The New England Journal of Otolaryngology, the foremost magazine on ear related issues, released a study on Friday claiming that djent music can lead to several health issues including dizziness, vomiting and the odd compulsion to have more than 20 strings on a guitar. The study was commissioned last year after 52 people were hospitalized after collapsing at a Meshuggah concert in Silver Springs, Maryland. Several of the injured were also diagnosed with logherria, a condition marked by incoherent babbling, as well as Fripp’s Disorder, a rare disease that renders people unable to enjoy music unless it is in rare, obscure time signatures. The journal went on to call djent “the greatest threat to the health of the human ear drum” and went as far as to call for the arrest and caning of Meshuggah frontman Fredrik Thordendal.
While this is the first major study on the physiological effects of djent, several metalhead scientists have been talking about its dangerous effects as far back as 2002. Survivors of Djent (SOD), a group started for people suffering from djent related symptoms, started as a support group back in 2005. It currently has over 30,000 members and offers help to people on 12 continents.
The horror stories that each member has are truly sobering. Bob, a djent survivor from Manhasset, Long Island, remembers the terror that he felt when he found himself at the local music store trying to buy a 78 string bass. “I barely knew how to play bass but I kept adding strings. It’s as if I thought that people would see all those strings and think ‘Hey Bob’s a really talented musician’ or ‘Hey Bob has all those strings, it doesn’t really matter that he has leprosy and horrible breath, let’s be his friend’”
Other victims have stories about strange symptoms caused by exposure to djent. “For some strange reason, I became obsessed with onomatopoeia,” said James, a djent survivor from Des Moines, Iowa, “I stopped using real words and started calling everything by the sound it made. A gun became ‘click click boom’, my washing machine became ‘junga junga junga’, my car was ‘vrooooooooom screech’ and my daughter was ‘thump thump thump’. I lost my job, my wife left me and I got kicked out of the Van Halen cover band my friends had formed. Djent ruined my life.”
Another common trait among victims is the inability to stop using technical music terms around people who have no idea what they are talking about. They often struggle to fit this type of talk into their everyday lives with terrible results. “I told the kids ‘You sound like a damned palm-muted two-octave power chord for Godsakes!’ They all just looked at me like my voice was modulating at 1.6 kilohertz or something,” pronounced Melinda, a frustrated kindergarten teacher from Duluth, Minnesota.
Many doctors believe the recent flood of anti-djent information will help bring America closer to a djent-free future. Arizona is already discussing a bill to not allow djent to be played in public on Sundays. In Alabama, where marriage among djent listeners has already been outlawed, a bill is being considered banning the children of djent fans from joining civic organizations like the Boy Scouts. Several Texas congressmen have even proposed the death penalty for any musician who creates a song that uses the time signature 15/4 or 9/8. If this study finds a wider audience, it may lead to the end of djent as we know it.