Introduction by MikzorTheFirst: Facial hair.
Much has been said about it and much is yet to be said. Everyone knows a
great beard can make all the difference. It can carry the sign of a
free spirited artist, simply be an extension of one’s ball pelt or
convey age-brought wisdom. It can give a sage-like aura, and whatever
that person might say to strange kids will echo in a narratively
convenient fashion at some important moment later on. Try doing the same
without a beard and they’ll take everything with a grain of salt, and
when I say salt, I mean pepper, and when I say pepper, I mean pepper
spray right the fuck in your hairless face! As for myself (thank you for
asking), I nowadays sport a smooth chin, but years ago I hosted a trvly
badass goatee that was rather impressive for my age (I was three) and
for me not being one of those “brown terroristy people” (please check
your sarcasm-radars, now). I’d show pictures but they don’t make cameras
that awesome. In your disappointment, you may find solace in reading
about the following fellas who obviously cannot feel physical harm, what
with their seemingly zen-like withstanding of teh itch.
10. Rob Halford – Judas Priest
Hey Dominators, while researching for this article I found some
little-known alternate lyrics to Judas Priest’s anthem “Living after
midnight”. Seems odd, but I think they go along perfectly with our Top
10 Beards List. All hail Halford, the trve bearded metal god!
“Losing all of your hair
Chromin’ up the dome
Losing all of your hair
But it grows on my chin, my chin
Halford’s got a beard that’s an epic win!
It’s been bristlin’ since “Sin after sin”!
Now it’s all the hair he’s got
All the dudes think he’s really hoooooot!
Losing all of your hair
Replace it with a muff
Losing all of your hair
I bet it’s rough, soo rough
Rob can still sing like the fucking man!
And his beard is truly grand!
You wish you could have it, yes you do
A carpet attached to your mug toooooooo!!!!!
Losing all of your hair
Chromin’ up the dome
Losing all of your hair
But it grows on my chin, my chin”
9. Björn Gelotte – In Flames
Björn Gelotte was not a name I was familiar with prior to starting
this list, but I blindly voted for his inclusion based on the beard
alone. It is the prototypical Scandinavian metal beard. Thick. Full.
Probably pubic in nature if examined under a microscope. It displays a
masculine obsession with the riff. With all things meaty and
headbanging. Then I found out Gelotte was from In Flames – a band who
seems to care little for the meat, the headbang, or the riff. To be
honest I’ve never been a fan of ex-staffer Smalley’s favorite jester
racists, so I actually couldn’t tell you if they suck harder now or did
so then. Since every metal band was better back in the day than they
are at this moment, I’ll guess the former. But his music and odd tiger
stripe tatts aside, Björk’s preening facerooster is quality. It covers
up what may be a weak jaw. It ventures forth from his chin at an angle
while remaining a compact and dense extension of his face. The beard
makes him look like he’s going places. Given that’s he’s a member of
Gin Flamers, I’m sure those places all start in Suck and end in ville, but that’s ok. Geldörf’s bushy companion will be beside him step by step.
8. Pepper Keenan – Down, Corrosion Of Conformity
Hmmmmm… Pepper Keenan. Strange name, dontcha think? Sounds Irish to
me, no? Is he fuckin’ Irish? Maybe, well, also Cat-lick? Maybe he uses
his music and lyrics to spread ze vord ov Jiiiiiizas? Is this a good
thing to do to small children, who should be unencumbered to pursue
whatever perversion they feel like, be it Satanism, kinky unprotected
sex, or politics? Now, now, Salt’n’Peppa dear, thass no nice way to lead
your life, now, is it?
But, hey, maybe I’m conjuring things up. And, anyway, this is a list
about beards and Pepper’s beard is quite interesting, since it combines
manliness and style. I mean, Pepper plays with Down, and look at the
facial hair of the other guitarist of the band, good ole Kirk,
while Pepper has a beard that’s tended and clipped and, oh, so stylish.
It even adds some air of sophistication and sensibility, while never
subtracting from the testosterone-fueled brutality of our guy’s image.
I mean, look at them both and make the proper comparisons… Pepper is the balance, man, he really is.
7. Kirk Windstein – Crowbar, Down, Kingdom of Sorrow
To celebrate the wonderful beard of Kirk Windstein, best known for
his work in Crowbar, Down, and Kingdom of Sorrow, I will follow a
particular format. Namely:
Reworked song lyrics from my favorite Crowbar album “Sonic Excess in Its Purest Form.”
Ridiculous praise of the beard.
Ready? Heeeereeeee we go…
Sometimes I need the fuel I drain from my facial hair
While he is not tall in stature, his “Commander Riker” speaks much of his high standing amongst the greatest of men.
I’ve seen you shave
In the mirror I’ve watched mine sprout
His is the George Clooney of beards – mature, flecked with gray, irresistible to womenfolk.
You grew a big whiskerparty this time
Now keep it clean
Little known fact: Kirk’s guitar playing stances on stage
developed from his need to keep his luxurious chin-locks out of the
strings. Also little known is the fact that Kirk started playing sludge
metal because the slow, downtuned style stimulated the hair follicles
on his jaw.
Empty bottle and a razor blade
No use cleaning up the stubble I’ve made
Mr. Windstein used his beard to help cleanup efforts from
the recent oil spill in the gulf. Rescuers take the various marine
animals that have been soaked in crude and pass them several times
through Kirk’s “best friend”. The wildlife emerges sparkling and
I’ve tried to hide
Hide from so many jowls
At times I’ve neckbearded myself
If Kirk were to run for president, recent polls show that if
he wore a stovepipe hat while campaigning his resemblance to a shorter
Lincoln would guarantee him at least one term in the White House.
6. Scott Ian – Anthrax
The man known as the face of Anthrax without a doubt has one of the
best beards in metal. Ok, it looks like Scott is taking a giant shit
through his chin, but Scott’s beard has its uses. Take his love of
poker. Where better to hide a pair of Aces for when it comes to the
crunch? Seriously, who’s going to check through that bird’s nest to find
hidden cards? And what if one day Scott needs a tracheotomy, what
better way to hide that unsightly hole? Do I need to continue to spout
the virtues of Scott’s virulent facial fluff, or are you convinced
Note to Scott though: maybe lean off the red dye
in the future, it makes you look like you’ve recently eaten a
menstruating pussy. Even if you do like tobasco sauce on your taco,
we’d prefer you didn’t advertise it.
Finally, Scott Ian’s beard has it’s own Facebook page. Enough fucking said.
5. Kerry King – Slayer
Beards are a manly thing. If they weren’t, all women would be
growing beards, and god knows bearded woman are the most unattractive
thing on the bloody planet (and if you like bearded women, Satan help
you). Slayer are a manly band. They play music that attracts a
predominantly male crowd. Beards appeal to people who have beards. It’s
paradoxical, but it’s true. Do you think death metal would be full of
beards if older lot hadn’t popularized it? Kerry’s beard is the hallmark
Now, of course, Kerry is an ugly motherfucker. We all know he is.
The only good thing about Kerry (and Slayer lately for that matter) is
the goddamn beard the fucko has. It’s iconic and it’s metal as fuck. I
guess that is why this awesome beard belongs in the top 10: it’s an
iconic, symbolic, manly beard for a really manly metal band. It
signifies everything metal stands for. If you were to single out one man
in a crowd that listened to metal, you’d be looking for a beard like
4. Johan Hegg – Amon Amarth
The apex of any Amon Amarth concert is not the chanting
chorus to “Pursuit of vikings”, the epic solo from Valhalla that
dominates “The victorious march”, or the group toast that involves
drinking beer from the horns. These are all great moments, but the most
powerful of Odin’s thunderbolts is of a more bushy persuasion.
The pinnacle of viking metal greatness is when you catch a facefull
of the drool and sweat that has recently flown off of lead singer Johan
Hegg’s awesomely scraggy facial muff. Nothing compliments his smooth,
bulging belly better than the brown carpet that descends from his mouth
and chin and heads south into Europe, raping and pillaging down the
Rhine and Danube. You can literally feel the wrath of the Norseman, or
the smell of roasted lamb, when you are exposed to Hegg and his beard. I
would not be surprised to find out that Hegg’s beard actually has its
own mouth and vocal cords and handles all vocal duties on its own,
unbeknownst to his actual pipes. Oh, and the beard drinks all the beer
too. I am sure of that.
Sweden’s most successful former trucker and Renaissance reinactor
possesses a beard that would instantly add seven inches to a man’s cock
should it decide to grace his unworthy mug. No person with a
clean-shaven or pussy-peach fuzz covered face could stand before the
musical dreadnaught that is Amon Amarth and hope to survive. Just like
none could stand before the viking hordes over a thousands years ago, no
Bic or Gilette could hope to trvm Hegg’s mighty forest of northern
power. Odin’s beard sucks Hegg’s beard’s dick. End of fucking story.
3. Dimebag Darrell – Pantera/Damageplan
It’s big. It’s wide. It’s unkempt. It’s fucken red. If you
thought we were talking about my dick, you’re right. These adjectives
are also accurate for describing the beard of one of the greatest
guitarists the metal scene has ever seen. Me. Ha. Sorry. Our hero
Dimebag Darrell was always about having a good time. Playing guitar,
boozing, headbanging, playing air guitar, killing time on tours, signing
autographs – whatever he was doing, he was always having a blast and
seeing to it that everyone else was, too. A truly good dude. Plus, he
shredded riffs and solos like no other. And all of this was of course
reflected in his beard.
This majestic scruffster is almost as wide as Texas, with the red
strands hanging down south for eager Mexicans to grab hold of and climb
their way into the Land of the Free. Dime’s face. When the
Pantera/Damageplan-affiliated six-string virtuoso tilted back his head
on stage, unleashing the Squeal of Squeals, the Red Fork would furiously
send a mind-blowing wave of Awesome across the audience, bringing forth
a sense of euphoria and garnering a tremolo clonk of jaws hitting the
floor. In fact, the Barbe Rousse held such power the poor instrument
carried by Da Man began to shift into a mirror image of him. Just look
at the headstock.
Spooky. Soon after this, D had to start shaving his strings. So manly
it turned lifeless objects into men, the epitome of macho – the beard of
Darrell Lance Abbott.
2. Sanford Parker – Buried At Sea, Minsk, Twilight
I waz mightily surprised when I saw that good ole Sanford – whom I
had nominated for this list during its preliminary stages – landed so
high a place. Obviously, though, the staffers of GD readily recognized
that Sanford’s quality (as a producer of bands like Pelican, Rwake,
Unearthly Trance, Nachtmystium, Twilight, Yakuza, Lair Of The Minotaur,
Brutal Truth, etc, and, also, as a musician in Buried At Sea, Minsk and
Twilight) extends also to his chosen style of facial hair growth.
See, Sanford, instead of a full-on beard or a nib (or any of the
permutations thereof), goes for a style of sideburns that seems to have
been very en vogue among gentlemen during the 19th century (examples can be found here, there and elsewhere).
I believe that Sanford’s chosen style of facial hair represents his way
of signifying to others that, while a full-bloodied rock’n’roll monster
on his own right, he’s also a kind of a sage, distributing his wisdom
through the great production values he gives to the records of others. A
gentleman of sorts, if you like. A thinker and a philosopher of all
that’s heavy and dense and scary.
His choice puts him in a different position from his hirsute
companions in this venerable list. His slightly antiquated style of
facial hair, combined with his different capacities in ze World ov
Metal, give him an air of otherness, of distance and of gentility. Way
to go, man!!!
“B… but I thought it was a list about metal dudes” – hold your
horses, hatemailer. Get a band going for 40 years straight and grow a
beard like these folks (or at least a ‘stache like Mr Frank Beard),
and then come back bitching. Yes, we at GD respect a good beard when we
see one. Want proof? Last time we threw the above line at somebody, he
actually went all in and we handed him the site, no questions asked. In
case you wanna go for it, I’d suggest you start wearing cage fighter
merchandise, replace all your mirrors with the picture you can see to
the right, and start concentrating. Hard.
There is nothing that gets in the way of a growing ZZ Top beard. No
bitching, no whining, no GD list rules. The band’s facial hair is like
one of these stage dances they pull off synchronously, just ultra-slow
and with more concentration involved. It makes girls go wild,
knives rust, barbers turn emo and scissors question their existence.
It makes the fine gentlemen on the lower ranks watch in awe and
unbelievingly poke their tiny fingers into the mass of dead facial
biomatter like drooling babies. After all, there is nothing more metal
than carrying a big bulk of death in your face 24/7, for years on end – no matter what style you play.