The Ultimate Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Looming up like the colossal romantic obligation it is, Valentine’s Day is almost upon us once again. If you’re looking for something for that special rock fan in your life, the traditional gift options might be of limited appeal, so we’ve scoured the web to find more suitable presents. Just don’t tell us when it all goes wrong…

**Heavy Metal Hero cards
**There was a time when lovelorn headbangers had to make their own metal-themed Valentine cards with Pritt stick, scissors and old copies of Metal Hammer. But thanks to Molten Metal Merch there’s now a wide range of options - as long as you’re looking for amateurish likenesses of rock stars next to dodgy puns. Favourites include Dave Mustaine (Kissing Is My Business!), King Diamond (Be My Melissaaa!) and Bruce Dickinson (I’m Your Powerslave!), but the least said about Udo (You’ve Got My Balls To The Wall!) the better.

Bob Seger wine glasses
This attractive set of red-stemmed wine glasses is a touch of class from the fulsome merchandising empire of grizzled Detroit roots-rocker Bob, the glassware emblazoned with the seductive title of his 1978 hit We’ve Got Tonight. In fact, what with The Silver Bullet Band squeezed on there as well, there’s maybe a bit too much emblazoning going on, the end result looking slightly over-cluttered with swirly italics. Still, it makes a romantic change from standard Seger-branded merch like fag lighters, sweatbands and Eagle coozies.

Mustaine Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon
There are plenty of bands making wine these days, but the heavy metal vino with the most romantic credentials must surely be the output of Mustaine Vineyards, a collaboration between Megadeth frontman Dave and his wife Pam. “Both Dave and Pam were totally involved in picking the blend, and they chipped in and helped bottle it,” insists winemaker Vernon Kindred. The first 59 cases of Mustaine Vineyards’ Cabernet Sauvignon California Symphony Interrupted Select 2012 sold out in 72 hours, but you can now enjoy other Cabernets, including the alarmingly titled Hook In Mouth.

Freddie Mercury rosebush
There’s a fab early Queen b-side called A Dozen Red Roses For My Darling, but the true hardcore Queen nut will be eschewing the standard red rose on Valentine’s Day in favour of a rather more special bloom: the yellow and pink Freddie Mercury Hybrid Tea Rose. It was first propagated in 1993, when the Queen Fan Club stumped up the £2000 needed to name and register the rose, and the first batch was sent to Freddie’s family and ex-bandmates. Just the job for the Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy (or girl) in your life.

Cradle Of Filth candle
Despite occasionally sounding like a Yorkshire terrier trapped in a door, Cradle Of Filth have always had a more elegant and romantic aesthetic than most extreme metal bands. That sense of dark luxuriousness is echoed in this, the Cradle Of Filth glass-jarred black candle. Ingredients purportedly include “Infant’s fat, sulphur, blood, semen, coffin nails” and “distilled angel’s tears.” When the candle is lit, Dani Filth’s lyrics are revealed through the glass; we assume (and hope) that’s what the Icon Artistry website means when it says “The candle label also reveals Dani Filth’s passage on the inner side of the label.”

Motorhead vibrator
As Lemmy himself said, “One of the songs on our debut album was called Vibrator so we had to have our own one day, right?” And what better way to say ‘I love you’ than with a six-inch buzzing phallus decorated with Joe Petagno’s “hybrid skull of a dog-gorilla type thing with over-dimensional wild boar horns”? Naughty firm Lovehoney, who developed the toy, clearly have a knack for poetic descriptions of their turbo-powered wank sticks: “The vibe battles out a rallying rattle to shoot arousal to its shaking apex… Rock your bed’s plywood as you roll your eyes skyward…”

KK Downing’s Metal For Men and Metal Pour Femme
Of all the people to market the first heavy metal-based personal fragrance, whose money was on 64-year-old superannuated Judas Priest guitarist KK Downing? Whoever associated the man who co-wrote Screaming For Vengeance and Painkiller with “a floral bouquet of jasmine, amber and lily” or “soft notes of delicate orchid”? Either way, if you want to smell good in your next mosh pit, what better way to whiff than these his-and-hers eau de toilettes? Especially as KK’s retirement fund took a nosedive when he quit the Priest in 2011.

Slayer candy jar
Until they get around to marketing an Official Slayer Box of Chocolates, this 3.5 inch glass container will have to do for your Valentine’s Day confectionary needs. The black and red sweeties are stamped with words like Kill, Hate and Destroy, while the product’s web store entry originally contained the advice “Afterwards, the jar can be reused as a stash tin, dude.” Surely it’s a bit small for that? Better idea: refill it with those Slayer condoms that came out around the same time.

Opeth ring
This “individually handmade sterling silver ring” caused some controversy when it was announced on the band’s Facebook page, with one user commenting “This piece of metal is so not metal. It is marketing and advertising to dumb fucks who need to possess stupid shit.” But as Opeth gamely explained, “Yachts, private jets and hookers don’t buy themselves!” It’s certainly a mark of how far the Swedes have come since the oddball death metal of their early years, although having to explain to non-metal people what the O stands for will get a bit annoying. Might be handy if your sweetheart’s name also happens to begin with an O.

The Official Tenacious D ‘Cum Rag’
This is surely the perfect gift for any occasion, but perhaps especially for any boy you know who’ll be spending this Valentine’s Day (and all the others) alone. Sadly there’s no love hearts embroidered onto the Official Tenacious D Cum Rag, but there are cutesy, childlike rainbow/flower/butterfly/unicorn motifs that only make it worse.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.