There is a time to be happy and full of laughter, a time to be sad and melancholic, and there is a time to be so frightened you haven’t got a breath to scream. These following ten songs may do just that. You’ve been warned.
10. Anberlin: “Reclusion”
Anberlin’s “Reclusion” is a sinister song about hiding away sins and denying wrongdoings. With lyrics like “If a stranger turns up missing, this song is my confession / Tell the tales of the trail of dead, lovers learn from slower hands / Losing self in myself, inner demons make demands / You’re sick, sick as all the secrets that you deny / Sins like skeletons are so very hard to hide” you’re sure to be unsettled.
9. Needtobreathe: “Maybe They’re On To Us”
When I heard this song for the first time I thought it was recounting a tale about a demonic encounter. To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure what this song is about, but then again maybe it’s better I never know. Horror is found in the unknown after all.
8. Oh, Sleeper: “The Finisher”
Here’s a change of pace. “The Finisher” closes Oh, Sleeper’s excellent Son of the Morning with an epic battle between God and the devil, where Christ, of course, reigns victorious in the end. It’s one of the best finishes to any metalcore album I’ve ever heard (pun intended!). It’s a must listen as we remember the evil Christ saved us from. (Fun fact, the song is also a reference to one my favourite Psalms 75:10, “All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.”
7. Death Therapy: “Possessed”
Jason Wisdom (ex. vocalist of Becoming the Archetype) released a phenomenal album earlier this year with his new project Death Therapy. “Possessed” is about being possessed by the Holy Spirit as opposed to a demonic entity; like every song on The Storm Before the Calm, it’s full of dark grooves and haunting vocals, making it an excellent addition to your Halloween playlist.
6. Flyleaf: “Swept Away”
“Swept Away” is one of my favourite Flyleaf songs of all time. Everything about it sends chills down the spine, from Lacey’s fear possessed vocals, the vague descriptions of something evil and malicious, and the toy that plays its whimsical song as the track closes.
5. Theocracy: “Laying The Demon To Rest”
“As the battle rages on and on I face the things that put my faith to the test / Fallen angels won’t leave me alone / Father come and lay the demon to rest / When my sword has broken off in my hand I see the dark futility of the flesh / When I’m about to fall please help me stand / Father come and lay the demon to rest.” Don’t we all cry these lyrics at some point in our lives?
4. The Violet Burning: “My Name is Night”
Black as Death, the second part of The Violet Burning’s The Story of Our Lives, opens with this sinister welcoming. As the sludgy guitars melt through the speakers and Michael Pritzl’s fantastic vocals scream “My name is night!” you find yourself about to begin a new chapter of fear, sadness, and confusion. But rest assured, all is well in the end. (Unfortunately, I couldn’t find this song anywhere on youtube or Spotify, which breaks my heart).
3. My Chemical Romance: “Mama”
One of The Black Parade’s finest moments, “Mama” is everything a creepy song inspires to be. From the real-life terror of war and the realization that humanity is capable of such horror, “Mama” is a creepy theatrical masterpiece.
2. Creeper: “Black Rain”
This pick from Creeper’s brilliant debut, Eternity in Your Arms, may be a no-brainer, but there was no way it wasn’t going to be on this list. “Black Rain” echoes the best of MCR’s dark theatrics to create a stellar punk anthem with a chorus so infectious you’ll find yourself singing along even when you least expect it.
1. Brand New: “Lit Me Up”
If I heard this song as a child I can guarantee you I would have run out the room in fear. The recording of a mental patient recalling her nightmares is haunting, to say the least, and the rest of “Lit Me Up” only continues to unsettle as it slowly limpers along its moonlit path.