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Leonard's Guide to Naming Your Metal Band

As you know, I spend a lot of time thinking about metal. After having spend several decades interacting with various metal bands in a variety of ways, I have discovered that all metal band names can essentially be broken down into categories. Herewith some examples (all real bands), and suggestions as to which pattern you might wish to follow when naming your metal band.

BLASPHEMIES (SHORT): Abominator, Blasphemy, Iniquity, Abhorrence, Amoral, Unholy, Apostasy, Sacrilege, Atheist, Deicide, Monstrosity. Best for: technical death metal; bands where the lead singer drinks a lot.

BLASPHEMIES (LONG): Insanity Reigns Supreme, Silent Stream of Godless Elegy, Eternal Tears of Sorrow, Church of Misery, Sins of Thy Beloved, Thou Shalt Suffer, Neurotic of Gods, One Man Army & the Undead Quartet, Pain of Salvation, Moribund Oblivion, Bretwaldas of Heathen Doom, Tears of Mourning Rule the Divine, While Heaven Wept. Best for: gothic metal; bands that are really screamo but don’t want to admit it.

COD LATIN: Imago Mortis, Omnium Gatherum, In Extremo, Arkhon Infaustus, Hortus Animae, Officium Triste, Carpe Tenebrum, Lux Occulta, Vene Domine, Nokturnal Mortum, Hibernus Mortis, Solitude Aeturnus. Best for: symphonic black metal; bands where the lead singer is gay.

DEMONS: Abigor, Asmodeus, Belphegor, Agathodaimon, Abbadon Incarnate, Gorgoroth, Baphomet’s Throne, Lord Belial, Sammael, Acheron. Best for: black metal; bands formed over a copy of ‘Deities and Demigods’.

LOTS OF Ks: Sadistik Exekution, Kataklysm, Korpiklaani, Lakkichhara, Kekal, Kromok, Katafalk, Keep of Kalessin, Akercocke, Kublai Khan. Best for: metal bands from non-western countries; bands where the lead singer is a moron.

MISSPELLED MYTHOLOGY: Nazxul, Pegazus, Tiresis, Artefact, Kovenant, Mezzerschmitt, Nostradameus, Susperia, Valhall, Kamelot, Kult ov Azazel. Best for: hard-rock bands; bands with the same name as another band but wishing to avoid a lawsuit.

NAMES OF PLACES THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH WHERE YOU ARE FROM: Nepal (Argentina), Mekong Delta (Germany), Salem (Israel), Asgard (Italy), Notre Dame (Sweden), Nile (United States). Best for: prog-metal bands; people who are extremely lazy.

NAMES THAT SUGGEST THAT YOU AREN’T TAKING THE WHOLE THING ENTIRELY SERIOUSLY: Fuck…I’m Dead, Dew-Scented, Subway to Sally, Frantic Beep, Butterfly Temple, Sad Legend, Bumblefoot, Impetigo, Jelly Jam. Best for: jam bands; bands where the lead singer is Australian.

PRETENTIOUS ADJECTIVES: Enthroned, Chthonic, Absurd, Corrupted, Forsaken, Inhumed, Enslaved, Embraced, Entombed, Rotting, Condemned, Esoteric, Impaled, Obsessed, Unanimated, Unconquered, Unleashed. Best for: black/death metal; bands who own a thesaurus.

SOME 15-YEAR-OLD’S D&D CHARACTER: Bloodaxe, Dragonsword, Piledriver, Battlelore, Deathchain, Fintroll, Moonsorrow Stormwarrior, Elvenking, Gallhammer, Skyforger, Trollfest, Warlord, Lord Gore. Best for: power metal; bands where the lead singer is fifteen.

THINGS THAT YOU WOULD NOT WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN TO YOU: Disembowelment, Visceral Evisceration, Anorexia Nervosa, Massacre, Atrocity, Beheaded, Severe Torture, Battered, Slow Agony, Decapitated, Defleshed, Hypothermia, Cancer, Amoebic Dysentery, Anthrax, Death, Drawn & Quartered, Immolation, Internal Bleeding, Nuclear Assault, Suffocation. Best for: death metal; bands who used to own a dog that mysteriously disappeared.

UNPLEASANT SOUNDS: Clagg, Grott, Thrudvangar, Urskumug, Drudkh, Grom, GWAR, Noothgrush. Best for: Viking metal; bands who spend more on costumes than on equipment.

WIZARDLY REFERENCES: Alchemist, Deathspell Omega, Mystic Circle, Eldritch, the Black Mages, RuneMagick, Ceremonial Castings, Incantation, Pentagram. Best for: doom metal; bands whose lead singer is really, really baked.

You're welcome.


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Re: Noothgrush? - ludickid - Oct. 4th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Oct. 4th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
There are jam metal bands? Seriously?
Oct. 4th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
Wait, wait, I think I saw one a couple months ago! Infected Mushroom! Have you ever heard of them? Do they count as metal? I thought they were "noisy" in my crotchety-old-lady way, so they must be metal. GOD they were horrible and boring.
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Oct. 4th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
That's amazingly complete and informative.

I'm curious: how would you categorize Dethklok? I mean, not the name (I'd put that under 'Lots of Ks'), but the music; in what subgenre of metal would you put it?

Also, for bonus points, please explain the kind of band suggested by the following names:
Satan's Fingers
The Killers
The Hospital Bombers
Oct. 4th, 2007 05:47 pm (UTC)
Those would be appropriate for the best ever death metal band out of Denton, TX, if you ask me.
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Oct. 4th, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC)
This made me literally laugh out loud. As a former headbanger and death metal fan, you have decapitated the nail bloodily, as it were.

(I do believe you missed "Sepultura," too. I've always been fond of that one, since "pretentious death references" are so classic for the brand.)
Oct. 4th, 2007 06:02 pm (UTC)
It's hard for me to picture you as a death metal fan.
Oct. 4th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
One of my favorites from the early days of the Worst Possible Band Names thread was III Ryng Byndyr. Could you describe their music, please?
Oct. 4th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
Clearly, they would be a crappy glam/hair-metal band along the lines of Enuff Z'Nuff or Y Kant Tori Read.
Oct. 4th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)

These guys are great, but I always seem to confuse them with Gailblippers and Bafetyknazer

Oct. 4th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
Oct. 4th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
I love you. More of this please.

And I can't wait for my metal primer! Metal albums for Angie 101!!! Should I just get a subscription to Metal Edge?
Oct. 4th, 2007 06:45 pm (UTC)
Yes, get a subscription to Metal Edge, and encourage your friends to do likewise. In this way it is conceivable that they will raise my word rate.

I am compiling your metal comp as we speak! Oh boy are you gonna love all this metal!
Oct. 4th, 2007 06:34 pm (UTC)
What about Christian metal, sir? What naming convention for those bad boys?
Oct. 4th, 2007 06:50 pm (UTC)
They just use Short/Long Blasphemies or Pretentious Adjectives, flipped around. So you get Believer, Beloved, Blessed By A Broken Heart, Crucified, Sacrifice, Theocracy, With Blood Comes Cleansing, etc.

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Oct. 4th, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
This entry wins so hard.
Oct. 4th, 2007 08:34 pm (UTC)
Ooh! What does it win?
Oct. 4th, 2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Names like Subway to Sally & Frantic Beep make me want to hit Limewire this very instant.
Oct. 4th, 2007 08:38 pm (UTC)
Subway to Sally is pretty odd. They're sort of a folk-hippie jam band with prog influences and just enough snarl to be considered metal. Sort of if the Grateful Dead and the Scorpions had a bunch of kids, who listened to King Crimson a lot. (They're also German, which adds to the weirdness of it all.) They share some members with 17 Hippies, who are pretty okay. I can't really say I like them, but they're very distinct -- they call their style "medieval metal".
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Oct. 4th, 2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
pissed meself.
thanks, I needed that.
Oct. 5th, 2007 02:30 am (UTC)
*grin* my favorite metal band is called Wizard. Whats that mean, eh?
Oct. 26th, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC)
Salem comes form JeruSALEM, that's why the israli metal band Salem's name makes perfect sense.
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