Before the Internet existed, music fans needed to sift through stacks of tapes or records in order to discover new bands. Metal band logos helped music lovers decide which artists or songs they were going to listen to.
These logos often have menacing connotations, with straight lines and sharp points that evoke medieval executioners or the KKK.
Iron Maiden stands out among metal bands with their signature icon design; few others can match its striking impactful. It sends out a message of fierce dedication to fans while at the same time sending out a clear message against those who would argue the band can never possibly be any good.
Iron Maiden have become iconic symbols of metal’s bold creative freedom since their founding in the mid ’70s. Over 41 albums and multiple world tours, their repertoire boasts iconic songs like Run to the Hills, Two Minutes to Midnight, Trooper as well as one of rock music’s most beloved frontmen in Eddie, one of whom has become one of its most recognisable faces.
The logo for their band, The Foo Fighters, features an angular heavy metal font with jagged letters that resemble runes, coined “Metal Lord.” It has since become synonymous with heavy metal music movement.
Over the years, its color scheme has undergone some subtle modifications; however, red’s fiery passion gives the logo power and urgency while black brings depth and weight that emphasizes its angular nature.
Mark Riddick designed the Iron Maiden logo as a powerful symbol of their dedication to their fans. Riddick published Logos From Hell a book which explores extreme metal logos. According to him, metal logos go beyond simply branding exercises – they become part of their respective music’s aesthetic.
Metallica has become one of the world’s best-known metal bands over time, known for their signature heavy guitar riffs, aggressive drumming, and screaming vocals. Metallica can be broken down into several subgenres: Thrash Metal (Slayer), Death Metal (Autopsy and Morbid Angel), Alternate Metal (System of a Down and Killswitch Engaged), with their logo often recalling lightning; reflecting their distinct musical style.
Metallica began as an idea proposed by guitarist-vocalist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich in 1981, placing an ad in their local newspaper seeking musicians interested in starting a metal band. Following several auditions that failed, bassist Kirk Hammett eventually joined and eventually the group adopted its current name based on advice given from an employee at a San Francisco record store manager – becoming Metallica as a result. Its logo has since become iconic of hard rock and metal music genres alike.
Metallica first adopted an uppercase font logo that simply spelled out their band name, later modified with an indented “M” and “A”, representing flashlights. This version remained until 2008 when they adopted a different design; prior to then the old logo appeared on several album covers such as Kill ‘Em All, Ride the Lightning, and Master of Puppets.
Metallica’s current logo is an updated, stylized version of their earlier one; however, its general shape and layout remains the same. It still uses capital-only font with slanted letters and elongated ends; additionally it now incorporates a white gruff outline reminiscent of their classic print appearances. Their latest album release Hardwired… To Self-Destruct was unveiled to fans on November 1, 2016. This was their first album release in 8 years!
Guns N’ Roses
Guns N’ Roses are one of the world’s best-known rock bands. Since 1988, their debut album Appetite for Destruction topped the charts and has become synonymous with hard rock and heavy metal music. Renowned for being loud and provocative performers – their motto being “Sex, Drugs, Rock n’ Roll” – their musical legacy helped popularise this genre of heavy metal.
In 1985, LA Guns and Hollywood Rose (Izzy Stradlin’s previous band names) combined to form the name LA Rose; initial members included drummer Ole Beich, guitarists Tracii Guns and Izzy Stradlin as well as bassist Steven Adler as well as vocalist Axl Rose who recorded four song EP Live?!*@ Like a Suicide before signing with Geffen Records.
Beginning their rise to fame was no easy task for these musicians; without access to working vehicles or much money, they had to hitchhike between gigs. Starting off playing small house concerts before expanding to bigger venues and touring alongside Led Zeppelin.
Guns N’ Roses logo features two guns connected by an arched arm holding up a skull at its center, believed to have been drawn by Slash but Axl Rose credits tattoo artist Bill White with this design.
Guns N’ Roses have released several albums over their three decade run, such as Appetite for Destruction, G N’ R Lies, Use Your Illusion I and II as well as Chinese Democracy released in 2008. Although the band has split multiple times over this timeframe, Axl Rose has remained as its sole original member throughout most of it all.
Emperor is an iconic band in extreme metal. Formed in 1991 by Norwegian musicians, Emperor has helped pioneer black metal as we know it today, inspiring fans and emerging black metal musicians alike with its distinctive brand of music – both symphonic yet raw styles of playing that pushed boundaries of what could be called metal music; their albums In The Nightside Eclipse and Anthems to Welkin at Dusk cemented their legacy as one of metal’s forward-thinking acts.
Cannibal Corpse became famous for their aggressive live shows, famously torching churches while shouting out, “Satan Burn in Hell!” They were one of the pioneering black metal bands to follow suit and became an influential source for other bands – some even use their logo as an example!
Extreme metal bands tend to feature intricate logos that encapsulate their music – for instance, Skull Fist’s logo serves as an excellent example. While death metal logos usually feature skulls, black metal logos may incorporate religious symbols or geometric designs. While thrash metal logos tend to feature sharp and clean designs. All extreme metal band logos come from their music.
Darkthrone stands out among black metal bands by having a logo that is both legible and visually striking, something many other bands struggle with. Their smart design draws your eye through its symmetry and the way its letters branch outward to form the center sun – certainly an impressive piece of work!
Morbid Angel is one of the premier death metal bands. Their music draws influence from ancient magic and witchcraft. Based in Tampa, Florida and established more than three decades ago, Morbid Angel have established themselves as pioneers of death metal music with numerous albums released and tours all around the globe.
Morbid Angel was formed in 1984 by guitarist Trey Azagthoth and bassist Dallas Ward under the names ICE (original), Heretic, and eventually Morbid Angel. Over time they evolved into a black/death metal hybrid band drawing inspiration from Necronomicon. Morbid Angel released their debut album Altars of Madness through England’s Earache Records in 1989 which received great praise both among fans and critics.
Their next album, Blessed Are the Sick, was more raw and aggressive than its predecessor. The addition of drummer Scott Fuller from Annihilated amplified their sound further; additionally, vocalist/basist Dave Vincent wrote lyrics for this record as well.
By 1995, Death Metal band Deicide had amassed a formidable touring schedule and were considered dominant players within its genre. Deicide remained true to themselves and continued recording albums with their original vision that brought them such success.
Following the release of their eighth studio album Illud Divinum Insanus, they embarked on a worldwide tour, culminating in Japan on Pantera’s Extreme Steel Tour. Following this, drummer Richard Brunelle decided to leave and was replaced by Jared Anderson from Erik Rutan’s Hate Eternal band.
Once their tour concluded, the band reunited for several festivals throughout Europe before beginning work on their ninth studio album titled Necronomicon – featuring new songs with more industrial soundscapes and even featuring guest appearances by Destructhor from Zyklon and Myrkskog!