For metalheads, Christmas usually means receiving the wrong gifts. Whether they comes from a distant relative who doesn’t really know you or immediate family who think you need to act/dress/behave differently, metal fans’ holiday gifts often leave much to be desired. How many leather-clad maniacs have told their moms that they like the cardigan, really they do, while wondering why they bothered dropping all those hints about a new amp head?
But maybe part of the reason metal fans don’t always get what they want is because people don’t know where to shop for them. Most folks hear sleigh bells and think big department stores, not blood-spattered concert shirts or horror-themed stash boxes. So to make things a little easier, we put together a list of 11 merch items that we think metal fans will love. If you’re one of the faithful trying to get some cool shit, send this list to the squares in your life; if you’re shopping for another metalhead, consider this a primer on what’s out there.
Here are 11 pieces of metal merch we’d love to have crammed up our stockings…
Gojira ‘Whale Sun Moon’ sweatshirt
“Flying Whales” off of 2005’s From Mars to Sirius will always be one of Gojira’s most evocative and powerful songs. This sweatshirt captures the track’s vibe perfectly, with a whale ‘swimming’ in front of a glowing red sun. Not only is it a cool piece of merch, but it features a gorgeous piece of art — something that Gojira fans definitely appreciate.
You can buy Gojira’s ‘Whale Sun Moon’ sweatshirt at the band’s online store.
Slayer Live Undead action figure set
Does your Nativity Scene lack representation from the Downstairs contingent? Thankfully, Slayer have the perfect gift to turn your cresh into a crush. This three-figure set features Tom Araya, Kerry King, and Jeff Hanneman as the bloodthirsty zombies from the cover of the band’s 1984 ‘live’ album Live Undead. Deck the halls and DIE BY THE SWORD!
Slayer’s Live Undead action figure set is available for purchase online.
Rage Against The Machine Nuns & Guns shirt
Man, Rage Against The Machine are really bringing back a lot of their classic designs this year! Among them is one of RATM’s most memorable shirt, the ol’ ‘Nuns & Guns’ featuring a gang of Brides of Christ celebrating their Second Amendment rights. Whether it cracks you up or terrifies you, this old-school Rage shirt will surely confuse the hell out of your family this holiday season.
You can purchase Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Nuns & Guns’ shirt at the band’s online store.
Motörhead Snaggletooth stash box
Heh, nice try, guys. We know you think this Motörhead Snaggletooth box will be ‘the perfect way to keep your precious keepsakes safe.’ But I think you can guess what fans will actually use this box for — especially those fans in Colorado, California, Massachusetts, and as of this election New Jersey. Lemmy would approve — even if you have to say it’s a change jar while your mom’s around.
Motorhead’s Snaggletooth stash box is available online right now.
Trivium bags made from tour backdrops
Woah, this is fucking cool! Since they can’t give you the blistering live experience you crave during these COVID-19 times, Trivium have officially released a line of tote bags and make-up purses made from pieces of their actual tour backdrops. Now, every time you go to the grocery store, you can carry with you the collective energy of thousands of screaming metalheads. Don’t worry, we’re sure they were washed.
Trivium’s backdrop bags are available through the band’s online store.
Mastodon Christmas stocking
Want to make sure Santa throws the horns and says, “Ho ho FUCK YEAH, dude” when he comes to your house? This Mastodon stocking will surely have Old Saint Nick nodding in approval at how fuckin’ metal you are. With it’s Skinner-style yuletide monster emblazoned on one side, this gift will surely endear every headbanging beardo in your home. Fingers crossed he fills it with weed!
Mastodon’s Christmas stocking is available for purchase online.
Korn’s The Nothing puzzle
Ah, puzzles: the perfect way to avoid your family during the holidays while still ‘doing something.’ Thankfully, Korn have released a 500-piece puzzle featuring the cover of their 2019 release The Nothing for you to assemble when you can’t be in the same room as your mom for another second. It’s worth noting that due to the coloring of the puzzle, it’ll also be somewhat challenging, what with its many all-white pieces or strange stringy sections, giving you all the more time to nurse and eggnog and block out the bickering.
Korn’s The Nothing puzzle is available for preorder through the band’s online shop.
Municipal Waste toxic skull facemask
This holiday, it’s important to take proper precautions against COVID-19 — but you should also let those around you know that you dig furious Richmond thrash. Municipal Waste’s new facemask is the perfect way to both protect yourself from coronavirus and rep the Waste to your whole family. And if the metalhead in your household isn’t observing proper COVID etiquette, this’ll be a surefire way to finally get them up to speed. Don’t forget to SMOKE BEER.
Municipal Waste’s facemask is available for purchase online now.
Alice In Chains’ Facelift box set
It’s hard to believe that this year marks the 30th anniversary of Alice In Chains’ mind-blowing debut Facelift. To honor this milestone, the band have released an epic boxed set featuring the album on vinyl and cassette, not to mention a hardcover book, a 12” slipmat, and more. This set will be the ultimate gift for the grunge fan in your life — but we warned, it’s limited to 2000 copies, so get buying!
Alice In Chains’ Facelift box set can be preordered through the band’s online store.
Cannibal Corpse stab-head candle
Lighting a candle is a great way to make your home feel more festive at Christmastime. But let’s say you don’t like ‘festive’ — you like, I dunno, ‘unspeakable acts of blood-soaked violence.’ Thankfully, gore-mongers Cannibal Corpse have a candle just for you, featuring a human head with a knife being jammed through the back of its skull. This way, not only can you light up the dark winter night, you can also scandalize the hell out of Gamgam — unless you have a really hardcore Gamgam.
Cannibal Corpse’s stab-head candle is available for purchase online.
A Frank Zappa ‘I Like Nipples’ onesie
When it comes time for your aunt to insist on holding the baby, Frank Zappa‘s got you covered. So long as your little one is dressed in this charming blue ‘I Like Nipples’ onesie, they won’t get passed around too much before your bossy relatives gently hand them back to you. We promise your spouse will start finding it funny once they’ve had a few glasses of eggnog.
Frank Zappa’s ‘I Like Nipples’ onesie is available for purchase online.
Words by Chris Krovatin