Skip to main content

Flash Metal Suicide: Black Death

This week: the ghoulish hell-rock of Cleveland's Black Death and their unholy debut album

“Rejoice! Tonight is the night of the damned!” - Night of the Living Death

In 1977, Richard Pryor formed the greatest fake metal band of all time. They were called Black Death. Unfortunately, they only lasted seven minutes before breaking up. Holy smokes did they rock, though. Imagine Kiss with their make-up smeared into corpsepaint wearing hooded robes like the Nameless Ghouls in Ghost, wheeled onto the stage in coffins while their space-glam frontman descends from the Heavens on a wire, half Rocky Shades, half Vegas showgirl on the skids, wielding a Flying V like it's a snake he's trying to strangle. The music is a quasi P-funk speed-boogie grind, his vox proto-death metal grunts. Halfway through their performance he pulls out a poison-belching gun and kills the entire audience. The end. In one throwaway skit on his sadly short-lived sketch show, Pryor took rock n' roll as far as he possibly could, and then tossed it right off a fuckin' cliff. It was truly glorious. But it wasn't real. Until a year later, when it was.

Get Involved

Trending Features