Monday, April 3, 2017

Upside down Cross Mania

Back in 1993 I played guitar and sang for a super shitty joke Noise/Black Metal "band" called Satan's Charcoaled Nipples. Don't bother Googling it, we only had one demo and I'd surprised if we distributed 10 copies. I wish I still had one. Anyway, the name of the demo was "Upside Down Cross Mania." The cover was a pentagram with goat horns (of course) and I put as many upside down crosses as I could fit. Counting the ones in the band logo (which had at least eight) I'd say there were probably 30 crosses. I was very proud of myself. Shit, I still am. I really appreciate a logo with a good number of upside down crosses. How many can they get in there? One or two is way too easy. Unleashed, Mayhem, Death, Possessed, Morbid Angel... these guys are amateurs. Three and above; now, that's serious business. Starting with Sarcofago (above), let's look at some other (mostly Black Metal) logos and their use of the upside down cross.

Let me preface the rest of the post by saying I have not listened to most of these bands. Some of the logos may, in fact, be fake. I have nothing against the bands and I'm not making fun of them. I'm just talking about upside down crosses here. Oh, and I decided to use the triple-crossed Sarcofago logo to open the post 'cuz that band's first album is fucking amazing. Ok, on with the show

Infernus incorporates three crosses, a goat head and a pentagram. I'd call that a trifecta-trifecta. Three crosses, plus one of each of the three symbols that make a logo awesome; namely, the goat, the pentagram, and the upside down cross. Note that the letters in the logo are super spikey, making them visually soft. The crosses, however, have much harder edges, making them seem bolder and stand out. Finally, the pentagram and the goat's head are drawn with much more delicate lines, adding a third visual level.

Narglblargloth goes with the usual symmetrical double cross at the beginning and the end, Mayhem style. However, the sneak in a third smaller cross on he last T, throwing off the symmetry just enough to make it interesting, but without making it look super weird and wonky. Brilliant.

Everyone knows the Nunslaughter logo. They got five, yes five, upside down crosses. The Mayhem bookend ones, two blade looking ones and an axe one in the middle. Plus, as a bonus they throw in the goat skull. Impressive, but then again, what else do you expect from these dudes?

Funebria has the three crosses joined by a pentagram reminiscent of Deicide's trifixion. The fact that the whole piece hangs below the logo, almost independent of it, takes some points away as far as I'm concerned. No interaction with the main logo makes things easier. If those are little skulls around the pentagram (I can't tell) that is fucking bad ass.

This is a sweet one. Sacrificial Massacre almost hides their five crosses by putting them behind the main logotype. They give the logo a nice structure, but they not overpower the type.

Besides the three crosses, Satanic Warmaster has a pentagram living above the logo. Like I said before, if the pentagram is not interacting with the rest of the logo I don't think it counts it at all. However, they more than makes up for it three awesome dangling upside down crosses. They are perfectly symmetrical, plus we get bat wings and two fucking dragon fucking heads! WHAT? Yeah. Fucking dragons! Finnish people rule.

Finally, we have Trifixion. They are almost required by law to have three crosses. And they do. Very symmetrical and nicely stylized.

Now, here's a question: If we all  know that upside down crosses are awesome and can make a logo look super rad, why wouldn't every band want to have as many as possible in their logos? I thought maybe it was because they didn't know how to go about it, so I'm here to help. After all, I'm the dude who drew the Satan's Charcoaled Nipples cover with like 100 upside down crosses on it, right? Who better to reach out to the bands and let them know that there is hope. Below are a few logos of bands that missed an opportunity or two to make their logos way more brutal, so I worked really hard and fixed them. You are welcome.


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