Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Motörhead vs. Khörne

So I'm working though creating a Chaos Champion and his retinue using Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness, and accidentally looked across at the sleeve of a Motörhead LP.  Khorne + Motörhead = Khörne.

Khorne| John Blanche 1988

Snaggletooth / Warpig | Joe Petagno 1977

The original War Pig device designed by Joe Petagno in 1977 for British rock-band Motörhead, named after a song Lemmy wrote for space-rock pioneers Hawkwind, released as the B-side of the single Kings of Speed which had lyrics by British sci-fi/fantasy writer Michael Moorcock, who essentially invented the concept of "Chaos" as commandeered by Games Workshop, eight-pointed star logo and all, in his Eternal Champion series (and is namechecked in WFB 1e as an influence).

The Warpig / Snaggletooth character appears on almost every album Motörhead ever released, however Petagno and Motörhead have (recently) parted ways, with Petagno reclaiming the character as his own.

Juggernaut of Khorne | Joe Petagno 1988

Balrog Bloodthirster -note the elongated side-tusks | John Blanche (1988)

Realm of Chaos | John Sibbeck 1988

It might be possible to dismiss the similarities between as belonging to a pre-existing "generic demon" category, drawing on the bestial equals evil theme, which leads to chaos beastmen, werewolves, the Elphias Levi's Goat of Mendes / Baphomet and the cynocephalus of medieval propaganda.

However, I think there are some more definite resemblances between The Motörhead Warpig and The Blood God Khorne. Putting aside the John Blanche Bloodthirster with massive elongate side-tusks - exactly the same as The Motörhead Warpig -  the fa ce in the centre of the composition of the cover of Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness by John Sibbick, has some very specific motifs, the curve of the helmet over the eyes, the oversized teeth, the helmet spike which match up perfectly.

In a slightly looser sense, its the combination of dog-monkey-pig face that can also be seen in the early Bloodletter and Juggernaut designs seems to derive from the The Motörhead Warpig. Indeed the whole Juggernaut seems to be some kind of biomechanical pig monster.

The Irön Pig | Juggernaut

Dög of War | Bloodthirster

No idea who Taylor Momsen really is, but appears to be some kind of plastic Avril Lavigne type rock chic / actress / vacant polymath / attention whore with a vague Motörhead Khörne fetish. Her 'band' is called The Pretty Reckless (sounds like pop muzak with a 'rawk' production, and zero lyrical subtlety or wit) and she plays a 2500pt Khornate army at her local FLGS. OK. I made the last bit up. She plays Dark Elves.

Taylor Momsen | Disciple of Khörne (via)
And the Motörhead influence still seems to continue through more recent manifestations of Khornate imagery.

Khaös WarPig gets his tusks back | Warhammer Online 2008

Finally, nothing to do with Khörne - I don't have much interest in GWs output after 1990, but do think they owe Derek Riggs and Iron Maiden a pint for the Tomb Kings imagery.
Derek Riggs | Powerslave (Iron Maiden) 1984


  1. Always felt this was the definitive view of Khorne as Snaggletooth/Snaggletooth as Khorne


    There's something cute about the first Blanche illo of Khorne (from Slaves to Darkness I think), he's like a big, ugly, affectionate dog. It's the gormless expression that does it for me.

  2. Those old Maiden covers were great.

    So much detail to drink in.

    - Live After Death was a particular favourite.

  3. Too true Phlegm. I think my all-time favourite Maiden covers are the Seventh Son of a Seventh son ones - kind of icy surreal landscapes. Very atmospheric.

    Coopdevil, Khörne the ugly-brute puppy makes a hell of a lot of sense! Now I come to think of it alot of the Khörne aligned beastmen of the were dog-headed variety too, although it taps into the cynocephalus / st. christopher / martial saints current too...