5 Evil Albums to Check Out This Halloween
Published on 31 October 2019
So, it's Halloween rockers, the spookiest day of the year and we wouldn't be doing our due diligence as a guitar store if we didn't have some freaky recommendations to help creep you out! We've compiled a list of 5 of the most devilish, sinister and downright spine chilling albums ever laid down on record, so turn the lights down low and get ready to dive into the darkest depths of music history...
Sunn O)))- Black One
Let's face it, when it comes to evil albums, we couldn't miss out Sunn O))) could we? Appearing onstage in ominous dark robes while shrowded in thick fog, the band hail from Seattle but could just have easily been summoned from another world. By using terrifyingly thick and powerful drones to create a wall of noise, their gigs are said to be emotional and meaningful experiences for their fans that are unlike anything else on the planet. We had the pleasure of interviewing them recently, so if that all sounds suitably spooky, check out our full chat here.
For an album recommendation this Halloween, we're opting for Black One. Not only is Black One as unsettling and unorthodox as we've come to expect from Sunn O))), the band also ramped up the evil considerably by locking black metal guest vocalist Malefic in a casket to record the vocals on "Báthory Erzsébet". This was done intentionally to make him as uncomfortable as possible, given his fear of small spaces... You don't get much more freaky than that folks!
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
You knew this was coming and if you didn't, you need to brush up on your metal history, dude... Perhaps the most devilish album of all time, Black Sabbath's debut sent a shockwave across the planet and is widely regarded as the first metal album. The title track alone was described by Rob Halford as "the most evil track ever that's been written", conjuring images of a demonic figure in black standing at the foot of Ozzy's bed at night. This was actually based on a nightmare Geezer Butler had, supposedly after being given a book of spells by Osbourne and even today sounds as spooky as pretty much anything that's been released since.
From its menacing beginnings to singing from the point of view of Lucifer himself in N.I.B, to some of the most hypnotic and nasty riffs the world had ever heard, Black Sabbath changed music forever with this album and it certainly deserves a place among the evilest of all time.
Mayhem - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
We couldn't make a list like this without including the truly harrowing tale of Mayhem's 1994 album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. Among the most widely recognised and most influential Black Metal albums ever made, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas is an album which is plagued by real-life terror. The album was delayed due to the violent suicide of vocalist 'Dead' who was known for partially burying himself in order to smell more like a corpse, among other equally disturbing traits. As if that isn't shocking enough, guitarist Euronymous was later brutally murdered by the band's bass player Varg Vikernes (who had a fondness for burning churches). Vikernes admitted to the horrendous crime in a radio interview but wasn't convicted until months after. Despite protests from the band's families, the final recording features all of their parts, making it one of the most genuinely horrible backstories to a piece of music we've ever stumbled across.
The full details are pretty horrific and if you've got a strong enough stomach, you can read more about them here - be warned, this article is not for the faint of heart. For those of us less inclined to read the gory details, let's move on to the next entry on the list...
Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral
Thought this list was going to take a more cheery turn? Think again! This is a list of evil albums people, deal with it. Now, who can we rely on to keep things suitably gloomy? Mr Reznor of course, particularly during the recording of The Downward Spiral. This concept album follows the journey of a man sinking into depression and taking his own life, hence the title. However, that's not where the darkness ends...
What makes the album particularly haunting it that it was recorded at 10050 Cielo Drive. Does that address sound familiar? Well, that's because it's the infamous location where actress Sharon Tate was murdered by members of the Manson Family cult. Reznor was fascinated with American folklore and with the horror surrounding the house but found himself terrified when he began to stay there. Couple that up with the unfamiliar and unsettling industrial side to NIN's sound and this album has a distinctly evil vibe that we couldn't leave out.
Killing Joke - Pandemonium
You don't get much more Halloween than Mummies do you? Well, Killing Joke certainly ticked that box when they recorded their 1994 album Pandemonium... (What was going on with bands in 1994!?). Also favouring an unusual recording location, the post-punkers opted to lay down their vocal tracks in the Kings Chamber of the Pyramid of Giza! While that sounds like a great idea, things started to go wrong pretty quickly and inexplicably. Despite bringing roughly 10 hours worth of batteries, something in the pyramid kept draining them, only allowing the band to record for 10 - 15 minutes at a time. After a frustrating and emotionally intense first day, the band headed back to their hotel to regroup.
They revisited the chamber for day two with a far more ceremonial mindset - bringing with them, flowers, garlands, incense, holy water, and wand-shaped quartz crystals. The band described what happened next as something of a spiritual experience. They actually laid down recordings for the album with lead singer Jaz Coleman standing behind the sarcophagus to record while the other band members pointed the Quarts wands at him. Needless to say, their ceremony worked; however, with engineer Sameh Almazny vowing to never return to the pyramids after what he saw that day, Pandemonium had to be included in this list for strangeness alone!
Congratulations, you've survived our journey through the most sinister corners of music... For now! Drop us a comment below to let us know if we've missed out any spooky albums or songs!