Published Dec 18, 2009Remember when Choosing Death was released? Buying a Christmas gift for that special death metal someone was easy that year. But not every year can see a definitive death metal tome see the light of day, unfortunately. Most years there is a new Cannibal Corpse album or a new Deicide album or at least a new Grave album to buy for that perma-scowling death metal badass who secretly loves Christmas. But, you know, maybe they're getting bored of those bands, even though one is wildly solid, one amusingly lacking quality control and one is, well, Grave. So let's think outside the box a bit this year and get that beloved longhaired cretin something a bit different. Just remember, it's gotta be brutal, and if there's not enough double-bass action, someone's gonna be pissed.
1. Vacuum Cleaner Sleep Help Sound CD
Metal folks are not generally known for their sense of humour (Cannabis Corpse, Dethklok and, uh, the entire microgenres of pirate metal and folk metal aside) and also get really fucking touchy when people make fun of their tunes. Which is why getting them this CD is perfect. Check it out: you know how their crap Swedish death metal demos sound like shit and you're always saying they sound like a vacuum cleaner? This CD is the sound of a vacuum cleaner. Burn a copy onto a CDR and write, say, "Morgoth demos" or "Edge of Sanity demos" or "Nihilist (pre-Entombed!!!) demos," on the disc, then sit back, watch them put it on and brace yourself, because they will bang their head to this CD, which is actually made to help babies sleep. Go figure.
2. Deicide sweatpants
Good lord. We thought all this talk of death metal dudes wearing sweatpants was a joke, a sort of fashion statement in theory emblematic of the genre's fashion, uh, "sense." But check this shit out: these eBay listings may be history by the time you read this, but these Deicide sweatpants and Obituary sweatpants ("They have been worn many years ago and are washed," says the listing for the latter) are going for about $200 each - for sweatpants! So show them you care, and you understand their subgenre scene. Give the gift that keeps giving. Give them the chance to pop sweatpant boners over Bolt Thrower demos that sound like vacuum cleaners while wearing fucking DM sweatpants, not Roots sweatpants or some weak shit like that. Uh, just watch out for that Deicide one, as "there are a few small white stains on the left leg."
3. Death Metal Comics
Well, we've already established that death metallers aren't really known for their senses of humour. But sometimes it just takes some convincing for anyone who would willingly listen to Morbid Angel or Malevolent Creation to actually kick back and have a laugh or two. The only thing is that fans of all things deathly have a specific and often elusive sense of humour that doesn't just involve guffawing over how brutal and sick the new Cannibal Corpse album cover is. That's why this Xmas a damn wicked way of saying you care is buying your special death metaller their own framed death metal comic. You know, something to hang on the wall beside the racks of Scott Burns-produced '90s Florida death metal CDs (or, more likely, cassettes). Our favourite comic? It has to be the one that reads "Death Metal Nite," depicting a death metal gig line-up with none other than the Grim Reaper standing at the back of the line. Har, har, har... See, specific kind of humour.
4. Custom Florida Death Metal T-Shirt
Speaking of Florida death metal, an easy and reliable gift would be this customized Florida death metal T-shirt, with gored-out black lettering on a white tee. Only problem is, this gift requires a bit of a DIY touch to make it truly death-worthy, otherwise that special death metaller might rip open the gore-themed, zombies-as-Santa's-elves wrapping paper and be somewhat disappointed by how, um, clean this shirt looks. So here's what you do. Splatter it with any blood-like substance you can find (er, actual blood would be best, but that's something best left to your own devices... if in a pinch, tomato paste or red food colouring will work), then add a few pizza grease stains and you're good to go. It's the difference between that slightly uncool, but passable, gift and a full-on, Obituary-inspired boner machine.
5. Donate to a Death Metal Charity
Okay, last but not least, everyone who's ever taken the time to know a true death metal fan knows that, between headbanging violently in the middle of the mosh-pit with no regard to personal safety and razzing dudes with hair that's not down below their asses, death metallers are actually big softies with hearts of gold. So why not hit that death metal Gumby where it counts and make a donation in his or her name to the medical fund of the sadly departed death metal legend Chuck Schuldiner (from the legendary Death, the band that's often credited to have spawned the term "death metal" to begin with... then again, Possessed's 1983 demo was called Death Metal, and that was around the same time Death was just starting to kick ass, but that's a debate for another time)? Nothing says the holidays like the spirit of giving, and in this case, that special death metal someone will be brutally stoked that they were in some way responsible for carrying on the legacy of Mr. Death himself, Chuck Shuldiner.