Cranial Nerve: Metal Health

The line between genius and madness has oft been called a tenuous one. The line between madness and metal has oft been called invisible.

We all know about Ozzy Osbourne biting the heads off winged creatures. It’s not news that Judas Priest was taken to court, accused of causing two boys to commit suicide due to alleged subliminal messages in their music. They were acquitted, but a 2011 study out of Melbourne University found that teens exposed to heavy metal music were actually more susceptible to depression. Clearly, with role models like these, someone needs to think of the children.

Barely adults themselves when they formed, the Norwegian black metal band, “Mayhem” was Touched with Fire, as it were. Their frontman was nineteen year old Per “Dead” Ohlin who suffered from the Cotard Delusion (aka Walking Corpse Syndrome)—a disorder in which the subject believes he or she is actually dead.*

Still from "Some Kind of Monster:" Metallica and their therapist, Phil Towle.
Metallica and their therapist, Phil Towle.

Even the biggest selling metal group of all time, Metallica, has done its time in the proverbial bin. In 2001, the entire band hired a group therapist to help them work out their issues as they set out to record their album, St. Anger. A couple of masochistic documentarians filmed the process, resulting in the two and a half day hour “Some Kind of Monster,” a.k.a. “Metal Rehab with Dr. Dreck.”

* This story goes deep and has some horrible twists, so if you’re into super-depressing, macabre shit that you can’t believe isn’t made up, watch the doc “Until the Light Takes Us.”

Metal Health

According to Quiet Riot, metal health will “drive you mad.” My aim here to help you avoid such a fate.

Choose whether the words listed below are names of metal bands or mental disorders.

If you run into any trouble, just bang your head.
Only not against a wall. That’ll give you brain damage.

Paula Kelley
Borderline-expert on so many things that are damn near useful.
  • Blahblee

    I love this. And only got just over 50% correct. Which is a fail, but I love this anyway.

    • DoofMartin

      It’s okay. I know how metal you are. m/

  • AlMiller

    Bring it. I always turn the channel for Guns and Roses.

    • Blahblee

      I’m an Appetite for Destruction purist, and publicly say I disapprove of both Use Your Illusion albums and thought the Spaghetti Incident was what destroyed them, but I do know all the words to all the songs on those horrible albums anyway. Also kind of feel like Axl’s woman hating was worse in 1992 — maybe only because that’s when I first read about it. Now I just hear the words of an abuser in every love song, especially Patience (sob, my favorite really).

      • DoofMartin

        Yeah, my reason for the bonus question was more to debate whether they’re a hard rock or a metal band. (Hint: NOT METAL, but someone I respect is more open-minded about it, so…) I, too, am of the mind that Appetite for Destruction is the only great album they’ve made. The woman hating, though…ughhhh…I didn’t know about that. Dammit. Googling that shit.

        • Blahblee


          That’s the original 1994 People article that interviewed Erin Everly (the girlfriend he wrote Sweet Child for). I can’t believe they have it archived with original photos — I still remember reading this when it came out.

          ETA: Guess I was wrong about it being 1992

    • DoofMartin

      Turn the channel up, you mean!