Cover of Burn The Priest's self-titled album

Statisticians have a peculiar fascination with heavy metal. It’s what has allowed us to learn that wealthy nations have the most metal bands and that Scandinavia conquers them all, but what about the genre’s core values? The blog Degenerate State recently dug into the diction of metal bands, analyzing the word choices in metal songs to find the most, and least, metal words. Pulling every word from the go-to site for metal lyrics,, the words were categorized both by their frequency of use and their relative “metalness,” with common words and articles removed from the study.

The study found that “burn” is the most commonly used word with a “metalness” of 3.81, and the least metal word is “particularly,” with a “metalness” of -6.47. This begs the question about what a breakdown by subgenre would yield, as death metal would surely skew toward the morbid, and the politically charged grindcore toward, well, the political. But that’s a topic for another study, one that will hopefully be addressed after we learn which animal is more metal, the parrot or the dog.