Saturday, February 5, 2011

Metal Beards

Beards and metal have had a long and profitable history together. In fact, the metal world has become something of a haven for beards. The audience at a metal show is one of the few crowds where beards are openly accepted and even admired, and this really makes perfect sense without even having to think much about it. Both convey a sense of wild, rugged individualism. Both reside decidedly outside of the mainstream. And both seem to be unsettling and often detestable to a general public that just doesn't quite understand them. Plus, if you're singing about viking invasions or slaying dragons, a shaggy monster of a beard really ties the image together. But it's not just beards. In the metal world, facial hair of all kinds abounds. Beards, moustaches, crazy goatees... metal has it all.

Of course Kerry King, Dimebag Darrell, Scott Ian, Johan Hegg, Björn Gelotte, Zakk Wylde, Brent Hinds, Ivar Bjørnson, and Lemmy Kilmister may be some of the best known hairy faces in the metal world, but they are merely the tip of the iceberg. Why, even the incomparable Toni Iommi has sported various forms of facial hair throughout his career. So to them, and to every other metal musician and fan out there with a face full of fuzz, I tip my hat. Hail my hairy brethren, and long live the metal beard!

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