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GD's Top 10 Best Beards In Metal

22/10/10  ||  Global Domination

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 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!
Growing, growing
It’s been bristlin’ since “Sin after sin”!
Growing, growing
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!
Growing, growing
And his beard is truly grand!
Growing, growing
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 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 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 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 cheerful.

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 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 already?

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 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 of metaldom.

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 this.


4. Johan Hegg - Amon Amarth 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 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 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!!!


1. ZZ-Top 1. ZZ-Top

“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.