When it comes to Halloween music, the normal selection is the classic “Monster Mash.” However, when I think of Halloween, I want to be genuinely frightened. “Monster Mash” has its place, but I’m not a child anymore and the lyrics/aesthetic of the song are not truly horrifying.
Instead, I have come up with five of the most horrifying, disturbing, twisted, stomach churning, nightmarish, haunting songs you will hear this Halloween. Ranging from black metal to avant garde, these five songs will prove that any genre of music can place a spin on songs that result in a truly petrifying experience.
Anything on Scott Walker’s Bisch Bosch
Literally any song on this album will freak you out. Words cannot accurately describe what is going on here. Seriously, just pick any.
“A Cherry On Top” by The Knife
The Knife have transformed from an oddball synth-pop brother-sister duo into one of the freakiest and most experimental groups in electronic music. This song, coming off of their insane 2013 release Shaking the Habitual, is by far the eeriest song on the album. The first half is comprised of odd ambient tones, while the second half features Karin Dreijer Andersson’s eccentric voice accompanied by a creaking, spine-chillingly eldritch acoustic guitar.
“Burnt Year” by Altar of Plagues
If you aren’t a fan of black metal, you might not want to give this song a chance, but if you truly want to create a brutally intense and disturbing twist on your Halloween party, then this is the perfect song. With lyrics including the burial of his son and atrocities committed to his mother, it’s easy to understand why James Kelly’s screeches are filled with such anguish. The final notes he hits on this song will be imprinted in your mind and haunt your Halloween.
“Kid A” by Radiohead
With the opening sound of a spaceship landing to the piano melody that ensues, the title-track off of Radiohead’s magnum opus is the musical version of a sinister lullaby. Singer Thom Yorke’s voice is so heavily compressed that he is barely recognizable, which was done to distance himself from the song’s topic: the Pied Piper luring children away from their families only to vanish forever.
“Lunacy” by Swans
“The Seer” itself is a twisted journey, but the journey is immediately revealed that way through the opening track “Lunacy.” The song quickly erupts with frantic, hair-raising shots of electric guitar, before falling into the group’s hypnotic chants, and then re-exploding into a Herculean chorus perfect for brainwashed cult-followers.
Edited by Jessica Carr
Featured Image by Josh Mock, obtained via creativecommons.org