Heavy Metal band name taxonomy


Here's a detail of an entertaining heavy metal band name taxonomy. The chart was made by graphic designer and comedian Doogie Horner. Full image available here. (Thanks, HC!)



  1. Is it ironic that under “Badass Misspellings”, they list “Led Zepellin”, which is a misspelling of the actual misspelling?

  2. Hmm, they have Ragnarok as being from the Book of Revelation, but that should be under either Viking or Actually Foreign.

  3. Funny, despite misspelling Zeppelin and Motley Crue. Or perhaps because of it. Lots of bands, and fairly popular ones at that, missing. But still tremendously entertaining.

  4. Gee, a playlist made up of one song (preferably the best one) from each of the named bands might be useful to have in certain circumstances.
    It would also rock I bet.

  5. “The Sound and the Fury” is a Shakespeare references rather than Faulkner, but I guess there isn’t a “Shakespeare reference” section.

  6. Awesome. That’s totally great.

    I guess #4 already beat me to “complaining about bands that aren’t listed”, but I’m betting that has to do with #7’s implied missing categories. For instance, a personal favorite, Strapping Young Lad, doesn’t fit anywhere on that chart.

    Where can I get a poster of this for my wall?

  7. A missing category might be bandnames derived from Tolkien.

    I can think of four right off the bat: Cirith Ungol, Cirith Gorgor, Morgoth, and Gorgoroth.

    I guarantee you there are many more, even if I may not be familiar with them all.

    1. bandnames derived from Tolkien

      I always thought that The Stench And The Peril would make a good band name.

  8. I love this, but I alsolove that “Death By Chocolate” (listed at the top , right) is actually British Pop Band with girl singer. Not metal at all (but still quite good)!

  9. @#10 Rastronomicals: When I was knee-high to a hobbit, there was a good local teen garage band called Minas Tirith. (I still have some of their tapes; they hold up through the years.) They would be disqualified on account of not being metal, though. Theirs was more music for wandering in Lothlorien eating special mushrooms.

  10. Two great (among many great) names I’ve thought of for band names:

    “Burning Dirt”


    “The Stoned Apocalypse” ( this is taken from the name a fabulous book by Marco Vassi )

    Okay, no one take these names or cthulhu will eat you.

  11. I’ve always loved Jello Biafra’s ongoing “Names for bands” spoken word piece. Möndale being my favorite. Although Earth Fart and Anchovy Smegma are also right up there.

  12. strange, why do band names not include their most prominent visual elements, to wit: big hair, lots of make-up and exciting leather garments?

  13. Some of the “imaginary” animals exist for example snakes and lions both have albino formats and lions also have a really cool white version with blue eyes. I think the chart needs to have some sort of wiki capacity.

  14. @#10 Rastronomicals: Also, Amon Amarth — a Viking Metal band with a Tolkien-based name (and with a kick-ass relatively new CD).

    Also, I’m pretty sure that quite a few `neo-pagans` would seriously disagree with `Pagan` metal group branching off of `Satanic` — instead of directly off of `Religion.`

    Same goes with some of the `Heathen` bands with actual Heathen members — they would probably rather branch directly off of `Religion` instead of `Medieval` (or at least have a connected dotted line, although it would screw up the nifty pentagram). But maybe I’m picking nits here…

  15. @24
    I’m a white lion with blue eyes.

    “Imaginary cities – Lunar – Opeth”



  16. The design is lovely.
    The categorization is incredibly awful.
    Also, as with Grimshaw @5, placing sodomy dead center at the top under “Deadly Things” jumped out at me. I guess they were just trying to protect us.
    Honestly, though, I think that even without changing or adding categories about a third of those bands should be under a different heading.

  17. Nitpick: Crippled Lucifer is an album by Burning Witch, not a separate band.
    Great album, though. \m/

  18. Wow, “Cradle of Filth” are real? Until today, I was under impression it was an invented name for an imaginary band that Richmond listens to in “The IT Crowd” .

  19. Hmmm. “Satan’s Loneliness”, Satan’s Blind Date”, “Satan’s Awkward Gropings”, “Satan’s Child”….
    What is this? Did the band “Satan’s Adolescence” break up and go their separate ways?

  20. They should have a Tolkein Reference section as well. Bands such as Ungoliant, Gorgoroth, and Utumno would go in there

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