Sick Jams From Heavy Metal Horror-Themed Bands You Should Add Your Halloween Playlist
Halloween is just about here which means it is high time to get your Halloween playlist in order. But don't worry, I'm here to help all you ghouls kick out the scary jams on all All Hallows' Eve in style. No offense to Bobby Pickett and his "Monster Mash" and other musical Halloween novelties, but this list is all about the unholy union of heavy metal and horror.
Let's check out thirteen head banging tracks from five metal bands which take their love of horror and heavy metal to the next level.
The first album/demo from this Swedish heavy metal band, Beware of the Evil Ünderwear (1998), had a couple of S.O.D. covers including "United Forces," also covered by Ministry. Despite their cool, kind of confusing name (which stands for Freddie Krueger's Ünderwear), F.K.Ü. takes the marriage of horror and metal very, very seriously. How seriously? Well, let's say that within the band's catalog are songs based on films like Maniac Cop (1988), Friday the 13th Part II (1981), Halloween II (1981), and a personal favorite of mine, Motel Hell (1980). Once again, what is not to like especially this time of year? Lastly, F.K.Ü. has also proven you can make a matching sweater situation work as long as said sweater looks like it once belonged to Freddie Krueger.
"Michael Myers Costume Party" 1999.
"Halloween II" 2017.
"Friday the 13th II" 2017. Video rules.
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Full of references to the films of gore master Lucio Fulci and 1985's The Return of the Living Dead, this UK band has been active one way or another since the early 2000s (though it appears they may have officially disbanded in 2014). Even the band's name is a nod to The Return of the Living Dead (featuring the very metal Linea Quigley as the unforgettable Trash), as the three words are spoken in the film by an actor playing an ambulance driver. Perhaps I'm a little biased because I love The Return of the Living Dead almost as much as I love heavy metal, and Send More Paramedics dress up like zombies on stage. I gotta say their cover of "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" (the theme music used in The Return of the Living Dead) is pretty great and should have a place on your Halloween playlist. Check it out below.
Send More Paramedics cover of the theme music for 'The Return of the Living Dead."
Like Ghost? Meet one of their influences, Italy's Death SS. And no, the "SS" in Death SS isn't some nod to Hitler's evil, elite henchmen, but are the initials of Death SS vocalist and co-founder, Stefano Silvestri. Death SS has been putting out horror-influenced heavy metal since 1977, though the lineup has changed a shit-ton since then. The band united their love of horror with their stage attire and dressed up like classic movie monsters with alter-ego names. Silvestri was The Vampire; bassist Daniele Ugolini became The Mummy; the honor of being a lycanthrope went to drummer Tomaso Chaste as The Werewolf; and Guitarist and co-founder Paolo Catena was known as The Death. What more could you want from a horror metal band? Sick jams? Yep, Death SS has them, and I've posted three including one from the original lineup of the band, "Terror" from 1977.
"Into the Darkness" 1989.
"Kings of Evil" 1989.
Twin Cities REPRESENT! Impaler is another band which brings the horror to their live shows. I'm betting if you were rolling around Minnesota in the early 80s you might have seen one of their shows and left happily drenched in fake blood and entrails. Like F.K.Ü, Impaler enjoys performing songs about horror films and Halloween activities, and their surprisingly cool cover of "Pet Cemetery" (originally done by the Ramones in 1989) can be found on the band's 1996 album Undead Things. Another reason to love Impaler is the fact they made P.M.R.C. founder Tipper Gore feel uncomfortable with the cover art for their 1985 album Rise of the Mutants, which only helped spread their popularity.
Impaler's cover of "Pet Cemetary."
"Undead Things" 1996.
Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Hallows Eve got together in 1983, calling it quits sometime in 1989 with three albums under their studded belts put out by Metal Blade. Their first, Tales of Terror includes a few gems, "Metal Merchants" and what you could call the band's theme song, the very Halloweeny, "Hallows Eve." "Lethal Tendencies," a track from their 1986 follow-up Death & Insanity, made it onto the completely metal soundtrack for the desperately dark film River's Edge, along with a few other bands you might have heard of, like Slayer and Fates Warning. Hallows Eve is a seriously under-appreciated band – one listen to Tales of Terror will convince you of this fact.
"Hallow's Eve" 1986.
"Lethal Tendencies" 1986.