An Illustrated Guide To Corpse Paint

Halloween is just around the corner and you're in need of a costume, right? Well don't worry! We've got some ideas for you, courtesy of metal's most evil and entertaining figures. Corpsepaint isn't just reserved for bands who bathe in blood on the weekend, it's also the haven of artists who just fancy a bit of dressing up.  

Here's a rundown of corpsepaint in the world of metal, plus a few others you could try this Halloween.

All illustrations by Gary Ogden.


Bergen's black metal icon's Gorgoroth aren't scared of a little corpsepaint. Or leather. Or spikes. Or just generally being a bit evil. Former frontman Gaahl might be the most iconic member amongst their ranks, embracing the panda-eyed look full force, but splattering it up and down his face for good measure.


Becoming the heavy metal meme lord as the frontman of Immortal, Abbath has kept his signature corpsepaint style for his recent solo project. It's simple, but effective.


Not so much corpsepaint as it is battle paint, Finnish power/folk/viking metallers Turisas embrace the looks of both Braveheart and classic WWF era Kane with their colourful faces.

The Crow

King Of The Goths. The Crow is the ultimate in dark, brooding superheroes, and his look has been adopted by many rockstars over the years with varying degrees of success (we're looking at you Black Veil Brides). It does look super badass, though.


Sure, all of Kiss have different facepaint styles, but Gene Simmons' look is the most iconic. The Demon, the long tongued maniac, the firebreathing merchandise machine, the... guy in the spiky eyed corpsepaint from Kiss.

King Diamond

Probably the most metal corpsepaint of all time. Not only is it monochrome (the most metal of all the chrome), but there are big bloody inverted crosses streaming down King Diamond's grimaced face. And a few lines on his bottom lip for some reason.

Insane Clown Posse

To be precise, this is Violent J's corpsepaint, not Shaggy 2 Dope's. Violent J's is slightly more representative of a clown, despite not including the colour red, which is pretty important for their nose, hair and mouth. The eyebrows are also in a permanent state of shock, probably because J's red nose has been stolen.


Writing 'corpse paint' on your face in corpsepaint is obviously hilarious and you will make loads of friends at the Halloween party.

Optical Illusion

Is it a goblet? Is it two people looking at each other? Prepare for strangers to gawp at your painted mug trying to figure out what on earth you've covered your head in.


Like most things in life, when all else fails, find Arnold Schwarzenegger. Painting the Terminator on your face will earn you the respect of your peers and make your nose area look super hench. Right on.

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