It’s been a few years since the folks here at Hellbound put together a staff playlist for Halloween. This year we decided to give it another go, including some of the classics while challenging ourselves to expand our haunted horizons a little this time around. Here is what we came up with, along with a few recollections from Halloweens of yore, or, imaged Halloweens that might be.
Staff picks for a haunting All Hallows’ Eve
1. John Carpenter – The Fog. I can’t imagine ‘The Fog’ being as effective without John’s magnificent analogue sounds. Invoking the otherworldly atmosphere of H.P. Lovecraft, it truly is out of the world.
2. Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast. My favourite Maiden album (bar maybe Powerslave), and the title track is total Hammer Horror meets New Wave of British Heavy Metal.
3. Metallica – Ride The Lightning for “The Call of Ktulu”. A superb instrumental that few metal bands have ever equalled to my mind, and again invoking the other-dimensional terrors of H.P. Lovecraft perfectly, films usually fail to invoke Lovecraft’s imagery as it works mentally rather than visually, but this music succeeds, and Cliff Burton truly shines as an original talent sadly taken far too young.
4. Bathory – Under The Sign of the Black Mark. One word: atmosphere!
5. John Carpenter – Halloween soundtrack. Okay, an obvious choice, but at this stage, it’s as associated with Halloween as “Jingle Bells” is with Christmas, though much scarier!
All Hallows Remembered
My ultimate Halloween experience was Salem; you can’t imagine a more appropriate place for Halloween. While the tourist-orientated things were great craic, some things truly had an atmosphere of their own: a train journey through fog-shrouded marshes (you really would expect undead lepers to suddenly wreak vengeance on the living), and once you left the busy main streets, you were suddenly alone with the ghosts of Salem. A splendid experience!
ACID WITCH – “Mutilation Mansion”: the first tease of their new album Evil Sound Screamers, coming out on Oct 31st. Straight up deadly, slow and sexy.
ORANSSI PAZUZU – Kevät / Värimyrsky: both tracks on this 10″ vinyl are so creepy the band decided they were too dark to be included on earlier releases and just had to be paired together as an EP.
All Hallows Imagined
As for an imagined fantasy Heavy Metal Halloween experience, I’d say if I could see Acid Witch open for King Diamond, with a bit of Type O Negative blasting through the monitors between sets, I’d be one happy little ghoul. Happy Halloweeeeeeeeeen!
Misfits – “Halloween”
GWAR – Scumdogs of the Universe (1990)
Helloween – Keepers of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2 (1988)
Black Widow – “Come to the Sabbat” (1970)
Pretty much anything by King Diamond
Halloweens Recalled and Imagined
It’s not surprising that both the Misfits and GWAR often tend to tour in October. The former is the perfect soundtrack to the Halloween season, while the latter wears its Halloween costumes all-year round. But probably the best October show I’ve seen in recent years was King Diamond @ The Sound Academy in 2014. Also, shout-out to one of the only power metal albums in my collection, as well as this haunting Black Widow video from the early 70’s.
1 ACID WITCH – “Mutilation Mansion” from the forthcoming Evil Sound Screamers LP (2017). Any time we get a new Acid Witch record coming out, it’s going to be a fantastic Halloween.
2 MARILYN MANSON – “Say10”, from Heaven Upside Down (2017). Marilyn Manson seems revitalized on his new record, which is a return to the Antichrist Superstar persona, and this track is especially bangin’. You say god, and I say “Say10”.
3 TJOLGTJAR – “Silver Shamrock”, from Halloween (2007). I’ve included Tjolgtjar’s whole Halloween album on previous Halloween playlists, but the “Silver Shamrock” theme is special, and the perfect thing to get you in the mood for Samhain.
4 HELLHAMMER – “Satanic Rites”, from Satanic Rites (1983). Eternal hails to Slayed Necros.
5 GLENN DANZIG – “Cwn Annwn” from Black Aria (1992). Listening to Black Aria is a longstanding Halloween ritual around my household. I mean, sure, every day *is* Halloween, but this album always gets a spin on October 31st.
SLASHER FILM FESTIVAL STRATEGY and ANTHONY D. P. MANN – The Hearse Song (Cadabra Records, 2017). This four-track release ushers in a new Halloween tradition from Cadabra, a vinyl-only horror/spoken arts label. Slasher Film Festival Strategy provide the spooky score here, and the creepy narration is handled by Canadian-based filmmaker and actor Anthony D. P. Mann. www.cadabrarecords.com/2017/10/the-hearse-song-7-ep-read-by-anthony-d-p-mann-score-by-slasher-film-festival-strategy
MOONSPELL – “Vampiria” from Wolfheart (Century Media, 1995).
VARIOUS ARTISTS – Darkest Halloween Compilation 2017 (darkTunes Music Group, 2017). smarturl.it/Halloween2017
DAYS OF THE DEAD FEST – The Moshing Dead, Vol. 1 (2017). The fourth annual DAYS OF THE DEAD festival takes place in Red Deer AB from October 26 to 29. Head over to Bandcamp for a free digital sampler featuring bands from this year’s festival line-up.
Apparently Life of Agony’s Alan Robert makes colouring books as well as music. Released this past summer, his second colouring book creation is titled The Beauty of Horror 2: Ghouliana’s Creepatorium. (Why don’t I have this yet?)
All Hallows Remembered
The ultimate Halloween concert experience: TYPE O NEGATIVE, SEVENTH VOID & more – live in Detroit, 31 October 2009: hellbound.ca/2009/11/type-o-negative-live-review. The Juggalos who had also taken over Detroit that weekend only added to the creepy ambience.
TYPE O NEGATIVE – “All Hallows Eve”
ICED EARTH – “Dracula”
BLIND GUARDIAN – “Wizard’s Crown”
SHOOTING GUNS – “Lycanthrope”
MOON SUNN MOON – “Halloween” (Misfits cover)