Black metal names have been hunted to near extinction. Remember when they seemed menacing, especially when paired with over-the-top descriptions of musical instruments? It's hard to fathom, since nearly everyone in a black metal band now has a nom de blasphème.

It's difficult to improve on gems like "Abaddon: Drums and Nuclear Warheads". Alas, we seem to have reached the twilight of black metal taxonomy and are entering a new era of parody. Almost every nickname has been pilfered, every metal lordship claimed, and every Satanic slaughter offered. Yet that hasn't stopped bands from trying to think of the next menacing name. You'd almost wish John Smith would appear on the next black metal release.

Here are the most common strains of the black metal name.

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Self-Appointed Royalty

Everyone in black metal wants to rule something, even if they self-release albums from a suburban garage. We have lords, kings, princes, warlords, generals, and tyrants. Rarely will you see someone claim peasant ancestry or call themselves "Serf Belial".

Animals

Extremely common, usually animals with cloven hooves. Hence, we get "Goat Blood Drinker", "Ram's Head Inverted Trinity", and "Hell Dog of Mendes". Not included is "Pig Destroyer", a grind band that writes scary lyrics but uses real names. Perhaps J.R. Hayes moonlights as "Bestial Throat of Terror".

Violence Against Clergy

The Catholic church has been taking bumps long before the clergy sex scandal. That's extended into black metal names. Hence we get gems like "Nun Decapitator", "Pope Hunter", "Priest Disfigurer", and "Dead Monk Defiler".

Sexual Domination

Also appears in death and occasionally thrash metal. Indicates that the band members are still in high school and armed with a 20 year-old condom in their wallet. Hence we get "The Rammer" or "Virgin Plunderer". Reminds me of the guy in high school who wanted to name his band "Anal Thruster".

Satanic Synonyms

We're still looking for new ways to say Satan, demon, or devil. The last good one was Emperor's Faust back in the early '90s. Every good Satanic nickname has been taken. Metal's answer is to raid the vaults of smaller countries and pilfer their bad guys. Example: Nergal.

The Convoluted H.P. Lovecraft Description

Often more run-on-sentence than name. Indicates that the band has read "The Call of Cthulhu". Examples include "Ghastly Portender of Otherworldly Spells", "Invoker of Trans-Dimensional Demons", and "Multi-Tentacled Lord of the Cult".

Weather Channel

Often combined with self-appointed royalty, and rarely refers to any season of the year except winter. For example: "Frozen Lord of Icy Northern Plains". Not likely: "Sun God of Perpetual Light".

An Instrument Is Never Just an Instrument

If you're in a black metal band, don't ever say you play guitar. Instead, say "Black and Decker Buzzsaw of Heavenly Demise". For drums, I think "Baphomet's Bongos" remains unclaimed.

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If you completely lack imagination, two websites will create a black metal name for you here and here. I kept getting something that sounded close to Euronymous, which doesn't bode well for longevity.

— Justin M. Norton