The Top 5 Corpse Painters of All Times


Over the course of the past twenty-five-some-odd years, corpse paint has become a cornerstone of black metal played by white men. Initially given its name by someone who had never actually seen a dead body before, corpse paint has become so important that no less an authority on metal than Professor Du Humorløse Tuller at the University of Norway Kolvereid writes in his book Want to See a Dead Body?: An Academic History of Corpse Paint (Grock & Grimaldi Press, 2011) that “it is of the utmost importance that any aspiring heavy metal musician learn to properly adorn oneself with corpse paint before they even dream of touching an instrument.”

But who wore it best? To determine a highly-scientific answer, MetalSucks recently polled a panel of experts in the fields of metal, cosmology, and forensic pathology. The resulting list is as follows:

5. Abbath (ex-Immortal)The Top 5 Corpse Painters of All Times

Abbath may not have created corpse paint, but he certainly created one of its most iconic designs. In fact, not only has Abbath inspired scores of fans, but he’s also been endlessly ripped-off by unethical cat breeders. Why Abbath hasn’t sued the entire kitten industry is beyond us.

4. Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth)The Top 5 Corpse Painters of All Times

No surprises here: few musicians so wholly encapsulate true Norwegian black metal the way Dani Filth does.

3. C.C. DeVille (Poison)The Top 5 Corpse Painters of All Times

C.C. DeVille was born Bruce Anthony Johannesson, but famously changed his name to ‘Christ Clipper’ and the French word for ‘devil.’ Although he’s ultimately most well-known for his more outlandish corpse paint designs, the pinnacle of DeVille’s corpse powers clearly came at the 1991 MTV VMAs (above), when he debuted a look so pallid and lifeless that many assumed he was, in fact, dead. It later turned out he was just on a whole lot of drugs and devastatingly untalented.

2. Insane Clown PosseThe Top 5 Corpse Painters of All Times

ICP probably have the only design even more iconic than that Abbath. They score extra points for flying in the face of societal conventions with more vigor than anyone since Euronymous — in fact, they fly in the face of black metal conventions, too, making them extra-super-duper rebellious. And they’re the first black metallers to come under watch from law enforcement officials since the original Svarte Sirkel. No siree, it doesn’t get much more evil than ICP.

 1. KissThe Top 5 Corpse Painters of All Times

Duh. As everyone knows, Kiss CREATED corpse paint, even before Gene Simmons created the devil horns. Unsurprisingly, they were also said to be Dead’s favorite band. Like ICP, they’ve also taken black metal values to their extreme limits, going so far as to manufacture officially licensed caskets so that someday Kiss fans can be surrounded by Kiss corpse paint while they are themselves corpses.

The Top 5 Corpse Painters of All Times

So? Did our panel nail it, or did they NAIL it? They nailed it!

Still, if you think they somehow missed someone important, now you’re chance to say so: discuss and debate the results of our poll in the comments section below! But honestly we can’t imagine who would disagree with this list. It’s rock solid!!!

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