There is no other form of music that works in tandem with the visual art quite like Metal, And with good reason. Long before Headbangers Ball, Fuse, the Internet and Satellite radio, Bands depended on Artwork to sell their music for them on the record store shelf. Album art can change drastically throughout the arc of a bands career, but one thing can stay constant and become part of that bands identity. The logo. Great logos can live on way past the relevance of a band (see The Misfits). The guys at MetalSucks.net have done a great job celebrating when artists fall on their face designing a Metal logo, but here at MBA we are going to take some time to showcase some great logos from some of our favorite bands.
Heavy metal legend and founder of Death Chuck Schuldiner designed the Death Logo. Death’s logo has it all. This logo went through some editing through the years. Eventually the Reaper was removed from over the H and the cross was turned back into a T, but the original stayed a very popular patch on battle vests of misunderstood metal-head kids everywhere.
Sepultura’s Tribal S
Sepultura never seemed to pay much attention to how the name of their band was written. On most album covers it’s a simple font. You can get away with that when you have artistic juggernaut Michael Whelan designing your covers. However, once the design of the S came out, it became the go-to tattoo design for anyone that was a fan of the band, especially if your first or last name started with “S”. I assume at least 10,000 people in Brazil alone have that design permanently carved into their flesh.
Death decided to put in a scythe in their logo (and it ROCKED), Obituary decided to go one better and make all their letters blades! The letters are reflecting fire on top, and dripping blood on the bottom. Then for good measure they added a Gargoyle for a T in the center. Fire, blood, a mythical creature, All the Metal bases were covered.
Slayer are heavy metal Gods. It’s only fitting that their logo is included in this conversation. A Pentagram made out of swords with “Slayer” in their jagged font woven through. This logo was later worked into the Order of the German Eagle design.
French black metal masters Deathspell Omega have been growling about how Satan is a swell guy since 1998. The have 5 albums to date, and although none of their album covers are on deck to be featured on MBA (well maybe the dead baby angel one), their Logo is totally boss. The font is fancy and Black metalesque, but still readable. And readability is a big problem in the metal logo world. The large skeletal sword-wielding angel really makes this logo sand out.
Opeth are so metal they have a Ying-Yang with butterflies in it worked into the logo. Wait, what? That’s right. This fancy logo looks great and I’m not embarrassed to say so. They didn’t even need some sort of blade weapon or an upside down cross to get their point across. Just some heavy metal butterflies.
I really like this Municipal Waste logo. The M/W from their original logo in the circle reminds me of a unit patch from Star Wars, or Starship Troopers. Waste Them All indeed.
Wolves in the Throne Room
This is a beautiful logo. The band resisted the urge to put in a wolf, or a throne. No blood. No weapons. It is classy and clean.
Instead of taking the easy road and waxing poetic about the Misfits and how awesome that smiley skull is, let’s talk about Danzig!!! That’s right, I’m on team Danzig. Ominous horned skull lit from below? Yes please. This Logo was originally created for a comic book cover, but Glen Bought it and slapped is name on it. Say what you will about Glen the man, Danzig the band always had cool art around them.
That will be all I have time for right now. There are a lot of logos out there and I barely scratched the surface. Too bad Sick of it All didn’t have a cool logo to add there.