Re: Why am I listening to this?...discoveries
trkdrmr, you're listening to it because it resonates with you and you like it. You don't have to explain that to anyone - especially at your age. Metal has been around long enough, at this juncture in history, that it's not just for "kids" for anymore.
I'm 41 and I listen to Lamb of God and System of a Down and whole lot of other stuff. I have one Slipknot album: Subliminal Verses. I like it enough to respect them as a band, but to be honest it doesn't get that much play in my car (which is my metal sanctuary.)
BTW, I love the term "cookie monster music." That's classic. There is some extreme metal out there that I just don't get, and it may just be that I am too old. Or it may just be that at my age I have a discriminating ear. I don't know.
I cannot and do not listen to the hard stuff all the time. But when I get in the mood for it... I let it rock. I'm past the point of caring who understands and who doesn't. There is a certain itch way down deep that only metal can scratch. I like it and it's part of who I am.