Welcome back to another edition of Stage Dive: your chance to weigh in alongside the Horns Up team on our chosen topic of the week. On this particular Wednesday, we’re going to take a trip to the gr1m and fr0stbitt3n Scandinavian north, and focus on this question:
WHO HAS THE BEST CORPSE PAINT IN METAL?
When you’re as into black metal as Corey and I are, you’ll know that there’s NO shortage of options to choose from on this front. D’you take someone classic (Abbath), someone contemporary (Watain’s Erik Danielsson), or someone stupid? (Dani Filth, I’m looking at you) Actually, that begs a related question–aren’t these all a little stupid? …okay, yes…yes they are, I guess. But that’s beside the point. In the end, as is often my wont, I took to Wikipedia for some decision-making inspiration, and wound up stumbling across one I’d never even heard of previously–guitarist Enzifer, from the Norwegian black metal band Urgehal:
I mean, how can you compete with this?! Sure, the basic coat of corpse paint itself seems to be pretty basic–tame, in fact, with just some black shading around the eyes and mouth. But the rest of the costume? In a genre that prides itself on being over the top, this dude takes it to a new level. I can’t tell if Enzifer’s been influenced more by Hellraiser or Mick Foley, but good lord, that mask is pure gold. It’s so hilariously half-assed that you can’t help but love it. And when you factor in the more natural, blood-colored paint on his torso and the random, spiked…are those elbow-pads? (I know those aren’t technically corpse paint in and of themselves, but you can’t not factor them in as part of the overall aesthetic)…I really just don’t know how anyone else can compete with this guy. Ridiculous? Absolutely–and that’s entirely the idea.
Alright, so…that’s tough to compete with. Out of all the directions you can go in, Enzifer definitely pushes the envelope as far as the definition of corpse paint goes (spiked armor, a mask, blood, etc. all being taken into consideration). These guys will never stop trying to top each other as far as the over the top factor goes. So for that, I decided to go in a bit of a different direction, one based on the paint itself. Normally, I would say this is a conservative approach. But that term has no place in a discussion about demon war paint. So we’ll say… it’s a traditionalist’s approach. Most would expect me to go with Nergal’s design because of my experience in wearing his corpse paint for various Halloweens (and let me say, a Nergal Halloween is ALWAYS eventful). But no. I went with the legendary King Diamond:
I’m not talking about Mercyful Fate-era King Diamond. The goofy inverted cross in the middle of the forehead is quite enough, thanks. No, this is King Diamond, solo act, I’m talking about. Eternal frown, black streaks running down his chin, inverted crosses everywhere, the intricate black around his eyes, and of course, the black hat to tie it all together. King Diamond’s look is just so CLASSIC. Ok, so there is definitely a cheese factor here. But let’s face it, it’s King Diamond. It comes with the territory. Honestly, just look at that face. how could you go in another direction? He’s been rocking the corpse paint since 1978. ‘King’ indeed.
What do you think? Post your choices in the comments section!
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