The dark, ominous, and intense nature of metal music often intersects with the eerie and suspenseful atmosphere of horror films. The right soundtrack can amplify the dread, terror, and adrenaline of a horror narrative. Let’s take a deep dive into 10 metal albums that could have made the perfect accompaniment to classic horror films.
ALBUM: BLACK SABBATH BY BLACK SABBATH (1970)
HORROR MOVIE MATCH: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968)
Why it fits: The eerie bell tolls that kick off the album’s title track instantly establish an atmosphere of doom. This would complement the slow, relentless onslaught of Romero’s zombies, mirroring the inescapable dread the survivors feel as they’re besieged.
ALBUM: THEM BY KING DIAMOND (1988)
HORROR MOVIE MATCH: THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (1979)
Why it fits: King Diamond’s theatrical narrative about a haunted house and the malevolent spirits it houses captures the essence of The Amityville Horror. The harrowing descent into madness of King mirrors that of George Lutz. Songs like “Welcome Home” would resonate with moments where the Lutz family realizes the malevolent history of their new home.
ALBUM: REIGN IN BLOOD BY SLAYER (1986)
HORROR MOVIE MATCH: THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974)
Why it fits: The sheer ferocity and aggression of tracks like “Angel of Death” and “Raining Blood” would amplify the raw terror Leatherface and his family inflict. Just as Tobe Hooper’s classic film leaves viewers on edge, so does the relentless pace of the album.
ALBUM: HEARTWORK BY CARCASS (1993)
HORROR MOVIE MATCH: RE-ANIMATOR (1985)
Why it fits: Carcass’ surgical precision and lyrics centered around medical mutilation align beautifully with the film’s mix of horror and dark comedy about bringing the dead back to life. “No Love Lost” and its darkly poetic view of death would set a gruesome tone for Herbert West’s experiments.
ALBUM: DE MYSTERIIS DOM SATHANAS BY MAYHEM (1994)
HORROR MOVIE MATCH: THE WITCH (2015)
Why it fits: The chilling black metal textures and the album’s lyrical fascination with the occult could underscore the film’s portrayal of a Puritan family’s descent into supernatural madness. The creeping dread of “Freezing Moon” mirrors the family’s growing despair.
ALBUM: SILENT WATERS BY AMORPHIS (2007)
HORROR MOVIE MATCH: THE SHAPE OF WATER (2017)
Why it fits: While Guillermo del Toro’s film is more of a romantic fantasy, Amorphis’ blend of melancholy and mythology would align with the film’s bittersweet love story and provide an eerie and darker backdrop to the tale. The track “Silent Waters” with its mournful melodies would parallel the creature’s lonely existence and its connection with Elisa.
ALBUM: IN THE NIGHTSIDE ECLIPSE BY EMPEROR (1994)
HORROR MOVIE MATCH: SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999)
Why it fits: The symphonic elements and haunting vocals would amplify the gothic atmosphere and supernatural elements of Tim Burton’s rendition of the Headless Horseman’s legend. Songs like “I Am the Black Wizards” would echo Ichabod Crane’s chase sequences through fog-laden forests.
ALBUM: OPUS EPONYMOUS BY GHOST (2010)
HORROR MOVIE MATCH: THE OMEN (1976)
Why it fits: With its retro sound and lyrics centered around Satan and the Antichrist, Ghost’s debut would be the perfect match for the tale of young Damien. The harmonious “Ritual” aligns perfectly with scenes hinting at Damien’s true nature.
ALBUM: THE SATANIST BY BEHEMOTH (2014)
HORROR MOVIE MATCH: ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968)
Why it fits: The album’s haunting atmosphere and themes of sacrilege would greatly complement Polanski’s tale of a woman unsuspectingly carrying the spawn of Satan. The ritualistic chants and blasphemous themes would lend an even eerier backdrop to the story of Rosemary’s pregnancy. “O Father O Satan O Sun!” with its dramatic build-up, would mirror Rosemary’s escalating paranoia.
ALBUM: SUNBATHER BY DEAFHEAVEN (2013)
HORROR MOVIE MATCH: MIDSOMMAR (2019)
Why it fits: The juxtaposition of beauty and brutality in Sunbather would mirror the picturesque yet deeply unsettling pagan rites in Ari Aster’s horror. Sunbather presents a duality of light and darkness, similar to Midsommar’s terrifying events unfolding in broad daylight. The track “Dream House” captures a sense of disorienting beauty that would match the film’s picturesque, yet sinister pagan rites.
There’s no denying that metal music, with its intense and often dark themes, makes for a natural pairing with horror. While these films already have iconic soundtracks of their own, it’s intriguing to reimagine them with these metal masterpieces setting the mood. The next time you watch one of these horror classics, maybe give its proposed album counterpart a listen afterward and indulge in the haunting synergy.