The 10 best heavy metal mascots of all time

Iron Maiden's Eddie, Megadeth's Vic Rattlehead, Motorhead's Snaggletooth and Children Of Bodom's Roy
(Image credit: Press)

Nothing says metal like a gnarly mascot staring at you from an album cover, backdrop or whatever merch item the band can cram it on. From the esoteric to the straight-up wacky, these made-up figures have captured the imagination of fans almost for the length of metal’s existence, with the most iconic ones standing the test of time for generations. With that in mind, here are 10 of the very best metal mascots to grace our world, from Iron Maiden’s Eddie to Ghost’s Papa Emeritus.

Metal Hammer line break

Eddie The Head (Iron Maiden)

Book Of Souls cover

(Image credit: Iron Maiden)

Towering animatronic samurai, skeletal cyborgs with lasers, soldiers – Eddie The Head’s been all of them and evolved with every single Iron Maiden release. As their stage shows have grown more elaborate, he’s joined them onstage for sword fights with Bruce Dickinson – or just stomped around threateningly during iconic songs from The Trooper to Run To The Hills. No matter what he’s up to, though, Eddie’s a metal legend.

Vic Rattlehead (Megadeth)

Megadeth - Rust in Peace

(Image credit: Capitol)

Vic Rattlehead is the personification of the axiom “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. Megadeth’s skeletal mascot has a visor over his eye sockets, bolts in his ears and bars across his mouth, originally a commentary on Dave Mustaine’s beliefs around freedom of expression. Since debuting on Killing Is My Business…, Vic’s graced all of ’Deth’s most beloved albums and still stares out at you from almost every shirt the band sells.

Papa Emeritus (Ghost)

Ghost’s Opus Eponymous album sleeve

(Image credit: Rise Above)

Although Papa Emeritus is the frontman of Ghost, he’s also undeniably the band’s mascot. Mastermind (and the man behind the mask) Tobias Forge has compared Papa to Eddie The Head multiple times, and you’ll see this skull-faced antipope on every t-shirt, album and, umm, sex toy the band’s ever sold. Between the anti-religious rebellion and morbid imagery, this singer summarises so much of metal’s aesthetic.

Snaggletooth (Motörhead)

Motorhead - Overkill

(Image credit: Bronze Records)

Even if you’ve somehow not heard Ace Of Spades or Bomber, you’ve seen Snaggletooth: the helmeted, tusked war pig emblazoned on t-shirts and tattooed on Motörhead devotees. The belligerent outsider energy exploding out of this mascot represents both metal and the band to a tee. Could there be a better symbol for the kind of raucous rebellion where everything’s louder than everything else?

Murray (Dio)

Holy Diver

(Image credit: Polydor)

Eternal hails to Dio for naming a creature as dark and imposing as this “Murray”. This big, black demon instantly entered the mascot hall of fame when he featured on Holy Diver, one of the best debuts our genre’s ever seen. From there – through The Last In Line, Sacred Heart and Dream Evil – Murray’s become almost as iconic as the wild-haired frontman who made those albums.

Roy (Children Of Bodom)

Children Of Bodom – Hexed

(Image credit: Press)

The grim reaper is metal as fuck. Children Of Bodom took full advantage of that fact with Roy, their own personification of death, whose only nods to the passage of time were his robes being slightly different colours depending on each album he found himself on. Sometimes gazing into the distance, other times promising violence right in your face, he’s graced every single Bodom cover. 

Ziltoid The Omniscient (Devin Townsend)

Ziltoid The Omniscient

(Image credit: Press)

Earth’s coffee sucks, so an extraterrestrial ballsack declared war on us. This simple yet unhinged premise was crystallised when prog maverick Devin Townsend got sober and deactivated Strapping Young Lad, later to return with one of his finest solo albums. Ziltoid looking like an overexaggerated version of his creator – complete with Devin’s own shaved-off skullet – is a metaphor for how Devy saw himself before getting clean.

Chaly (Overkill)

Overkill – Under The Influence

(Image credit: Press)

Let’s be honest here: Chaly is the original Avenged Sevenfold deathbat. The flying menace, often firing lasers from his eyes and bringing torment to unsuspecting souls, is legendary thrashers Overkill’s resident evildoer at large. He’s been spreading terror since 1988’s Under The Influence, and still features on their albums and designs today. Skull? Metal. Skull with wings? Obviously, even more metal!

John Goblikon (Nekrogoblikon)

It’s surprising that in metal’s long obsession with fantasy, it took this long for someone to ask, “What about goblins?” John Goblikon is the hype-monster we never knew we needed, starring in the viral hit No One Survives as well as starting the party in person whenever Nekrogoblikon play live. It’d be better if he did vocals now and then, but he’s still pretty cool.

John Goblikon of Nekrogoblikon onstage

(Image credit: Ollie Millington/Redferns via Getty Images)

Snowy The Gamabombinable Snowman (Gama Bomb)

Since 2018, Snowy has been a part of Northern Irish thrashers Gama Bomb’s live shows, merch and more. He was, in fact, key to the whole concept of seventh album Sea Savage: a fictional tale of a Victorian-era search for the “yeti” that, it transpired, was the Gamabombinable Snowman. Snowy has recently “died” only to be resurrected ahead of new record Bats.

Will Marshall

Will's been a metal obsessive ever since hearing Trivium’s Ascendancy way back in 2005, and it's been downhill ever since. Since joining the Metal Hammer team in 2021, he’s penned features with the likes of rising stars Lake Malice, Scowl and Drain, and symphonic legends Epica. He’s also had bylines in Stereoboard, covering everything from Avenged Sevenfold to Charli XCX.