In celebration of the feast of Samhain, a year long celebration in the world of heavy metal, C.R.O.M. presents a countdown of the songs which feature the word "Halloween" or "Hallow's Eve." Why so limiting? Because we can. Yes....we do realize there are just as many Halloween themed songs that do not have the word in the song title that should be in this list. Keep in mind that this isn't meant to be an exhaustive list of the songs that best represent Halloween, we are saving that for 2020.
Alright, let's not waste any more precious time with words...time to dive in!
15. Seducer - "Halloween"
U.K.'s Seducer may not have been the most popular or well known band of the NWoBHM era, but 1985's "Caught in the Act" was a classic. They presented a raw, live style on the album with hidden gems like "The Creeper" and "Don't Fall in Love (Rock 'n' Roll." However, "Halloween" was the favorite - and this was played nearly every year in the Halloween show in my college radio days.
14. Majesty (then Metalforce) - "Halloween"
Germany's answer to Manowar, Majesty, started off with the stand alone single "Halloween" in 2008. After a self titled debut the following year, they changed to the more familiar moniker of Majesty and re-recorded the song in 2011 as part of the "Own the Crown" compilation.
13. Iron Cross - "Halloween"
Another deep cut comes from Pensecola's Iron Cross, who's claim to fame was the impressive 1986 self titled debut. The seasonal track of "Halloween" was the title song for a 1999 EP, effectively the last release of new material for the band, who continues to be active. Check it out and bask in the demonic monsters, ghouls and witches.
12. Bloody Hammers - "Halloween"
If you like your Halloween doom with a little fuzz, Charlotte's Bloody Hammers albums are chock full of Halloween and horror imagery. The band is one of the most enjoyable of the stoner style, sort of a soundtrack tribute to old school horror flicks. This newer classic was issued in 2016 as a stand alone single in celebration of our favorite holiday.
11. F.K.U. - "Halloween II"
One of the most enjoyable records from 2017 was "1981" from Swedish thrashers F.K.U. Dedicated to the band's favorite slasher moves of the early 80's, the album featured "Halloween II," which honored "The best sequel the world's ever seen." No argument from me! The movie is still my favorite Halloween movie of all time.
10. Ripper - "Halloween"
Houston's Ripper released the forgotten classic "...And the Dead Shall Rise" in 1986 through Iron Words. The classic old school song "Halloween" was another mainstay in the holiday themed shows in my college radio days. Much more polished in recent times, the band remains active having last issued the album "Third Witness" back in 2015.
9. Wasted - "Halloween"
Drawing directly from the melody of the score from the 1978 seminal movie, Denmark's Wasted crafted "Halloween" for the appropriately themed 1984 debut album "Halloween...the Night of." They kept most of the track lyrically simple too - lots of "kill," "I'm a killer" and "I gotta kill." Well...Michael Myers didn't have much of a vocabulary either!
8. Castle Well - "Bloody Halloween"
Germany's Castle Well has been around for decades, with three albums to show for it. The latest "Full Overdrive" (2017) presents a very cool, albeit dated, Halloween anthem.
7. The Misfits - Halloween
Ok - so The Misfits are more horror punk than metal, but when you confine your list to just songs with Halloween in the title, its hard to overlook the classic "Halloween" from these guys. The song was originally released as a stand alone single that came out in 1981 as a 7" on Halloween.
6. Juggernaut - "All Hallow's Eve"
San Antonio's Juggernaut released two classic U.S. metal albums in the mid-80's in "Baptism Under Fire" and "Trouble Within." The former featured another holiday favorite in "All Hallow's Eve" with Harlan Glenn's signature Cronos-esque scream at its conclusion.
5. Hallow's Eve - "Hallows Eve"
In 1985, Metal Blade was in its original heyday (they've been in a modern day hey day for the last 5-6 years now) and the then regular Metal Massacre compilations were one of the primary ways to discover some talented acts at that time. One of the band's that struck me was Hallow's Eve, when "Metal Merchants" appeared on Metal Massacre VI in 1985. The band signed on with the label and issued the seminal "Tales of Terror" one of the benchmarks of old school thrash. The band's eponymous track was another mainstay for annual Halloween radio shows.
4. Lucifer's Heritage (n/k/a Blind Guardian) - "Halloween"
Before Blind Guardian was Blind Guardian, they issued two cult demos "Symphonies of Doom" and "Battalions of Fear." The former featured the following track that was never re-recorded for a Blind Guardian album. However, as an amazing treat a few years back, the band played it live when the tour (with Grave Digger) in support of "Beyond the Red Mirror" had a Halloween stop in Worcester, MA. I could never unsee Hansi Kursch dressed as Elivs that night.
3. Avenger (n/k/a Rage) - "Halloween"
Before Rage was Rage, They released an amazing album and EP as Avenger ("Prayers of Steel" and "Depraved to Black" in 1985. The releases were the subject of many reissues, and many of the songs have recently been re-recorded by Rage as part of the special edition of the 2017 album "Seasons of the Black." "Halloween," which originally appeared on the "Prayers of Steel" album has been one of the all time holiday classics.
2. Helloween - "Halloween"
Arguably, Helloween's most famous track "Halloween" could easily be #1 on this list, and many of the band's early fans would reign fire upon me for not putting it there. While the song is an epic and perfect illustration of Halloween night, there is one that injects the creepy fear factor that this positive/happy version does not.
1. King Diamond - "Halloween"
The quintessential and unmatched Halloween metal song is from Danish (now Texan) legend King Diamond. The song was part of one of the most influential albums ever released in metal - "Fatal Portrait" - in 1986. With Mercyful Fate having split in 1985 (before reforming again for the first time in 1993), King snagged guitarist Micharl Denner and bassist Timi Hansen for his solo band. "Fatal Portrait" was responsible for scaring the literal crap out of your author, as a 15 year old kid. No song better suits the feast of Samhain than this.
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