Statistical Analysis: Who’s Better, Sepultura or Soulfly?


As everyone knows, the Internet is for fighting.* MetalSucks commenters are all too familiar with this phenomenon, but rarely does an in-house spat develop like the one which erupted on Twitter over the weekend, pitting MS scribe Emperor Rhombus (@ChrisKrovatin) vs. MS Podcast co-host Godless (@GodlessSpeaks). The topic at hand: whether or not the recent Facebook post by Gloria Cavalera (wife of Max Cavalera and Soulfly’s manager) — in which she attacked Sepultura’s current lineup without specifically calling them out by name — was called for or if it was just airing dirty laundry. I couldn’t get through the whole debate thanks to Twitter’s garbled replies interface, but based on the spirited use of the words “buttmunch,” “asswipe,” “dildo” and “bunghole,” it seemed like quite the discussion.** Can we look forward to an even more juicy conversation on an upcoming episode of the Podcast? I sure hope so!

One MetalSucks reader and Podcast listener, Andy Field (@ProfAndyField), a Professor of Psychology and proprietor of DiscoveringStatistics.com, took the argument to its logical conclusion by performing a detailed statistical analysis of which is better, Max or no Max (Soulfly vs. modern day Sepultura). For shits and giggles he also compared classic Sepultura to both their modern-day incarnation and Soulfly. The meaning of “better,” of course, is inherently subjective, but Field uses some Internet-based metrics to attempt to distill the concept down to its purest form: fan love.

The study contains all sorts of statistical jargon that, frankly, is over my head, but it also has neat charts like this one:

Max Vs No Max

And then there’s stuff like this:

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 9.58.29 AM

Uhhhh…. OK, whatever! Where’s the tl;dr version? Ah! Here it is:

Look, this is just a bit of fun and an excuse to show you how to use a bootstrap on a multilevel model, and how you can use data to try to answer pointless questions thrown at you on Twitter. Based on this hastily thrown together analysis that makes a lot of assumptions about a lot of things, my 120 character twitter response will be: Sepultura Max better than everything, but post 1996 Max is no better than No Max;-)

And there you have it, folks.

Read the full study here, and argue the merits of Sepultura and Soulfly in the comments below.

* And porn.
** This actually didn’t happen. It was quite civil.

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