Sweden is the world’s 7th happiest country, according to the World Happiness Report, and one of the safest countries in the world. Why would a country full of ethereally content and happy people find heavy metal, music that is characterized by loud instruments, growling, shrieking and morbidly violent lyrics, so appealing?
Heavy metal capital of the world
It might feel like every heavy metal band you know is from Sweden. That is probably Sweden because has 428 metal bands for every one million inhabitants! Compare that to the US and UK’s measly 72 and 69 metal bands per one million inhabitants. Sweden is the main heavy metal hub of the world.
The prevalence of heavy metal in Sweden might be directly related to the happiness of its population. The disturbing melodies represent raw power, control and strong masculinity, diametrically opposed to the gentle, civilized nature of Swedes. The guitar riffs, fast drums and gory lyrics could be just the violent, dark escape Swedes need from their picture-perfect lives.
The spirits of the ancestors speak
The Swedes are descendants of Vikings, the warrior tribe of furious fighters. Heavy metal music seems like the soundtrack to glorious battles and violent raids. Perhaps metal music is the last remnant of Viking blood coursing through their veins, demanding the wretched wrath of the Norse gods be unleashed in this age, through music instead of war.