Heavy metal umlaut
A heavy metal umlaut
is an umlaut
over some of the letters in the names of a heavy metal
band. The names of bands such as Motörhead
, Mötley Crüe
and the Blue Öyster Cult
led to journalist
Steve Almond coining the term "spandex
and umlaut circuit" in 2002
to describe the heavy metal touring scene.
The original use appears to have been by the Blue Öyster Cult in 1971. Motörhead and Mötley Crüe then followed.
Queensr˙che went further by putting the umlaut over the 'y' in their name. From a linguistic viewpoint, this might be regarded as an attempt at a diaresis, rather than as an umlaut, were it not for the fact that there are no vowels to be pronounced distinctly.
Spoof band Spinal Tap parodied the idea still further by putting the umlaut over the letter 'n' (not shown here due to limitations of some browsers). The n-umlaut character does not occur in any known language or belong to any standard character set.
Hawkwind-influenced 1980s space-rock band Underground Zerĝ used a variation on the concept, using the Scandinavian vowel Ĝ in their name.
Recent umlaut sightings:
- the name of the band Assück
- the term "nü-metal" used to describe nu metal with added umlaut-ness.
- gay heavy metal band/cabaret act Pink Stëël have two consecutive umlauts, the first such instance in a band name
- the Spanish band Mägo de Oz