My Favorite ‘Metal-Looking’ Bands

You know how you hear one song, or think of the image of a band, and then want to go not-so in depth about who looked more ‘Metal’ than the rest?

No? Well then that’s just me, I guess.

I listen to a lot of different music nowadays. My favorite brand of jams growing up were those of the heavy metal variety. The modern state of heavy metal is garbage. But I digress.

Have you heard someone say, “That’s so metal,” when describing something ‘cool?’ I feel like I hear it all the time and whoever says it doesn’t have any idea of what is and is not ‘metal.’

Enough. You want metal? Let’s look at the most metal-looking acts in music history–according to me.

KISS – They were trendsetters from the live show to the ego. I grew up listening to KISS like a 16-year old in 1977. Only it was 1997. Their comic book allure drew me to their rocking jams. As far as looking ‘metal,’ it doesn’t get more defining than these shots. As far as the sound goes, give me Asylum over Love Gun five out of seven days. KISS’ 80s stuff is underrated. But getting back to the overall look, KISS set the bar. I know your Alice Cooper enthusiasts will disagree. Even as KISS was pushing the glammy trends of the metal bands in the 80s, Gene and Paul found a way to look ridiculous…ridiculously awesome.

Cinderella – Anyone who listened to these guys back in the day will look at a promo shot of Cinderella today and still and say, “Hhhhhell yeah.” Modeled after women, Cinderella managed to score big in 1986 with their debut album Night Songs, and also with female undergarments. I’m talking about sex. Now I’m no Cinderella historian, but if ‘Assumptionist’ was a branch of modern science, then call me “Dr. Matty.” These guys got a lot of action. It was 1986. They were role-models.

Mercyful Fate – Again, if I’m a scientist, then these guys worship all kinds of Satan. But I’m not, and I also know that King Diamond isn’t a Satanist; he’s a philosopher. Okay, he’s a Satanic philosopher so, yes, Satan is in the room when Mercyful Fate rocks the spot. But let’s not judge these weirdos. Just observe the “obviously we’re a metal band” image.

Pantera – All one needs to do is watch any Pantera DVD. You’re welcome.

Manowar – Admittedly, I have never been much on their music. But I did watch Conan The Barbarian (1982) quite a few times growing up. These guys all wanted to be Rexor. Again, I’m a scientist.

Iron Maiden – Now we’re getting into the category of “Metal Bands You Should Fear.” Look at these guys. It’s subtle, but they look like their sound will blow your face off your hair and head. But do you know what the best thing about Iron Maiden is? Their subtle band image of an impending metal-explosion is absolutely true to their sound. Just listen to Killers.


Dokken – My favorite guitarist in the history of the 1980s is George Lynch. I honestly didn’t start listening to Dokken until I was around 19 or 20 (besides Dream Warriors and Transformers: The Movie), but holy crap. The solo during “In My Dreams” kills it. I want that hair. His guitar reminded me of the line of G.I.Joe’s Tiger Force figures and vehicles in the late 80s. I’ll be an expert ‘Assumptionist’ and say Lynchy’s axe inspired that line of toys. That a’boy, Lynchy. So give me the guitar too. Just for Halloween. (Holy geez, that’s a solid costume idea. Noted.) The rest of the band is pretty metal-looking too. But this spot could’ve just been for George Lynch.

Motley Crüe – Sort of like my bit on Pantera, I’ll keep this short and sweet. Read The Dirt, or just Google these guys. There was KISS in the 70s, but then the glam-bands can really thank the early days of The Crüe for inspiring the look of a lot of metal acts in the late 80s.

Stryper – Yes! Look at this. They have, like, 230 gimmicks. And gimmicks make up a lot if someone’s trying to look metal as crap. If I ever owned a real estate group, our billboard would look like this. And the company’s tag line would b: Come and get it. Say what you will, these here ears loves those sounds of the “Soldiers Under Command.” I mean, so many lines come to my brain like, “You just can’t top it,” and,“Stry-pahow!” I first heard these guys at a church, naturally. But their jams soon became an anthem for rides to and from high school. Their jams also served as some of my early pro-wrestling themes.

The Runaways – Now, overall, these girls may look more metal in this photo than any of the other bands I’ve posted. Attitude, looks, skill, and they were most definitely hungry at the time of this photo shoot. It doesn’t take an expert Assumptionist to deduce that fact. Even glammed up Lita Ford in 1985 pales in comparison to her Runaways days. They look like they could take over the world here.

ABBA – And finally, if you had never seen this group before and I said they were a metal band from the late 70s, you’d possibly agree with me. No? Yeah, probably not. But Mom, if you’re reading this and were offended by any remarks I made about any of these bands, here’s a photo of ABBA. If any of you have never listened to ABBA, they most certainly are not metal. But my mother loves them.

Enjoy the day.

FullSizeRender-2Matt de Simone is a metalhead at heart. He also loves his mother enough to add something totally irrelevant to the blog topic.

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