Shirt Stains: Reconsidering Death

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Death? We don’t want any!

Death metal is an interesting genre. The subject matter is often brutal and serious, but plenty there are plenty of silly, genuinely funny individuals within some of the most famous death metal  bands. Anyone who has seen Cannibal Corpse live knows that George “Corpsegrinder” Fischer is a goofball in-between songs about necrophilia and stabbing people in the neck. I’ll always cherish hearing him completely shit on the New England Patriots during their tour with Cattle Decapitation. I’m sure you all have seen and heard other sorts of funny things from bands that write about some really depraved stuff (post ’em in the comments!). All that begs the question: Do you take bands less seriously when they act in a manner different from what the songs (and to a greater extent, the death metal genre) dictates? Do you separate the art from the artist making awful dad jokes? Can you do it after you’ve seen some of these shirts?

Aborted -Bustin’ Makes Me Feel Good

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Don’t cross the streams and don’t parody movies for your death metal band’s shirt. The cringe goes hard with this mash-up design for Belgium’s Aborted and the Ghostbusters. Yes, it’s silly, but not in a “I want to spend $17.00 plus shipping” sort of way. I suppose it’s good to have a non-violent and non-gorey option for a shirt, but…ehhhh. It’s “funny” but not “ha-ha” funny. It really just makes me want to get away from the shirt as fast as possible.

Is there a big cross-over between fans of Aborted and fans of Ghostbusters? Was Aborted trying to cash in on the new Ghostbusters remake that came out? If so, bad call. And why “Gorebusters”? If anything, Aborted songs promote gore. If they’re gorebusters, they’re just busting themselves and I don’t think anyone wants to see that. Gorebust yourselves in the privacy of your own homes, Aborted. Yes, it’s perfectly natural and healthy to partake in gorebusturbation, but it’s not something you do in public. Careful, though. If you gorebust too much, your palms will get hairy and covered in ectoplasm. Also, you’ll go blind.

Benediction – All-Over Print Without A Soul

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More like “Transcend The Vomit-con” am I right? The detailed and creative artwork for this album is stretched out like a piece of chewed Laffy Taffy across the entirety of this shirt. The dull grays, blues, and greens l colors make me feel all nauseous and pukey. The little read in the corner is a brief respite from a shirt whose bland colors make me feel like I have a bunch of saltines in my mouth. This shirt is what your stomach feels like after going to a Cracker Barrel in a land-locked state on “Seafood Night”.

Oddly enough, whatever money-grubbing bastard who made this decided to move the bands logo to the very middle of the shirt, covering up the demonic statue’s face. I guess we shouldn’t expect much from a shirt that also printed it’s design on the collar. I can only assume that the design is also printed on the inside of the shirt as well. No need to pay attention to details when you’re cranking out hideous merch from your bombed-out basement apartment/school/restaurant that you share with 10 other people in Zvornik, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I can practically smell the toxic fumes and desperation on this shirt. This shirt would make a good, but depressing independent film where everyone dies in the end and no lessons are learned.

Death – Lack Of Guitarprehension

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We’ve covered some awful Death bootlegs in the past, but I don’t think this is one of them. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a live shot and the band logo. It’s a good live shot! It’s a good band logo! So why is it here? where’s the read of the guitar? It’s like the designers realized too late that the logo was going to be covered up so they cut out the guitar head in favor of the giant “H”. I guess they couldn’t just lop off Chuck’s head so people could see the “A”. They couldn’t just move Chuck a little lower or do a “Free Transform” in Photoshop to make it all fit?

Hate Eternal – La Toonestad

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I think this is one of those shirt designs that looks good in your head, good on paper, but still manages to not work out. Based off the song La Tempestad from their album Infernus,  Hate Eternal goes for epic and ends up with cute. What is supposed to be some sort of malevolent being electrocuting and burning the ever-loving shit out of humanity looks more like Uncle Fester going for an awkward hug. This is Emperor Palpatine sleepwalking through the streets of LA when the Lakers win.

This shirt is adorable. It has an indie comics styling to it that makes me think that Bone or Asterix will pop up in the background. When do Moose and Squirrel show up, Hate Eternal? Is Roger Rabbit going to make an appearance? There may be a storm of fire and flame on the back, but the front is all about cartoons and silly noises you make with your mouth.

Obituary – O Bitch

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How did this happen? How did it get past the “drunkenly scribbled on the back of an Applebee’s napkin” stage of development? You can even read the band’s name because of the design. Maybe it’s for the best. Since it’s not camouflage, people won’t know it’s an Obituary shirt anyway.

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