Thursday, October 29, 2009
VA - Dark Pleasures
About a week ago, my friend conned me to compile songs for the Halloween. At first, I was adamant about it but I later caved in to his request. So i list down all the scariest songs I know and compile it in one CD. Scary, that's the operative word here. Not just songs about monsters or ghouls or whatever but really scary stuff. So forget about Monster Mash or Thriller or other songs that were usually played during the season, you're not gonna find them here.
My criteria in picking out the songs was simple: the lyrics should be dark or twisted or both. Plus the backing music should add to the overall eerie/creepy feel of that song. That's why you're not gonna see any Rob Zombie/White Zombie stuff in here since I don't find hard rock/metal songs to be that scary. Sure, Rob Zombie/White Zombie lyrics are really dark & grim but the driving music behind the lyrics actually makes me bang my head instead of cower under my bed. I want my scary song to really shock me both lyrically and aurally.
The songs here mostly deal with the apocalypse, the devil, vampires, ghosts and murder. Norwegian black metal bands sing about these themes on a regular basis but they lack the sophistication of these songs. Their often blatant lyrics will actually make the listener kicks his stereo in disgust instead of being truly scared.
Happy Halloween my friends!
1. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
In my opinion, the first gothic rock song. It's about a dark figure Geezer Butler saw at the foot of his bed after waking up from a nightmare. The figure vanished into thin air and he quickly went for the book on witchcraft Ozzy gave to him earlier that day. To his astonishment, the book was gone. Ozzy made a song about Geezer's experience and made it as dark as possible. The finished product was Black Sabbath. The sound of thunder and rain made the song more disturbing. A classic.
2. Slayer - Dead Skin Mask
This song reminds me of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I always picture Leatherface coming for me whenever I hear this song. Maybe Hannibal Lecter should tag along since the title fits him as well. The more the merrier.
3. Juan Dela Cruz - Langit
This is the only song that actually scared the living crap out of me. I was a pre-schooler when this song came out. And my older brother loved it and played it 24-7. But the apocalyptic imagery of the song was too much for my then young mind with fertile imagination. That's why I'm always having trouble going to sleep whenever I hear this song at night. The the first stanza alone will already paint a very dark image on your mind, "Langit ay itim ang kulay, Hindi na yata magbabago, Puso ko'y nagdurugo, Wala na bang tutulong, Ang mga tao dito ngayon ay naghihintay na lang, Sa kanilang kamatayan at sa kabilang buhay."
4. Sisters of Mercy - Lucretia (My Reflection)
The bassline of this song tells it all. Then, throw in Andrew Eldritch's very deep voice and the song title and you have a Goth classic.
5. Joy Division - Dead Souls
This song freaked out my friend in college. Apparently, he was listening to it during a black out or something. And the next day, he told about this song and how it bummed him out the night before. After listening to it, I got to agree with him. The song's foreboding lyrics, "they keep calling me, keep on calling me," gave goosebumps to the listener. I think, Dead Souls was released after Ian Curtis hanged himself.
6. Concrete Blonde - Bloodletting
A vampire in New Orleans! Imagine Nosferatu (Edward Cullen is a p#$$y!) terrorizing the merry-makers during the Mardi Gras... Now that's a picture.
7. Bauhaus - Bela Lugosi's Dead
One of the greatest Goth bands singing about the death of an actor responsible for the Dracula template. Need I say more?
8. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Red Right Hand
The title was inspired by John Milton's Paradise Lost. The song's about the man in black, not the alien-fighting force of Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones, who will promise you everything ("Stacks of green paper in his Red Right Hand") in exchange for your ...
9. Depeche Mode - Fly on the Windscreen
I never liked this band but this song's really, really cool. This song could easily come from a George Romero film. "Death is everywhere, There are flies on the windscreen"
10. Skinny Puppy - Killing Game
Nivek Ogre sung "I taught the killing game first", like he actually taught the killing game first! Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor can't hold a candle to these guys.
11. the Cure - Subway Song
Before becoming an international phenomenon, the Cure wrote a song about a murderer stalking victims in London's subways. The last portion of this song scared the $h!t out of me when I first heard it in my Walkman.
12. Sonic Youth - Death Valley 69
The first time I saw the video for this song was also the first I heard the song. It was on a Betamax format filled with videos by the Jam and Sonic Youth among others. The video was so disturbing. It featured the band members murdered in the different parts of the the house. It was a perfect video for the song which is as equally disturbing. Plus the additional vocals by Lydia Lunch added to the doom feel of the song.
13. Husker Du - Diane
Greg Norton's bass line defined this very dark song about a sexual predator. What's unsettling about this song was how Grant Hart described the details of what the maniac is going to do to Diane after he's finished with her but left the actual rape and murder details to the listeners. Afterall, they're Husker Du and NOT Cannibal Corpse. "We could lay in the weeds for a little while, I'll put your clothes in a nice, neat little pile, you're the cutest girl I've ever seen in my life, It's all over now, and with my knife."
14. Samhain - Trouble
Glen Danzig loved this song so much he covered it when he was in Samhain and covered it live in Danzig's Thrall/Demon Sweat Live EP. But I included Samhain (pronounced as "sa-wun") because 1. it's an ancient Celtic harvest festival and festival for the dead and it's where the modern-day halloween was derived from and 2. this version has the eerie feel to it especially with the addition of the organ part at the beginning of the song while the live version was just brute force all the way which does not fit the comp's theme. With the lyrics like "My daddy was a demon, werewolf Jack, Because I'm evil, My middle name is misery," it'll definitely end up in a lot of people's halloween playlists.
15. the Doors - The End
Jim Morrison managed to transform this simple goodbye song into a twisted tale of Oedipus Complex. Hearing Jim sing "Father. Yes son? I want to kill you. Mother, I want to fuck you" will definitely take your breath away and rewind the song just a couple of seconds just to confirm if you heard it right the first time. Lyrically, this song lacks the subtleties of other Morrison's song but packs a wallop for shock value. Great soundtrack for family reunions!
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