It’s that time of year again boils and ghouls! Can you feel it in the air? Well if you’re where we are then probably not. It’s been in the 80s all week and it feels more like August rather than the middle of October. I’ve been doing my best to stay in the Halloween spirt, and it has not been easy. However, to help with this I always listen to my favorite albums that just seem to put me in the mood for frights! In doing this, I’ve put together a list for you guys of my 10 favorite albums to listen to during this time of the year. Also, as a bonus, I’ve included a few notable artists that I like to listen to randomly as well to get me into the season. There are some cliché albums on here as well as a few you may not expect. Hopefully you find something new to bring you into the season of scares. So buckle up kiddies, and pour yourself a nice bowl of Boo-berries. Enjoy, my friends!
10 Favorite Halloween Albums
10. ‘White Pony’ by Deftones
Deftones his hands down one of my favorite bands of all time. Each album holds a special place in my heart. The original release, without the “Back to School” bonus intro track, is one of my favorite albums to kick off the fall season with. Only Chino can pull off vocals that are both equally aggressive and haunting. It might also help that a few of these songs were used in various early 2000’s horror films like “RX Queen” in Valentine or “Digital Bath” being used in Soul Survivors. Don’t let the infamous nu-metal label this band’s early work receives deter you. This is a fantastic album that can certainly put you into that dark mood. You haven’t experienced life until you’ve sped down a back road with the windows down blasting “Passenger” on a cool October evening.
9. ‘October Rust’ by Type O Negative
There’s not much to really say about this album as it needs to be experienced and not read about. I had listened to Type O sporadically before but I never got really into them until after Steele’s death six years ago. His vocals are spine chilling and if you ask me, Hollywood really missed out on remaking Dracula and putting him in the star role. I was torn between this and their “Bloody Kisses” release. This etched it out due to the name alone. If you’ve never heard either of these albums, go listen to them………after you’ve finished reading this of course!
8. ‘Walk Among Us’ by Misfits
You can’t have a list like this and not have at least one Misfits record on it! For that I’m going with their debut full-length record, “Walk Among Us”. This record is fast paced, hard hitting, and filled with classic Misfits horror references. Whenever I listen to this I like to picture myself in a circle pit where everyone is dressed in a costume. What an amazing site that would be! In 2016 we’ve seen the original lineup of the Misfits reunite for amazing two shows and we had hoped to see more. Sadly, according to Danzig the reunion shows are the official close of that chapter in his life. Regardless, this is an amazing album to listen to, start to finish, when you’re gearing up for some epic “trick or treating”! Clocking in at only about 25 minutes, you need to dedicate a block of time to listen to this record every day in October!
7. ‘Greatest Lovesongs Vol. 666’ by HIM
Next to Peter Steele of “Type O Negative” no one has a voice that sets the tone of the season quite like Ville Valo of “HIM”. From the opening guitar lick you know that you’re in for an emotional gothic journey. The best way I can put this is the band got together and decided to write love songs for the graveyard. Also included in this release are two fantastic cover songs. The first of which is a cover of “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak. This song is, hands down, one of my favorite tracks to listen to as I start an October day. The original is haunting enough but HIM takes it to that next level of gothic metal! The second cover, often confused with Gus’s cover of the same song, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” is just as great, substituting the classic guitar riffs for a more synthy sound. My favorite HIM album and a great album to get you into a darker spirit!
6. ‘Hellbilly Deluxe’ by Rob Zombie
I know, this is a very cliché choice, however, we’re getting down to the albums that not only put me into the October mood but the albums that put me into that oh so sweet Halloween Spirit! Largely regarded as Rob Zombie’s greatest solo effort, “Hellbilly Deluxe” is a solid horror metal album from beginning to end. Remember, this was Zombie before all of the movies. He had to place those grotesque images in our mind through the music, and he did just that. Of course you have the fantastic singles like “Living Dead Girl” and “Dragula” but there are also great overlooked songs like “Return of the Phantom Stranger”. Each song is like its own extreme fast paced horror film, it is exactly what you’d expect from Rob Zombie. If you’re reading this list I’m sure you’ve listened to this album before. I don’t care, go listen to it again!
5. ‘Creatures’ by Motionless In White
If you’re familiar with Motionless in White you probably think of them as a Marilyn Manson/Breaking Benjamin industrial metal knock off, and you wouldn’t be wrong technically. MIW didn’t start out this way, they branched off from an oversaturated metalcore scene in which they were one of the few unique voices. This album, their first signed full length, encompasses that metalcore sound but mixes in more horror film references than you can handle. There’s an entire song dedicated to G Tom Mac’s “Cry Little Sister” from the Halloween classic, “Lost Boys”. If you like heavy industrial tunes, horror film references, and metalcore then this is essential listening. Sadly, this is their last release that played off their influence of fun horror and they moved into the Hot Topic/Manson sound. My fingers are still crossed for a special October tour where they play this album in full.
4. ‘Calling All Corpses’ by Wednesday 13
Having been in the horror-punk game for 2 and a half decades there are multiple albums that could’ve been on this list that 13 contributed to. From his early work with Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13 to his work with former Slipknot drummer, Joey Jordison, in Murderdolls, Wednesday 13 specializes in fast paced, circle pit tunes centered around the macabre. However, where some of Wednesday’s work focuses on gore and scares, “Corpses” focuses on the fun, light hearted side of horror. It’s danceable, it’s catchy, and it’s a scary good time. One of my all-time favorite Halloween tracks is on this album, entitled “Silver Bullet”. Wednesday 13 is warning his lover that he was bitten the other night and when she comes to see him she should be equipped with silver bullets………just in case. It’s a sweet, unique take on the werewolf genre…..in song form! Please, I can’t encourage you enough, listen to this album!
3. ‘Monsters of Drumstep 6.66’ by Figure
Here we go guys, getting down to the nitty gritty, my top 3 albums to listen to in the Halloween season. We begin with………sort of a cop-out. Figure is a Drumstep DJ, which mixes dubstep with drum and bass, who releases are horror themed album every year. He takes samples from different horror films and mixes them with his crazy beats that are sure to get even the grumpiest of ghouls up and dancing. So why is this a cop-out? Well, last year was the 6th year of his annual series and as a gift Figure shared a BitTorrent file labeled “Monsters Vol. 6.66”. The “album” contains 66 tracks. Most of the tracks are the greatest hits from the last few volumes with a few new songs sprinkled in. Now, although this isn’t an “album” per se, I must recommend you seek it out now. This is perfect for a night time drive or even a Halloween party. While you’re at it, check out Monsters 7, Figure just put it out a couple of weeks ago.
2. ‘Hallowicked Compilation’ by Insane Clown Posse
I’m fully prepared for the hate I may receive for this album making the list.
Insane Clown Posse is a group that gets unwarranted hate from a lot of people who’ve never even heard a song of theirs. I will fully admit that from the years 2003-2007 I was a full blown “Juggalo” and “down with the clown”. Since that time I’ve distanced myself from this scene, but it’s more because of the fans than the music itself. That being said, this is a Halloween compilation that I’ve listened to every year since 2005. It’s an album that contains every one of the annual Halloween tracks the clowns put out up to its release. It’s funny, it’s scary, and it’s just a good time overall. Almost nothing gets me into the Halloween spirit as quickly as Violent J crooning, “life is so cold, life is so mean, just let me sleep until next Halloween”. Even if you’re avidly against ICP as a whole, this compilation deserves at least one listen.
1. ‘Rob Zombie Presents Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures’
When you think of beloved Halloween Classics I’m almost certain that Rob Zombie’s “H2” is not on the list. I can’t blame people for hating it. The plot was completely convoluted, characters are unnecessarily over the top, and…..the white horse thing…..yeah. All of that being said, “H2” is a movie that I must watch every year. Even for that Halloween party scene alone, this is a movie filled with the good October feelings. You just need to find them. Now, in that party scene was an excellent psychobilly band fronted by Jesse Dayton named “Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures”. In conjunction with the film, that band put out a 10 track album sure to get your spooky hips shaken! Just take a look at some of the track titles and you can guess what you’re getting here. “Honky Tonk Halloween” is my quintessential Halloween song. The group knows it’s a novelty act and owns the hell out of it. It’s a primetime Halloween special in the form of a rockabilly album. What’s not to love?! If there is one album you listen to on this list, make sure it’s this one!
Other Notable Artists
Synth Wave Goth Rock from Canada. They’ve been around for almost 2 decades and, with their diehard fans support, have shown no signs of slowing down!
Frontman for Korn but also a very talented solo artist. He wrote a few very haunting songs for the lackluster film “Queen of the Damned”. Also, has a fantastic live solo album that was released in 2007. Check it out!
The best thing to come out of and leave Psychopathic Records. These dudes are incredibly talented. Check them out if you like your spooky tunes mixed with fantastic hip hop.
If someone were to ask me what the true modern day Misfits would sound like I would point them directly to this band right here!
If you’re not familiar with Ghost, then what rock are you living under? Go! Listen to them now!
And that’s that! I hope you’ve discovered some new tunes. If not, I hope you were able to kill a couple of minutes with this read. I hope you all have a very very Happy Halloween! Now go listen to some tunes and watch some movies!
Obsessed with all things horror, video games, comics and vinyl, Dylan has been surrounded by all things geek culture since birth. Along with writing for Icon Versus Icon he’s also the co-host for the year long Christmas podcast, “Christmas 365”.
“No wimps. No False Metal.”