspired.”

CHOOSING DEATH: The Improbable History of Death Metal & Grindcore, by Albert Mudrian







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