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It was alleged by opponents to rock and heavy metal that the artists would include hidden satanic messages in their songs that would become audible when playing the song backwards.

It was further claimed that the brain would still be able to subconsciously decode the message and thus manipulate the person in a subliminal way.

I know that the pattern-seeking behavior of our brain will make us hear things that are not there, such as whispering voices in the wind, or voices in white noise. Thus, a plausible explanation of the backwards messages is that the brain makes these things up when listening to something that sounds like spoken words, as spoken words backwards clearly are.

This is, however, still not prove that nobody deliberately put backwards messages into music. Thus my question:

Is there conclusive evidence that subliminal messages (i.e. reversing audio) has been attempted in rock or heavy metal music?

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    Wikipedia has a list of songs with backmasked messages: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_backmasked_messages – Oliver_C Apr 2 '11 at 11:45
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    I played in a published metal band and we put backward messages more than once. It's like an easter egg in software! I am not putting links to avoid being spammy... – Sklivvz Apr 2 '11 at 15:22
  • @Oliver_C The list, however, does not prove that these were intentionally included. – Lagerbaer Apr 2 '11 at 15:41
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    @Lagerbaer - No, not all of them. There are however some songs where the backmasking was intentional, mostly as an easter egg or to poke fun at the backmasking controversy, like Weird Al Yankovic's "Satan eats Cheez Whiz". Wiki does provide references. – Oliver_C Apr 2 '11 at 17:24
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    subliminal messages != reversing audio – Paul Apr 3 '11 at 23:35
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I know that the pattern-seeking behavior of our brain will make us hear things that are not there, such as whispering voices in the wind, or voices in white noise. Thus, a plausible explanation of the backwards messages is that the brain makes these things up when listening to something that sounds like spoken words, as spoken words backwards clearly are.

You are pretty much correct with this, the official term is Pareidolia where the human brain makes out patterns where there really are none. There was an interesting Skeptoid episode about this and it appears most of the proof supporting the claim of the existence of back masking is carefully cherry picked and edited sections of songs.

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