Another holiday season is upon us, and for metal and hard rock fans, that means merch. As fans of heavy music, we support our favorite artists by purchasing physical media, apparel, and memorabilia. It’s an integral part of the heavy metal way of life, and rare are the occasions when we can ask others to buy these precious artifacts for us.
Likewise, if you have a fan of metal and hard rock in your life, then you are probably well aware of the genre’s collector culture and obsession with iconography. We would willingly give our hard-earned money for multiple vinyl variants of Slayer’s Hell Awaits. Even better if such a blasphemous record was sitting under the tree on X-mas morning: the ultimate soundtrack to the burning of the yule log.
After a year of covering vinyl reissues, book announcements, and merch drops, we’ve compiled some of our favorite heavy metal and hard rock gift ideas for 2021. The goodies below are sure to make your dearest headbanger grin from ear to ear:
Vinyl and Box Sets
Slayer – Metal Blade Reissues ($12.99+): Slayer’s Metal Blade output — aka their early years — is some of the most ferocious, evil thrash metal ever committed to tape. Records such as Show No Mercy, the Haunting the Chapel EP, and Hell Awaits would pave the way for the black metal, while Slayer would evolve in a global metal phenomenon in the years to follow. These reissues come in a variety of appropriate colored vinyl variants and are sure to look spicy whilst spinning on your turntable. CD and cassette versions are also available. Buy them via IndieMerch.
Nirvana – Nevermind 30th Anniversary Edition ($39.99): Nirvana’s seminal 1991 album needs no introduction. The anniversary edition includes the remastered version of the original album as well as four full concert recordings from 1991-1992. A vinyl version is due out in May, but a single LP + 7″ vinyl version and 5-CD box set have been released. Buy it via Amazon.
Metallica – “Black Album” Super Deluxe Edition ($239.98): One of 2021’s most comprehensive reissue campaigns was for Metallica’s “Black Album” Deluxe Edition. The ultimate gift for the diehard Metallica fan, this set houses pretty much everything from the era, from the original album to previously unreleased studio tracks and live cuts. The amount of ephemera is exhausting; just watch former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted’s unboxing video if you need proof. Buy it via Amazon.
Ozzy Osbourne – No More Tears Vinyl Reissue ($39.98): Original pressing of Ozzy Osbourne’s 1991 album No More Tears used to fetch funny money on the secondhand market. Thankfully, the Prince of Darkness opened the vaults for a proper vinyl reissue of the landmark LP. Spread across two slabs of wax for maximum fidelity, fans can finally hear songs like “Mama, I’m Coming Home” and the crushing title track in hi-fi, as intended. Buy it on Amazon.
Music Instruments and Gear
Fender Kurt Cobain and J Mascis Signature Models ($1,249.99 / $1,349.99): Fender’s fleet of guitars in 2021 has been nothing short of astounding. Highlighting the bunch are custom signature models of Kurt Cobain’s Jag-Stang and J Mascis’ sparkly blue Telecaster. Whether you’re going for Cobain’s strummy earworm rhythms or the shredability of Dinosaur Jr., respectively, these guitars are meant to look, feel, and sound like the original. We reviewed the Mascis guitar earlier this year and can attest to the quality of these replicas. Get them before they’re long gone via Reverb.
Justin Chancellor Signature Dunlop Cry Baby Wah ($299.00): Channel the tone of Tool bassist Justin Chancellor with the new signature JCT96 Cry Baby Wah. Chancellor himself starred as Santa in the hilarious ad for the pedal, so you know it’s a perfect gift the aspiring or professional bassist in your life. Buy it on Reverb.
Fender Acoustasonic Jazzmaster ($1,999.99): Perhaps the most impressive piece of gear we sampled this year at Heavy Consequence was the Fender Acoustasonic Jazzmaster. Essentially, Fender turned one of their iconic electric guitar models into an acoustic, rendering the body silhoutte in wood, complete with a sound hole. However, the pickup is what makes this guitar so versatile in the studio. You can dial in gainy electric tones or switch to an “unplugged” electric-acoustic tone on the fly. Fender have also rendered the Stratocaster and Telecaster in Acoustasonic form. You can buy the Jazzmaster on Reverb.
Billy Joe Armstrong Epiphone Les Paul Junior ($549): Here is a great guitar for a beginner or intermediate player. It’s priced accessibly and replicates Billy Joe Armstrong’s iconic white Gibson Les Paul — his longtime axe of choice with Green Day. Even better, the Player Pack ($399) comes with a practice amp and other items, making it a perfect all-in-one starter set. Get it on Reverb.
“Hell’s a Beach” T-Shirts and Hoodies ($27.99 / $42.99): You always want to look good for the beach crowd, even in Hell. So lay back or rock out with our exclusive Hell’s a Beach T-shirt and hoodie design. This is our first Heavy Consequence shirt design, and proceeds help keep us doing what we’re doing. Buy the T-shirt here, and the hoodie here, and we’ll see ya in Hell!
Metallica x Wolverine Boots ($150+): Metallica have continued their partnership with Wolverine Boots. The limited-edition line features rugged work boots and other apparel featuring Metallica iconography. In addition, 50 percent of sales benefit the Metallica Scholars Initiative, providing opportunities to aspiring students. Buy a pair via Wolverine.
Books, Comics, Blu-rays
Anthrax and King Diamond Graphic Novels ($24.99+): Heavy metal-themed graphic novels and comic books have become a rising trend this year, and we’re certainly not complaining! Z2 Comics is leading the charge, and this year they released graphic novels based on Anthrax’s Among the Living and King Diamond’s Abigail. Each feature original story treatments and illustrations based on each album. Buy them via Z2 Comics.
Matt Pike’s Head on a Pike Illustrated Lyrics Book ($20): Matt Pike often gets props for his massively heavy guitar work in Sleep and High on Fire, but the man has penned many lyrics in his days with both bands. Head on a Pike collects these words in poetry-book form, complete with illustrations that summon the lyrical imagery within. Check out our exclusive first-look at the Electric Messiah chapter and pre-order the book (out December 7th) via Amazon.
Mr. Bungle The Night They Came Home Blu-Ray/CD ($19.99): Relive one of the best pandemic-era livestreams with this official Blu-ray release of Mr. Bungle’s epic “The Night They Came Home.” After a hilarious opening set by Neil Hamburger, Mr. Bungle rip through The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo with raw force, performing in what appears to be a small library or study. High-profile guest cameos and top-notch production values make this far more captivating than your average Twitch stream. The cinematic quality lends itself to a proper home video release. Get it via Amazon.
Games and Figurines
Metallica CLUE ($49.99): Board games are a staple activity during holiday family gatherings. Make yours that much more metal with the official Metallica version of CLUE — the classic who-dunnit mystery game where you’ll help find a piece of missing gear so Metallica can get back to recording their new album. Pick up the game via Metallica’s webstore.
Metal + Hard Rock Funko Pop Figures ($49.15): The makers of the adorable Funko Pop figures have tapped into the heavy music market on a few occasions, and now they’ve unveiled new multi “album” packs with full band lineups of AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, and KISS. These sets come ready for display with replica LP and cover art. Get them on Black Friday at your local toy retailer.
Tool’s 2022 US Tour: Stockings are usually a good place to stash a candy cane, some miniature Reeses, and maybe a gift card to a local restaurant. This holiday, what if you made the stocking the ultimate vessel of prog-metal salvation? After all, Tool’s upcoming tour is just around the corner. We can imagine some Nintendo 64-kid style reactions from Tool fans pulling a couple front-row seats out of that red sock hanging from the mantle. Buy tickets via Ticketmaster.
Ministry’s 2022 US Tour: Maybe you have a loved one whose more into industrial metal. In that case, you can’t beat Ministry’s 2022 tour package with Melvins and Corrosion of Conformity. After being delayed a couple times, the tour has added numerous dates, so the travel itinerary should hit most regions across the country. Get tickets via Ticketmaster.