Here is a compilation of 10 songs for your Halloween party. Some have killer lyrics, some have sick riffs, and some have aaaarggghhhhhhh Satan! So all you disciples of hell, under the freezing moon, with skeletons on your shoulder, crank up the volume, and shout at the devil! Or aaaarggghhhhhhh Satan! Or whatever!
01. Shout at the Devil
Album: Shout at the Devil (1983)
Band: Mötley Crüe
Nikki Sixx the bassist for the band wrote this song. He wanted to call the song and the album “Shout with the Devil,” as he was digging into Satanism and reading “Necronomicon.” The lyrics were also tweaked a bit, replacing “I’m” with “He’s” (e.g. I’m the wolf screaming lonely in the night / I’m the blood stain the stage became He's the wolf screaming lonely in the night / He's the blood stain the stage) because the band manager Tom Zutaut knew that the record label will not promote the album with such lyrical content.
02. Enter Sandman
Album: The Black Album (1991)
A clean memorable intro breaking into a crushing wall of riff, Kirk Hammett wrote the original riff of the song and Lars Ulrich fine-tuned it. James Hetfield initially wrote the lyrics with references to crib death (Sudden infant death syndrome), but later changed it and made it about nightmares upon Bob Rock’s (Album producer) suggestion.
03. Black Sabbath
Album: Black Sabbath (1970)
Band: Black Sabbath
All hail the inventors of heavy metal – the mighty Black Sabbath! The song was inspired by Geezer Butler’s experience when he was into occultism and a spooky incident he had narrated to Ozzy Osbourne. Based on Butler’s experience, Ozzy came up with “What is this that stands before me? / Figure in black which points at me.” The song is also famous for the use of the tritone aka the blue note or the "Diabolus in Musica" ("the devil in music").
The Number of the Beast
Album: The Number of the Beast (1982)
Band: Iron Maiden
The song opens with a quote from the Book of Revelation by an English actor Barry Clayton. The song is about a nightmare Steve Harris had after watching Damien: Omen II, a movie about a 13-year old antichrist. The song is known for Bruce Dickinson’s high-pitched, hair-raising wail at the end of the intro. The band was accused of being a Satanist group because of the song and the album, but Steve Harris explained, “Basically, this song is about a dream. It's not about devil worship.”
04. Eerie Inhabitants
Album: The New Order (1988)
The song starts with dark sounding arpeggios and later breaks into crunchy riffs. With lyrics like “No sign of Heaven / No sign of Hell / Just the sign of pain and sorrow / This generation inhabits all / To form an order for tomorrow,” the song talks about all the wrong things that are happening in the world. The song contains signature Alex Skolnick melodic solo.
05. Welcome to my Nightmare
Album: Welcome to my Nightmare (1975)
Artist: Alice Cooper
Welcome to my Nightmare is a concept album about a certain Steven having a nightmare. The song is how they start depicting his nightmare – Steven caught in a spider’s web where he believes he must obey the black widow to come through. Cooper then converted the stage show around this song into a concert movie titled “Alice Cooper: Welcome to my Nightmare.”
06. A Touch of Evil
Album: Painkiller (1990)
Band: Judas Priest
With an intro eerie synth riff by Don Airey, the song talks about a deal with the devil, demonic possession, black magic and the temptation to commit acts of evil.
07. Freezing Moon
Album: De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
The band has been the flagbearer of kvlt metal and notorious for the suicide of the vocalist Dead and murder of their guitarist Euronymous. The song is from De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (About the Mystery of the Lord Satan). As claimed by Hellhammer (Mayhem’s Drummer), the song was meant to make people commit suicide. If you read “Fallen souls, die behind my steps by following the freezing moon,” it can be interpreted that way. Pretty creepy!
08. Disciples of Hell
Album: Marching Out (1985)
Artist: Yngwie Malmsteen
The song starts with a classical guitar solo, and jumps into the typical Yngwie crunchy riff. With lyrics like, “Nobody knows who’s the disciples of hell / Father’s a priest and he’s casting a spell,” Yngwie has made an attempt of making fun of Satanism with goofy lyrics.
Album: Horror Show (2001)
Band: Iced Earth
Iced Earth’s album Horror Show is based on classic monsters and horror movie icons. The song is written about Damien Thorn (An antichrist and the son of the Devil) from The Omen movie. Straightforward power metal songwriting and Matt Barlow’s soaring vocals don’t fail to give you chills when listening to the song
10. Skeleton on Your Shoulder
Album: Punishment for Decadence (1988)
The song features usual badass work on guitar by axeman extraordinaire Tommy Vetterli. Though the exact meaning of the song is not known, considering the lines, “I taste as sweet as honey but I'm dangerous like a snake / You will spend all you have to stay with Her Majesty Remember when it's late much too late to care / When the curtain falls my dark side's waiting there,” the song might be talking about drugs.
11. Lil Wayne Guitar Solo
We’d promised 10 songs in the beginning, but we couldn’t resist adding one last song to the list. Because oh, the horror!
Let us know which songs are on your playlist this Halloween with comments like “Where the fuck is <your favorite song>.” Cheers!
Cover photo credits: Beth Teutschmann