As with movies, I prefer my Halloween music creepy and perhaps disturbing rather than filled senseless gore, so Alice Cooper trumps Cannibal Corpse every time.
If you’re putting together a metal soundtrack for a Friday party, here are a few suggestions. Beyond the first two, they’re in no particular order except the way they came to mind. By no means is this list comprehensive. Please feel free to add your own.
"Black Sabbath," Black Sabbath. I don’t know that there’s a better song out there for Halloween, those three bell-like notes of ringing out over a barren wasteland and Ozzy’s moaning about figures in black really set the mood.
"Welcome to My Nightmare," Alice Cooper. Let’s face it, you could probably do a whole list of Alice Cooper tunes and have a bunch left over. I’ll go with the obvious one.
"Trick or Treat," Fastway. You may or may not remember the really bad horror movie of the 1980s about a deceased rocker back for revenge. The only redeeming points of the movie were Ozzy Osbourne hamming it up as a TV preacher and the soundtrack by Fastway. The title track is a great, rocking tune.
"Bark at the Moon," Ozzy Osbourne. Here’s another obvious one, playing to the campy side of Halloween. Visions of Ozzy in a werewolf costume dance in your heads.
"How the Gods Kill," Danzig. There are also no shortage of Halloween tunes in Danzig’s catalog. When it comes to creepy, though, I’m going with the title track of his third record.
"The Thing that Should Not Be," Metallica. It’s based on Lovecraft, it’s an awesome song. It makes the list.
"Scared," Dangerous Toys. Not really creepy or spooky, but a great song nonetheless. And as a tribute to Alice Cooper, it gets him on the list a second time. He deserves it.
"Fear of the Dark," Iron Maiden. So the obvious choice here is "Number of the Beast," but I’m going to break from the pack and pick one of Maiden’s later tunes. To me, it has a slightly more Halloween feel.
"Tourniquet," Marilyn Manson. Say what you want about Manson, but this is a great song. Definitely creepy and definitely fitting.
"Cemetery Gates," Pantera. Very dark, great imagery and an incredible screaming riff when the heavy guitars kick in. You can’t go wrong with it.
"Hell’s Bells," AC/DC. Perhaps the most obvious choice on my list. Still got to get it in there, though.
"Melissa," Mercyful Fate. Another band with no shortage of appropriate tunes. "Melissa" would be my first choice.
"The Dungeons are Calling," Savatage. Being a devoted fanboy, I’ll try to get a Savatage tune in just about every list I make. This creepy little tune would be a nice intro to a Halloween haunted house.
"Captain Howdy," Twisted Sister. Disturbing in an entirely different way, especially if you’ve seen Dee Snider’s horror flick "Strangeland," this song is easily creepy enough for a Halloween mix.
"I Am Legend," White Zombie. While my first Zombie Halloween choice would be a creepy little number from the "House of 1,000 Corpses" soundtrack with a title I can’t print here, I’ll go with this musical take on the classic Richard Matheson horror tale instead.
"The Ripper," Judas Priest. What’s a Halloween party without a tune about Jack the Ripper?
"Mary Jane," Megadeth. Spooky isn’t a word I’d often use to describe a Megadeth tune, but this one fits the bill.
"Seasons in the Abyss," Slayer. There’s plenty of horror imagery in Slayer’s music, but since we’re going for dark and creepy instead of gory, the title track to their 1990 record is a winner.