Heavy metal bands were unable to tour throughout most of 2020 due to the pandemic. Without the funds from playing shows, merch has become one of the main revenue streams for many acts. Bands are reissuing their classic albums and partnering with apparel brands and whiskey distilleries for crossover marketing.
Vinyl, in particular, has become a tangible way for fans to experience new records during the pandemic. Bands like Alice in Chains, GWAR, and Motörhead celebrated major album anniversaries this year, using the occasion to reissue and remaster their landmark albums. And for those long days of pandemic isolation, there’s no better time to reach for a book, with new page-turners from Judas Priest, Megadeth, and Mark Lanegan.
There’s also a ton of great toys and collectibles currently available for heavy metal fans. FunkoPop! and Super7 are running the vinyl and action figure game, while KnuckleBonz is carving out life-like statues for the devout followers of bands such as Metallica, Pantera, and KISS.
With the windfall of metal merch we’ve witnessed in 2020, there’s plenty of awesome gift ideas for the headbanger in your life this holiday season.
Editor’s Note: Also considering picking up our See You in the Pit! face mask. A portion of all proceeds go to independent musicians.
Vinyl and Box Sets
AC/DC – Power Up Deluxe Edition CD Box Set ($44.99): Any AC/DC fan who tears through some wrapping paper to reveal this deluxe CD package of Power Up is sure to be ecstatic. Slash called it a “great f**king album”, seconding our own assessment. The deluxe edition’s collectible box literally powers up, blasting the opening notes of “Shot in the Dark” from a built-in speaker. Buy it via Amazon.
Alice in Chains – Facelift 30th Anniversary 2-LP Reissue or Deluxe Box Set ($23.99 / $152.00): At long last, the 30th anniversary of Alice in Chains‘ Facelift has brought with it an affordable vinyl reissue of the band’s legendary debut. Instead of paying a fortune for a scarce original pressing, you can now pick up this official reissue at a reasonable price via Amazon. Those looking for a more deluxe option can pick up the 30th anniversary box set, due in January, at this location.
Baroness – Red, Blue, and Yellow & Green 2-LP Picture Discs ($29.99 each): One of the most striking aspects of Baroness‘ albums are their eye-catching sleeves by guitarist/singer/visual artist John Dyer Baizley. Though we’re reluctant to recommend picture discs for their limited sound quality, the recent picture disc reissues of Baroness’ first three albums are a thing of beauty. Even as a novelty, they make an illustrious collectible for the devout Baroness fan. Buy them via Relapse Records.
Boris – Absolutego and Amplifier Worship LP Reissues ($27.99 each): Japanese metal band Boris are revisiting their first two albums, 1996’s Absolutego and 1998’s Amplifier Worship, returning their early works to print (and for the first time digitally). The band tapped Third Man Records for these excellent sounding represses that also restore the original artwork for each album. Buy them via Amazon.
GWAR – Scumdogs of the Universe 30th Anniversary 2-LP Reissue ($29.99): Covering the 30th anniversary of GWAR‘s debut, Scumdogs of the Universe, has been a personal highlight of 2020 here at Heavy Consequence. In addition to a bevy of other experiences and merchandise, the real prize of the reissue campaign is this double-LP repress. Originals from 1990 go for funny money. If you’ve been holding out for a copy of Scumdogs, now’s your chance. Buy it via Amazon.
Iron Maiden – Nights of the Dead Live 3-LP Set ($35.99): Relive the “Legacy of the Beast” Tour with this live album recorded in Mexico City at the height of the band’s epic trek across the globe. Iron Maiden intended to continue the tour in 2020, but with things on hold during the pandemic, the band decided to unveil this live record instead, both for the fans fortunate enough to witness The Legacy and those who’d planned to but couldn’t. Buy it via Amazon.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Live in Maui 3-LP Set ($44.99): Something about the music of Jimi Hendrix and vinyl is just right. Spread across three slabs of wax for maximum fidelity, the Live in Maui 3-LP set was made with a careful and passionate hand, befitting of Hendrix’s legacy and his estate’s dedication to posthumous releases that provide essential insight into his art. Buy it via Amazon.
Motörhead – Ace of Spades 40th Anniversary Box Set ($174.98): For the hardcore Motörhead fan in your life, the 40th anniversary Ace of Spades box set it a windfall of goodies. Crammed with seven LPs of music, live tracks, alternate takes, rarities, and more, it’s the ultimate trove of material and ephemera from arguably the band’s finest era. It’ll cost ya, but look at all that stuff! Buy it via Amazon.
Stone Temple Pilots – Core LP Reissue ($25): Like the aforementioned Facelift, Stone Temple Pilots‘ iconic 1992 debut Core gets a much needed vinyl reissue. Later pressings had gone out of print, though a single LP version was included in the pricey Core box set from 2017. Fans can rejoice, as the LP is once again available on its own. Buy it via the band’s online store.
Shoes and Apparel
AC/DC x DC Shoes ($55-75): AC/DC and skating have shared a tight bond. Old skate videos occasionally turn up a shirt bearing the name or at least a song selection (the song choices being the long-running handshake between the skate and rock worlds). Now, you might see the band’s logo flash across the screen during a kickflip, with DC Shoes teaming up with the Aussie rockers for some stylish kicks and apparel. Buy them via DC Shoes’ webstore.
Black Sabbath x Doc Martens ($130-160): We all wear bands on our T-shirts, why not wear them on our shoes, as well? That’s the concept behind this jaw-dropping collab between Black Sabbath and Doc Martens. Seriously, showing up to work wearing the cover of Black Sabbath on your feet? It gets none more badass. Buy the boots via Doc Martens’ online store here and the shoes here.
Pantera “F**king Hostile” Holiday Sweater + Stockings ($25-75): Show up to your Zoom holiday party wearing this insane Pantera sweater and you’re certain to be the most festive metalhead among your immediate circle. Sadly, we can’t fill these Pantera stockings with Pantera Golden Ale yet (it’s coming spring 2021), but maybe snag a Tavour gift card for the eventual tasting of the thrash band’s first craft beer when it ships across the U.S. in spring. Buy the sweater via Pantera’s webstore.
Blu-Rays and DVDs
Flying V Documentary DVD ($19.99): Our selections in this category are a “thrash trilogy” of sorts. For some reason, it’s been a video-centric genre as of late, as this documentary about the Flying V goes to prove. The hour-long film is a love letter to the guitar with the iconic silhouette, featuring interviews with Flying V users like Metallica’s James Hetfield and Slayer axeman Kerry King. Buy it via MVD Shop.
Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Story DVD ($13.99): The second part of our thrash trilogy is this highly entertaining documentary about the Bay Area thrash scene. Charming animation is interspersed with immersive photography (immortalized in the book of the same name) and interviews with the people who lived it: Metallica, Exodus, Testament, to name a few. Required viewing for thrash fans and historians of heavy metal in general. Buy it via Amazon.
Metallica – S&M2 2CD + Blu-ray/DVD ($26.98 / $24.98): We’ve written much about Metallica’s S&M2 in our reviews of the show itself, the theatrical release, and home video version of the concert film. By the far the most important factor to enjoying the film is watching it on a big screen with the volume as loud as possible. The theater-quality audio and visuals on the recent Blu-ray release make that feasible. It also touts behind-the-scenes bonus footage, completing the S&M2 experience for those who may have already seen the film proper. Buy it via Amazon.
Judas Priest: 50 Heavy Metal Years Coffee Table Photo Book (£79.99): Rufus Publications is known for their high-end music tomes, and their upcoming coffee table photo book, Judas Priest – 50 Years of Heavy Metal, has the aura of a future treasure. It’s the ultimate visual document of the band’s career, which was a influential visually as it was aurally for the heavy metal subculture of the ’70s, ’80s, and beyond. Buy it via Rufus Publications.
Confess: The Autobiography by Rob Halford ($30): What the photo book offers in visuals, frontman Rob Halford’s new autobiography, Confess, provides in raw details. Halford opens up about his life and the tales of Judas Priest in the telling book — its title no misnomer. During a pandemic that encourages a good book or two, Confess will certainly be hours well spent for the curious Priest fan. Buy it via Amazon.
Rust in Peace: The Inside Story of the Megadeth Masterpiece by Dave Mustaine ($28): The same goes for this oral history of Megadeth’s 1990 classic Rust in Peace. Despite the somewhat misleading labeling, which makes the book appear to be a Mustaine-penned biography about the album, it’s told in an oral history format by multiple Megadeth members and associates (with further comments from Mustaine and a foreword by Slash). It’s a juicy text for Megadeth diehards and those who enjoy unravelling the inner workings of classic metal albums. Buy it via Amazon.
Sing Backwards and Weep: A Memoir by Mark Lanegan ($29): Mark Lanegan’s memoir colors in the dark side of the grunge era. Utterly revealing, the book openly discusses the Screaming Trees/Queens of the Stone Age singer’s drug abuse, his interaction with the music industry, and the death of Kurt Cobain. An invigorating read, but not for the faint of heart. Buy it via Amazon.
Figurines, Toys, and Stocking Stuffers
Funko Pop! and Super7 Figures ($10.99 / $18): The world of Funko Pop! has gone metal as of late with some choice new figures such as the mysterious lady from the aforementioned Black Sabbath cover and members of Slipknot, Slayer, and more. Great gifts for the younger metal fans in your life. For vintage action figure collectors, Super7’s music collection turns heavy metal heroes like Lemmy Kilmister and Rob Halford into 3.75-inch figures — Star Wars ’77-style, from the limited articulation down to the cardboard bubble packaging. Buy the Funkopop figures here and Super7 figures here.
KnuckleBonz Statues ($149+): On the other end of the figurine spectrum, KnuckleBonz emphasize intricate realism versus cartoon caricatures. It’s more appropriate to call the company’s creations statues or sculptures (ala Todd McFarlane). KnuckleBonz have focused on recreating the lineups of classic bands in limited 8.5-inch form. The members of Pantera and KISS are currently available, and pre-orders are ongoing for statues of Metallica, Scorpions, and more. Buy the existing statutes via Amazon.
Rush Bobblehead Dolls ($59.99): Next time you crank “YYZ” in tribute to the late Neil Peart, put these Rush bobbleheads on your subwoofer for guaranteed TikTok gold. They’ve made a standard version and an ’80s Rush variant, so you can choose your era of preference. Buy each set of three via the Rush online store.
Corpse Paint Bar Soap ($12.40): It’s time to take A-bbath! Bar soap that resembles the corpse paint of famous black metal musicians. It’s brilliant. Not to mention gifting soap is rather progressive in times like these. Make the gesture as metal as possible. The Etsy shop closes for the year on November 28th, so act quick. Buy the soap via Etsy.
Booze and Coffee
Metallica Batch 106 Blackened Whiskey ($51.99): Metallica’s Blackened whiskey was aged in casks pummeled by the audio from S&M2. How metal is that!? The aging process inherently requires some stimulation of the barrels. Thus, the casks were pulverized with low hertz frequencies from the concert. Created with the essence of Metallica, perhaps you can taste the difference. Buy it via Caskers.
Slipknot Iowa No. 9 Whiskey ($39.99): If you haven’t gathered that whiskey and metal go together, Slipknot also dropped a new branded booze in the form of their Iowa No. 9 Whiskey. Unlike the other bands, however, Slipknot held a signing and press conference for its release, where Clown revealed the band’s been writing music for its next album. Buy the whiskey here.
Lamb of God “Momento Mori” Coffee ($20): If alcohol is a no-go, brew a cup of Lamb of God’s “Momento Mori” coffee. Brewed in collaboration with Nightflyer Roastworks, this is world-class coffee from the minds of heavy metal coffee connoisseurs. For more info, revisit our interview with guitarist Willie Adler, who doubles as a DIY coffee roaster in his downtime and helped bring “Momento Mori” to fruition. Buy it here.
Adam Jones Signature 1979 Gibson Les Paul Custom ($5,999 to $9,999): Tool guitarist Adam Jones finally has his own signature guitar, a 1979 Gibson Les Paul Custom, but it’s a super-limited edition. In fact, it’s already sold out, and on top of that 13 of the prized guitars were stolen off a truck. However, those with a fat wallet can purchase one on the re-sale market here.
Fender Fullerton Ukulele ($199): Wanna learn the ukulele, but still keep it metal? Fender has unveiled a line of electric-acoustic ukuleles modeled after their classic Stratocaster, Telecaster, and Jazzmaster guitars. The sweet-looking Fullerton series is available in multiple models here.
Heads Up: You can also pick up face masks, T-shirts, and CBD from the Consequence Store. From now through November 30th, receive a free gift for every purchase you make.