If you are a fan of black metal, you must have a special ability to be able to read practically illegible text, because that’s what you have to do in order to read the logos of many of these black metal bands. For instance, would you have guessed that the logo below is for a band called “Nokturnal Mortum”?
In terms of sheer graphical prowess, when it comes to these black metal band logos, there is definitely some sort of font-morphing sorcery at play. Let’s be real: fonts are to black metal logo designers what holy water is to a vampire: avoid at all costs.
Indeed, the best and most effectively un-transcribable black metal band logos have the ability to put a hex on you, while you stand there trying to figure out what the fuck you’re looking at. Like, try reading this.
That said, as a fan, you kind of get used to it, and eventually come to expect it…and finally, demand it.
Pretty soon, you just know that when you see a series of illegible white shapes that look like knives, thorns, or webs on a crisp black background, this usually signifies that you are about to be sonically pummelled by a very intense kind of music with an unwavering sense of hatred for you and all mankind.
Stereotypically speaking, you’d expect any band with an illegible black metal logo would probably have music that could be described in some of the following ways: fast, aggressive, and angry, often with baffling time signatures, and complex arrangements. Add to that indecipherable, demonic screams or low growling, and then top it off with hate-filled, nihilistic, blasphemous lyrics. Oh, wait…then throw in some evil-sounding Satan-summoning tritones. At least, if the black metal is truly black, that’s what you’ll be getting.
A Loathing Requiem, anyone?
Black metal music itself aside, we must once again assert that black metal band logos are typically illegible and impossible to make out. If you show up at a black metal show, good luck figuring out who’s on the bill. These logos are more like tests of your fandom. Can’t read the logo? Must not be a true fan. Read that shit or die trying.
Take the following logo belonging to this extreme metal band, called Filii Nigrantium Infernalium, who are from Portugal.
You have to admit, unless you already know the band, you probably wouldn’t be able decipher any of those words if you saw them on a poster or cd. Oh well, you probably know what to expect anyway.
In case you haven’t heard of the band Filii Nigrantium Infernalium, here’s what they sound like in the form of their song “Cadafalso”.
Your average non-goat head worshipping person might wonder, why do these black metal artists deliberately make these black metal logos so hard to read? Are they just trying to one-up each other to see who can make the most insane logo possible to go along with the most insane music possible?
That’s not really a bad guess, we think, since a lot of this type of music often focuses on death, destruction, and quite frequently even the annihilation of the human race itself. Don’t believe us, just ask Prosanctus Inferi (logo below) what they think of the human race.
The above logo, we must say, gets about a 1 out of 10 on the legibility scale, but perhaps a 10 out of 10 on the evil-looking band logo scale. Now here’s the band with their black metal radio hit single, “Red Streams Of Flesh”…Take it away, boys!
To those who are just getting acquainted with the genre, you’d think there certainly must be a correlation between using illegible spiky white text on a black background with having extremely evil-to-the-core music. So, is it the more indecipherable the text, the more fucked up the band? It could be, it could be…
Take a look at the logo of this next band, called Forgotten Land…
Once again, it is truly difficult to make out the name of this band just by looking at the logo here. The word “Land” seems somewhat legible, but honestly, it is not easy to read any of it. Artistically, there is something going on here with trees and long, twisted roots, and hey, there’s even a moon in there!
But just because a band logo is pretty much impossible to read, that doesn’t mean the music necessarily is going to be impossible to listen to. What kind of demonic music are we about to hear with Forgotten Land? Let us see, by taking a look at their song, “Over Snow By Winter Storm”.
Oddly enough, Forgotten Land seems a lot closer to a Final Fantasy video game sound track than it does black metal, although that’s why Forgotten Land’s music has added the qualifier, “ambient”, which means you get a different take on the same genre. Instead of vikings raping and killing your family while hellfire rains down, one might envision the quiet aftermath of a village being massacred, perhaps during the wintertime as you try to understand “What is life?”
Here is another band called Waking The Cadaver, which uses an interesting black metal logo technique where at first it looks like the inside of a thorny rosebush, but the longer you stare at it, the words start to appear and soon become clearer. Trick of the eye, or trick of the mind?
Here is a sampling of Wake The Cadaver’s music, with a song called “Life Lesson”.
Honestly, we could share illegible black metal band logos with you all day. There are black death metal bands numbering in the thousands now, whereas 20 years ago there may have been, like, 3 or 4. And you know what that means. It just means that we’re getting ever closer to that day when humanity sees its final defeat at the hands of demon hoards. Some will resist, while others will welcome the humanity’s final days. And with that, we’ll leave you with one more logo for you to ponder, and we won’t even tell you who it is. 🙂