Is Metal The Black Sheep of Music?


I had an idea to why metal is so interestingly the black sheep of music, and I’m going to prove it by a practical experiment. I’ve taken the top 10 tracks of the Most Requested Pop songs and Metal songs off of iTunes charts, and I’ve compared their key signature. I’ve allowed only one song for each artist, skipping if the same artist had more than 1 song in the chart. Data obtained from songdata.io

Here are the 10 Pop songs and their key signature: 

SONG – ARTISTKEY SIGNATURE
Afterglow – Ed SheeranB major
Take You Dancing – Jason DeruloD major
Head & Heart – Joel Corry feat. MNEK A♭ major
Anyone – Justin Bieber D major
Golden – Harry Styles E minor
Paradise – Meduza feat. Dermot KennedyA♭ minor
Therefore I Am – Billie EilishB minor
Diamonds – Sam SmithB♭ minor
Prisoner – Miley Cyrus feat. Dua LipaE♭ minor
Let Me Reintroduce Myself – Gwen StefaniB♭ minor

Here instead are the 10 Metal songs and their key signature: 

SONG – ARTISTKEY SIGNATURE
Hour of the Wolf – TribulationG minor
Eracist – Mr. BungleA♭ major
Ride into the Light – Spirit AdriftD♭ minor
A Colossal Wreck – Every Time I DieD♭ major
High Risk Trigger – EyehategodC major
Three Bridges – Cult of LunaF♯ Minor
Glint (live) – DeafheavenG minor
Cling to Life – HatebreedF minor
Inner Calm from Outer Storms – Killer Be KilledE minor
Genocidal Humanoidz – System of a DownD♭ minor

With the exception of Cult of Luna’s C major, we can clearly see the more complex set of chords in the metal section; this doesn’t mean the pop songs are easy to play, just maybe less sophisticated than the metal ones. 

I personally prefer a more refined music, that can provoke more than one emotion in a song, but of course that’s just personal taste. Metal music has always been known for having elaborate composing and live performing, sometimes even having more band members than a standard one. What are instead your opinions on this? Is it consistent that metal has more complicated melodies and music of pop music?

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