There’s no doubting the name of a great black metal band when you hear one: Mayhem, Darkthrone, Kaosritual, Behexen. Their charm may lie in the tone they set or in their ability to sum up the subgenre in one word: Evig Hat (“The Eternal Hate”), Deathcult, Kirkebrann, Fimbulwinter, So Much for Nothing, Det Hedenske Folk ( “The Heathen People”). As Fenriz said in a deleted clip from Until the light takes us (2008): “…sometimes titles or lyrics are like eye candy.”
Sometimes a good black metal band name can come from within. Catamenia, who started out as a black metal band, had no idea their name meant “menstruation” when they chose it. What a bloody happy accident! Speaking of bodily functions, we believe that one can be sensitive to eating disorders while appreciating the audacity shown by a certain French group in adopting the nickname Anorexia Nervosa.
When it comes to the extreme nature of black metal, does a (black) rose by any other name smell that good? here are some quality bands with some of the best names in black metal!
Happy Days is the perfect name for a depressive and suicidal American BM band. Obviously, their music is also far from the sitcom Happy Days, with Ron Howard and Henry Winkler, as you can get. This is precisely what makes the title so outrageous. There are many DSBM groups with similar insignia, often hanging. Yet, with the exception of our next pick, Happy Days is the clear winner in its category.
lover of life
In 2010, the late “B”/”Nattdal”, Jonas Lars Bergqvist (1986-2011), told author and journalist Dayal Patterson the following: “Regarding the name of the band, I had already was called “Lifelover” in 2004 in an email from some asshole who didn’t even know me, and he sent the same email to a lot of people and labels, so we both thought it might be a fun thing to call recording Lifelover.Bergqvist co-founded Lifelover with “( )”, Kim Carlsson, in June 2005. Their genius was astounding.
Thank the Lord for the Teloch of Mayhem. In NunFuckRitual you can hear the likes of Mr. Teloch himself on guitar and Dan Lilker from ex-Anthrax on bass. NunFuckRitual has only released one full album, In servitude to the serpent (2011), on which Attila Csihar of Mayhem and Ravn of 1349 made appearances. Still, 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, as 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 included my vocals and extremely limited guitar skills. When I recorded this tape, my mother was sure that I had lost the last shred of sanity I possessed. It was an awful noise, but the voice was Euronymous’s liking and very soon he asked me to join Mayhem. The Mayhem logo was actually created by a friend of Maniac, Terje Nilsen.
Bak De Syv Fjell
Bak De Syv Fjell translates to “Behind the Seven Mountains [of Bergen].” Along with setting the right nature-oriented vibe, this title conjures up wicked biblical imagery. In Revelation 17, the Whore of Babylon/Babylon the Great rides a scarlet-colored 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 but incredible Bak De Syv Fjell consisted of Kvitrafn from Wardruna and Haavard from ex-Taake. It was one of the few projects that mixed black metal and folk in the right way.
Simplicity is so underrated. Sadomator is just one example of how to properly use “sado” in a title. Along with “sado-“, “blasphemy-” (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 go a little wild with these options, you may find something ridiculous like The Unspeakable Cult ov Goatpenis or Blasphamagoatachrist, which we covered in 2018. Either way, Danish blacksmiths nicknamed Sadomater won’t disappoint your need for BM morbid. /DM. They bring you “Incest and Brutality”, “Nuns Ingesting Sperm”, and “Maggots Erupted from Goats Rectum”.
We love Swedish band Craft, but speaking of names, “Beastcraft” contains even more of the nostalgic essence of True Satanic BM. Beastcraft were a Norwegian duo that boasted the unrivaled 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 10th anniversary of his death, which happened last May.
Skvadron of Anguish
Angst Skvadron is the brainchild of the “Goatcraft Torment[or]Trondr Nefas. (Emperor BM hits our list once again.) The young and prolific genius, who has been involved in so many projects, remains one of our favorite metal figures. Angst Skvadron featured the likes of his fiancée, OMP, Octavia Marina Petru. The appellation Angst Skvadron is the ideal combination of militancy and avant-garde poetism. While most black metal logos are just copies and the majority of bands are just clones, Angst Skvadron has delivered something so unique it might as well have come from Mars. At the best of times, their trippy prog music “Dolcontin Blues” is often too weird to be true. They described themselves as “depressive, psychedelic alien death metal”. As the band acknowledged, you can call their style whatever you want. Some would call it post-BM. The point is that categorization is not particularly helpful in this case of extreme individuality.
Dødheimsgard was founded in 1994 and remains one of Norway’s most inventive bands. The mastermind of the group, Vicotnik, recruited Fenriz for the original lineup. Although DHG started out playing fairly simple BM, Vicotnik, an endless well of creativity, has steered that ship in various unexpected directions over the years. The word “Dødheimsgard” is an amalgamation of “død”/”death”, “heim”/”house” 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 Dimmu Borgir’s “Over bleknede blåner til dommedag”. For everyone (1995).
Yes, the expression “saakaldte” / “so-called” has really 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 once known as Morpheas in Naer Mataron. Former members of Den Saakaldte include Hellhammer from Mayhem, Seidemann from 1349, Niklas Kvarforth from The Shining from Sweden and other stars. The name of the group comes from the title of a piece of written in the waters (1995) by experimental legends Ved Buens Ende, or “At the End of the Arc (of the Rain)”. The lyrics of “Den Saakaldte” were written by Vicotnik.