by Mohsen Fayyazi
Perhaps you know that the Origin of Halloween represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even (“evening”). But of course all of us know what’s happening on Halloween and the meaning of “Trick-or-Treat”. And also Halloween is one of those events that has had much of its imagery and background used through rock and metal history, and some bands and artists such as King Diamond and Impellitteri have used the title of Halloween for their songs. Moreover, we have Helloween, a band whose name and logo represents Halloween.
For many of us Halloween is a reminder of some yummy and funny things such Candies, Chocolates, Pumpkins and some horror symbols like Vampires, Frankenstein and Ghosts. This horror part of Halloween was/is really an interesting issue for RockMetal bands and artists to be creative in writing songs about those topics.
Metal Shock Finland’s Chief Editor asked me to be the DJ of the MSF Halloween party, and select for you 10 best songs as the Top 10 Halloween songs. She left no choice and it has to be done! But forget about the number “10” because It’s Halloween and I want to give you my lucky number “13” and let’s hope we will not be trapped or hunted by some Halloweenish creatures!
13. Helloween – Dr. Stein
One of the Helloween’s most popular songs from the upbeat “Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2” It was written by Michael Weikath and The Dr.Stein single was released in July 1988. It also re-recorded for compilation album “Unarmed – Best of 25th Anniversary“, the new version is in Jazz and Roll though.
I want to put it in the chart and start the party with this song because Helloween and this song are really Halloweenish.
12. Iced Earth – Dracula
From “Horror Show” the sixth studio album of Iced Earth. This time we encounter with horror and a sad story about a Halloweenish demon, the lyrics are lifted straight from the Bram Stoker’s Dracula movie that was one of the best movies in this genre .
The songs and lyrics are written by Jon Schaffer and the style of singing from Matt Barlow is extremely AWESOME.
11. Wolf – Voodoo
Nothing is scarier than when the Wolf is howling upon the mountain in the dead of the night. It sends a shiver through the whole of your body so you could even feel the sharpness of wolf teeth in your flesh. Now Wolf is singing about one of mankind’s most scary horror stories, Voodoo!
This song is from the treasure of chest, “Ravenous” album, and it ‘s written by Niklas Stalvind. His singing style is really great, reminds me of old school heavy metal. Also Niklas studied psychology and I think that was a good basis to help him write a such a great horror song as Voodoo.
10. Megadeth – She Wolf
It seems tonight we have a great thrash song from a golden album by Megadeth here in our party as well, Both the Music and lyrics to She-Wolf is written by Dave Mustaine and it was released on June 17, 1997 on the “Cryptic Writings” Album.
The song starts with a great thrashy riff and it is completed perfectly by a great solo in the end. I believe She-Wolf is the best choice for having some thrash in our Halloween Party.
9. AC/DC – Highway to Hell
“A fucking highway to hell” Angus said when he was asked to describe what life was like being constantly on tour. By all means it’s time to rock with a gem from the Rock&Roll world, the “Highway to Hell” single by AC/DC spent 45 weeks on the German Singles Chart, even though it peaked at only No. 30, in its 19th week on that chart.
The song was written by Bon Scott, Angus Young and Malcolm Young while the main guitar riff was created by Angus Young and it was released in July 1979. But let’s remember Scott who was found dead, in the back of a friend’s car, just over six months after the song was released. R.I.P. Bon Scott.
8. King Diamond – Bye Bye Missy
Yes, let’s listen to a true Horror Metal song. King Diamond is a legendary Heavy Metal band who focus on horror stories and that’s what we need here. When King starts to sing, the whole of your body will be filled with horror and fear and nobody can do it better than the King!
Bye Bye Missy is written by King Diamond on the “Them” album that was released in 1988. This album is a concept album about a young King and his mentally ill grandmother. One night, King investigates strange voices and discovers his grandmother having a tea party alone, with the teacups and kettles floating in the air ….
7. Judas Priest – Burn In Hell
Time to eat some fire, sent by one of METAL GODS. Tell me what is the most scary thing in this world?! You may agree with my view that it’s doomsday. Jugulator is the 13th studio album by Judas Priest. This album describes for you such a hellish end that you feel those shivers again, yeah, I can hear you whisper!
“Burn in Hell” was released in 1997 as the promo single for their 13th studio album Jugulator and is written by K. K. Downing and Glenn Tipton. A music video was produced for the song. It was shortened down to a little over four minutes.
Burn In Hell tells us about the evil that we do, As Nostradamus predicted the year 2012 will be the end of the world and it’s coming soon! So we are going to blister, BURN IN HELL!
6. Gamma Ray – Hell Is Thy Home
After the doomsday and after we made Hell as our home, now it’s time to bang your head with some Power Speed elements from Germany. Some people call Kai Hansen a Metal God as well, and as he is one of the creators of Melodic power Metal, why not?!
“Hell Is Thy Home” is written by Kai and was released on the “Majestic” album in 2005. You’ll find it as fast and powerful as a Metal song could be plus it has a very dark lyrical concept. And I believe this song is a great example what the band is capable of.
5. Black Sabbath – Lady Evil
Black Sabbath is another band I can call Halloweenish because of the horror kind of image the name invokes. Many critics and writers mention them as the first Heavy Metal band! They brought some horror elements to Rock music with using some Chromatic and Diminished scales.
“Lady Evil” was released in April 1980 on the golden album of Black Sabbath, “Heaven and Hell”. The exact origins of much of this album’s material is still a topic of debate. And this was the first album after Ozzy Osbourne was fired from the band and replaced with the Legendary Ronnie James Dio, R.I.P. The song has a strong Rainbow feel and is filled by a great Heavy rhythm and great guitar solos.
4. Accept – Metal Heart
“We had read an article that someone was working on an artificial heart and that one day everybody is going to have a computerized heart. It talked, in general terms, about how more and more of humanity gets sucked out of the daily life and more and more replaced by machine. It’s not a new thing now, but then it was new. Humans versus machine, was the general vibe of the record.” Wolf Hoffmann explained the concept behind the album and that shows the reason why I chose this one.
The song starts with famous classical theme, Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March, and continues with an awesome galloping riff, including Beethoven’s Für Elise in the main solo. Metal Heart was released in March 1985 on the album of the same name.
3. DIO – Night People
It’s still sad and painful, and I’m sure many of us need to wipe away our tears when we listen to our VOICE OF METAL, R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio, one of the most talented musicians in the whole of heavy metal history.
Night People is the first track of the fourth DIO album, Dream Evil. The song starts with awesome heavy riffs that make you bang your head from the first moment and the Ronnie’s voice is as perfect as ever. By continuing with that great solo in the middle of the song, the circle of perfection is completed.
2. Iron Maiden – Transylvania
For understanding why I chose this song as the second one in this list, just close your eyes and imagine yourself walking in Count Dracula land, Transylvania, It’s night and you can sense the smell of blood from everywhere. Yeah the Shivers again and that’s because of you are walking on the land where the most scary Halloween symbol, Dracula, lived his life and maybe he’s still somewhere there hiding. :s
Transylvania was released on 14 April 1980 on the self titled album of METAL GODS, Iron Maiden and composed by founder and bassist Steve Harris, which was later covered by Iced Earth on the album Horror Show. The fast and powerful riffs and solos in this song could show you how it’s dangerous and scary, walking in the land, Transylvania!
1. Helloween – Halloween
Listen… take care … In the streets on Halloween, The spirits will arise….
Now it’s time to go back to our most Halloweenish Metal Band, Helloween. The legendary creators of Melodic Power Metal released this long length song on May 23, 1987 on their most successful album, “Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1”. This album has credits by many to be the birth of Power Metal.
The “Halloween” song is written by Kai Hansen and it is 13 minutes 18 seconds long. The scary and horror style riff, played by the keyboard and guitar in the intro disconcerts you and suddenly starting with a powerful riff, you’ll find out that you are entered to a Halloween party full of Ghosts, Witches, Pumpkinheads, Vampires and … The song keep going and you would like to dance with those creatures but BEWARE … Black is the night full of fright and you’ll be missing the day … And now horror is back again and this is the point that fantasy Rocks horror, you run and scream on Halloween. Now Listen to me again, Keep your praying:
“Save me from the evil one
Give me strength to carry on
I will fight for all mankind’s
Deliverance and peace of mind”
At the end of the song you’ll not exist anymore, you’ll find yourself a part of Halloween, singing “IT’S HALLOWEEN, TONIGHT”.
PS: Special thanks to my friend Ali Blackdiamond for help