Assuming you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, once the Autumnal equinox passes it is the prime time to be a metalhead. Frosty mornings, crunchy leaves and a guitar riff that has your head throbbing is all part of the culture that we all follow so religiously. Metal has a long history of dark themes and evil allegory – but in the month of October, we are obligated to listen to only the spookiest of music.
While a list like this can be easily filled with classics like Horror Show by Iced Earth, Iron Maiden or the Misfits (albeit not quite metal, I know, calm down) the point of this list is to experience a more nuanced variety of the subgenres of metal. It’s going to take all my strength to not add a Gorgoroth, Death, Bathory or Windir song on this list but let’s get started.
1. Taake – Myr
This song has a fucking banjo solo in this song. What is spookier than a banjo solo in an otherwise beautifully orchestrated black metal song? Taake is a Norwegian black metal band from the 90’s and is a paragon of the genre.
2. 1349 – I Am Abomination
The opening track to an unbelievably well rounded black metal album gets you hooked from the very first second with a shrill scream of “HELL FIRE”. This song has it all from intense vocals, fast drums to filthy riffs.
3. Acid Witch – The Black Witch
wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah
(just listen and you’ll understand)
Acid Witch is a band whose influence stems from witchcraft, Halloween and of course our old friend Satan.
4. Brocas Helm – Cry of The Banshee
Let’s go a little bit “lighter” and into the Power Metal side of things. Brocas Helm is a band out of San Francisco, founded in 1982. Power Metal often wanders into the realm of fantasy and fiction but seldom finds itself in the world of horror. This makes Cry of The Banshee a rare sight and definitely worthy of your Halloween playlist.
5. Frightmare – By Sword, By Pick, By Axe, Bye Bye
This song is brutal. The lyrics the story the sound… everything. The guitars are brain crushing and the vocals will leave you numb. What more could you ask for?