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Table 3 Selected sustainability challenges in social-ecological systems (SES) and how they manifest in the form of heavy metal allegories

From: Heavy metal music meets complexity and sustainability science

SES challenge Emotions in people Manifestation in metal allegory Song (Band/artist) examples Links to YouTubea
Ecological and social disturbances
(a) Before disturbances Widespread positive emotions; ignorant of potential catastrophes in immediate environment Melodic aspects in symphonic metal; joy and empowerment conveyed in power metal Escapist (Nightwish)
March of time (Halloween)
Evoke (After Forever)
Angels (Within Temptation)
  Sense of false security Psychedelic elements in stoner metal Dopethrone (Electric Wizzard)
(b) During disturbances Chaos, uncertainty Rhythmic complexity and unpredictability in mathcore and grindcore Concubine (Converge)
Garrucha (Car Bomb)
Agorapocalypse now (Agoraphobic Nosebleed)
  Overwhelming exposure to and lack of control of intense and fast disturbances (e.g. floods) Fast tempo and aggression in speed metal and trash metal Unanswered (Suicide Silence)
Speed metal messiah (Joe Stump)
(c) Aftermath of disturbances Widespread negative emotions; despair, agony, stress Despair conveyed in doom metal; death reflected Murdered by grief (Frowning)
Among the falling stones (Ophis)
Morte aetérna (Chelsea Grin)
(d) Social and political causes Dissatisfaction against governments Crust punk lyrics dwelling on social/political ills Dig their own graves (Corrupt Leaders)
Fucking bastards (Behind Enemy Lines)
Systemic SES aspects
(a) Regime shifts Often not perceivable given long time scales, but metal can serve as model to conscientize people Transitions in songs in the form of breakdowns in metalcore and deathcore Resistance (Veil of Maya)
In Sincerity (For the Fallen Dream)
Neo Soul (After the Burial)
(b) Undesired SES states (poverty traps) For instance, health and disease related emotions Abrasiveness and harshness in black metal Demonium (Inmortal)
Intent to kill (Dawn of Demise)
A.E.O.N. (Sybreed)
  1. Examples with online links to YouTube are given. Note that several metal allegories apply to different SES challenges highlighting their broader utility for symbolizing sustainability issues
  2. aSome of the videos are preceded by advertisements that are unrelated to the songs on YouTube