The weather is finally turning colder (well…cold for LA), and it’s officially that time of year. The holidays are upon us, and Halloween is less than a week away. I’m dressing up as Freddie Mercury, and it’s going to be awesome. Some people have the luxury of dressing like it’s Halloween year-round. They’re called metal bands.
Not all metal bands dress up, but some have made excellent livings doing so. Some are scarier than others, some are just crazy, and some are almost comical. These are my Top 5 Dressed-Up Metal Bands.
Former White Zombie frontman Rob Zombie’s entire career has revolved around his obsession with horror. He has a great stage show (by far the loudest concert I’ve ever been to), but beyond his success as a musician, he has also directed several acclaimed horror movies, including House On Haunted Hill and his most recent cinematic effort, Lords Of Salem. He is currently hosting Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, a series of musical performances coupled with haunted mazes, so suffice to say, Rob Zombie has had an amazing career.
If Tenacious D, Marilyn Manson, and Jim Henson all did heroin together, you would have Gwar. Gwar is just as funny as they are scary. With some of the most outrageous stage antics, including decapitating mannequins and spraying blood all over the audience, this band has established themselves as an All Hallows Eve staple.
Swedish band Ghost B.C. is quickly becoming a must-see act in the metal world. Their exaggerated on-stage persona combines irreverence and cheesy blasphemy, dressed up in black robes with their lead singer as the Pope in skeleton makeup. Having only been around since 2008, they are still an emerging band, but they are developing quite a reputation on the festival circuit and metal scene.
Some metalheads aren’t sold on Slipknot and their brand of horror metal, but despite the naysayers, I’ve always appreciated the band’s penchant for spectacle and aggression. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 15 years since they first came on the scene, but the group of nine has made the most of their time, headlining major tours all over the world, releasing four albums, and growing one of the most rabid fan bases among the hard rock crowd. They are reportedly writing new material and may have a new album out within a year or two.
One of the first bands to embrace the dressed-up-on-stage life, KISS turned some serious heads when they emerged in 1975. Their name is an acronym that means “Knights In Satan’s Service,” and it wasn’t a favorite with mid-1970s parents. People thought that the band was sent from the devil to corrupt their children, and in hindsight, those people may have been right.
KISS’ style gave birth to an entire breed of metal band, and they were able to understand their position from a business standpoint better than nearly any group in the industry. The KISS brand has been plastered on everything from furniture to toothbrushes. They are the epitome of the dressed-up band and set the bar so high, no one else has been able to reach it.
So what are you dressing up as for Halloween?