The findings are published in the Royal Society journal Open Science – released today.

“[Death metal] fans are nice people,” said Prof Bill Thompson, from Australia’s Macquarie University, which is based in Sydney. “They’re not going to go out and hurt someone.”

This latest study is part of a decades-long investigation by Prof Thompson and his colleagues into the emotional effects of music. These effects, he explained, are complex.

“Many people enjoy sad music and that’s a bit of a paradox – why would we want to make ourselves sad?” he asked.

“The same can be said of music with aggressive or violent themes. For us, it’s a psychological paradox – so [as scientists] we’re curious, and at the same time we recognise that violence in the media is a socially significant issue.”

Read the full story via the BBC here