The Top 5 awesome bands with weak ass names:
Dio once sang "it's really all the same, with just a different name." That being said, when we see a name, whether it's simple but effective (Death), completely inspired(Black Sabbath), or just sound kickass when you say them (Van Halen), our expectations that we will enjoy something ratchets up just a notch. Inversely when we see bands or titles with terrible names, we just think to ourselves "well this is gonna blow." Now there are obvious exceptions to rules and that's what this is about. Let me make something perfectly clear: I love all 5 bands on this list. I mean I like some more than others, but really, the awkward name is more than likely the worst thing I can say about them.
Now most bands of any genre can (and have) used just about every single name one can think of. But with different genres, there needs to be a certain feel to the name. For instance, you'd never hear of a Hip Hop act with the name House Cat, nor would you hear of a progressive band called "Fuck Bitches Get Money" or at least they would be providing an extra hurdle for themselves to get over. Metal is no different. Metal requires names to not just be an otherwise inconsequential misnomer that might as well be a Catalogue number. It needs to be a name with some kind of colloquialism that makes the square's scrotums shrivel up.
Now metal names don't necessarily need to be dark or violent. Look at a name like Immortal. It simply means to live forever, that's it. Of course when most hear it in metal circles they think of lo-fi guitars, ridiculous poses and black metal, but on its own, there's really no negativity to it. Same thing with Enslaved. It's not exactly the most empowering title. In fact I think most would rather be empowered than Enslaved but it's still works. Celtic Frost: All it really describes is a weather condition in a part of Europe. But is it metal, FUCK YEAH it is.
So enough of my prefacing. Here are five bands that I love, but would probably love a lot more if they had a less sucky name.
5. Morbid Angel
This one is the lowest one because while I don't have that much of a problem with it, I can't help but feel like the names Dark Angel or Death Angel (who I don't even listen to), even Angel Witch sound like better names involving such an A-word. And really, isn't Morbid just a softer (think George Carlin's Euphimisms/Soft Language bit) word for Dark anyway? David Vincent once said that he told a record company executive to fuck off after they suggested changing the name, not because it wasn't commercial enough, but simply to avoid cluttering the market with band names involving angel in their title. Vincent, the metal world has long thought you are a moron who actually would be working at McDonalds if you couldn't play an instrument, and shit like that is the reason why.
CALM THE FUCK DOWN!! Like I said, I love every single one of the bands on this list, but really, the name is the spanish word for panther. Now there's nothing necessarily wrong with naming your band after an animal (Mastodon anyone?), but it feels like naming your band after a cat has much more in common with their glam rock roots than the tough guy (as well as tough music) that they would become known for. I mean, Sepultura is in a foreign language too, but at least that one translates to grave, Windir translates to Warrior, and Burzum is well, Lord of the Rings gibberish, but at least it translates to something less pedestrian than a brand of car. Kinda surprised the record company didn't push these guys to change the name, but it is what it is. Musically, you know what I think of when I hear "Panther"? the LL Cool J album "Walking With A Panther." Which was the album that first inspired people to think LL was getting weak and shit in the rap game, causing him to have to make a comeback in the form of Mama Said Knock You Out. So panthers, despite being vicious jungle creatures you don't want to be within a mile of, just don't make for good musical names.
My issue with this one is a bit more abstract. See Candlemass is all about weight, heaviness, power. Well, exactly how heavy is a candle itself. The answer, not fucking very. Hell, if I were to whack a guy over the head with a candle, he would even feel a twinge of pain, he'd be minority inconvenienced. I'd do more damage if I hit him with a rolled up copy of the New York Times. If these guys wanted to use mass to describe their power, they probably should have picked something with more density than something made with wax.
So let me get this straight, you start out with an awesome name, Tyrant, named after one of the all time great Judas Priest songs, then you find out another band has that name, so you change your name to Tormentor. OK fair enough, the idea of naming yourself after a song or a band is slightly derivative and originality is all good. Then you find out ANOTHER band has that name, and rather than take a stand for yourself you change your name that doesn't have any sort of threading or majestic vibe, then you misspell with a K to give yourself some kind of false pretense? Whenever I pronounce this band's name I feel this compulsive need to accent the TOR in the bands name otherwise I'll feel like I'm saying the name of some Christian rock band. I mean there's nothing necessarily wrong with a positive name/vibe from a metal name, but if Mille and pals thought CREATOR spelled with a C wasn't tough enough, it's really not gonna make a difference how you spell it, it's just a bad name for a metal band.
1. Mercyful Fate
NO! STOP! DO NOT PUSH THE BACK BUTTON! LET ME FUCKING EXPLAIN MYSELF HERE! Pantera I could kind of get away with because they are practically everywhere and thus slightly overexposed. But this band? They have remained a dirty little secret of metal despite having a third of their classic output covered by fucking Metallica! How dare I criticize one iota of these legends? Well, before you set my house on fire, I want you to think for a minute. Say the bands name out loud. Now think about what it means. Imagine you are the soldier of a losing army, and they are free to do with you as they please. If the fate you are subjected to is one, as you say, full of mercy, that doesn't really sound all that bad. Hell they'll probably treat you to a first class meal, let you fuck some wenches, and not really be all that bothered that you were part of an opposing force. Does that sound all that dangerous? Does this name sound like something that you should be afraid of or stand in awe simply because it of how powerful it is. No. It doesn't. It sounds like bullshit spooky language designed to scare and control primitive people, ironically like much of Christian folklore that King Diamond's lyrics protest. And it's not as if the band has a poor grasp of English like so many other European bands. Hell judging from song titles and lyrics King seemed to have a better grasp of the language than most American's today, so the name is even less of an excuse. Sadly enough, this error in could have been remedied with a simple twist of language from "ful," to "less." Mercyless Fate. I don't know about you, but if I heard that band was coming to my continent, I'd lock up every female acquaintance I know and run away with my hands on my ass like I just shit myself. But Mercyful Fate? Bah, I'd invite King Diamond over for dinner with mom. They'd probably be able to trade cat stories too.
(Dis)honorable mentions: Helloween, At The Gates (The Gates of what? Hell? Heaven? Disney Land? Cacapoopoopeepeeshire?)
I could DIIIIIIIIE! Or worse, DIIIIIIIIIIIIE!
Last edited by JRA; 07-27-2012 at 09:52 PM.