Halloween is just around the corner. Whether you’re throwing a neighborhood Halloween party or simply getting into the Halloween spirit, you’ve probably thought of making a mix CD. You’d like your playlist to be unique – and let’s face it, everyone’s already heard Monster Mash, along with the many variations of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. Fortunately, there’s plenty of dark, dramatic and even downright scary music to add to your musical arsenal. Here are just a few of those pieces that everyone will remember this Halloween:
1.) Die Form – Hypnogramme. Die Form is an avant-garde electro duo that’s been around for over 25 years. They’re known for lyrics involving either sex or death (and sometimes both), while other works are instrumental. Hypnogramme is entirely driven by keyboards for a futuristic feel. Play this song at the beginning of your mix to make a dramatic statement.
2.) The Protagonist – The Sick Rose. The Protagonist is known for producing several remixes as well as the album Songs of Experience. This piece starts off with a high-pitched tremelo and escalates the suspense with a steady cello. One might imagine The Sick Rose as a perfect soundtrack for one of Alfred Hitchcock’s numerous films.
3.) Za Frumi – Halls of Madness. Za Frumi is a Swedish music group formed in 2016, with a focus on dark fantasy. Long, drawn-out pipe organ notes accompanied by an all-male choir. The 1920’s classic Nosferatu comes to mind.
4.) Midnight Syndicate – Gates of Delirium. Midnight Syndicate is a popular dark neoclassical band. Occasionally their albums can be found at Halloween stores. This song starts with a literal bang and dives into fast-paced cello and pipe organ. Perfect for creating a haunted house filled with active ghosts.
5.) Inkubus Sukkubus – Samhain. Inkubus Sukkubus is a British goth band who have celebrated paganism in their music for 20 years. The dead come back home on Samhain with bells, muted organ, and female vocals. This song gets into the spirit of the pagan new year with a nod to the Greek goddess Hecate. An upbeat delight for pagans and nonpagans alike on Halloween.
6.) Two Witches – Hungry Eyes. Two Witches is a Finnish goth band, akin to Lacrimosa and Love Like Blood. Slow, steady guitars with both male and female vocals. A man pines for a young woman with raven hair, who is his “dream and death”. Seductive without being over-the-top. Excellent vampire romance piece.
7.) Mechanical Moth – Radical Behavior. Mechanical Moth is a German goth group who focuses on piano, orchestra and electronics. Many Mechanical Moth songs are gentle and melodic, but Radical Behavior is a prominent exception. Where Hungry Eyes may focus on vampire seduction, this harsh, electronic piece portrays the aggressive side of a vampire – the side that wants to ravage, draw blood and ravage some more. Raspy male vocals stalk the night and rave about “rotten forgotten pleasure”. Tip: Best played on HIGH volume.
8.) In Slaughter Natives – The Vulture. In Slaughter Natives is mostly the work of Jouni Havukainen, who’s developed his own branch of ambient and industrial sounds. Dark and creepy, yet fragile and innocent. The Vulture draws you in with an eerie background and delves into a delicate melody. All the while a male voice growls so low you can barelyunderstand what he says, and what you can understand has the hairs on your neck standing on end.
9.) Nox Arcana – Grande Masquerade. Nox Arcana is a neoclassical duo with a focus on fantasy themes, including Grimm’s Tales, the Necronomican and Edgar Allan Poe. Grande Masquerade comes from the album Transylvania, an ideal soundtrack for Bram Stoker’s classic novel. This instrumental piece is romantic, regal and reminiscent of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. A must-have for a Draculean theme.
10.) Therion – Paths. Therion began as a Swedish death metal band who later incorporated symphonic elements into their arsenal. Their lyrics mostly revolve around mythology, and their name itself is the Greek word for “Beast”. This two-minute track is short and sweet with abrasive vocals accompanied by a female choir. Melodic metal at its finest.