Feb 132013

(Here we have another installment in UK-based Andy Synn’s occasional series on favorites of his that come in five’s.  Music is included.)

Chance and coincidence are funny little things. One of the various ideas I had noted down for these “Favourite” columns was a short insight into my own collection of non-musical metal materials, specifically the various merch (shirts, etc) I’d picked up over the years.

So when David appeared on the scene with his series of posts on Metal Culture it seemed like the perfect time to actually put this piece together, and hopefully see what items of your ‘metal uniform’ you guys particularly cherish as well!

The funny thing is, I’m actually currently in the process of getting rid of a host of shirts, to various good homes and good people, because I feel like I’ve amassed a rather unnecessary collection, many of which I never/rarely ever wear. So I’ve been winnowing through my wardrobe, selecting the ones I don’t really have a need for, and simultaneously identifying my favourites, all of which plays nicely into this column.

Ok, so we’ll go in some sort of sartorial order, shall we?


There are a couple of reasons I love this one (pictured at the top of the post) – firstly, it’s an awesome logo, and the number of good vests produced by bands is few and far between (I’ve got a similarly awesome Bleeding Through vest, but not much else). More importantly this is now my go-to attire for Bloodguard gigs, since it looks good, represents for a band I love, and also helps keep me cool beneath the hot stage lights. Kudos to the humble vest – garment of (sweaty) kings.



When it comes to band t-shirts I honestly can’t stand the lazy and generic “album cover” shirts which make up a large percentage of the merch out there. Nor am I a fan of the type of shirts (primarily from the deathcore/metalcore scene) which all follow the format of just having large-print, block-capital lyrics down the front, often backed by some sort of garish primary colour. No, I like shirts with a bit of class, particularly ones that either don’t look like stereotypical band shirts at first glance, or ones which have a particularly interesting (and yes, artistic) design. Ultimately it came down to a toss-up between:

a rare Mortuus-designed Averse Sefira t-shirt;

a Beneath The Massacre all-over red Children Of The Corn design;

the ‘script’ logo Living Sacrifice t-shirt which I’m currently wearing (and which, unfortunately I couldn’t find an image for);

and the eventual choice, this beautifully minimalist Altar Of Plagues t-shirt;

It’s a great, relatively simple, and evocative design, which catches the eye but also avoids the common metal t-shirt clichés. I’m a particular fan of the muted colour-scheme and clever design layout as well.



I’ve actually only got two of this type of garment, one Dark Tranquillity shirt I picked up in Oslo, and this Vreid design which I got on the band’s last UK tour. Actual shirts, of the more formal, collared kind, are a bit of an anomaly in the band merch world, to me at least. I only really wear shirts of this kind when I’m trying (vainly) to look a little more formal, or cool – something which isn’t a very common occurrence, as my dress-sense is generally more of the… casual… format. Still, I couldn’t resist this one, as it’s a classy, deep black colour, with a crisp cut to it, and a cool back design (something of which I am rarely a fan).



Ok, so by now you probably know how much I love the band in question, but it actually took me a while to find a piece of merchandise I really loved. But this hoodie is, was, and always will be, perfectly suited to my wants and needs. The front logo is striking, yet not over-done, the back design is absolutely stellar, AND – most important of all – the damn thing is incredibly thick and warm.

And since it’s currently bloody freezing over here, it’s getting some serious use at the moment.

Nice roomy hood as well.



This one actually doesn’t get that much wear, but it does get pulled out for particularly special occasions. Usually prohibitively expensive, I managed to get this for an absolute steal (without, you know, actually stealing it) and it holds a lofty position in my wardrobe. It’s just that little bit different, that little bit more memorable, than your average piece of band merchandise, and of a much higher quality to boot.



  1. My current favorite band shirt, because it matches my beard so well: http://cdn.rockabilia.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/TSHIRT/125510F.JPG

  2. Solstafir’s ‘Djakninn’ is hands down the most awesome piece of clothing I have ever had the priviledge to own: http://e-shop.season-of-mist.com/en/items/solstafir/djakninn/t-shirt/28521

    Also a white HSB shirt with “fuck dubsteb” is neat. I wear them both with pride!

  3. I own way too many metal shirts and hoodies to discuss or post. So here’s my latest favorite I bought: http://cache1.bigcartel.com/product_images/87190034/origin_shirt_ad.jpg Got it right before it sold out a month ago. Limited edition never to be made again! My the odious shirt is probably my favorite just because of how colorful it is and that it’s filled with art on both sides! https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/294047_242447415791579_3674279_n.jpg

  4. For me it would be this Demilich shirt: http://www.recordshopx.com/merch/demilich/classic_t_shirt/#t-shirt

    I remember having to wait 4 years on a waiting list just for this and sure enough it sold out within 24 hours. A great gem!

  5. My Fucking Good Pancake tour shirt.

  6. God Macabre – http://cache1.bigcartel.com/product_images/53533185/GodmacabreIntoDuel.jpg (and it was one of the few times Necroharmonic actually managed to ship an order)

    Midnight – http://blog.recordboy.shop-pro.jp/images/midnight-black.jpg

    • The Midnight shirt is the shit (contrary to Andy’s contention, shirts made from album art can be excellent). But as for the God Macabre, I have a problem with shirts that take 5 minutes to read and require squinting.

  7. I have such a ridiculously large shirt and hoodie wardrobe that it’s tough to pick favorites, and I rotate them a lot. But recently, I’ve been wearing the shit out of a Dragged Into Sunlight hoodie with this Justin Bartlett work on the back:


    These Mitochondrion shirts have also been getting a lot of wear:


    Yes, it’s true. I own many Mitochondrion shirts. These 3 are not the only ones.

  8. I picked up this Skeletonwitch shirt last time they were at Studio 7: http://www.rockabilia.com/apparel/shirts/skeletonwitch-conjure-t-shirt.html

    It’s gotta be one of my favorite’s of the one’s I own so far.

  9. I’m going to have to go with my Electric Wizard shirt, though the print is purple on mine: http://electricwizard.bigcartel.com/product/electric-wizard-t-shirt-blue-pentagram

  10. I have way to much t-shirts. when i buy albums i often get a bundle with a shirt and some other stuff, and when im at gigs i always buy a shirt or two, if i liked the band. Its a nice way to support them. Especially if its smaller band who gives their albums away for like $1.

    I have a shit ton of shirts, and its pretty random which i put on. The ones that gets most use is Primordials Stag/oroborous shirt, my precious Ne Obliviscaris shirt, Tsjuders Kill For Satan shirt, Nekromatheon, Vreid, Harm, Manowar, Razor cutoff, ICS Vortex cutoff, Venom cutoff. Thats mainly because those are the ones that fit best.

    One thing i wear almost every day is my Wacken 2006 black stage zipper hoodie. I have used is as a jacket since i got it, and there is barely anything left of it. Got a new Primoridial zipper hoodie at Redemption festival so it might finally get to retire.

  11. Ok gents (and mysterious female beings who apparently also come here), here’s an additional question…

    What are the rarest shirts you own? Come on, we all have some that we’re inordinately proud to own (even if they aren’t our absolute favourites) so here’s your chance to brag!

    And fyi, I don’t just mean “rare” as in “most obscure”, I mean “rare” as in “hard/impossible to get hold of”.

    Personally I’ve got…

    “Anoint, Alight, Align” by Averse Sefira (which is actually a bit too small for me, but I NEEDED it dammit!!!)


    “Devotion Baphomet” by Secrets Of The Moon (love the charcoal colour, and only 30 exist!)


    This exceptionally badass Cobolt 60 logo shirt (of which I think only 100 exist, and most are in Norway)


    Your turn!

  12. I have a bunch of shirts. Too many to count. But my favourites as of late are this Trash talk shirtt

    This Cannibal Corpse shirt

    This faceless shirt which has their ’12 Summer Slaughter run on the back. (I was lucky enough to make the 6 hour trip to Seattle to catch them play. :))

    I also have this shirt coming in the mail which I’m quite stoked about.

  13. I like that Altar of Plagues shirt, good choice!

    I only have three/four band shirts that I wear in public, and I only really wear one of them anymore, I usually wear cotton/polyester button-downs, and the other shirts I have are all bands that I don’t listen anymore, or I’m not a big fan of the artwork so I just wear them to bed and around the house.

    My favorite is this Skeletonwitch shirt, it’s just the Breathing the Fire artwork with the tracklisting on the back, but I liked the artwork to begin with. I have two of them, one was getting kinda old-looking: http://www.indiemerch.com/skeletonwitch/item/7159.

    Gojira shirt: http://www.indiemerchstore.com/item/8079/.

    Amon Amarth shirt, it’s a little small for me: http://www.indiemerchstore.com/item/12459/.

    I also have this Lair of the Minotaur shirt, but I’m not a fan of the design anymore as the logo is too hard to read and if I run into a fan of the band I think it would even be difficult for them to tell it was LotM because it’s not their normal logo. It’s the War Metal Battle shirt: http://www.rockabilia.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Lair+of+the+Minotaur. Besides it’s gotten kinda old and I think there’s a tear in it. I’d trade it in for the Evil Power shirt in a second.

  14. https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/406311_10150568023742090_1857426009_n.jpg Another recent favorite of mine. Also sold out. Some of mine are so out of print I can no longer find photos online.

    • That is indeedy an awesome design.

      I had the same issue – really wanted to post up the Living Sacrifice one as it’s so apposite to how metal shirts usually are, and that AHTDU vest is a mock-up I made in paint, because all the vests of theirs I could find weren’t the right ones!

  15. I don’t have many metal shirts of any sort (white collar worker – few chances to wear them in public), but there’s a great story behind my favorite. It’s a simple black Insomnium hoodie, http://shop.insomnium.net/en/shop/hoodies/birds+of+prey. When I saw them play in Buffalo, I got to the venue rather late and they’d already started playing. Walking in the door, no one was there taking money for tickets! I waited for five minutes, and still no one came by, so I just walked in. I felt terrible, but if no one wants to take my money, what else am I going to do? After the show, I had all the ticket money left plus my usual money for swag, so it was time to make sure the band got paid somehow…

  16. I think I have 5 band shirts. I think my favorite is my Korpiklaani one from their US tour in 2011. I mainly like it because it’s the only women’s fit band t-shirt that has ever actually fit me properly. It’s actually cut for a woman with curves and/or boobs, which is fantastic. I usually have to buy a men’s size M or L band shirt for it to fit me properly. This made me even more of a fan of theirs, TBH.

  17. Par exemple, je ne peux pas porter les colliers d’ambre, parce qu’ils m bague Bulgari b zero 1 e donnent le sentiment d’é bague Bulgari or blanc touffement. Il n’y a rien de mal avec la pierre elle-même. C’est beau; il vient en différentes couleurs, formes et formes,bague Bulgari b zero 1, mais mon c réplique b zero1 Bulgari orps réagit négativement à elle. En réalité, ce

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