SNAKE VS EAGLE
Two eagle-related rock bands that aren’t metal: Eagles and Eagles Of Death Metal. That said, eagles have some metal traits, certainly – talons are pretty metal, and carnivorous birds in general have a lot of brutal elements to their lifestyle (picking flesh from bone and so on). If you expand “eagle” to cover all birds of prey you get to bring in some rad vulture-related material – Baroness’ album A Horse Called Golgotha (which will probably also come up in horses’ first-round match) sports a lovely one on the front, for instance. As for snakes, there’s Slash’s Snakepit, Turbonegro’s Ass Cobra, Limp Bizkit’s Gold Cobra, Goatsnake, Whitesnake, the curled-up little beast on Metallica’s Black Album and, if we’re feeling a bit generous, Venom.
RAT VS GOAT
Hair metal pioneers Ratt and punk legend Rat Scabies notwithstanding, rats aren’t as high-profile in the metal world as you’d expect given how many of the plague-infested things there are. King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard threw them a bone this year with their album Into The Rats’ Nest, but come on, they’re up against goats. Between Venom’s logo, the cover of Slipknot’s Iowa and bands with names like Goatwhore, Acid Goat, Armored Goat, Goat Anus, Goat Funeral and the delightful fact that there are at least three different bands called Goat Perversion, plus the whole Satan connection, goats storm through to round two.
CROW, RAVEN, BLACKBIRD ETC VS BEAR
There’s a bit of a thing going on with crows and the like where, while they work well as symbols of foreboding or death or whatever, they’re ultimately birds and not that threatening – the reality is vastly less dramatic than the symbolic value. They got into an Incubus album title, which is something? Bears are the opposite – they’re always represented as cuddly, honey-loving cheeky chappies while in reality they’d quite happily survive on a diet that solely consisted of human guts. Plus, Beartooth, Minus The Bear, Iwrestledabearonce, Polar Bear Club, Cancer Bats’ album Bears, Mayors, Scraps and Bones, the Folie A Deux cover… Also, bears, you know? They’re ace.