From Gothboy to Cowboy: A Timeline of David Vincent’s Visual Evolution

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On June 15, 2015, metal fans across the globe awoke to the shocking news that David “Evil D” Vincent, vocalist and bassist of legendary death metal act Morbid Angel, had been booted from the band. Their collective shock soon turned to surprise and bewilderment when Vincent reemerged a year later as a full-fledged outlaw country musician. Let’s take a look at David’s visual evolution over the years and figure out just what the hell happened.

When Morbid Angel released their landmark first studio album Altars of Madness, David Vincent was just a baby-faced 24 year old metalhead with a big mop of dirty blonde hair. Looking at this early developmental stage, none of us could be prepared for what would eventually emerge.

As the band gained acclaim with Blessed Are the Sick, David evolved into a 26 year-old with a big mop of bleached blonde hair and a studded cod piece, a first indicator of the subject’s love of accessories.

By the release of Covenant in 1993, Evil D was wiser and more mature. To reflect his growth, Vincent grew a very mature goatee and put away his codpiece. This brief flirtation with normie aesthetics would not last long.

By 1995, David left Morbid Angel and joined his (now ex) wife’s industrial band, The Genitorturers. To reflect the shift, Evil D radically changed his entire aesthetic. His goatee was shaved and replaced by liberal amounts of makeup. Gone were the golden blonde locks, replaced by pitch black. His torso adorned with mesh and latex, his plain leather pants tossed and replaced with shinier leather pants.

He rejoined Morbid Angel in 2004 and immediately toned down his appearance. Makeup was more tastefully applied and instead of skin-exposing mesh shirts, Evil D began wearing form-flattering plastic shirts. By your 40s you’ve gotta dress your age, y’know?

By the release of 2011’s ill-fated Illud Divinum Insanus, Vincent’s aesthetic more accurately reflected an elder statesman of metal. Studs, black leather, and most importantly, facial hair had returned to his wardrobe. With his mutton chops and soul patch, Vincent was emboldened to seek new visual configurations.

This rare photo of Vincent in a mid-period evolutionary state is the missing link between his dismissal from Morbid Angel and his eventual transformation into a country music superstar. The chops and soul patch had clearly emboldened David to begin experimenting with hats. When Evil D found a black leather cowboy hat it was only a matter of time before another dramatic metamorphosis would occur.

By the time he had turned 50 the transformation was complete. To an untrained observer, it would appear that Evil D has embraced the aesthetic choices of a middle-aged country & western artist. Do not be fooled. David Vincent’s bleached goatee is a clear indicator that another radical shift is coming.

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