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Ready to test your metal? Scream for your favourites, from Iron Maiden to Metallica, with our heavy metal merch that’s head(banging) and shoulders above the rest. Exclusive heavy metal t-shirts, hoodies and leather jackets are just some of the items making noise in our online heavy metal shop that celebrates a genre and a community hell-bent on doing things their own way.
Entering the public’s consciousness in the late 1960s and early 1970s, pioneers of the genre, including Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, shocked and rocked the world with their brand of outrageous heavy metal. Shredding guitars, screaming vocals, powerful percussion and flamboyant stage shows defined the early movers of the genre, which has since expanded, reaching more mainstream audiences, developing sub-genres along the way.
The origin of the term heavy metal is widely attributed to novelist William Burroughs, however, its use dates back into the 19th century. The term 'Heavy metal' also appeared in the lyrics of Steppenwolf’s 1968 hit ‘Born to be Wild’ and it was by the early 1970's that it had taken hold as a term to refer to a specific type of music.
Owing to the heavier drums and harder sound, heavy metal didn't get much radio play compared with other genres – which was further not helped by the pearl-clutching antics of Ozzy Osbourne and other controversial figures. Who hasn’t heard the urban legend of Ozzy Osbourne biting the head of a bat live on stage? Did you know that he thought the bat was plastic!
The silver lining of heavy metal’s shunning from the strait-laced pockets of society was that bands relied on engaging with their fans more than pop acts, quickly establishing a community of metal heads that were devout in their dedication – and it meant that heavy metal tour merchandise became a badge of honour. Touring meant T-shirts, and that's what led to the very formation of EMP over three decades ago. Selling gig t-shirts and shipping them internationally to people that would otherwise not have been able to get their hands on them is how we found our core audience – and built our online community.
Though we’ve grown as a business, we’ll never forget where we come from. This is why our heavy metal t-shirts, clothing and more are constantly updated, come in a range of sizes for all metal heads and cover the A-Z of heavy metal heroes – literally. From Ace of Spades to Zeppelin - we’ve got them all.