Metal Can Teach You Anything You Want to Know

Robert Bejil, Flickr
Most people regard metal as an anti-intellectual, chest-beating, noisy fit for cavemen. Despite this being 100 percent true, there are a few positive things that result from having an intense dedication toward one of the most juvenile forms of music out there.

While listening to metal may still sentence you to a life in your parents' basement, at least you'll have learned a few things on the way to sleeping on a pile of empty potato-chip bags. Here are six things you learn from being addicted to metal.

6. Criminal History
Can't remember who the Vampire of Dusseldorf was or what H. H. Holmes was known for? Luckily, metal has you covered. As the most infamous purveyors of morbid criminal history, Chicago's Macabre have been writing about real-life monsters ever since their debut record in 1987. The band has even written an entire concept album chronicling the life of Jeffrey Dahmer, fittingly entitled Dahmer, from his childhood to the eventual decision to burn the deceased Milwaukee murderer's brain.

But the education doesn't stop there. Japan's Church of Misery has also devoted its entire doomy discography to writing about serial killers, while the appropriately named Canadian band Dahmer takes a faster, more grind approach to the same niche.

Cory Doctorow

5. Foreign Languages
An oddly memorable thing about metal is the amount of useless but impressive foreign language you learn. Any true metalhead can tell you the words for "cold," "darkness," "black," "death" and "grim" in a variety of European languages. Extremely helpful if you find yourself lost in the Swedish city of Örebro and need to find a dungeon or the most supremely evil bathroom.

4. Medical Terminology
One of the most magical things about pre-Internet metal was the mythology behind new and old bands alike. We had pardoned murderers, born-again Christians turned Satanists, Greek vampires who were banned from their home countries and, of course, the coolest rumor -- that members of gore-grind bands were medical school students who had gone insane and gotten a record deal. To a 15-year-old in 1998, this was the most intriguing thing to ever happen to your music collection as you take your education in your own hands, skimming through lyric sheets.

If it weren't for bands like Carcass, Exhumed and General Surgery, I would never have come up with the idea to call in sick for my McDonald's shift by claiming I had vomited my anal tract. Or learned that the prefix "hepa" means liver.

Tragically, the medical-school rumors were proven false. The lyrics provided a decent layout of terms, but upon asking a real doctor you'll find out most of these strings of literary gore don't mean a thing. Unless, however, you're reading the lyrics of The County Medical Examiners, a band containing three real medical doctors playing gore-grind under pseudonyms. The band's latest record is unique in another way -- it's a scratch-n-sniff disc that smells like a corpse.

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Juvenile? You really need to choose your words better, Mr. Music Expert.

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