Why do we have nightmares? What's the fucking point? Why would evolution shape a creature so pathetic as to suffer restless nights because its own subconscious concocts terrifying visions?
Harvard brainiac, Allan Hobson, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, has this idea: Rather than just responses to events and feelings in waking life, nightmares could be "dress rehearsals" for experiences of negative emotion, such s terror and anxiety, to come. Evolution has selected for a "brain [that] is innately fearful and innately angry," he theorized, and that brain produces nightmares that help prep us, mentally and emotionally, to navigate a maddening world. "The individual who can have bad dreams has a better chance of survival than one who can't," he wrote in The New York Times. "Bad feelings in dreams can prepare us for bad feelings in our social lives."
We can relate to that — the world is maddening and our brains do seem "innately angry." The idea also makes sense because we know that dark, heavy music full of rage, angst and aggression can serve a similar purpose to what Hobson proposes for nightmares. It not only helps us process the feelings that we already have, but it also sets us up to handle anger, frustration and other negative emotions better down the line. Heavy music, like nightmares, can help us acknowledge the darkness, integrate the shadow and move forward.
In that spirit, we present Revolver's "Dreams and Nightmares" issue.
Five Artists You Need to Know Now
The hip-hop and shock rock of duo City Morgue, politically outraged skate kids Candy, Robert Smith-approved Icelandic Kælan Mikla, diverse U.K. hardcore outfit Ithaca and instrumental smart-asses Polyphia
Dead crows, pregnant mothers, kids on the warpath — inside folk-metal lightning rod Amalie Bruun's dark fairy tale
Chapel of Sacred Mirrors
Visionary artists. Psychedelics advocates. Tool collaborators. Alex and Allyson Grey have spent a lifetime merging mystical experiences and art — a dream-filled journey that has led to their most ambitious project yet, CoSM's transcendent new sanctuary Entheon.
For over 35 years, the occult-metal pioneer has been bringing his bad dreams to life in his music. But then his "worst nightmare ever" came true.
Dreams Out of Nightmares: Redefining Femininity in Heavy Music
Venom Prison vocalist Larissa Stupar on the challenge — and opportunity — for women in metal, hardcore and punk
Chris Cornell: Remembering the Complex Artist Behind the Grunge Adonis
The Soundgarden singer was born a rock star — except he dreamed of being more
There is a party at the end of the world and it is called Wasteland Weekend. Over five days in late September 2018, over 4,000 Mad Max fans came together in the Mojave Desert in California for the ninth edition of the post-apocalyptic music and arts festival. As always, the event was full immersion, with no one allowed on the grounds unless they were in costume. There were live bands, DJs, car cruises, a film festival, fire performers, a bounty-hunting game and Thunderdome battles.
Slave to Sirens
Lebanon's first all-female metal band dreams big in the face of social stigma and cultural stereotypes
The iconic horror actor reveals how Freddy Krueger still haunts his nightmares
Plus, original ink/pencil on paper piece by Manuel Tinnemans/Comaworx (Deathspell Omega, Portal, Necrophagia) inspired by Mercyful Fate's "Black Funeral" and King Diamond's "The Possession" and "Omens."