Scavenging our cultural tundra for ripping new metal bands to sink your fangs into, sometimes you bite into an overly tuneful, utterly unmoshable red herring. Here are 10 bands with names that sound the part, but their music lives somewhere north of South of Heaven:
Other than maybe a passing Afropop chordal sequence, very little seems to be truly hunted here, and certainly not with bile-forged Viking arrows.
Yes, this could also be, and apparently is, an ironic indie rock name. But you still just can’t help but half-expect San Berdoo biker shags in greasy denim towing the line between Motörhead and Molly Hatchet.
While this particular power trio is admittedly witchy and hard-hitting, if you’re claiming not just one skull, but a flock, pack, ring, clutch or band of skulls, you might as well use them in the service of some deep, dark Carpathian Forest-style steeple-torching hell cries—and no, a vampire-movie soundtrack appearance doesn’t count when it’s New Moon.
Apparently not a Mayhem or Dimmu Borgir side project. But Ted Leo fans should like it.
These guys even have songs with titles like “Negative Thinking,” and “Zombie,” so the logo might as well be written in cobwebs, right? Nope, hipsters in hoodies. Again.
Even casual metal fans know there’s an Iron Maiden album named Killers, but clearly killing has gone mainstream. And if killing is your business, is business good (apologies to Dave Mustaine)? Seemingly so.
You know at least a few confused people wearing Carcass shirts showed up at their concerts.
Sure, it’s the crunchy side of ambient indie rock, but presumably there are pentagram-toting goat-impalers somewhere biding their time and waiting to spring a trademark dispute.
If Nile does dense, scabrous concept records about ancient Egyptian death cults, who is to say that there can’t be a band whose raison d’etre is guttural screams and Saudi prison sagas? As it turns out, this Smiths-inflected New Zealand post-punk is big on harmonies, light on abject hatred.
The band that all but inspired the list. I mean c’mon. No codpieces, no corpse paint, not a flying V to be seen. What has Dan Bejar actually destroyed recently? A hemp flannel?
So, clearly, don’t seek the legions of darkness by their monikers—you might just end up with the distant neighbor of the beast.