10 Great Black Metal Band Names
There’s no mistaking a great black metal band name when we hear one: Mayhem, Darkthrone, Kaosritual, Behexen. Their charm can be in the tone they set or in their ability to sum up the subgenre in a nutshell: Evig Hat (“Eternal Hate”), Deathcult, Kirkebrann, Fimbulwinter, So Much for Nothing, Det Hedenske Folk (“The Heathen People”). As Fenriz stated in a deleted clip from Until the Light Takes Us (2008): “… sometimes the titles or the lyrics are like pieces of eye candy.”
Sometimes a good black metal band name can come from within. Catamenia, who started as a black metal outfit, had no idea that their name meant “menstruation” when they chose it. What a bloody happy accident! Speaking of bodily functions, we believe that you can be sensitive to eating disorders while still appreciating the boldness that a certain French band demonstrated when they took on the moniker of Anorexia Nervosa.
When it comes to the extreme nature of black metal, does a (black) rose by any other name smell as sweet? The following are some quality groups with some of the best names in black metal!
Happy Days is the perfect name for an all-American depressive suicidal BM band. Obviously, their music is as far as away from the sitcom Happy Days, starring Ron Howard and Henry Winkler, as you can get. This is precisely what makes the title so outrageous. There are a lot of DSBM groups with similar, often noose-dangling, insignias. Yet, with the exception of our next pick, Happy Days is the clear winner in its category.
In 2010, the late “B”/”Nattdal,” Jonas Lars Bergqvist (1986-2011), told author and journalist Dayal Patterson the following: “Regarding the band’s name, I had once been called a ‘Lifelover’ back in 2004 in an e-mail by a fucker that did not even know me, and he sent the same e-mail to a lot of people and labels. So we both thought it could be a fun thing to call the recording Lifelover.” Bergqvist co-founded Lifelover with “( ),” Kim Carlsson, in June 2005. Their genius was astounding.
Thank the Lord for Mayhem’s Teloch. In NunFuckRitual, you can hear the likes of Mr. Teloch himself on guitar and ex-Anthrax‘s Dan Lilker on bass. NunFuckRitual has only dropped one full-length album, In Bondage to the Serpent (2011), on which Mayhem’s Attila Csihar and 1349‘s Ravn made guest appearances. Nevertheless, we hope to hear more amazing material from this outfit one day.
It took “Maniac,” Sven Erik Kristiansen, to create an epithet like this! Yes, under the moniker Septic Cunts, Maniac recorded his killer audition tape for Mayhem in 1986. We absolutely adore this filthy work of art! Maniac told Dayal Patterson: “Mayhem and Necrophagia inspired me to record the Septic Cunts tape, which consisted of my vocals and my extremely limited guitar skills. When I recorded that tape my mother was sure I had lost any last remaining fragment of sanity I possessed. It was a horrible piece of noise, but the voice was to Euronymous‘ liking and very soon he asked me to join Mayhem.” The Mayhem logo was actually created by a friend of Maniac’s, Terje Nilsen.
Bak De Syv Fjell
Bak De Syv Fjell translates as “Behind the Seven Mountains [of Bergen].” Besides setting the right nature-oriented vibe, this title evokes wicked biblical imagery. In Revelation 17, the Whore of Babylon / Babylon the great rides a scarlet beast that is covered with blasphemous names and bears seven heads and ten horns. An angel explains: “… The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings.” The short-lived yet incredible Bak De Syv Fjell consisted of Wardruna‘s Kvitrafn and ex-Taake‘s Haavard. This was one of the very few projects to mix black metal and folk the right way.
Simplicity is so underrated. Sadomator is just one example of how to correctly use “sado” in a title. Along with “sado-,” “blasphem-” (as in Anal Blasphemy), “necro” (as in Necrophobic), and “goat” (as in Archgoat) are some of the most used words/roots/affixes in BM. When you run a little wild with these options, you can come up with something ridiculous like The Unspeakable Cult ov Goatpenis or Blasphamagoatachrist, which we reported on in 2018. In any case, the Danish wordsmiths dubbed Sadomater will not disappoint your need for morbid BM/DM. They bring you “Incest and Brutality,” “Nuns Ingesting Sperm,” and “Maggots Erupted from Goats Rectum.”
We love the Swedish band Craft, but when speaking about names, “Beastcraft” contains even more of the nostalgic essence of True Satanic BM. Beastcraft was a Norwegian duo that boasted the unsurpassed talent of the late ex-Urgehal and ex-Vulture Lord’s Trondr Nefas, known here as Alastor Nefas, and Vulture Lord’s Sorath Northgrove. Urgehal’s “Dødsmarsj / Death March for Nefas” reunion shows are currently taking place in honor of the 10-year anniversary of his death, which passed this May.
Angst Skvadron was the brainchild of the “Goatcraft Torment[or]” Trondr Nefas. (The BM emperor strikes yet again on our list.) The young and prolific genius, who took part in so many projects, remains one of our favorite figures in metal. Angst Skvadron featured the likes of his fiancée, O. M. P., Octavia Marina Petru. The designation Angst Skvadron is the ideal combination of militance and avant-garde poeticism. Whereas most black metal logos are just copies and the majority of groups are nothing more than clones, Angst Skvadron delivered something so unique that it may as well be from Mars. In the best of ways, their trippy “Dolcontin Blues” prog music is often too weird to be true. They have described themselves as “depressive, psychedelic alien death metal.” As the band acknowledged, you can call their style what you’d like. Some would call it post-BM. The point is that categorization isn’t especially helpful in this case of extreme individuality.
Dødheimsgard was founded in 1994 and remains one of Norway’s most inventive bands. The group’s mastermind, Vicotnik, recruited Fenriz for the original lineup. Although DHG began playing fairly straightforward BM, Vicotnik, an inexhaustible well of creativity, has steered this ship in various unexpected directions over the years. The word “Dødheimsgard” is an amalgamation of “død”/”death,” “heim”/”home,” and “gard,” which can mean “farm.” For interview purposes, Vicotnik and former member Aldrahn decided that they would explain “Dødheimsgard” as “kingdom of death.” According to Vicotnik, the name was originally coined by Aldrahn for “Over bleknede blåner til dommedag” from Dimmu Borgir‘s For all tid (1995).
Yes, the expression “saakalte”/”so-called” really has been incorporated into the Norwegian language. The very Norwegian Den Saakaldte was founded in 2006 by the Greek-born “Sykelig,” or Michael Siouzios, who was formerly known as Morpheas in Naer Mataron. Den Saakaldte’s former members include Mayhem’s Hellhammer, 1349’s Seidemann, Sweden’s Niklas Kvarforth of Shining, and other all-stars. The band’s name comes from the title of a track on Written in Waters (1995) by the experimental legends Ved Buens Ende, or “At the End of the (Rain)bow.” The lyrics for “Den Saakaldte” were written by Vicotnik.