Contact Us

The Evolution of Heavy Metal Design

GojiraIn heavy metal design, images of dragons, maidens and swords have been replaced with an enigmatic mixture of color, shape and mood that reflect the “glacially slow” and intricate heaviness in drone and avant-garde metal’s rising popularity.

Ian Christe, author of ‘Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal,’ explains that though junior high schoolers and Norwegian design houses could both be drawing up skulls, pentagrams and band logos, “there are all levels of sophistication and intention — and execution.”

Christe points out the branding-image relationship that works out well for Sunn O))) — the American drone metal band that attracts a highly varied audience at their live shows. Founding member and guitarist Stephen O’Malley is an art director who worked with bands like the Melvins and Boris in 1990s, and his dark, ambiguous and irreverently geometric designs for Sun O))) and Khanate are some of Christe’s prime examples. “I would say it’s a metal trait to not stop at the bounds of sensibility.”

Converge‘s Jacob Bannon and Aaron Turner of Isis are both established visual artists who have popularized the return of DIY hand-drawn illustration, which O’Malley told Print is a good fit for underground metal. Christe believes that O’Malley, Turner and Seldon Hunt, a Brooklyn-based artist, “plot three key points on the map of avant-garde metal design…diversification is inherently part of the aesthetic.”

Recommended for You

Around the Web


Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Sign up for Noisecreep quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!