Tales from the Jugular

10 Great CDs to Pick Up for Halloween

By: Eric Compton
Published: Monday, October 25, 2004
10 CDs to Pick Up for Halloween

Alice Cooper - "Welcome to My Nightmare"
If we left out the king of Shock Rock off this, we deserve 50 lashings right on the taint. Named after a 17th century witch, his stageshows were well known for horror props and performance routines which often included beheading himself.

Deceased - "Fearless Undead Machines"
King Fowley's voice is very diabolical, almost sounding like the mad scientist exploring the macabre. This album sort of works as a soundtrack for movies like Night Of The Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead, and Zombie. This record really has mood, and for me is the ultimate horror experience musically. Also of note is Deceased "Supernatural Addiction" record, filled with spine tingling horror stories.

Halloween - "Victims Of The Night"
These Detroit shock rockers live for Halloween, crafting great traditional metal mixed with horror overtones. With "Victims Of The Night", Halloween offer up classic tracks like "Children Of The Witches", "Nightmares", and "Rest In Peace". The perfect band to welcome on Hallows Eve.

Helloween - "Keeper of the Seven Keys #1"
These guys laid the groundwork for the Euro-power metal sound and though they're not a scary band by any means, we have to give a nod to their 10 minute+ opus 'Helloween'. A power metal classic.

Hypocrisy - "The Fourth Dimension"
Something about that album is just really frightening to me. The brooding atmosphere that builds through each track is like a slow ride through Hell. This was really the first atmospheric endeavor for the band, and Tagtgren's voice is very deep and mournful. Think of a more eerie, intense Candlemass.

Iced Earth - "Burnt Offerings"
Schaffer and company sold their souls for this record, "Burnt Offerings" being the only real dark record for the band. The tracks here are very sadistic in nature, with the epic "Dante's Inferno" closing the album, a long piece about the realms of Hell. The ballad "Pierced Spirit" always gives me chills, with the title track raising some goosebumps as well.

Iced Earth - "Horror Show"
How could we leave out a CD with all the songs related to archetype and infamous monsters? Check out these titles: 1. Wolf 2. Damien 3. Jack 4. Ghost of Freedom 5. Im-Ho-Tep [Pharaoh's Curse] 6. Jeckyl and Hyde 7. Dragon's Child 8. Frankenstein 9. Dracula 10. Phanton Opera Ghost. Concept record or not, it's an all-around great US power metal record.

Judas Priest - "Sad Wings Of Destiny"
This is widely considered to be the first really scary album, and many metal celebrities will call it the first album that really scared them. Rob Halford is in rare form here, not really using his high voice that often, instead soothing the listener with his mid and low range. Tracks like "The Ripper" and "Dreamer Deceiver" are very diabolical in nature, possessing an eerie charm that really scares me to this day.

Type-O-Negative - "Bloody Kisses"
I know these guys are washed up now, and at one point this was widely considered a passing trend, but for this annual holiday, you have to play "Bloody Kisses". Cuts like "Black No. 9", "Suspended In Dusk", and "Christian Woman" are simply haunting. This is really good gothic metal, and a splendid soundtrack for Halloween.

Venom - "Black Metal"
Cronos just has a demonic delivery with his vocals, and at the time I heard this I was concentrating on US bands like Metallica and Megadeth. I had always heard about "black metal", but Venom was my first real taste. This record just shocked me, and scared me with it's demonic fury. It is certainly not an atmospheric record by any means, but it still creates an intense mood that makes it sound like something from the Devil himself.

Honorable Mentions - Danzig 1-4, Electric Hellfire Club, Van Helsing's Curse, Moonspell, and early Cradle Of Filth.

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