Metal Health: Bang Your (Bobble)Head


For the enterprising metalhead, there are plenty of ways to prove that you love your music more than practical concerns like, say, good taste.

While the traditional options include tattoos and expensive vinyl reissues, Relapse Records has thoughtfully decided to expand to bobbleheads. Those among you with very long memories may recall that they first ventured into this territory back in 2016 for the reissue of Death’s debut, Scream Bloody Gore.

It brings me absolutely no pleasure to report that they’ve opted to repeat their winning strategy with a commemorative bobblehead for Death’s third album, Spiritual Healing. For the four people reading this who haven’t already listened to the full Death catalog, Spiritual Healing is where Chuck Schuldiner started to stretch out the band’s songwriting musically, incorporating significant  progressive elements for the first time. Notably, it is also the only Death album to feature lead guitar phenom James Murphy.

Unfortunately, Spiritual Healing was also where Chuck decided to get “serious” with his lyrics, turning from songs about zombies to what can only be euphemistically described as social criticism.

While Schuldiner was a fantastic guitarist and songwriter, you could get equivalent takes from an early ’90s winemom who passed out drunk while watching a Lifetime movie. It’s hard to take seriously an album where the lyrics are mostly a list of which people Chuck thinks should be executed, especially when it’s a laundry list of late ’80s-early ’90s moral panics: the single mothers of crack babies (a twofer!), criminals who use the insanity defense, televangelists/faith healers, and the notorious sickos in the genetics research community.


Maybe it’s fitting, then, that this bobblehead is a ludicrous monstrosity. Look at this fucking thing. Look at it. Look at it and know that there are 500 people who gladly decided to pull out their wallet and throw down money for it. That’s right, it sold out. This piece of worthless plastic made more money than many people around the world earn in a year.

If there’s a silver living here, it’s that this is the worst bobblehead that is going to come out of the Death catalog. Maybe in a few years you can add a bobblehead of the eyeball from Symbolic or the mountain from Sound of Perseverance to your collection.

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