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Are You a Satanist?: A Common Question When You Live as a Metalhead

“Do you worship Satan?”, “How can you listen to such evil music?”, “Would you stop listening to that music? That’s the devil’s music”. Those are some questions that most common people frequently asked Metalheads. Who says being a Metalhead is easy?

Metalheads are people who listen to and love heavy metal music—simply, heavy metal fans. They’re often stereotyped as Satanists, anarchists, troublemakers, etc. This happens because of the musical style of the genre itself, which is aggressive, loud, and employs a lot of screaming. Not to mention the fact that images heavy metal bands implement—from their logo, music theme, lyrical content, and their live performance set up—are always related to darkness, death, rebellion, or even the Devil.

But is it true that all the people who are involved in this music are Satanists? The answer is NO. Let me break it down for you. First, the reason why heavy metal artists have such an aggressive and loud musical style is that through aggressiveness and loudness, they’re able to channel and release their emotions better. It’s just like when you feel a certain emotion intensely—like elation or anguish—then you scream, and feel so much better after. That’s why in heavy metal they always use a screaming or growling technique in their vocals.

“But they use satanic themes”. Well yes, they use it to support their musical style. It won’t be appropriate if your music is aggressive but your theme is family-friendly, right? It’s just not going to work. Employing satanic themes doesn’t automatically mean they worship Satan. In fact, Tom Araya, the frontman of Slayer, a heavy metal band that uses satanic and anti-religion themes, is actually a Catholic. However, not all heavy metal bands use these themes in their music.  Metallica and Megadeth are some examples of those who don’t. 


Now let’s talk about their lyrical contents. People often say that their lyrics are just filled with pure hatred towards humanity and religion, in addition to worshiping the Devil. Well, it’s not true. If you listen to heavy metal songs, you also need to look up the meaning behind the words. Some songs utilize dictions that are related to hatred, violence, death, etc. but they aren’t meant to be taken literally. There are songs that have deep meanings behind it, for example, “The Only Thing That Sets Us Apart” by Suicide Silence, which talks about how despicable racism is; “B.Y.O.B” by System of a Down, which is a protest song against the Iraq War; “Aftermath by The Ghost Inside that narrates how the band rises up after a terrible accident which nearly took their lives; and “Skeptic” by Slipknot, an emotional tribute song for their former member who had passed away. These are just a few examples, and there are still many more.

Last but not least, people deem Metalheads as Satanists due to their signature hand gesture, the sign of the horns. People came to think of it that way because this sign is practiced in Anton LaVey’s Satanic Church. However, in the heavy metal community, this sign doesn’t mean “Hail Satan!”, and it never does. This sign was popularized by Ronnie James Dio, the former front man of Black Sabbath, who said that he took this sign from his grandmother and it’s not used to worship the devil, but to dispel evil or flip off the devil.

In conclusion, this stereotype of Metalheads as Satanists is NOT TRUE. People are holding onto these stereotypes simply because they know nothing about it. They make judgments based on what they see, and sometimes it makes them afraid of Metalheads. Well, you know what they say, people fear what they don’t understand. 


Gabriel. (2016, December 27). Ronnie Dio and the history of the Horns: Metal Amino. Retrieved from

SLAYER’s Tom Araya Hates Touring; Opens Up About How He Balances His Christianity/Lyric Themes. (2012, July 5). Retrieved from

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