Once upon a time Slayer was a legit scary band — not a cartoon or an ironic pose, but a genuinely dangerous, disquieting group with fucked-up allegiances and ideas, who made insanely brutal and blood-raising music. Looking at ’em today, it’s actually kinda weird that their music has remained pretty uncompromising, because everything else about their public image seems so goddamned lame. Case in point: Slayer’s “official” Christmas jumper, which will run you $80 at their merch site. (It’s actually sold out already, so you’ll probably have to drop like three bills on eBay to get the thing.)

I shouldn’t hate — we talk all the time about bands having to find new ways to make money, so if Slayer fans will pony up for a goofy novelty item, more power to both parties. And I won’t lie — I’ve got a “Christmas sweater required” holiday party coming up in a few weeks, and when I saw this thing, I was like, “That’s a Christmas sweater I might actually wear.” (Honestly it’s pretty badass just as a garment IMO.) But even if I bought the thing, I’d be too embarrassed to wear it in public, and the point is moot because all the fanboys snatched it up before I could. Guess I’m wearing my Tombs hoodie to the Xmas shindig. Again.

Comments (12)
  1. Like. A million times like.

  2. This is too fucking great!

  3. I like to pair mine with my Megadeth beanie and Pantera scarf.

  4. So it’s lame, but actually badass? Thanks for the facebookworthy insight Michael Nelson.

    • It’s lame because it’s an example of the continuing degradation of the Slayer brand — it’s totally self-effacing and ironic, and Slayer built their name not on ironic affectations but on being the scariest, heaviest band in the world. It depresses me to see them playing up this cartoonish image, even though it’s more profitable to be lovable ol’ Slayer than it is to be the dudes whose most famous song is about Josef Mengele. It reminds me of how I felt watching The Osbournes; Black Sabbath never sounded the same after that.

      That said — putting aside the greater meaning — as a piece of clothing, in a vacuum, it’s pretty cool looking, in my opinion.

      • But isn’t Araya happily married with kids now? I think of a lot of lovable Slayer stuff came into play once those guys started to age and have families. I’m not an expert on the band by any means, but it seems admirable that they’ve still maintained a steady degree of intensity throughout their career….especially relative to the bands they shared the Big 4 stage with. Has the self-effacing aspect crept into the music at all? I’m surprised Dave Lombardo still has ankles.

  5. Santa is an anagram of Satan. Makes sense.

  6. I could not disagree more with the writer of this article. A Slayer CHRISTMAS sweater is exactly the point of Slayer. It’s fucking CHRISTMAS! It’s a Christian holiday. Beyond that it’s a season of joy and happiness, where everyone smiles and wears lame sweaters, even though, on the inside, they hate ALL of that bullshit. I’m not sure there could be a more perfect “Fuck you!” to ALL OF THAT than showing up wearing a Slayer sweater. They should have done this years ago.

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