With Halloween just around the corner, I got to thinking, what are the best Halloween riffs or songs I know? After settling on a couple of tunes that I thought were the creepiest known to me, I posed the question to my Gearnews guitar-playing colleagues. Here is the list we came up with.
Trick or Treat!
It’s that time of the year again! The Jack-o-lanterns are out, skeletal remains and cobwebs adorn front porches, and kids are getting ready with their costumes, and to go out trick-or-treating. So what music would be the best soundtrack for this spooky month? The guys at Gearnews and I came up with this list. We tried to avoid obvious songs meant specifically for Halloween.. and Sunn O))), because that would be too easy. Unsurprisingly, the list includes hard rock or metal songs and bands. Although, there can be spooky elements in several other places, should one look closely. The intro to Because by the Beatles, I’ve always felt has a creepy vibe to it, or the outro to I Want You, from the same album. And several Cure songs could easily make the list, Lullaby, for instance. But instead of just compiliing a list of scary songs, the idea was to include our all-time scariest/evilest/spookiest riffs/songs. It was a fun little discussion, as I hadn’t heard of several of the bands that were mentioned. Here are some of the tracks that we all seemed to agree would be the right choices for the 31st of October:
Stephan went straight to the brutal with his choices. His initial suggestions for Rammstein’s Keine Lust, and Slipknot’s Custer had to be included. Both Rammstein and Slipknot are truly terrifying, not only in their music, but also their stage presence. And both have proven that it’s not just a gimmick, as both have stood the test of time. Of the latter he said:
Such a big fat kick in the butt… building up and then all mayhem breaks lose. I love it!
But he also suggested Metallica’s King Nothing, off their 1996 album Load. At the time, the album saw the metal giants treading newer territory, and not everyone was happy to be part of the journey. He added:
Regarding “slower riffs” my favourite is this one. I was one of the few who actually loved LOAD and RELOAD!
Claudius chose Ufomammut’s Stigma and LaserBlast by Fu Manchu. I admit, I’ve never heard either before, but they definitely deserve inclusion in this list. Claudius says:
Well there are plenty of massive stoner riffs / songs, which are “pure evil”. And probably everything by Ufomammut.
After listening to them, I can’t disagree.
He also added that the “most evil band of all times is probably Sunn O)))”, but, as mentioned above, we decided that’s too easy.
Angus went with the classic Ray Parker Jr. song Ghostbusters, made for the movie of the same name and AC/DC’s Hells Bells. Both are great choices. Ghostbusters is a classic, and Hells Bells is definitely one of the spookier riffs by Angus Young, who also happens to be Angus’ namesake! Of his choices, Angus said:
Hells Bells is classic AC/DC, and the music played when my local team runs on the pitch! Not many people think about guitar riffs when they hear the Ghostbusters theme, but it’s a cool little riff doubling the synth line.
Our resident guitar expert Jef had Sleep’s Dopesmoker and Ministry’s Just One Fix to add. As with everyone’s choices, there were a few suggestions, but it was agreed that these particular tracks by Sleep and Ministry were the most deserving of inclusion. And yes, the Sleep ‘track’ is practically the whole album, but it’s the first time I was introduced to the band, and they are scary! Why’d he choose these tracks? He says:
I enjoy both tracks and they are heavy.
Can’t argue with that!
I went with Black Sabbath’s Black Sabbath and Alice in Chains’ What the Hell Have I. They’re probably not as brutal as some of the other tunes on the list. And yes, Black Sabbath the song, given that it’s a tritone, or the “Devil’s interval”, is perhaps too convenient. But I don’t care, Sabbath must be included! And it’s always sent a ghoulie chill up my spine. And as far as What The Hell Have I is concerned, I’m not even sure what’s really going on here, but that riff is amongst the creepiest I’ve come across. Alice in Chains always has a dark, foreboding, yet beautiful misery in their music. But of all the riffs Jerry Cantrell has come up with, this is the one that really crawls under my skin.
What are some of the most evil or spooky riffs you know? Let us know in the comments section below. And from all of us at Gearnews, Happy Halloween!