Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The W.A.R. Armoury, Part 5: Studded Wristbands, Gauntlets & Straps

The W.A.R. Armoury, Part 5
Items: Studded Wristbands, Gauntlets & Straps

A staple item in the wardrobe of any self-respecting metal-head, the studded wristband has transcended mere fashion accessory to become a very necessary piece of a modern musician's image and armour.

Whilst strictly speaking not a weapon, you'd not want to be belted around the ear by one of these, particularly the vicious looking nailed variant.  And - if you're reading this from the temperate climate of the American state of Massachusetts - your General Laws: Chapter 269, Section 10 considers such items to be illegal weapons, so their place in the W.A.R. armoury becomes vindicated! 

The items pictured throughout today's post are part of the enormous horde of apparel and items purchased from Hugin some years ago, and have been variously used as part of Hugin's wardrobe in photo shoots and publicity material over time.  Like many things in life, some of these things are significantly bigger than others, and range from forearm-covering bands through to smaller loops to cover boots.  The nailed wristband is a delight, and would cause suitable disquiet if worn to work in your average 9-5 job.  

Kerry King of Slayer popularised the nailed variety of gauntlet over the glory days of thrash metal, and whilst Hugin's version can't quite complete with the monstrous nature of that one, it's a step in the right direction. 

You can make your own versions of such things if you're of a creative bent (just remember not to scratch your nose whilst wearing them though), and even a rudimentary Internet search will reveal a multitude of styles and types, ranging from the ridiculous to the positively dangerous.  Hugin's are far more practical, and all the better for it.  

Taking a historical detour, as Nazgul is wont to do, distinct aspects of heavy metal fashion can be credited to various bands, but the band that takes the most credit for revolutionising the look was Judas Priest, primarily through its singer, Rob Halford. He wore a leather costume on stage as early as 1978 to coincide with the promotion for the Killing Machine album, and described the 'leather subculture' as the inspiration for this look. 

It wasn't long before other bands appropriated the leather look; Iron Maiden's original singer Paul Di'Anno began wearing leather jackets and was one of the early pioneers of studded bracelets, whilst Motörhead innovated with bullet belts, and Saxon (bless them) introduced spandex.  This fashion was particularly popular with followers of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal) movement and the studded leather look was extended in subsequent variations, to the wearing of combat boots, studded belts and bracelets, bullet belts, spiked gauntlets, etc. Oddly, however, the studded codpiece appears to have been less popular among the general public....

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