Metal Legacies

Here’s To You, Armored Bipedal Goat



Besides the usual band-related mascots, there are a number of recurring characters in metal art and culture that the average hesher knows well. There’s the skeletal thrasher, vest-clad and pouring beer down into his ribs; there’s the greedy priest, sweat on his brow as he counts money and tugs leashes; and who could forget the not-so-innocent little girl, whose face shows signs of demonic possession or early-onset zombification. But while these memes are solidly set in the headbanger mind, none of them hold a candle to the armored bipedal goat.

Ah, armored bipedal goat, you’ve always reigned in the Hell of our hearts. Whether unsheathing the missing sword in the Slayer pentagram, blowing Jesus’ brain out with an assault rifle, or just getting a blowjob from a cultist, you’ve always been there to ignite our love for all things brutish and evil. You make us dream that, with enough spiked leather and crucified nuns, we too could be as hardy and dedicated a force of darkness as you are. Armored bipedal goat, we salute you.

Maybe Midas’ minotaur, Levi’s Baphomet, and Goya’s Black Paintings were your ancestors, but  Show No Mercy and Bathory’s debut truly hailed your coming, and it was through the work of artists like of Chris Moyen and Mark Riddick that we really understood how powerful you were. While some goats have six chapped nipples and shit clinging to their fur, you are ‘80s movie buff and shaved in all the right places. Where you get your bullet bandoliers and goat-safe corpsepaint is a mystery to us, but who are we to question you? You live in a stark cross-hatched black-and-white universe whose bizarre ways we cannot hope to comprehend. You’re too busy uttering the war cry that will unleash pure Hell to answer our stupid questions.

But normal metal isn’t enough for you, armored bipedal goat. Not a vicious right-hand black magic icon such as yourself, oh no. The bands who hail you most are those burrowed deep in the underground in parts of the world nowhere near Norway or the Bay Area. Yours are the imports, the hard-to-find T-shirts. You watch over Warhemic Productions in Queens as they offer limited-edition patches and pins to total misanthropes who don’t even remember what the mainstream looks like anymore. Only those who consider Cannibal Corpse radio-friendly can truly understand you, armored bipedal goat.

Some might say you’re everything that’s simplistic about metal—that instead of considering the Devil as a spiritual force or an aspect of humanity itself (ooh, deep), we make it a big mean goat monster just like every other Christian sect before us did. But armored bipedal goat, you’re so much more than just some prancing demon! You do things no other goat can (besides walking on two legs and putting on armor, obviously). You can have a goat head, a goat skull, or a weird dragon-goat muzzle with sharp teeth, implying that you’re carnivorous. Your face somehow fits in a gasmask when it needs to. Occasionally, you grow tattered wings or a huge, bulging gut that eventually erupts with your blasphemous spawn. That’s why you’re special, armored bipedal goat. It doesn’t matter if you’re a hard-edged war demon or a mind-bending Lovecraftian grotesquity. All that matters is, you’re terrifying.

Who else in metal’s pantheon knows sword-fighting, mini-gun marksmanship, and advanced necromancy? Who else can ride horses and control tanks? Any form of domination or slaughter than can be dreamt up, you commit. Every single version of Jesus, from the baby in the manger to the dying man on the cross, the armored bipedal goat brutally violates on a daily basis. But while you’re surprisingly versatile, you’re also a straightforward symbol of every last unholy act known to mankind. There’s always a genocide going on with you, armored bipedal goat. Everyone has to die, all the time. You know what you’re doing.

So here’s a glass raised to you, armored bipedal goat. You rule your niche of metal’s iconic imagery with an iron fist, and will forever live on as a reminder that an animal walking on two legs and draped in high-powered ammunition is the most awesome thing in the world.

Cheers, guy.

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