The New Jersey based heavy metal band Overlorde is claiming trademark infringement against the band Overlorde SR from North Carolina and record label Heaven and Hell Records; threatening legal action and lawsuits. These claims seem not only to be a misdirected attack on a record label but a simple case of bullying. The two names, Overlorde and Overlorde SR, are as clearly as different as their logos are. This issue is not only foolish it is also pointless. Metal fans should see this situation for what it truly is… and that there is no reason that both bands cannot coexist.
In 1979 a band formed in Fayetteville North Carolina by the name Rheagan. The following year this band would change the moniker to Overlorde and become North Carolina’s first heavy metal band and the world’s first known Overlorde. They then immediately began to play shows locally, writing material and soon gained press and radio support. In 1984 they enter CMC Studios to record what would become their first release ‘Medieval Metal’ In 1985, the release came out and would go on to move an amazing 10,000 units worldwide.
In 1985 a New Jersey band formed under the same name “Overlorde”.
In 1986, the North Carolina band received a contract from Metal Blade Records to appear on the labels legendary compilation series Metal Massacre; the song ‘Keeper of the Flame’ was included on Metal Massacre VIII and was released the next year in 1987 and would sell 40,000 copies worldwide.
Also in 1987 the New Jersey Overlorde would release an EP on Strike Zone Records (what appears to be a self release).
By the end of the 1980s both bands were no longer active and had split up.
In 2000 the New Jersey Overlorde had reformed and recorded a demo leading to inking a deal with Greek label Sonic Age Records. In 2004 ‘Return of the Snow Giant’ was released on Sonic Age Records. The band follows up with an appearance at the famous German festival Keep It True. Not much is heard from the band after, leading most to think they were inactive.
2011 U.S. indie label Heaven and Hell Records announces a release of the reunited North Carolina band Overlorde SR (who had altered their name to avoid any possible confusion with the New Jersey band). The release ‘Medieval Metal Too’ (a compilation of the bands infamous 1985 release and other 80s recordings) was released in March of 2012.
After the announcement of the release of Overlorde SR ‘Medieval Metal Too’ the band and the Heaven and Hell Records began to receive emails claiming trademark infringement from members of New Jersey’s Overlorde who suggested that the two names Overlorde and Overlorde SR and the marks (logos) would be confusing to the metal community. The label would soon receive a cease and desist letter from an attorney representing Overlorde in this issue. Heaven and Hell Records were asked to discontinue any sales of Overlorde SR ‘Medieval Metal Too’ until the matter was concluded.
Heaven and Hell Records would agree to halt any further sells of Overlorde SR ‘Medieval Metal Too’ and released a press release stating this. Even after Heaven and Hell Records compiled to this ridiculous demand members of Overlorde are continuing to pressure the band and label.