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13 Black Metal Songs to Blast This Halloween


We all know how the meme goes: you arrive at a party dressed as Abbath, but people keep mistaking you for Gene Simmons. No, Halloween isn’t easy for black metallers. That’s why we’ve assembled an October 31st black metal playlist. After all, with so many people wandering to your door, today is the perfect opportunity to introduce the whole neighborhood to the world’s greatest yet most misunderstood subgenre. Why not treat the kids to some Venom-ous ear candy?!

Some songs that we would like mention upfront include Grafvitnir’s “Obeisance to a Witch Moon,” Dimmu Borgir’s “The Night Masquerade,” and Abhor’s “October 31st, 2010.” It would be a sin if we neglected to recommend the dark metal tracks “Elektro-Hexe” by Eisregen and “Hexe” by Nachtblut. For an exhilarating dose of eccentric avant-garde post-BM, check out Arcturus’ “Master of Disguise.”

Enjoy our compilation of 13 black metal tracks that are guaranteed to make this the most “Grim and Frostbitten” Halloween ever!

Darkthrone — “Graveyard Slut”

Darkthrone’s “Transilvanian Hunger” is an obvious way to access your inner bloodsucker. So to switch things up, let’s go get your kink on with “Graveyard Slut,” considering all the scanty costumes around. This perverse bundle of sonic joy ranks right up there on the absurdity scale with “Witch Ghetto” from Dark Thrones and Black Flags (2008).

“Graveyard Slut” hails from The Cult is Alive (2006), which is the first installment in what can be described as Darkthrone’s crust punk-inspired trilogy. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that Darkthrone began incorporating punk elements into their music before this point. In addition, Fenriz would like you to also remember that “the whole crust punk thing was played up by the press.”

Mystic Circle — “Kiss from a Vampire”

In 1993, the Berlin-based punk powerhouse Die Ärzte released the hit single “Schrei nach Liebe,” which means “Cry for Love.” Three years later, Mystic Circle rocked Germany with their debut album, Morgenröte — Der Schrei nach Finsternis (1996), or “Dawn — The Cry for Darkness.”

As a whole, this polarizing yet highly entertaining offering is arguably the best black metal record to help you celebrate Halloween. Morgenröte — Der Schrei nach Finsternis may be streaked with hues of red, but it shines with that rare opalescent light of the “Octobermoon.” This collection of “Graveyard [Blood-Wet] Dreams” is even more bizarre than our last pick.

“Kiss from a Vampire” lacks the ecstasy-inducing X-rating of Morgenröte’s previous song, “Medina (Satan’s Whore),” but it is still as satisfying as a successful night on the town. The outlandish male and female vocals are bound to make you giggle like a schoolgirl.

Ancient — “The Witch”

Ancient was founded in 1992 in Bergen, Norway — the band’s current home. Over the years, Ancient has also set up camp in the United States, Greece, and Italy. Ancient has a special talent for making music videos that are so awful that they’re horrifying. No mortal could possibly survive the clips for “Lilith’s Embrace” and “Willothewisp,” for example, with open eyes. They are the absolute worst of all time.

That said, “The Witch” from Proxima Centauri (2001) is an ideal Halloween pick. We also suggest the deliciously vulgar treat known as “Vampirize Natasha” from Mad Grandiose Bloodfiends (1997). This album marked the moment when Ancient turned off a lot of listeners. However, October 31st is a day when cheesiness becomes a virtue.

Mütiilation — “Transylvania”

“Transylvania” is the sixth track on Mütiilation’s debut album, Vampires of Black Imperial Blood (1995). This record ends with “Tears of a Melancholic Vampire.” Is that not one of the most simultaneously killer and amusing titles imaginable?! Vampires of Black Imperial Blood is the only full-length album that Mütiilation recorded as a two-piece: Mütiilation would become the one-man project of Meyhna’ch. Although Mütiilation is sadly no more, it was one of the most enjoyable black metal projects known to humanity. Raw, grim, charismatic, and ridiculous, Mütiilation is sure to make you crack a Cheshire Cat grin.

Gehenna — “The Shivering Voice of the Ghost”

Few groups can claim to be as bewitching as Gehenna, except maybe the epic doom heroes Candlemass. Sarcana’s keyboards contribute to the ultra-creepy aura of “The Shivering Voice of a Ghost.” This funereal song is the opening track on Gehenna’s breakthrough mini-album, First Spell (1994), which was released on Head Not Found — the label established by Slayer Mag’s Metalion! First Spell kicked off a trilogy that also includes Gehenna’s debut full-length record, Seen Through the Veils of Darkness (The Second Spell) (1995), and Malice (Our Third Spell) (1996).

Tormentor — “Elisabeth Bathory”

The Hungarian band Tormentor has become a legend just like their country’s most famous alleged, female serial killer, Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Tormentor’s “Elisabeth Bathory” first appeared on the demo Anno Domini (1989). It features vocalist Attila Csihar, who is best-known as Mayhem’s frontman. Mayhem’s Euronymous recruited Attila to sing on De Mysteriis Sathanas Dom (1994) after the tragic suicide of Per Yngve “Pelle” Ohlin, a.k.a. “Dead,” on April 8, 1991. This was because Pelle had greatly admired Attila. In a letter to his Italian pen pal The Old Nick, Pelle called Tormentor “INCREADIBLY KILLING GREAT.“ “Elisabeth Bathory“ shows you the reason why. Dissection has helped immortalize this song with their awesome covers, though they spelled the title with a “z” — “Elizabeth Bathory.”

Mayhem — “Freezing Moon”

No song is as cold, dark, and spellbinding as “Freezing Moon” — originally known as “The Freezing Moon.” It’s a classic that we simply couldn’t neglect to include. “Freezing Moon” will haunt you until the day you are finally “Buried by Time and Dust.” This masterpiece was first performed in 1989. It appears on Mayhem’s debut iconic album, De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. The lyrics were famously written by Pelle Ohlin, whom we have just discussed. “Freezing Moon” was one of the only two studio tracks that Pelle ever recorded with Mayhem. You can also hear him perform the song at a 1990 show on Live in Leipzig (1993).

No one embodied the spirit of Halloween quite like Pelle. He had an insatiable thirst for knowledge of ancient legends, especially when it came to vampires. Pelle wrote to The Old Nick, “My goal in life is to visit Transylvania and Moldovia and to learn everything of the legends there that rarely are known of in the west.” Pelle even fantasized about working in the region as a “blood bringer.”

Tsjuder — “Ghoul”

There aren’t many bands like Tsjuder left nowadays! “Ghoul” will give you the “Pure Black Energy” you need to make it through the night. It’s bound to scare anyone who happens to cross your threshold, leaving you to rest in peace with your rare vinyls. “Ghoul” hails from the magnificent Desert Northern Hell (2004). Talk about an album that delivers exactly what you want from black metal! On a semi-superficial note, we are obliged to mention that very few bands rock corpsepaint like Tsjuder. If you need aesthetic inspiration today, look no further than to their photos!

Thorns — “You That Mingle May”

“You That Mingle May” dates back to the historic demo Grymyrk (1991), where it appears as an instrumental track. However, we have chosen the version that was included as a bonus track on the 2011 reissue of Thorns vs. Emperor, which first dropped in 1999, and Moonfog 2000: A Different Perspective. This recording features the special guest combo of Fenriz on drums and Satyr on vocals.

On The Thomas Eriksen Podcast, Thorns’ mastermind, Snorre Ruch, explained that he embarked on his musical journey with the intention of making “demented music for children.” This is an accurate description of “You That Mingle May.” The lyrics are so great that it would be a sin not to quote the entire second half:

“Water heat and water boil.
Rise from cauldron twist and coil.
Spice the brew with infant limbs.
Appreciate those little things.

Recipe of all that’s vile.
Nipples stretched from inch to mile.
Black, red, white, grey.
Mingle, mingle, mingle, you that mingle may.”

Beherit — “Werewolf, Semen, Blood”

You can find “Werewolf, Semen, and Blood” on Beherit’s classic debut album, Drawing Down the Moon (1993) — one of the most important releases in the history of black metal. Drawing Down the Moon is technically a product of Finland, but it may as well be from outer space. It is completely uncanny and chilling in a timeless way. Beherit’s use of electronics, synths, and relative minimalism will give you goosebumps. For today’s purposes, we also recommend Beherit’s “Suck My Blood” from Engram (2009).

Gehennah — “Skeletons in Leather”

Let’s change things up with some black/thrash street metal! Beware of the hellraisers from Sweden known as Gehennah. “Skeletons in Leather” appears on their second demo, Brilliant Loud Overlords of Destruction (1994), as well as their first album, Hardrocker (1995). Who said that Halloween should be family fun?! This song literally threatens to kill your entire clan.

Obtained Enslavement — “Witchcraft”

“Witchcraft” is the title track on Obtained Enslavement’s 1997 sophomore record — a kickass yet polarizing example of symphonic black metal. With songs like “Warlock” and “The Seven Witches,” Witchcraft couldn’t be more appropriate for Halloween. You can hear now ex-Gorgoroth’s Pest on vocals. You might assume that Pest feeds on children after savoring this album. In reality, however, he actually works as a teacher in America. Witchcraft was recorded in the famous concert hall Grieghallen, where Eirik “Pytten” Hundvin, the greatest black metal producer of all time, had a studio that was owned by NRK.

Carach Angren — “Dreaming of a Nightmare in Eden”

Carach Angren has so many songs that would be suitable for this list: “Franckensteina Strataemontanus,” “Monster,” “Der Vampir von Nürnberg,” etc. But what we really need is some sweetness! “Dreaming of a Nightmare in Eden” from the Hansel and Gretel-inspired album This Is No Fairytale (2015) features a gingerbread house, confectionery, guts, and death. A witch cast a spell, and thus ”Sugar and cake turned into decomposed flesh.”

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