Considering Christmas is one of the least brutal events to happen within the heavy metal calendar, shopping for the blackened one in your life can be a daunting challenge, lest you want to invoke their ire and cop a subtle, yet sustained, glare over Chrissy lunch.
The average family metal head may scoff at the idea of Christmas, but deep down, we just want to feel we belong. So, as much as past experiences may have you desperately trying to swap Kris Kringles with someone (read: ANYONE) who isn’t the dark soul of the clan, we urge you to chill.
With Download Festival Australia right around the corner, the obvious present might be tickets (And it’s still not too late) but no doubt they already have some, so we’ve compiled a helpful-only-slightly-ironic list of potential gift ideas that are equal parts thoughtful, and brutal for your blood (or marriage) bound headbanger.
So, here’s a helpful-only-slightly-ironic gift guide for the awkward metal head in your life, by an awkward metal head.
For the Slayer Fans…
In the age of irony, the ‘Ugly Christmas Sweaters’ reign supreme. Many of these items are cheap knock offs from an overzealous fan with an e-Store, but every so often a band will release an official Ugly Christmas Sweater. Believe it or not, Slayer was one of them. The band enjoys a lot sovereignty over their own brand, so you better believe that if a Ugly Christmas Sweater says ‘Slayer’ on it, it’s because Kerry King and Ko approved it. In an interview, King details how it went down:
“I thought it was fucking awful. And, of course, Tom loved it. I thought, ‘Well, Tom loves it.’ I’m not going to step on his feet and smash it, you know”
Nothing will please a metalhead quite like the guilty pleasure of wearing an Ugly Christmas Sweater minus the guilt because Kerry King said it’s cool. Or at least, he said it’s not uncool.
For the Ghost fans…
There are two undeniable cultural forces coming with us into 2019 - Ghost, the band, and Pop Vinyl. Pop Vinyl is one of those things that you don’t really ‘get’ unless you already get it. Considering just how popular they are; if you aren’t into them, it’s best you understand the issue is with you, and not this adorable product.
Ghost fans will be thrilled to learn they can own their favourite bands likeness in Pop Vinyl form. One Etsy store (buy local!) is currently selling the handmade item, which comes in a variety of outfit options. This is sure to be a safe bet as considering I’ve successfully avoided the Pop Vinyl rabbit hole so far...I’m filled with the crushing urge to purchase this.
For the The Amity Affliction fans…
The Amity Affliction have gone above and beyond with their Christmas offerings this year. Not content with Ugly Christmas Sweaters, our favourite sons have revealed a selection of tree ornaments, christmas stockings, neon lights, and more, allowing fans to experience a truly immersive Amity Christmas.
You surely have an Amity die-hard in your life, how are you going to look them in the eyes if you don’t deck their halls with bounds of TAA goodness?
For the Halestorm fans…
Halestorm go hard on Christmas and they don’t care who knows it. Over the years the band have made their penchant for the silly season known, even going as far as having front person Izzy Hale detail her ideal Christmas set up, and for that we appreciate them.
This is a band that exists between worlds, so buying a Christmas present for a Halestorm fan is even riskier than usual. Thankfully, the band, Christmas-focused as they are, have taken the guess work out of it by putting together a Christmas Bundle that any fan would legit sell Grandma for. Don’t be ‘that person’ that makes them sell Grandma.
For the Behemoth fans…
As a Behemoth fan, I can proudly confirm that we hate a lot of stuff for no reason - it’s the way Nergal would have wanted it. So, even if you nail this one, you’re still going to cop a glare over lunch, but know that it’s a loving glare blooming from the darkest depths of our soul.
If you’re vying for favourite relative, you’re a shoe in if you get these actual Behemoth Christmas stockings some Cadillac of humans has custom made up on Etsy. It’s brutal, dark, minimal and practical...Nergal would love it.
For the Converge fans…
If there’s a Converge fan in your live, chances are they’re a incredibly smart, attractive person with a brilliant taste in music, who’s gracious enough to not let on to the fact your presents over the years have disappointed them. Let me tell you now, every present you’ve bought the aforementioned Coverage fan has been a CRUSHING disappointment if it wasn’t this mug.
To be fair, Converge fans love anything Converge, and the more Jane Doe the better.
For the Thy Art Is Murder fans...
Perhaps it’s an Australian thing, but much like Amity, Thy Art Is Murder have gone well and truly above and beyond for their Christmas goodness. A variety of Christmas and seasonal items are up on the store including scarfs and beanies, which is very sensible and something we don’t get enough of during the Silly Season, so thank you for thinking of our wellbeing, Thy Art.
If there is a Thy Art devotee in your family, it’s best to err on the side of caution and assume they’ve snapped up all the official merch already, so allow them to lose themselves in a very Murderous Christmas with this surprisingly sweet Christmas / Thy art decorations.
Written by Mike Hohnen - A Music journalist who isn't just good...he's good enough