"Each band is trying to be more wicked and evil than the other band," Alice Cooper famously said in 'Metal: A Headbanger's Journey.' The same can often be said for band names, as well, with some monikers more blasphemous than others.
Just because a band's name can be considered blasphemous, it doesn't mean the music is filled with Satan worshipping, animal sacrificing and blood orgy-ing spawns of demonic copulation. But in some of these cases, that is the actual case. Either way, the names chosen to represent their projects succeed in delivering that uncomfortable mental image directly into your mind's eye.
Here are 10 of the most blasphemous band names to ever exist:
From members of Crowbar, Soilent Green, Acid Bath + others comes the New Orleans-based blackened death metal band Goatwhore. Having maintained a reputation as one of metal's hardest working bands, Goatwhore have released a handful of full-length gems rooted in Satanic and anti-religious themes, such as the 2009 record 'Carving Out the Eyes of God.' Goatwhore's latest offering is the excellent 'Blood for the Master' -- a brutal assault against those of faith through tracks like 'Death to the Architects of Heaven' and 'Judgement of the Bleeding Crown.'
Now-defunct black metal band Christ Inversion hailed from America's cesspool of evil, New Orleans. Having formed in 1994, the band didn't last too long, but was brought into the limelight by Phil Anselmo, who played guitar for the band under the pseudonym Anton Crowley, through the 'Christ Inversion' compilation album released on Housecore Records in 2008. Utilizing a dual crucified Christ, one upright and one inverted, as their official symbol, Christ Inversion wrote the Satanic monstrosities 'Godfall,' 'Holocaustik Antichrist Fire' and a handful of others. Christ Inversion boast some of the most raw, unpolished recordings in black metal history, complementing the group's thematic lyrics beautifully.
Having entered their 25 year of pumping out quality New Orleans sludge and doom, Eyehategod are much more than simple blasphemers. Inspired by the likes of Black Sabbath, Melvins and Corrosion of Conformity, Eyehategod have released many trudging masterpieces such as 'Take as Needed for Pain' (1993), 'Dopesick' (1996) and 'Confederacy of Ruined Lives' in 2000. Tortured poet Mike Williams wraps his words with grit in the most affective of ways, bringing a level of gloomy depth to the surface like few can.
The name Christian Death screams extreme metal, but surprisingly to those unfamiliar with the band, Christian Death falls more into rock territory. The gothic rock style of Christian Death began to develop in 1979, when the act was founded in Los Angeles. The band's classic debut, 'Theatre of Pain,' continues to recruit a cult following for the band over 30 years after its initial release. No original members of Christian Death still remain in the band, and founder Rozz Williams was denied use of the band's name after a messy legal battle a few years before Williams committed suicide in 1998. Still active, Christian Death's latest release, 'American Inquisition,' was put out in 2007.
Brutal Californian death metal band Severed Savior comes in high on our list for their blasphemous name -- and it's not even their first! Once known as Christ Denied, the act formed in 1999 and has released two full-length records, 'Brutality is Law' (2003) and 'Servile Insurrection' (2008). Still active, Severed Savior's material is gore-ridden in content along with anti-religious. The two themes are blended together in tracks such as 'Inverted and Inserted' and 'Unholy Member,' the latter of which details the graphic deflowering of the Virgin Mary.
Before Lamb of God rose up to become one of modern metal's most celebrated bands, the group laid to rest its original moniker, Burn the Priest. The group opened its doors in 1994, but although Burn the Priest acted as a powerfully anti-Christian title, the band's material wasn't outwardly evil. Each current Lamb of God member was a part of Burn the Priest in some respect, but in 1999, the Virginian act decided that its original name was too immature and misrepresented the group's musical direction. Thus, Lamb of God was born and the rest, as they say, is history.
You may be unaware of NunSlaughter, but they've been around for a long, long time. Since forming in Pittsburgh, Pa. in 1987, NunSlaughter have released an insane amount of material through full-length albums, demos, splits, EPs, compilations, box sets, DVDs and live recordings. Are NunSlaughter dedicated to profanation? Titles such as 'F--- the God in Heaven,' 'Waiting to Kill Christ' and 'Impale the Soul of Christ on the Inverted Cross of Death' may give you the answer. However, NunSlaughter don't take themselves too seriously, as evidenced in their video for 'God' where frontman Don of the Dead applies for a job at a Christian company, only to break out into evil song.
How's that for a visual image? In case you're unfamiliar with the term Nazarene, it's a title attributed to Jesus Christ, having been born in Nazareth. The Nazarenes were also a Christian sect that date back to the 1st Century, but we're pretty sure Impaled Nazarene are talking about the Son of God here. The Finnish black metal band, which once featured Children of Bodom frontman Alexi Laiho, is a pinnacle black metal act that utilize grindcore and punk elements like few can. The band has released 11 studio albums over 24 years, and the name Impaled Nazarene still resonates through the darkest corners of chapels and cathedrals worldwide.
deicide [ˈdiːɪˌsaɪd] n 1. the act of killing a god
2. a person who kills a god
It doesn't get much more blasphemous than that. As a death metal act with some of the most truly evil songs ever written, Deicide has existed since 1989, although the band started under alternate names in 1987. The band's 1990 self-titled album is one of metal's all-time greatest debuts, consisting of anti-religious classics such as 'Lunatic of God's Creation' and 'Crucifixation.' Frontman Glen Benton was perhaps the most dedicated death metal musician of all time when it comes to sacrilege, famously branding an inverted cross onto his forehead repeatedly for many years.
Is there any other band name which evokes such disturbing mental images? Underground bands such as Christ Dismembered and Decapitated Christ have branded themselves with brutal monikers, but for our money, Rotting Christ tops them all. The Greek metal veterans' fascination with anti-religious, occultist and mythological topics has led to 11 brilliant full-length blackened extreme metal albums. From the raw, mucus-laced 'The Sign of Evil Existence' to the rich and operatic 'Cine Iubeşte Şi Lasă,' Rotting Christ have etched their blasphemous name distinctly on the charred walls of Hell.