With the Republican presidential primary still bitterly contested between the four remaining candidates, every last endorsement counts — especially the crucial support of the Big Four of thrash metal: Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. Megadeth's Dave Mustaine has come out in support of Rick Santorum.

Who will the other Big Four throw their weight behind? And what about the rest of the metal community?

"You know, I think Santorum has some presidential qualities, and I'm hoping that if it does come down to it, we'll see a Republican in the White House... and that it's Rick Santorum," Mustaine told MusicRadar.com this week, adding to the former Pennsylvania senator's momentum and possibly sealing dozens of votes for Santorum. But how can you make a decision based only on the word of Dave Mustaine? What about Metallica's James Hetfield? Or Anthrax's Scott Ian? Or Slayer's Tom Araya?

That's why we've created the Gawker List of 2012 Metal Endorsements, an ongoing project to solicit and record the presidential endorsements of America's most important metalheads. As we speak, Gawker intern Maeve Kierans is reaching out to America's great thrash, doom, black and even progressive metal bands, helping you make your decision easier; every time we get a response, we'll update this list.

Metal Endorsements: a Running List

Last updated: 5/7 with Chrome Waves.

MetalheadBand2012 Endorsement
Dave MustaineMegadethRick Santorum (?)
Randy BlytheLamb of GodHimself
Alex SkolnickTestamentBarack Obama
Oderus UrungusGwarMurdering every presidential candidate on a gigantic wheel of over-sized knives
Aesop DekkerAgallochDismantling all systems
Andy HaasOmenRon Paul
Andy HaasOmenRon Paul
Matt HarveyExhumedRon Paul
Chris Alfieri, Nick ThornburyVattnet ViskarRu Paul Impregnating Santorum or Ron Paul
Ben CrewIn DefenceThe Exhumed Rotting Corpse of Ronald Reagan, and/or Oderus of Gwar
Chad RemainsUZALAArnold Schwarzenegger as CONAN THE BARBARIAN for USURPER and KING
Arthur von NagelCormorantWillie Nelson
Avy KulawyMagrudergrindDestroy the coalescing Big Brotherhood
Jeff WilsonChrome WavesNo one

[additional reporting by Maeve Kierans; image by Jim Cooke; thanks to metal expert Emily Robinson. Are you the publicist, manager, or close personal friend of a noteworthy American metal musician? Please email me! We will let you endorse anyone: Republicans, Democrats, Egyptian gods, mountains in the Pacific Northwest, etc.]