The "dark" music of rock band Avenged Sevenfold has been implied as a contributing factor to the tragic suicide of a 16 year old boy.
So, people have begun blaming music for suicide again. 16 year old Oliver King tragically took his life in February of last year, after allegedly struggling to cope with schoolwork, being teased at school and encountering issues in his first relationship. Police found that in the three hours before Oliver hanged himself, he had been watching videos on the internet of death metal songs.
It's been implied that the music of rock band Avenged Sevenfold was related to King's suicide
He left no suicide note, although images were recovered from his iPod with captions including “I’m sorry I want to give up. I’m sorry I want to die. I’m sorry I want to kill myself.” He had also sent a text message to a friend in the weeks leading up to his death, saying “I imagine killing myself every day.”
Neither his parents or his girlfriend seem to have implied that the music he had been listening to had any direct relation to his decision to commit suicide. However, the coroner questioned his girlfriend about the nature of the music, asking her if it was “dark”. She replied, “Not from my perspective. I don’t see it as dark music”, instead citing a cause for Oliver’s unhappiness, he “did not feel comfortable at home.”
The pair had been dating for around a year and Oliver had recently gone through a radical image transformation. He had begun wearing eyeliner and lost a significant amount of weight, leading to teasing by schoolmates. His girlfriend explained that they shared an interest in the same genre of music, enjoying bands such as Black Veil Brides and Avenged Sevenfold.
Avenged Sevenfold have responded to the recent scrutiny which implies that their music was a contributing factor to Oliver's suicide, in a statement acknowledging and discussing the teen’s death. Among other issues, the band addresses other factors which play in role in people’s decisions to take their lives, “Experts in the field of suicide have assured us that there are always many things that go into a tragedy like this, and while music can play a powerful role in someone’s life, it does not cause something like this happen, especially not alone. Research shows that 90% of those who take their live have a brain illness, or a mental illness, going on at the time of their death.”
Avenged Sevenfold released a statement in response to the teen's death
People often try to look for external influences as a scapegoat, music with slightly questionable lyrics will always be held in someway accountable. It’s not the first time it’s happened, and it certainly won’t be the last. Oliver was clearly troubled in the months leading up to his death and it's terribly sad that no-one was able to offer him the help and support he needed before it was too late.
Avenged Sevenfold are due to headline Seether’s “Rise Above” Festival on May 10. The event aims to raise awareness for suicide prevention and was originally organised in response to Seether band member Shaun Morgan, whose brother killed himself in 2007.