I enjoy Halloween for it’s simplicity. For a few weeks out of the year, everyone is allowed to embrace darkness. It is a joyous occasion when ghosts, ghouls, witches, and the terrifying occult are giggled at and made into the atmosphere of a party. This pretty much makes up most of heavy metal so I do not see why you wouldn’t have a playlist of the best spooky music for this season.
However, let us face a hard fact. Any Halloween playlist will be discarded come November 1st, and all of the great music will probably be packed up with the plastic pumpkins in a box until next year. This is why your playlist should be more existential in its horror so the reverberations echo throughout the year. I am sure Marilyn Manson’s cover of “This is Halloween” and a King Diamond track would get the party moving, but it will only be the sound of formless black/death that will stick with your guests until the day they pass. Let’s also face another hard fact, you are probably not going anywhere this Halloween because you were asked the one time to bring spooky music and you got too excited and put on something that scared little children. This is why you are sitting at home. This is perfect because this playlist is designed for individual horror.
Black/Death is something new to me and all of these are records which have been released within the last 5 years. Though none of these albums and bands are apart of any collective scene, they exist soleye for people to individually scrape out the inside of their mind with blunt instruments. Though some people are adverse to harsh vocals and a near atonal instrumental delivery, the whole atmosphere of this style is greqared towards existential terror. Make this Halloween one of mental anguish with some of the best abstracted, experimental, and formless black/death albums of the past 5 years. If you haven’t figured it out, these will all be full albums and the doors are now locked. There is one hammer on the table and only one person is allowed to leave.
Do you have your trick or treat bags? What about your flashlights? Great. Leave them behind. We are going into darkness. I remember someone commenting on Abyssal’s third record as surprising in its accessibility. This is a perfect place to start as we will begin with the easiest record for your Halloween playlist. I found Abyssal’s newest record to be quite enjoyable and easy compared the band’s previous records like Novit Enim Dominus Qui Sunt Eius. Each record comes adorned with a formless void on the cover and all of them sound like the erosion of sanity. Antikatastaseis, however, is great for the beginning of a Halloween playlist as it lets you hug concrete sounds before falling backwards into nothingness.
Stop crying. It is alright. I know a house that is up here that gives out full sized candy bars. That or a lesson in population control. One or the other kids. Malthusian is going to be big someday. With a solid demo and an EP already in the washer, this Irish band is set to do something great. MMXIII is a wonderful release that holds the listener tight with looming riffs and a punishing vocal delivery. The drummer of Malthusian also did duties in the last of Altar of Plagues album. This means one can expect a relentless barrage of changing beats and floors that will fall out underneath visitors. Though short in comparison to others, the tone and structure of it is fantastic with its small flourishes including ascending guitar slides and sustained growls. If after listening to Abyssal, you find this whole idea of black/death swarm intriguing, you are going to have a wonderful time.
Mitochondrion’s Parasignosis is centered round a concept that is not traditionally thought of when eating candy and watching old horror movies. While there is plenty of death and destruction at the very heart of this record, Mitochondrion prides themselves on finding the most obfuscated way to the finish line. Parasignosis is sort of a concept album on the destruction of the world through parasites and the achievement of gnosis through destruction. Wow, that sure is spooky. Sure there are plenty of skeletons hanging from this tree but think about the eradication of civilization through controlled parasitic annihilation.
“In Babylonian mythology, Irkalla is the underworld from which there is no return.” My goodness if that does not scream plastic skeletons and orange lights, I do not know what does. 2013 was a long time in the past for this record to be released without a follow up. I mostly say this because I really want another Irkallian Oracle record, as this Swedish band draped tension over esoteric themes so eloquently, I have been feeling empty ever since the music ended. Grave Ekstasis is like an old cemetery in which you can’t really decide which features are more frightening, the imposing tombstones or the shapes that are forming behind them. Irkallian Oracle has never been a solid entity, as various musicians under pen names come in and make music before disappearing into the void. Maybe we will never get another record or maybe this is everything one needs.
Sometimes I am weary about putting the full title of some metal albums but looking through this playlist, I am guessing no one is going to be creeped out anymore. In any case, with the title recalling the original name of Eve (Hawaah), the title of this is not that unnerving, right? If you could not put context clues together at this point, Canadian chaos mages Antediluvian take listeners on a rollercoaster ride through world’s violently changing with futures unstable and uncertain. If the ending of “Intuitus Mortuus” is not the perfect mood for your time alone in your room while everyone laughs outside, I do not know what is.
Deathwomb Catechesis was actually one of my first steps into the wonderful, yet directionless world of black/death. The excitement from others, as well as, the album art was enough to lead me into a dark maze that I still have yet to find my way out of. Psuedogod is much like its album cover which is imposing in nature as well as terrifying in a angles. Pseudogod, like Irkallian Oracle, has had only one full length. Unlike Irkallian Oracle however, Pseudogod has had a dozen or so extraneous releases including a wonderful EP “The Pharynxes of Hell“ released last Halloween. See, I am not just making this shit up. This is perfect music for the season.
We have now reached a point where there is little chance of turning back. Ævangelist is an impossibly large entity that consumes and devours the essence of hope. Much like a chained beast at the center of the world, its worshipers are devoid of compassion and caring, and the ensuing chaos that rots their minds is replaced with a comfort that they will be the disciples of the beast once the world dies. Ævangelist has always been unstable as the duo’s albums vary in consistency. De Masticatione Mortuorum in Tumulis, however, is usually the point of entry for anyone who is seeking for this type of music or has just gotten really fucking lost. Are those peanut butter cups? Nice!
It took me a long time to understand this record and it came out a year ago. I still do not think I fully have grasped the insanity of Tietanblood and the monstrosity of Death. This is a record that starts out in 5th gear and never relents through its 68 minutes. In fact, I think this album throws it in reverse and drives backwards at higher speeds. If you have made it this far through the playlist and have not left the room, then you are ready for Tetianblood. If you already knew every band on this page, then you already know Tietanblood and you’re also a weirdo who already planned on spending Halloween by themselves.