The Essential Halloween: Past And Present

The Essential Halloween: Past And Present

- By Corinne Westbrook

From genre pillars like Sabbath and Alice Cooper, sinister specialists like Mayhem and Possessed, to the grandeur of Type O Negative and Ghost, here is an essential soundtrack for Halloween - both then and now.

Is there a holiday more perfect for metal than Halloween? Of course not! This is our Christmas! This is the genre of music that breeds out of the wonderful atmosphere and ambiance of the season: evil, demons, darkness, and all the sins of the human condition from wrath to lust. Here is the ultimate collection of Halloween tunes, past and present, for whichever type of Halloween you want to celebrate be it slashy or spooky.

Classic Halloween

Green Lung - Graveyard Sun

Very few modern bands harken back to the days of old, when metal was just finding its roots, quite like Green Lung. “Graveyard Sun” is the perfect soundtrack to a dark and stormy night, where you may or may not be conjuring something.

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

All hail the forefathers of heavy metal – the mighty Black Sabbath! Inspired by Geezer Butler’s experiences with occultism and spooky incidents therein, No Halloween would be complete without Black Sabbath’s iconic lines: “What is this that stands before me? / Figure in black which points at me.” The song is also famous for the use of the tritone or the "Diabolus in Musica" ("the devil in music").

The Gothic Endeavor

Ludovico Technique - Haunted

There has been no shortage of Ludovico Technique throughout 2021, goth kids rejoice (or at least crack the smile I know is buried deep down in your souls). “Haunted” is about as goth as you get, with a slow burn of a beat, Ben V.’s signature varied vocals, and, naturally, soaring choral elements. If your Halloween soundtrack doesn’t include this song somewhere, then it’s just plain incomplete.

Type O Negative - All Hallows Eve

Welcome to the most depressing Halloween ever, courtesy of the “Drab Four,” the one and only Type O Negative. Type O Negative and Halloween go together like black and more black. While many of their songs embody the feel of the chill that rolls in when the season changes, “All Hallows Eve” reads like a foreboding love poem to the holiday.

Spine-Tingling Creepy

Ghost Bath - Hide From The Sun

“Hide From The Sun” might be a track to feature earlier in the day. The sample of a woman crying with the chilling black metal over it, generates such an unnerving sense of despair. This song is the soundtrack to when you know the villain is going to win and there is just no hope left.

Bathory - Call from the Grave

Old school Bathory at it's spookiest. "Call from the Grave" features some of the most epic atmosphere, and the guitar solo is just *chef’s kiss. Haunting and terrifying this track has lost exactly none of its bleakness since the day it debuted.

Ave Satanas

Lucifer – Crucifix (I Burn For You)

What is Halloween without a little Satan? Stoner/trad metal crucifix burners Lucifer offer up some killer vintage stoner riffage, plenty of blood, and a “hell”-a catchy chorus that will having you swearing your soul to the dark father (as if you hadn’t already).

Coven - Dignitaries of Hell

Why waste your time on candy and costumes when you can have a devilishly good time with an actual Black mass? Coven’s infamous 1969 debut album Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls includes just that. Almost the opposite presentation of Black Sabbath, they are two sides of the same coin.

Blackest of Black Metal

Seth - La Morsure Du Christ

Vocalist Saint Vincent’s tortured rasps reverberate with malevolent power all throughout both this track and the full Seth album. There is zero subtlety or fanfare on this track, bursting straight out with powerful organs that make it feel as if you are attending a sermon in Notre Dame as the church burns around you.

Mayhem – Freezing Moon


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