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The combination of Halloween and heavy metal is a beautiful marriage made in hell and when it comes down to it, a complete no-brainer. Since the early 1900s, an entire cottage industry has risen around the Oct. 31 holiday. Whether it’s books, feature films or the multi-million dollar costume industry, Halloween has made a lot of people rich. Musicians have found endless inspiration from All Hallows Eve’s dark imagery and legends and some great heavy metal has been fueled by this.

To help celebrate the ancient holiday, Noisecreep has put together a list of Top 10 Metal Songs For Halloween. Before you write in complaining, we’re aware most of the songs below aren’t directly about Halloween but we still think they would be fantastic additions to your October 31st celebrations.

‘Halloween,’ Helloween
From ‘Keeper of the Seven Keys, Part 1′ (1987)
Even for heavy metal standards, Helloween is one silly band name. With that of the way, the German quintet is still one of the genre’s most beloved acts. Their landmark ‘Keeper of the Seven Keys’ saga cemented their reputation as the premier power metal band to beat. Inspired by songs like Iron Maiden‘s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner,’ Helloween wrote and recorded the 13 minute plus ‘Halloween.’ Although it has become a rock journalist’s cliché, the word ‘epic’ fits the track better than anything else we could conjure up. While lyrics like “Masquerade masquerade/grab your mask and don’t be late” come off on the cheesy side, the pure power of the band’s delivery makes you overlook them. Michael Kiske’s soaring vocals are the icing on the cake but the guitar team of Kai Hansen and Michael Weikath are the heroes on this stunner.
Helloween
Christie Goodwin, Redferns
‘Halloween,’ The Misfits
From ‘Halloween’ Single (1981)
OK, so the Misfits weren’t exactly metal, but their influence on bands like Metallica can’t be denied. On Halloween day in 1981, the suburban New Jersey troublemakers released the ‘Halloween’ single, and the song has had a long and illustrious life in the record collection of many a musician. Over the next three decades, the track has been covered by groups such as AFI and Dropkick Murphys, to name a few. There is something positively creepy about Glenn Danzig‘s vocal performance and Bobby Steele’s slightly out of tune guitar riffs and the song still deserves a spot on any Oct. 31-themed mixtape.
The Misfits
Ernesto Ruscio, FilmMagic
‘Halloween,’ King Diamond
From ‘Fatal Portrait’ (1986)
Everything about Kim Peterson reeks of this holiday. Better known under his nom-de-plume of King Diamond, All Hallows’ Eve is the perfect backdrop for the Danish kingpin’s grisly brand of metal. ‘Halloween’ is lifted off the Mercyful Fate’s singer’s debut solo album, ‘Fatal Portrait,’ and has a hard-rock feel in its hooky vocals and locomotive rhythm but the words are what get it on this list. The opening salvo of “Every night to me is Halloween” says it all and if you know King and his extensive discography, you know he means it.
King Diamond
Gary Miller, FilmMagic
‘Left Hand Path,’ Entombed
From ‘Left Hand Path’ (1990)
In the early ’90s, Uffe Cederlund and Alex Hellid were like the KK Downing and Glenn Tipton of death metal. The young Entombed guitar duo traded one wicked riff after the next all the while making it look effortless. ‘Left Hand Path,’ the opening track from their debut album of the same name, introduced most of the metal world to the group’s dirty brand of death metal. The first half of the song served as the blueprint for much of the heralded Swedish metal scene for the next few years, but it’s the tail end of the composition that slotted it on our list. At the 3:38 mark, the song breaks down and a chorus of maniacal screams creeps through your speakers but that’s just the beginning of the good stuff! A few seconds later the band breaks into Fred Myrow’s theme song to the cult classic horror movie, ‘Phantasm.’ To hear Cederlund and Helllid’s down-tuned guitars play the main refrain is a purely scary delight.
Entombed
Naki, Redferns
‘Welcome to My Nightmare,’ Alice Cooper
From ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’ (1975)
To some younger Noisecreep readers, Alice Cooper might just be some old dude who plays golf a lot and “used to be a singer or something.” While the Detroit native might have softened up in his public image in the last few years, you shouldn’t underestimate Cooper’s ’70s work. Albums like ‘Killer’ and ‘Billion Dollar Babies’ helped give birth to a style of rock that would be adopted by countless bands across the globe; just ask Guns N’ Roses. The title track from ‘Welcome to My Nightmare’ is cinematic in its production, lyrics and vocal delivery. The song is like a 5:19 audio version of one of those classic Hammer Film horror movies from the U.K. Golf or not, this track still sends shivers down our spines!
Alice Cooper
Samir Hussein, Getty Images
‘Black Sabbath,’ Black Sabbath
From ‘Black Sabbath’ (1970)
With three simple notes, Tony Iommi created something creepier than anything George Romero or Thomas Harris could ever cook up.
Ozzy Osbourne
Paul Archuleta, FilmMagic
‘Dead Skin Mask,’ Slayer
From ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ (1990)
Serial killer Ed Gein has been the inspiration for countless movies, books and television programs. It’s been said that horror icons Norman Bates and Leatherface were both based on the infamous real life maniac. Through the years, the murderer’s ghastly resume has also fueled the work for many a metal band. Of all of the artists in the realm that have been influenced by his story, Slayer‘s ‘Dead Skin Mask’ comes closest to the deathly mystique of Gein. The eerie guitar riff trade-offs in the intro set the mood and Tom Araya’s almost monotone vocal delivery help seal the deal but there’s one section in the song that takes it to another level of depravity. Towards the track’s conclusion, a little girl’s voice appears from out of nowhere pleading for mercy. Here we are almost 20 years later and ‘Dead Skin Mask’ sounds just as bloodcurdling as it did when it first appeared in your local mall.
Slayer
Annabel Staff, Redferns
‘Progenies of the Great Apocalypse,’ Dimmu Borgir
From ‘Death Cult Armageddon’ (2003)
This harmonious black mass of guitars, keyboards, drums and vocals finds the Norwegian six-piece creatively firing on all cylinders. Shagrath’s singing makes it sound like his throat was sliced up by a million rusty scalpels yet there is an odd beauty to the way they come together with the band’s wicked instrumentation. ‘Progenies of the Great Apocalypse’ is a symphonic black metal tour de force and should be on any Halloween playlist.
Dimmu Borgir
Dave Etheridge-Barnes, Getty Images
‘Fear of the Dark,’ Iron Maiden
From ‘Fear of the Dark’ (1992)
No one can write a metal epic quite like Steve Harris. The Iron Maiden bassist and chief songwriter is responsible for essential sagas like ‘Seventh Son of a Seventh Son’ and ‘Sign of the Cross’ and the aforementioned ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner.’ This stunner, from Maiden’s 1992 album of the same name, is one of the English stalwart’s most sinister moments. Clocking in at over 7 minutes, ‘Fear of the Dark’ has gone on to become a highlight of the band’s live shows in recent years. Harris is a history junkie and his songwriting has always reflected that but ‘Fear of the Dark’ is more John Carpenter than it is Ken Burns.
Iron Maiden
MAYELA LOPEZ, AFP / Getty Images
‘God of Emptiness,’ Morbid Angel
From ‘Covenant’ from (1993)
Trey Azagthoth’s guitar tone alone could star in its own horror movie. Its strained and haunted dissonance has always been the focal point of Morbid Angel‘s celebrated recording output. On ‘God of Emptiness’ Azagthoth’s main guitar riff sounds like a creeping gargoyle while David Vincent’s vocals evoke images of terror and suffering. They’ve certainly made a name for themselves through their faster material but this slow-burner is their most ghoulish sounding single.
Morbid Angel
Fredy Gomez, Getty Images

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