Our society has turned the Halloween season into a time that's all about embracing your dark and wild side. There's countless Zombie Walks, masquerade parties, Dia de los Muertos festivals, haunted houses designed to make you fear for your life -- after all, the holiday is rooted in dedication to honoring the dead, as well as confronting the power of death.
Those themes are prevalent in the world of heavy metal, which embraces creepy imagery and the reality of humanity's violent nature. There are song lyrics circling around serial killers and violent wars, and lest we forget the entertaining and sometimes horrifying evolution of heavy metal stage shows.
And we can't forget about heavy metal being a constant musical companion to horror films -- it's almost as cliche as the girl running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. During the month of October, the television is full of bottomless horror movie marathons, reminding us yet again that heavy metal and Halloween go together as naturally as Edward and Scissorhands.
What people perceive as "scary" varies immensely, whether it's blatant bloody gore, historical lore (Salem Witch trials, anyone?), or psychological thrills. So we've compiled a list of 11 heavy metal videos that'll really get you in the Halloween spirit, whether you're looking for some legit party tunes, a few shivers down your spine, or just want a killer Iron Maiden costume idea.
Let's kick it off with one of my favorite heavy metal renditions of the "Halloween" theme.
Rob Zombie, "House of a Thousand Corpses"
The sexy beat of this song and lyrics such as "The devils' rejects / Hell doesn't want them!" combines with clips of Rob Zombie live, and all the best scenes from his horror film "House of a Thousand Corpses." Before the music even starts, we hear such sound bytes as "Reports of cannibalism, with a large kettle of the stove full of boiled body parts," "he was also a necrophiliac," and "Goddamnit! Got blood all over my best clown suit!"
Ozzy Osbourne, "Bark at the Moon"
A little storyline filmed at the Hollywood Sanitarium and werewolves, as well as an energetic vibe and fantastic guitar solo that encourages headbanging and dancing?
King Diamond, "The Puppet Master"
This half-hour tale from the beloved King Diamond goes hand-in-hand with the concept The Puppet Master album released in 2003. Shrouded in mystery, candlelight and his signature makeup, King Diamond eerily tells a story in chapters that corresponds with the album's track listing. His tale of how a Budapest puppet show in the 1700s turns horrifically bloody and twisted as the puppetmaster traps human souls inside of life-size puppets for eternity.
Costume Tutorial: How to be Eddie from Iron Maiden
Last minute costume idea, anyone? This chick, MadeYewLook, always cracks me up with her ADD attitude and amazes with her twisted makeup skills. Her tutorials are often under 10 minutes and offer up killer makeup ideas for costumes.
Slipknot, "The Devil and I"
This track is from the band's newest album .5: The Gray Chapter,, which, after la few full listens, is pretty damn good. The band members reveal their new masks in this video while in a crowd of faceless people wrapped and bound in white cloth. The blood-spattered band viciously stab and kill two masked figures, before each member is shown individually embracing their own "devils." One is picked apart live by ravens; another gobbles off his own fingers and then starts on his arms, smiling as blood drips from his lips; and yet another rips off his mask -- as well as his entire face.
Slayer, "Dead Skin Mask"
Inspired by serial killer Ed Gein, this bloodcurdling tune combines creepy guitar riffs, a vintage horror movie vantage point, and a little girl's voice pleading for mercy. Slayer can still get us decades later...
Dimmu Borgir, "Gateways"
Black metal bands are feared by many, even those who consider themselves solid metalheads. They are usually nihilists and athiests, sometimes Satanists, and always super intense. This video by Dimmu Borgir has fantastic visuals, from the costumes to the band's facial expressions to the dark imagery of blood-filled bathtubs. The band's in-your-face instrumentals and intimidating presence complete the package.
NOLA: Life, Death, and Heavy Blues in the Bayou
What's creepier than Louisiana swamps and doom metal? If you haven't caught Noisey's series about Louisiana metal, then you're probably not a metalhead. Starring members from such bands as Eyehategod, Crowbar, Corrosion of Conformity, Goatwhore, Down and Pantera, this seven-part video series is called NOLA: Life, Death and Heavy Blues from the Bayou. It examines the people, records, drugs, death and culture that helped shape the New Orleans sludgy doom metal sound.
Butcher Babies, "They're Coming To Take Me Away"
Fresh off the release of their EP Uncovered, the Butcher Babies released this music video of their Napoleon XIV cover of "They're Coming To Take Me Away" as a tribute to their favorite Halloween slasher flicks.
Marilyn Manson, "Tourniquet"
We all know Marilyn Manson is in love with the shock factor, and this classic video of his embodies the artist's vision perfectly. If seeing Manson in frilly panties doesn't scare you, then maybe the creepy marionettes or centipedes crawling on faces will.
Cradle of Filth, "Babylon AD (So Glad for the Madness)"
Black metallers Cradle of Filth use the horror film method of "found footage" in this music video, and it's a little uncomfortable to watch. The viewer isn't exactly sure what's going on -- all we know is that Dani Filth is way too smug, there are young women and men running down a hallway screaming before being lined up in their underwear and examined. It's a little voyeuristic; sort of a PG-level of Hostel or No Vacancy.
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