"some music was meant to stay underground..."

OpEd

Halloween Classics: Looking Beyond The Obvious King Diamond And Helloween Songs

So its Halloween yet again….and for some reason it just doesn’t seem as scary and wonderful as it used to be. Maybe its age….maybe it’s the state of the world….perhaps it’s just desensitization or my state of mind. Though its still my favorite time of year, Halloween used to be "special," mainly due to the fact that I bought into this notion that Halloween is the “world holiday of metal.” Not unlike horror films, metal used to have a creep factor in the 80's that seems all too polished and mechanical in 2014. For me, it's the only time when severely under-produced records can have a massive shock value.

On the topic of special Halloween memories over the years, I distinctly remember 1986 – when Slayer had just released what is arguably the greatest thrash metal album of our time just 24 days prior to Halloween. I begged my parents for money to buy it just around a day or two before Halloween…and it literally scared the crap out of me as a 15 year old kid. Every Halloween in that time, back when more people used to celebrate it with open doors, family, friends and I used to walk 5-7 miles – filling multiple pillow cases with candy…only to return home and dump it on the floor before switching costumes to go out for another 2-3 miles before all the lights went out in the neighborhood precisely at 8:30pm. 1986 was particularly memorable because the topic of discussion was “Reign in Blood.” My friends and I gasped in terror conjured by the album mostly because it was so "rebellious" and clashed directly (and indirectly) with our Roman Catholic upbringing. These were days before we reached the age of reason.

Back in college, there was another type of special excitement built around Halloween. It was the time I hosted a radio show called "Wake Up the Sleeping Giant" (yep, named after the Twisted Sister tune because the college resides right next to "Sleeping Giant State Park"). Each Halloween, my co-host and I would do the show “on location” either at a haunted house a graveyard (the location conjured from a Halloween sound effects CD in the background of every mic break). I remember planning the annual show for weeks – scouring the collection (at the time…5 milk crates of CDs which I lugged each and every week to the second floor studio) for every Halloween anthem I could find (sometimes stretching the theme a bit further than I should). Of course, songs like King Diamond’s “Halloween” or Helloween’s “Halloween” were the typical mainstays, but after a while, they felt so overused and overplayed. I felt it was my “job” as a DJ to find those overlooked or underused Halloween hymns that weren't among those typical tunes associated with the day.

This Halloween, I thought it was a good time to reflect on the past when Halloween had more of a special meaning in an effort to bring back some that old excitement for the holiday. So once again, I dredged through the collection to find some old and relatively new Halloween themed songs that may have gone overlooked, under the radar or just never stood the test of time.

Keep in mind that this list is simply material that jumped out and is not meant to be a complete list of every one out there. Had I done that, this would be a ten part series over ten weeks leading into Halloween. Trust me, there is no doubt I forgot a shit ton of songs....but feel free to share some of your own tracks in the comments below.

So here is a tribute to the true spirit of Halloween, by way of avoiding all the typical tracks that you have come to hear and likely become tired of. Take some time to check out the lessor known hymns of the holiday and see how many you can remember or discover!

These songs have a more overt Halloween theme:

Avenger (n/k/a Rage – “Halloween” (1985)

220 Volt – “Halloween” (1985)


Juggernaut – “All Hallow’s Eve” (1986)


Hallow’s Eve – “Hallow’s Eve” (1985)


Deathrow – “Samhain” (1986)


Force of Evil – “Samhain” (2003)


October 31 – “The Fire Awaits You” (1997)


Warlord – “Mrs. Victoria” (1981/1986)


Bride – “All Hallow's Eve” (1989)


Wehrmacht – “Part II…” (1987)


Witchfynde – “Trick or Treat” (1980)


Here are some songs about those lovable "Classic Movie Monsters”:


Warfare – “Baron Frankenstein” (1990)


Running Wild – “Dracula” (2012)


Powerwolf – “Werewolves of Armenia” (2009)


Death SS – “Zombie” (1988)


Savatage – “Hyde” (1986)


And I just threw this one in here simply because it is: A. one of the Top 10 metal songs of all time and B. it is heavy as fuck! Piledriver may be considered a "joke band," but no song comes more metal than this. It also happens to be about witches...


Ok....maybe one more!


Happy Halloween!

CROMCarl's avatar

From the early to mid-90's, Carl published his own fanzine called C.R.O.M. In 1997, he released a compilation entitled "CROM: The Resurrection of True Metal," which featured songs from bands from around the world, including the first U.S. release of any kind for bands like Italy's Rhapsody (n/k/a Rhapsody of Fire) and Brazil's Angra. Follow Carl on Facebook and Twitter: @CROMCarl.

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3 Comments on "Tribute To The Lesser Played Halloween Classics"

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Drum_Junkie's avatar

Member

1. Drum_Junkie writes:

Happy Halloween Carl!

I'm reminded of the woefully underrated Wrathchild America (Later Sould at Zero)

Two songs in particular may be appropriate:

London after Midnight
ewe toob /watch?v=1XYa794m9Xw

Candy from a Madman
ewe toob /watch?v=HRYzi-bKN8c

Enjoy!

# Oct 31, 2014 @ 2:39 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
CROMCarl's avatar

Writer/photographer

2. CROMCarl writes:

Nice! Excellent choices man!

# Oct 31, 2014 @ 4:18 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. omatron writes:

No mention of halloween???? Don't metal with evil!

# Nov 1, 2014 @ 8:10 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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