RIBS N’ ROSES (opens in new tab)
So, Halloween is almost upon us. That one day of the year where we can dig out a t-shirt at random, leave the house and get an enthusiastic thumbs up from a zombie stumbling towards the pub. Why? Because you’re wearing a t-shirt with a ribcage festooned with roses and creeping vines. Spooky? Well, yes, but you wore this the other week. To your gran’s birthday party. Halloween certainly is the most metal of all celebrations and the only day of the year where the public catches up and expresses their dark side.
STITCHED UP (opens in new tab)
This EMP t-shirt, while perfectly acceptable for any day of the week, is particularly apt for October 31. Look at it. It’s John Carpenter levels of scary; a garment so heinous that it makes our eye twitch when considering the reality of the design. Picture it. You’ve reluctantly agreed to wear a – shudder – t-shirt for a friend’s party in the type of pub that sells blue drinks with umbrellas. While you’re waiting for a game of pool, you begin to get pains in your chest and stomach. Seconds later, a massive skull rips out of your body and peers menacingly at the people who’re singing along to Ed Sheeran. You’re in agony and the evening’s ruined. It’s like the opening scene of a horror film sound tracked by Mayhem. Would watch.
APOCALYPSE WOW (opens in new tab)
What’s more metal than a t-shirt with a skull on it? A t-shirt with a skull wearing a gas mask, that’s what. What’s not to like? The worlds of metal and horror collide with this shirt design that’s gives a nod to classic metal iconography and plonks it in the middle of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Why no goggles? Because this undead chap doesn’t even have eyes. And look at the back print; he’s got chains around his neck. What happened there, then? So the next time you’re having a moan about having to cough up a few quid and sign another birthday card at work, give a moment’s consideration to this wretched soul’s circumstances. See? Not that hard, is it?
I WANT YOUR SKULLS
If you sit still and just push all your thoughts aside for one moment, you can scare yourself daft – even if you’re sitting in pub garden sunshine surrounded by your mates. Close your eyes and do it. Breathe deeply and place one hand on your face. You’re almost touching a skull. Tap it. Creepy, right? It’s almost as unsettling as Dawn of the Dead. What about a skeleton t-shirt featuring all of the skulls and a slight splattering of blood? You can have it. EMP have got your back. Thanks EMP.
DO FEAR THE RIPPER (opens in new tab)
Death, metal and Halloween. Has there been a more iconic trio? We can see them practically holding hands and skipping into a fiery pit of fire while a PA blasts out Motörhead at deafening volume. Here’s The Grim Reaper giving the finger to everyone, to you and you and especially you. He doesn’t care what you think. And why not? He’s Death and he’s carries a big scythe. Fair enough, mate.
THE RAVEN (opens in new tab)
Hell bent, hell bent for feather! If there’s a bird that straddles the worlds of metal and horror, like a tiny winged Colossus of Rhodes, then it’s the raven. Blacker than Lemmy’s leather jacket and not particularly suitable as a household pet, it’s no wonder Edgar Allen Poe wrote a poem in its honour: Carpathian Forest, The Devil Wears Prada and more have been influenced by Poe’s passerine work. And look, a Geordie band even called themselves Raven. It’s the undisputed mascot for horror and metal. And here’s one perched on a skull. How much more metal could it be? And the answer is none. This Gothicana top is perfect for any Halloween party. Or anywhere, really.
DEATH GRIP (opens in new tab)
Apart from not having the right change for the bus or being estranged from your friends and family over a Twitter misunderstanding, there’s nothing more inconvenient than feeling the icy grip of death around your body. This is the perfect hoodie, then, to remind everyone of their own mortality this Halloween. And it’ll keep you toasty and warm on the way home.
WE ALL FLOAT DOWN HERE (opens in new tab)
Unless you’ve been hiding in a dank basement, you’ll have noticed everyone talking about the remake of the Stephen King horror film, It. There’s one simple reason why. Clowns are petrifying. Halloween is a celebration of being petrified. Even Clown from Slipknot is an actual, bin-slamming clown. Everything is connected. This Halloween, see which are your friends suffer from coulrophobia with this classic Pennywise t-shirt and wake up to a series of tearfully angry voice messages.
ZOMBIE STOMP (opens in new tab)
While the mainstream has cottoned on to the fact that zombies rock with popularity of The Walking Dead, metal has a long held fascination with the Halloween fancy dress staple for years. Cannibal Corpse, Obituary, Anthrax and Rob Zombie – mild shock – are some of the bands who’ve been inspired by the brain-craving shufflers. Looking to cause concern at your Halloween party this year? EMP have you covered with this unsettling Zombie Wrap shirt. Ripped to shreds, rotting flesh, pierced with wooden stakes. What an awful garment. Perfect.
I REMEMBER HALLOWEEN (opens in new tab)
It would be unwise to talk about Halloween and metal and t-shirts without mentioning the Misfits. The New Jersey punks lived every day like it was October 31 and released a single called Halloween in 1981. Even their skull logo was adapted from the 1946 horror The Crimson Ghost and has been tattooed into the skin of Henry Rollins, Black Veil Brides’ Andy Biersack and the late Metallica bassist Cliff Burton. To love Misfits is to love this spooky holiday, so here’s the perfect shirt from EMP. But remember, a metal t-shirt is for life, not just Halloween.