If you haven’t already, you really should get rid of your “Spooky Sounds” CD (surely I can’t be the only one that still has CDs?) from 1996 (maybe you should also think about getting rid of your well-worn copy of “Now That’s What I Call Music!” also?).
Anyway, the “Monster Mash” isn’t really compelling Halloween music unless you have a real thing for campy trash or you run a daycare (in which case, uh, okay, I guess). There is a ton of truly excellent Halloween/Horror Movie (I mean, aren’t those two almost synonymous?) music that has been made that doesn’t make you want to rip off your face so that you can die and simply become another tacky piece of Halloween décor.
I am listing this in no particular order, but they are my ten favourites of this year!
Slasher Dave – Tomb of Horror
If you have ever seen an 80’s horror movie, (and you really should if you haven’t) then this music should really conjure up those same feelings. The production quality on this album is truly excellent and considering how atmospheric the album is, the consummate professionalism of this album really makes it an experience to remember.
Recommended Listening: during a fall drive, a night of (preferably horror-themed) gaming, or listen with headphones as you deliriously stumble around in the dark in a perpetual state of terror.
Acid Witch – Evil Sound Screamers
This album is a bit more on the intense side of things, a bit more horrific, and pretty pulse-pounding. I don’t think it is possible to have a relaxing night at home while listening to this, the paranoia that it causes leads to frenzied fits of screaming.
Recommended Listening: driving on the freeway without headlights or for being alone in the dark being pursued by a relentless murderer.
Goblin – Suspiria
A classic, and let’s just underline this, not the new one, with that guy from Radiohead. Goblin is an Italian prog-rock band that, due to cosmic powers, were unable to stop making excellent soundtracks for numerous Italian horror movies. The title track from the Suspiria album is delirious and infectious, the quick pace really amps up the intensity.
Recommended Listening: I mean ideally listen to the soundtrack while watching the eponymous source movie.
Hollywood Burns – Invaders
Cinematic is the best way to describe this album, and the cinema that it draws its influence from are thrillers and horror films of the 80’s and 90’s. Every track is able to bring you to a faraway time and place, and once there, drive you to the edge.
Recommended Listening: waiting for the bus, in the office, or when you are running through a parking garage with a horde of undead chasing you.
Gost – Possessor
This album is filled with intensity. Each track has a creepy intro followed by a driving beat that hearkens to intense chases.
Recommended Listening: while going for a personal best time running or biking, trying to stay awake during a never-ending night, or when working on a spreadsheet or essay.
John Carpenter – Lost Themes
So, John Carpenter has been responsible for a host of fantastic horror movies, but not everyone knows that he often does his own music for his films. This album is a collection of songs that he made for the sheer pleasure of making them, none of them are tied to a specific film or franchise.
Recommended Listening: sitting alone in the dark crying because you will never get to watch The Thing for the first time ever again.
Carpenter Brut – Blood Machines OST
So basically the movie that this album is the “Official Soundtrack” to is a glorified 50-minute music video, which, considering how music videos have died, is fairly neat in a retro-sense. The music is, like many of the other synthwave/darkwave albums on this list, driving, intense, and evocative of an era gone by.
Recommended Listening: for when trying to make minute rice in less than a minute.
Blood Lord – Unwelcome Guests
If you have ever had the nightmare of being trapped in a vampire-themed videogame from the late 1980’s, then this would have been the soundtrack. If the scenario described in that sentence doesn’t appeal to you, I have to wonder about what kind of inane preferences you have.
Recommend Listening: being trapped in a vampire-themed videogame from the late 1980’s.
b l a c c l o d g e – the back wards
A vaporwave entry on the list, this is a much slower, relaxed, and atmospheric album. Like a lot of vaporwave, this involves a lot of samples, most of which have been significantly distorted or manipulated.
Recommended Listening: like most ambient albums, this one pairs best with reading; or, if you are in the mood to be driven permanently insane, you might consider listening to this while you sleep, but don’t blame me for the agonizing metamorphosis that you will go through.
Wolfmen of Mars – The Spectral Sounds of Space
Of all of the albums on this list, this is certainly the “spookiest” of them all. It is a strictly ambient album without the typical musical progression of a traditional “song” or you know, something like that.
Recommended Listening: exploring a haunted house, hiding in your basement during an alien invasion, or hiding in your basement from your friends and family.
Well, that’s my list. Let me know in the comments what your favourites are!