Metal umlaut

Mötley Crüe's Hollywood Walk of Fame star, which shows the two metal umlauts used in the band's name

A metal umlaut is a diacritic that is sometimes used gratuitously or decoratively over letters in the names of hard rock or heavy metal bands—for example those of Blue Öyster Cult, Queensrÿche, Motörhead, The Accüsed and Mötley Crüe.

Usage

In German orthography the umlaut version of a vowel is pronounced differently from the normal vowel; the letters u and ü represent distinct sounds, as do o and ö as well as a and ä.In the Latin languages it's used to show differences in usual pronunciation: e.g., Spanish bilingüe (bilingual) is pronounced [bi.liŋ.gue] instead of [bi.liŋ.ge]; Catalan països (countries) is pronounced [pə.i.zus] instead of [pəi.zus]; in this form of usage it is called the dieresis.

Among English speakers, the use of umlaut marks and other diacritics with a blackletter style typeface is a form of foreign branding intended to give a band's logo a Teutonic quality—connoting stereotypes of boldness and brutality presumably associated with Germanic and Nordic cultures. Its use has also been attributed to a desire for a "gothic horror" feel.[1] The metal umlaut is not generally intended to affect the pronunciation of the band's name.