Everything was born in 1984, as a joke. An idea that, according to the legend, came to the late Dave Brockie. And so it was that the good metalheads of thirty years ago, began to go crazy for those "barbarians from Antarctica" called Gwaaarrrgghhlllgh, "nickname" later abbreviated to Gwar. Some terribly ugly foam costumes (a sort of extreme version of Conan the Destroyer's fantasy world) and a sarcastic attitude that spares nothing and nobody. Excessive in everything and first of all on stage, Gwar did not stop even in front of the untimely death of the historical leader, to whom, the former companions of adventure have even dedicated a Viking funeral.
With the explosion of its own success at the end of the last millennium, this huge band from Iowa shows up on stages all around the world wearing depersonalizing work clothes, just like the numbers that initially identified the band members instead of their names, and terrifying horror movie masks. In short, the best way to give a visual reference to one's own caustic and contestation music.
Lizzy Borden was born in 1983 and, according to the best tradition, Gregory, singer of the band, will end up getting the name of Lizzy Borden, just as happened to Alice Cooper. If for many the mask was a way to hide, to hide their demons, for Lizzy Borden the mask, the disguise, the stage tricks were always an integral part of a show based on American metal but also on entertainment, axes, blood and various kinds of butchering. The school is clearly that of the already mentioned Alice Cooper.
To tell a gloomy and melancholic story, you need the right narrator: King Diamond then takes on the role of a macabre ceremonial worker, characterized by a heavy makeup on his face, a menacing black hat and the typical jackets and capes of a lord of darkness, giving continuity to his stories also on stage and in the videos. The Gothic imaginary evoked in his records becomes one with the appearance of the brilliant Danish artist, providing even more effectiveness and concreteness to the atmosphere described by the songs proposed.
4 masks and a brand. When shape prevails over content. When music (always of quality, with the exception of a few failures) becomes secondary in a worldwide, planetary success. What would have happened to Kiss if Stanley and his partners hadn't thought of wearing that strange make up, mixing kabuki, glam and musicals? What is certain is that thanks to that image, Kiss have become a real phenomenon, a millionaire business with the faces of The Demon, The Star Child, The Catman and Space Ace present on any type of article, toy, comic, videogame, t-shirt, film, cartoon.