It’s amazing to see how some bands blow your mind with the beauty in their music and their astonishing attire. I’ve listed a lot of kickass bands right from the 90’s till today who have never failed to keep the excitement linger among their fans. I bet some of your favourites are definitely in this list. Many bands the world over do it for gimmicks and some prefer reflecting their music with their physical appearance and so on. We have made this ‘simplified compilation‘ of the best costumes in Heavy Metal Music (not in any order) from various genres ranging from Nu Metal to Glam to Symphonic Death Metal and so on. Here it is:
American Heavy Metal band Slipknot is known for their brand of ‘Nu Metal’ as well as their attention seeking masks. Every member has a uniquely distinguished mask. These masks deserve major credits with regards to differentiating them from the other bands in the modern metal era. According to Corey Taylor, “It’s our way of becoming more intimate with the music. It’s a way for us to become unconscious of who we are and what we do outside of music.”
Vocalist Marilyn Manson never fails to steal the show with his dark red lips and heavy cosmetics. His usual stage attire can be described as a pale white face makeup with fierce black eye shadow and dark red lipstick. Manson (aka Brian Hugh Warner) has always succeeded to amaze his fans in terms of his music, attire and his persona.
The Comedy Shock Rock band GWAR is one of the bands which actually take theatricality to another level with the outfits that they dress up in as well as their background story of them being warriors from another planet and while the passing of Odungus Urungus (aka Dave Brockie) in 2014 was a heavy blow to the band; they continue soldiering in their outfits which are one of a kind in the realm of Rock and Metal.
Sweden’s Ghost is an anti-clergy band that consists of five ‘Nameless Ghouls‘ who represent 5 elements. Each of these elements is marked on their costume and the elemental symbols which represent each ghoul are highlighted. Papa Emeritus III has a slightly different appearance. More pronounced as is his personality with skull face paint and is often described as a demonic Anti-Pope. Since all the members of the band are anonymous to the point that even their names are undisclosed, Ghost really is able to bring a lot of mysterious air around them along with the flair they bring onstage with their larger than life performances on stage. Their music closely resembles that of a church, soothing and also pop- inflected, preaching the message of Satanism.
1985’s American Metal band White Zombie is not heard of much in the current 2000’s. But there was a time where it was ranked no. 56 on the 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock list. Their amazing stage attire however is still spoken of. It would be easy to believe that they had some kick-ass attire when you learn that their founding member Rob Zombie is currently a well- established horror movie director.
The Swedish Black metal band has Theistic Satanist views. Their live shows involve pyrotechnics, candles, satanic rituals, animal carcasses and blood which set it apart from any other metal band. Their stage outfit and backdrop complement each other with an evil blend. If one ever attends their live performance, they won’t leave without experiencing some chills down their spine caused by their visual performance as well as their music.
Buckethead (aka Brian Patric Carol) is a guitarist who legit has a bucket on his head as his name suggests, while performing live. Unlike other bands, he planned to keep it simple yet different in a way. One could call it an effortless or a handy costume. Well either way he gets credits of thinking outside the box with respect to the simplicity in his creativity.
There isn’t a single 90’s kid who hasn’t heard of this band. These legends have been rocking the face paint and flamboyant garments for decades. Their live performances featured fire breathing, blood-spitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. Their makeup was distinctive comic-book like. Following is the name of the face paint of the band members;
Paul Stanley – The Starchild; Peter Criss – The Catman; Gene Simmons – The Demon and Ace Freheley – The Spaceman / Space Ace.
CULT OF FIRE:
Hailing from Czech Republic, Cult of Fire is a Black Metal band. Metal is no stranger to hooded robes, fire, and rituals, but the exaggerated features of these outfits are paramount. In the past 7 years they have come a long way with their music content that isn’t grounded to one particular style. Their concerts make you feel a different sense of glee.
IMMORTAL (Classic/ Original line up)-
The Norwegian Black Metal band Immortal has always been the most slapstick band with regards to their stage attire. Their lyrics are based on a theme, a realm called Blashyrkh, which is said to be “demon-and-battle-filled”. They created Blashyrkh to mirror their feeling of isolation living in Bergen, based in Norway, including “winter landscapes”, “the woods, the mountains, the darkness, the fog”, and “glacial valleys. Their face is usually covered in corpse paint and they have some really dramatic outfit.
CRADLE OF FILTH:
The Extreme Metal band Cradle of Filth, have undoubtedly been beautiful in a dramatic and eye-catching way, from their costumes and corpse paint to their dark and sinister lyrics. Gothic literature, poetry, mythology and horror films are their lyrical as well as imagery influences.
American Heavy Metal band Twisted Sister is well known for their sense of slapstick humour. Their frontman Dee Snider is recognized for his loud costume. His wife Suzette surely deserves credits to help him attain this persona that defines Twisted Sister. This band is often considered to be glam metal but Dee denies it. Their attire is incomplete without a tinge of pink to it.
With eye catchy monster costumes and their stunning music, Lordi has always lived up to the expectations of their fans. It is amazing how this band has been so creative with their getup which definitely would have derived after squeezing out their brains in order to look so unique.
Polish Extreme Metal band Behemoth is one of my personal favourites. They have some spectacular music. They are all about ghostly white makeup and lots of black leather. In short, they are the complete package. If you observe the detailing in their makeup, you’d know the efforts taken behind to get the stern yet beautiful look. The name Behemoth means any extremely massive or powerful entity. They always keep their fans drooling with their mind blowing performance.
Norwegian symphonic black metal band Dimmu Borgir has been rocking since 1991 along with their beautiful contribution towards metal music, which is a mixture of a black and symphonic element. The band is named after a uniquely shaped area of lava fields called Dimmuborgir. Dimmu Borgir means dark cities or a dark fortress which is pretty much in contrast with their persona.
Mushroomhead, an American Alternative metal band if known for have some very intricate masks that fit each member’s pseudonym. In order to stand out among other musical projects they were a part of, they created these characters. There is a site specifically devoted to these personas.
61 year old Danish musician King Diamond is not only known for his extensive vocal range, but also his mind blowing face makeup. The black and white makeup has been his signature makeup for decades. He believes in the philosophy of Satanism which explains the inverted cross makeup on his face. He has come to a point where he has completely given up on the idea of religion.
Red and black paint + Leather outfits? The answer is definitely Turisas. Hailing from Hämeenlinna, Finland, Turisas is named after an ancient Finnish God of war. They are known as one of the most energetic, innovative and exciting metal acts both on record and onstage. They have truly carved a sound of their own. They break the traditional guitar solo routine replacing it with electric violin solos.
Batushka are a Polish band with dark, heaving and heavy music. Batushka means father which is used to address an Eastern Orthodox priest. The band members have not been disclosed but are known to be from well reputed bands. Their music also comprises of liturgical chants, the language used in the Orthodox Church in Poland, Russia and Ukraine. Watching them perform live would definitely be a marvellous experience.
Have you ever come across a friend who is all about glam? Well you need to introduce them to Steel Panther to know what real glam is. Steel Panther is the name on your lips when anyone speaks of glam metal bands. These danger kitties are known for their profane and humorous lyrics and also their exaggerated stage performance. And let’s not forget how cool their outfits are.
Rammstein is a German Industrial Metal band since 1994. Unlike other bands, the six man line up has remained unchanged. They rock their attire with fierce black eyes and black outfits. Basically their eyes are enough to steal the show.
At first glance, one would probably think that they are come out of a corpse opera concert. Well that’s how classy their persona is. Fleshgod Apocalypse is an Italian Symphonic Death Metal band. Their butler coat and bow idea is very chic. Combining their outfit with some dusty dirty makeup was a brilliant thought. Their lyrical theme is based on anti-theism, struggles of man and mythology.
Septicflesh are a Greek Extreme Metal band from Athens. Their outfit is spectacular. It’s very different from other band. It‘s defined very beautifully. Amongst the four, I think most of you would say that the vocalist Spiros Antoniou has the most amazing outfit, which looks like a rib structured armour. Sotiris Anvnnaki V. looks so much like Petyr Baelish, a character from a popular T.V show ‘Game of Thrones’. And in the picture below he has gripped his hand as though he’s devising a hard core plan, and I personally love it the most amongst the four.
We hope you liked this list! Let us know what you think by commenting below!
(All pictures/ costumes belong to respective owners/ photographers/ designers or whoever concerned. No copyright infringement was intended)
Nikita Nunes (Metaljesus Magazine- Content Creator)
Additional inputs by –
Anirudh Gollapudi (Metaljesus Magazine- Content Creator)