Music: Metalcore and expression of dark but necessary emotions

An embarrassing moment in my recent past happened when my mother-in-law came into our house unexpectedly while my music was blasting. My wife was having car issues and I had the music too loud to hear her call or the knock on the door. It wasn't embarrassing because I was working out, it was embarrassing because of the type of music I was listening to: heavy metalcore; if I remember correctly, Memphis Mayfire's The Unfaithful.

In analyzing my embarrassment, I realized it stemmed from my recognition of other people's perceptions. Metal music makes many people feel uncomfortable, it can sound violent or even evil to some. If someone isn't used to the genre (sometimes even if they are), the lyrics are indistinguishable and the vocals sound like "a bunch of yelling". I understand why others don't enjoy this type of music, but I don't think others understand why many people do. What I and other fans get from metalcore and other similar styles isn't what many non-listeners would think. 

Yes, there are genres that sing about satanism and church burning. The black metal scene in Norway is responsible for over 50 arsons of Christian churches in Norway from 1992 to 1996. Yes, a lot of fans dress in a ridiculous counter-cultural manner. But, all of this really has very little to do with heavy music overall and more to do with sociology, adolescents, and the same behavior and frenzy caused by Elvis or the Beatles.

The music itself, like other types of music, mirrors the listener. Someone who hates the world will feel more hatred after listening to metalcore while someone who has a healthy understanding of their own anger and frustration can use the music to process their own darker emotions; emotions everyone should address in some way.

Encompassing and feeling comfortable with extreme emotion creates energy and control. It's easy to look at a sunset and benefit from the beauty but harder (and possibly more satisfying) to look at a road full of cars and power lines and receive the same fulfillment. It involves accepting a realistic perspective of the world.

Emotions can be viewed as colors in a painting. Paintings without black limit both the emotional impact and representation of the real world. Sure, our emotions aren't logical. Anger and fear often result from things not going our way in life whether someone dies unjustly, or someone breaks your trust. But we have the emotions regardless and they need to be accepted, processed, and diffused in a way that doesn't harm ourselves or others psychologically. What better way then through music?

Some examples:

Darkest Hour: Love as a Weapon
(Song about addressing and overcoming a violent world)

Parkway Drive:  Dark Days
(Song about environmental issues)
 What will you tell your children when they ask you "what went wrong"
How can you paint a picture of a paradise lost
To eyes that know only a wasteland
How will you justify watching the world die

Zao: Fall Farewell 
(Song about death of a family member. The song that got me hooked on the genre in 1998.)

Memphis Mayfire: The Unfaithful
(A song about an unfaithful spouse. Starts off angry and ends with sadness and regret. Lyrics Here.)