By Bradley Zorgdrager
Did you click on this expecting all the orange merch laden with jack-o’-lanterns and ghosts? That’s the TRICK of the trick-or-treat, which is also the impetus for the “Sort-of-” in the title. Do we plan on doing a round-up of some spooky season treats? Absolutely, but the season’s just getting started, so while things are ramping up for metal Hallo-wears here are some interesting items for when you decide to slash a bit off your paycheck to treat yourself.
Frozen Soul - “Crypt of Ass” Track Shorts
Frozen Soul whole new merch drop is actually deserving of being in here, with icy tie-dye cropped outerwear, all-over-print shorts and, uhhh, charms for your Crocs? But it’s these punny booty shorts we’ve got to highlight because everyone loves a good pun. The ass-dornment “Crypt of Ass” is, of course, a play on their bone-chilling debut LP Crypt of Ice. What better time to rock these than when the temperature’s dropping yet it’s still warm enough to show some cheek?
The new project from Aborted vocalist Sven de Caluwé are about to launch EP2 November 30—just 10 months after debut Stereo Homicide dropped back in January. That title is a double entendre, summarizing the musical murdering coming from these denizens of death metal/deathcore, but also its lyrical topic of serial killer pairs. Coffin Feeder continue the literal titles with Over the Top, which transitions their focus to Hollywood’s action heroes of the 1980s and 1990s. Don’t forget, they can leave a pretty hefty pile of bodies in their wake—just look at this shirt and the cover for the EP, which boasts 87 nods to the era. Personal favorites include Boba Fett getting mask-fucked by a Facehugger, the Terminator and a Predator performing fatalities on John McClaine and Rambo characters, respectively, and Gizmo pissing on Kevin McCallister. Over the Top, indeed.
I Am have always injected their Texas death with a serious dose of heavy metal bravado. New LP Eternal Steel doubles down on it with a scantily clad woman behind a leashed panther cerberus. The band went literal with this piece of merch, a facsimile of the sword encased in stone on the LP’s back cover and single art for “Surrender to the Blade.” Fortunately, surrendering to this one will only cost $10—plus shipping and handling.
This Escuela Grind art is so good you could put it on anything and it’d sell. It’s super busy and blindingly colorful, but manages to do so without losing the Ithaca NY band’s grindcore cred. That may be because Memory Theater splits the difference between the all-too-grindy collage style piece and the drawing it actually is. There’s something new going on every time you look at it, so feast your eyes in preparation for your ears to be destroyed.
Trivium have long been leaders in metal, from taking out younger bands they love to frontman Matt Heafy’s embrace of Twitch. Now they’re proving environmentally friendly, leaning into the three Rs of waste management—specifically the latter two, reuse and recycle. They’re upcycling a 2007 tour backdrop into 109 each of large, medium and small bags. Each comes with a certificate of authenticity for the literally one-of-a-kind merch item. For those familiar with the Floridians’ career, Trivium would have been touring The Crusade at the time. If you’re hoping to get a backdrop bag from another album cycle, you better sell this one out fast, lest Trivium opt to adorn their literal airplane hangar home base with them.
Revocation “Diabolical” Basketball Jersey
Satan dunking on a basketball net attached to Jesus’ cross as the latter grimaces in anguish as his crucifixion also becomes a campfire, turning his toes into goopy blackened blobs akin to marshmallows that got a little too close to the flame. If that doesn’t sell you on this ballin’ Revocation jersey, we don’t know what will. Oh, besides new album Netherheaven, which will have you feel like you’re dunking on Jesus for real with its intricately technical death metal attack.
With its art of a cow shitting out a human’s liquified corpse, Humanure is one of the most visceral album covers out. (Cattle Decapitation actually had to release a censored version to appease queasy retailers.) What better way to get stares than to emblazon it on a hoodie that looks like you rolled around in garbage? It’s the perfect complement to the anti-humanitarian, pro-environment stance the band have proudly touted since their inception.
Vulvodynia Logo Bandana
Because too few bands are producing bandanas as a merch item. Support South Africa’s finest technical slamming deathcore with a piece of cloth you can use ad a handkerchief, tourniquet, or wear on your head!