Friday, June 19th, 2009 | musiX
Historically in metal, a band’s image is as (if not more) important as the music itself. From the band’s name, to its garb, right down to the logo. Alice Cooper and KISS were better-known for what they looked like than the music they made (more true with the latter). When metal ruled in the late ’70s and the ’80s, it was all about image … until it regressed to absurdity before finally getting smothered by the always-fashionable flannel shirt.
The Me Decade is when the metal logo was truly birthed—a single, defining brand that could be easily seen and recognized on records, posters and, most importantly, T-shirts. Bands like Motörhead and Judas Priest went with classically ornate logos, while the aforementioned KISS chose a simple, very memorable signature lighting-bolt “SS” (turned into backwards “ZZ” when the band toured Germany). It carried over into the ’80s when it was all about the logo—Metallica, Exodus, Slayer, RATT, Anthrax, Dio, Def Leppard, AC/DC—all of which could be found scrawled on notebooks and in bathroom stalls, or crudely written or carved on school desktops … or so I’ve heard.
The tradition carries on today. In metal if you don’t have a tough/menacing logo, you might as well be playing Showtunes. Especially in black metal. In fact, in the world of black metal a band’s logo might be the first, and sometimes only, identifying element. It doesn’t even have to be legible for chrissakes, as bands are seemingly trying to one-up each other in keeping their names a mystery to the world.
So. For this Black Friday, I’ve scoured the bottomless pit of the Interwebs to find the most unruly, tangled, illegible band logos possible. It is your duty to try to decipher them. I’ll post one new logo per day (not including Saturday and Sunday) through Thursday, June 25. Shoot your answers to me at email@example.com. The person who guesses the most band names correctly out of five will win a classic metal album of my choosing. Yes, this means all five people who both listen to metal and read TDoL have a chance to win a disc. It will, of course, be an incredible metal masterpiece.
Deadline is midnight (PDT), Thursday, June 25, and the winner will be announced next Black Friday. It will take a keen eye. It might also help in some cases to be fluent in Finnish.
Ridiculously unreadable band logo No. 1: This band comes from—you guessed it—Finland. They enjoy long walks in the snow, and their lyrics are as unintelligible as their logo.