There’s plenty of music out there fully capable of scaring the shit out of you. In fact you need look no further than Justin Bieber’s latest record for something truly frightening. If that doesn’t freak you out, put in Yoko Ono’s new album and turn it all the way up to eleven. Guaranteed to induce nightmares of one sort or another.
Still, there are great new albums that, while not necessarily as chilling as say, this year’s Wilson Phillips reboot, are in name, at least, perfect for the Halloween season. Here they are—insert evil laugh.
Are you afraid of the… Dark Dark Dark
Album: Who Needs Who
Label: Supply and Demand Music
While the sweet folk music of Minneapolis band Dark Dark Dark isn’t at all spooky, there is still a decadent quality to their music that harnesses the feel of nighttime. Songs typically follow a strict cadence, ranging from the beat of an avant-garde folk-rock song on “Tell Me,” to that of an Eastern European march on “Without You.” Though Who Needs Who isn’t necessarily hair-raising on its own, you probably wouldn’t want to turn it on late at night after watching Poltergeist.
That sly come hither stare… it’s Witchcraft
Label: Nuclear Blast
Okay, so maybe this album could be considered a little weak when it comes to labeling it as death metal. But that might simply be because the Swedish band Witchcraft comes from a country listed tenth on the list of life expectancy. We here in the United States—38 on the list—seem to understand death a little better and take the genre to another level because of it. Still the homage their music pays to ‘80s American metal while infusing bits of country is fun and a good place for people to get some mild headbanging in around your favorite cauldron brew.
Someone please save… My Dying Bride
Album: A Map of All Our Failures
For this UK doom metal group, releasing an album just before Halloween is certainly a great way to maximize exposure with some cheap, built-in marketing. The first single from the album “Kneel ‘Till Doomsday” pretty much says it all through dark sonorous guitar and stabbing drums. Even if you aren’t religious, this album will probably still get you praying for salvation. After all, on the band’s Soundcloud page, guitarist Andrew Craighan describes the album as “a controlled demolition of all your hopes.”
And he cried out… ERAAS
Admittedly the pronunciation of this Brooklyn band’s name is a bit of a mystery. But that just adds to the spine-chilling nature of their debut album. Just take a look at some of the song titles from ERAAS’ largely instrumental and very dark album and you’ll see why everything about this record screams it should be played around Halloween. Songs like “Black House,” “A Presence,” “Ghost” and “Skinning” are but a taste of the beautifully demented music ERAAS makes. Tracks are steeped in ghostly synth and guitar that become giant lumps in your throat. Palpating drumbeats cause the kind of get-me-the-fuck-out-of-here thoughts one has when climbing the steps out of a haunted basement. Oh, and the album artwork is kickass scary, too.