Tales from the Jugular

'Mas Of Metal! Holiday Metal Ideas

By: Maximum Metal Staff
Published: Sunday, December 21, 2008
It is the end of another wild and crazy heavy metal year! What better way to round out 2008 than a Christmas shopping list for all of our Maximum Metal readers? We have provided you, the connoisseur of all things amped up, some shopping suggestions to pass on to your family, friends, and headbanded headbangers. From the gems of the 80s to the newest sensations of metalcore to some reading material to enhance your attic or basement dwelling; it's here, ready to be checked, checked off, and most importantly, charged...and don't forget those funny last three digits on the back of your card.


AC/DC are back and louder than ever! This band just doesn't quit. Anyone who has heard a guitar will be familiar with AC/DC and enjoy another good romp with them. Grab this one at Walmart (and Walmart only unless you want to spend high dollars for an import).

Got a thing for swords, steel and the majesty of Euro-styled power metal? Need a new band to substitute for those moldy-oldy Helloween CDs? Look no further than ARMORY whose production and musicianship are as good as a major release. Check out "The Dawn Of Enlightenment" and know what an indy band is capable of these days.

The top of the list this year and a must have for the denim and leathers of the world..... BLACK SABBATH's "Rules Of Hell" box. Folks this is the real deal and a must have if you want to impress your big-haired, big-boobed girlfriend. What says metal more than a four foot troll belting out "THE MOB RULES!!!!"?!? This excellent collection features all of the Ronnie James Dio studio recordings and the live album. This is all remastered with extensive liner notes. Turn up the night baby!! Get it at your local Best Buy, FYE, or online at CD Universe.

Earache has been reissuing the entire CARCASS catalog in bloody (literally!) resplendent packaging this year. All five full length albums with added extras including death cards, demo cd's, stickers, artwork, etc. with each reissue containing one of a five part "Pathologists report" - this is a DVD of interviews with all past and current members about all things Carcass! All five are now available in Europe (which are btw dualdisc-audio one side, video on the other, US versions come with separate discs for the audio and DVD) and in the US four of the five are now available (Symphonies of Sickness has yet to be issued). One other thing, the US release of Swansong did NOT contain the bonus set of stickers that the European release has (all other US releases contain the same bonus material as their European counterparts), BUT, we did score several sets of these stickers directly from Earache, contact us here at Maximum Metal and ask for a set free of charge (till we run out)!

Although this one is a year or two old it is still new to most rockers. "Take It Sleazy" from DIRTY PENNY is tougher than a $2 steak. This is well executed glam metal that is sure to please fans of Motley Crue, Ratt, and KISS. Grab the autographed copy pictured above at www.dirtypennysucks.com or grab it from Itunes. $10 never rocked so hard.

Another riff fest here complete with tons of leads, maniacal energy, and scorching twin axe work! This is the debut album from ENDEVERAFTER called "Kiss Or Kill". The older metal fans will liken this to Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, and KISS but will still be impressed. The new kids on the block will be jumping off their porch with air guitar strokes. Grab it at Kmart, Walmart, Itunes, or the Stop 'N Save.

One of the most inspired and progressively more celebrated acts in today's extreme scene, ENSLAVED have struck gold once again with 'Vertebrae'. Combining the strengths of their past four albums, 'Vertebrae' will appeal to metelheads and indie kids alike. All that's required is an open mind.

Metalcore, Emo, and hard rock fans can't miss this new release. ESCAPE THE FATE are easily one of the best bands in modern rock. This is the group's second album and will find an audience at Avenged Sevenfold and Atreyu concerts. This is great stuff!! Buy it at FYE, Best Buy, and Itunes.

One of power metal's long establish bands GAMMA RAY has finally graced us with the "Hell Yeah" 2 DVD set, the band's first. Full concert and features a multi-camera recording of the band's as well as lots of bonuses including a road movie, a documentary covering the band's history, behind-the-scenes footage, and much more.

"The GET THRASHED journey begins in the early 80s, where Metallica and several other bands laid the groundwork for what would become a lasting impression on the face of heavy metal music. Get Thrashed traces the rise, fall and impact of thrash metal; from its early years, through its influence on grunge, nu metal and today’s heavy metal scene. It is the story of the heaviest, hardest music of the 80s and early 90s as told by the bands who lived it, the fans and bands that grew up on it and by the artists that carry the “thrash metal” flag today. The documentary throws new light on an overlooked, yet incredible music scene and how it went from a simple rumbling in the underground to a loud, obnoxious and constant roar in the (almost) mainstream." http://www.getthrashed.com

Traditional U.S. power from guitarist Steve Stine unites with the British voice of legendary Grim Reaper vocalist Steve Grimmett in the powerhouse melodic metal of GRIMMSTINE. The band shows that when two worlds collide the earth shattering results can be a positive force.

GUNS N' ROSES - Chinese Democracy has finally dropped! This is the most overdue musical birth the world has ever known. If you're completely clueless, you need to know that this is not the Appetite for Destruction/Slash/Duff, This is Axl Rose' baby.

IRON MAIDEN: Live After Death--Wow, what a wait it's been for this one! One of the greatest tour runs of Iron Maiden is finally on dvd, so we can stop passing around bootleg copies. I remember seeing this one way back on MTV and it sold me on Maiden forever. Their current tour is re-creating most of the set and songs, But "Live After Death" is the original and Maiden were at their peek of glory. This one is a must for every metal fan.

Although certainly not new on the re-issue hot sheet, this is a mandatory thrash classic that needs to be heard ASAP. Germany's KREATOR ruled the Earth in the 80s, delivering speedy romps like "Extreme Aggression", "Endless Pain", and the coveted "Pleasure To Kill". Throw the 2001 remastered version of "Terrible Certainty" on your wish list and share the holiday cheer with a great speed metal album! Don't forget, this one is a concept album about the plague. Yuletide fun for certain! Grab it at CD Universe or Itunes.

Most of us agree that the world's biggest metal band has gone back to being metal again. If you've turned away from the band because of the last few CDs, give this one a sample and see if you think METALLICA is back.

The kids will rock with this one! MIDNIGHT IDOLS' second album is saturated in 80s nostalgia and borrowed riffs from the greats. If you dig those coveted Saxon, Judas Priest, and Iron Maiden records (or Ostrogoth, Grim Reaper, and Heavy Load) then this is a mandatory metal. Grab it from Itunes or CD Baby.

Alongside Rotting Christ, SEPTICFLESH are poised to bring Greece's underground scene the attention it has been long due. On their first album since reuinting in '07, Septicflesh's fusion of symphonic and death metal elements has fully matured. Look for them on tour this winter in support of Satyricon and Cradle of Filth.

It's pretty amazing how well some Scandinavian bands have taken the glam-sleeze rock sound and attitude from America's dominance. SISTER SIN in an in-your-face, over the top slice of fun. Sister Sin is the year's most infectious, guilty pleasure. Put it on, remove your brain and party away!

TESLA have delivered album after album of sheer perfection and their new album is no exception. Jeff Keith and the boys return with another solid outing on "Forever More". This one has it all...heavy numbers, soft ballads, and some 70s styled heavy blues. Get it anywhere and if you are shopping for a friend, buy a copy for yourself please. Also get the Comin Atcha Live dvd to go with the new CD.

This one is sure to bring back some memories for the seasoned fan! This sophomore release from London's TOKYO DRAGONS is a welcome revisit to the 70s era, complete with melodic rockers in the vein of KISS, Thin Lizzy, and Van Halen. The Guitar Hero in your life will get a good dose of Arena Rock 101 with "Hot Nuts". Grab it at CD Universe or Itunes.

The best hard rock album since Eighteen Vision's self titled release (which was the best album since "Appetite For Destruction"). VOODOO SIX has astonishing vocals and string work with a good sense of melody in their songwriting. Take the hint from Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris - "The best debut album I've heard in years". Grab it at Itunes or spend some high dollars at CD Universe.

The new generation of rock and metal fans will surely be impressed by ZERO DOWN's second album, "Good Times At The Gates Of Hell". The seasoned metal fanatic may have heard these riffs before but for the new rockstar on the block....this one is sure to please! From soaring leads, twin guitar glory, and party-like-your-Steven-Tyler songwriting, this one is a must have! Pick it up at CD Baby or grab it for $10 at Itunes.


The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists
Feel like starting a debate amongst the hell rats? Joel McIver, who writes for Total Guitar, Metal Hammer and many other music magazines, has a good one to get you started. "Each entry includes a career biography, with makes and models of guitars played, and explains in technical but informal terms why the player deserves a spot on the coveted list. Sidebars and boxes detail each guitarist's trademark playing style and top riff." - Amazon.com

Dimebag Darrell - He Came To Rock
"He Came To Rock follows Dime from his roots growing up in the household of a working-class musician to his success as a much-loved and world renowned rock guitar God. From deep in the heart of Texas to the Monsters of Rock concert to Ozzfest 2000 to MTV s Headbangers Ball you re there every step of the way." - Amazon.com

Heavy Metal Islam
This is not the Middle East that you may know. "LeVine presents Muslims, Christians and Jews who, in the face of corruption, repression and violence, use their music to speak truth to power and carve out a space for individual expression and a new form of community."

The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star
"In one of the most unique memoirs of addiction ever published, Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx shares mesmerizing diary entries from the year he spiraled out of control in a haze of heroin and cocaine, presented alongside riveting commentary from people who were there at the time, and from Nikki himself." - Amazon.com

Reckless Road: Guns N' Roses and the Making of Appetite for Destruction
Marc Canter has been friends with Slash for over 30 years, and had unlimited access to the formative years of one of the greatest rock bands of all time, Guns N' Roses. Canter found himself witnessing the creation of Guns N' Roses front and center. The candid shots contained in Reckless Road, taken as the band toured in 1985-1987 and made the legendary album Appetite for Destruction, capture their raw, blood-sweat-and-tears performances as well as their intimate moments. Containing original gig memorabilia including show flyers, ticket stubs, set lists, press clippings, and handwritten lyrics as well as in-depth interviews with band members.

"Slash tells the tale that has yet to be told from the inside: how the legendary band Guns N' Roses came together, how they wrote the music that defined an era, how they survived insane, never-ending tours, how they survived themselves, and, ultimately, how it all fell apart." - Amazon.com

Swedish Death Metal
For those looking to read and learn about the beginning of death metal in Europe, particularly Sweden, pick up the new book by Daniel Ekeroth - Swedish Death Metal. A veritable who's who of all things death metal and its drunken, adolescent rise out of Stockholm and the surrounding towns. Its an entertaining read on how American death metal, particulary Florida, hardcore punk, early thrash and Candlemass/Bathory fused to create the phenomena that is Swedish Death Metal!

True Norwegian Black Metal
"Documentary photographer Peter Beste has spent the last five years working in the milieu of the Norwegian black metal scene. This scene, with its notorious events of murder, church arson, and self-mythology, is absolutely sealed to outsiders. The international black metal fan base is one of the most devoted, fanatical, and proprietary in the world. Beste’s access and insight into this world is unprecedented and has yielded an amazing photographic journey" - Amazon.com

Ye Olde Metal Series by  Martin Popoff
Comprised of in-depth essays with interview footage examining classic hard rock albums from the past, Ye Olde Metal was cooked up to pay respect to some great hard rock or heavy metal records from the past, albums that may or may not have been big sellers, but given the rapidly passing years, deserve another look.

[Other Maximum Metal Columns]

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