Like most people I know, I have an auxiliary cord for my car, and I'm never not using it. However, unlike most people I know, I use it to blast bands like "Butcher Babies," "Motionless in White," "In This Moment," and "Black Veil Brides." I do not say this to make myself sound exclusive or different; I'm just clarifying that I have a vastly different taste in music than a good portion of my friends and family. There are several people I know who share my love for bands like the aforementioned, and many more in the world who do as well.
I am constantly threatening my sister with heavier, more guttural music when she decides to bother me. Generally, it works. She has an expansive music taste, but it doesn't quite reach metal. I don't blame her; we all have different preferences, different things we enjoy. However, like Dean Winchester once said in the debut episode of "Supernatural:"
"Driver picks the music; shotgun shuts his cakehole."
I'm used to the constant complaining that my music is too loud, too screamy, too angry, but one day, on the way home from Starbucks, as Heidi Shepherd's haunting primal scream reverberated off the windows of my old Corolla, she turned to me with genuine curiosity, and asked, "I'm honestly not trying to be mean, but why do people like this music?"
I can't speak for everyone, but I do have an answer.
A lot of people like to group the genre of metal into one identifier, be it satanic or evil or violent, but the truth is that the people in this industry come from all walks of life, as do the fans of it. There's a spectrum of emotions that the genre utilizes, not just anger.
Speaking from my perspective, I'm a very emotional person. There's no gray area when I'm feeling something. That's simply how I am, and I'd venture to say there are quite a few people who can relate to that. If I'm angry, then people will know. If I'm hurt, then people will know.
There's a very common theme among artists of this genre that echoes through almost any interview you can find: "Take your pain, and turn it into something beautiful/positive/meaningful/more." For a lot of people, that's music, and there is a sort of cathartic reaction they have when listening to a song that means something to them, something that gives them a voice. It articulates what that person may be feeling inside; it helps them express or unearth something that may otherwise be difficult to explain.
Anger is a powerful emotion. It's a powerful concept, and even when fighting the "it's just angry yelling" stereotype, I'd be lying if I said metal isn't hugely comprised of it. But anger is a very general term. Digging deeper, there's hurt, betrayal, desperation, agony, fury. It's not an unhealthy thing to experience, but it is unhealthy to hold it in and let it fester.
In songs like "Whore" by In this Moment, "In Denial" by Butcher Babies, or "Devil's Night" by Motionless in White - there is a loud releasing of that anger that's immensely cathartic and relieving. It's like finding a voice you didn't know you had. It's inspiring. It commands a potent strength that you can't help but notice is flowing in your veins, and it is very, very real.
And speaking of strength, there's an influential aspect in metal that leads you to remembering who is in control of your life: you. It brings a sense of power and pride in who you are - an assertion that nobody can tell you who you are or what to do, that no one can manipulate or coerce you - that this life is yours.
Listening to it is like standing on a building with a megaphone, like having the entire world at your fingertips and it's listening solely to you. There is a sort of solace in this feeling, a wash of relief in the reminder of self-pride and strength.
I guess that's my long answer to my sister's question. I like things that are straight-forward in their expression. The short answer is, "because it's good."