It’s time for everyone’s favorite celebration day, Halloween! Although believed to be rooted in Medieval Christian beliefs, Halloween – Also known as All Hallows’ Eve – is the beginning (or vigil) of Allhallowstide, which is followed by All Hallows’ Day on November 1st and All Souls’ Day on November 2nd. This celebration was once used to honor Saints of the Church, both known and unknown. However, in modern times, Halloween has been heavily influenced by Gaelic folklore and traditions with Pagan roots to hold it together. This has ultimately lead to guising, trick o’ treating, haunted houses, movies that pay homage and more importantly, music that is influenced by the aforementioned festivities. No matter the genre, there are a slew of artists that use this heavily celebrated day to create haunted-infused dirges. For this article, I have conjured ten artists that have summoned ghoulish vibes to create excellent albums that are perfect for this morbid season.
1. Erythrite Throne – Vampyric Fables
What better way to start Allhallowtide than with a festive dose of Erythrite Throne. Here with an annual creation of dark enchantments, ‘Vampyric Fables’ presents six tracks of ominous dungeon synth that showcases all aspects of the Erythrite Throne sound. From the mournful melodies of “The Cruelty Of Immortality” to the blackened intonation, “A Great Castle Just Beyond The Forest”, these tracks epitomize the Erythrite Throne standard and set a precedent for dark dungeon music. “Somber Incantations From The Blood Soaked Scrolls” is a eerie concoction of haunting synths, scathing sound effects and a cadence that conjures the dead for a sinister manifestation. ‘Vampyric Fables’ is another spectacular release and makes for a perfect listen during All Hallows’ Eve!
2. Sanctum Umbra – Through The Last Known Veil
Robes Of Snow creator shifts focus on new project, Sanctum Umbra, replacing the usual Post Black Metal mayhem with an ultra-focused dark ambient experience laced with retrospective effects and sonic disturbances. The albums title track, “Through The Last Known Veil” is the perfect example of harrowing drones that are fused with nostalgic keyboard chops and the cracks & hisses of tape loops. “Banished Empyrean” commences with infused modulations that find a melodic hum while soft keys are structured malevolently in the background. These five tracks create a stellar ambience that is most fitting for the night of the dead. This Halloween, light a green candles and embrace the power of this stunning release.
3. Lamp & Dagger – This Tape Is Haunted
Lamp & Dagger has put together one of the most unique collaboration efforts that I’ve experienced. Tailored specifically for the Halloween season, these artists have assimilated to present a ghoulishly haunting encounter that is sure to frighten the faint of heart. These eight grisly tracks portray scenes of darkness and death with macabre ambience and synth effects that will send chills down your spine. Over an hour of terrorizing, sonic adventures, this recording will make for a perfect soundtrack while handing out treats to the ghouls in disguise – if they dare come close enough to ring the door bell. Production wise, this is an extremely well put together effort with every track seamlessly flowing into the next. There is also a ton of morbid detail in each track to ensure that this spooky album will provide an ultimate dark adventure for all of your lurid needs. Don’t pass up on this masterclass in horror sounds!
4. Pvmkyn Mage – Fvn Sixe Bits
Pvkmyn Mage brings the Dungeon Noise in this terrifying blast of eerie soundscapes that are meant as an all-out audial assault. At only nineteen minutes of playing time, these five tracks present a barrage of lo-fi modulations that are equally creepy as they are alluring. There are enough bits of charred sound effects to keep one in suspense as these tracks will easily grown on the listener with intense pleasure. There are plenty of frequency fabrications and reverb to set this album sonically apart from others of its kind. In addition, playing this in the dark at increased volumes are sure to give the Trick ‘O Treaters a bout of hesitation before approaching the abyssal door of doom (and candy). Highly recommended if creepy intensity is your thing.
5. Andeddomeiji – Biohazard 2
This Biohazard-themed treat is perfect for the Halloween season and offers a different flare than some of the other recordings in this article. Adding a touch of comfy synth as well as 8-bit effects, ‘Biohazard 2’ generates quite a buzz when it comes to the grim interpretations of All Hallows’ Eve. Providing a soothing and structured soundscape across eight tracks, there are subtle hints of malevolence and dark creativity while maintaining an ethereal stance throughout. Several tracks contain the harsh vibes of Dungeon Noise, while others are saturated in serene benevolence. This is a very unique album but at the same time, intriguing enough even for the moderate listener.
6. Born From Pain – Night Of The Living Dead
‘Night Of The Living Dead’ is a reinterpretation of the film score for one of the movies that started it all. Born From Pain provides a solid translation of the zombie-infested film with droning guitars, subtle keys and luminous improvisations, thus yielding an alternate audial perspective. Listening to these tracks individually may not offer the clarity needed for visualizing a common theme, however a complete listen through – while imagining the original film of the same name – will offer a grim aesthetic for this nightmarish excursion. A bold mix of Dungeon Synth, Ambient and various guitar tones, this album portrays a stark foundation for a lo-fi, bleak experience.
7. Marishiten – Scott Creek Communion EP
‘Scott Creek Communion’ is a minimalistic drone ordeal that falls somewhere between industrialized madness and harsh noise exploitations. Deafening modulations provide a haunting, atmospheric setting that is sinister enough to frighten the souls of those that dare to listen while producing a menacing backdrop for evil incantations. Although only three tracks with a seventeen minute playing time, the angst one will feel while listening is enough to engage the dreadful displeasures of the emotional state of mind. The chilling sound effects fused with the endless reverberations are quite unsettling but is the perfect soundtrack for the season of the dead and haunted spirits – especially if trapped in a haunted building or remote location. Listen at your own risk!
8. Vaeyen – Liminality
‘Liminality’ is an obscure little recording that uses a plethora of soundscapes and samples to maximize the depth of dread that is imposed on the psyche. The conglomerate of effects are systematically fused to create a suspenseful state, allowing the listener to harvest whatever self condition is vulnerable. Although there are thirteen individual tracks, this twenty six minute minute outing is meant to be listened to in a continuous state. As your mind drifts off from the opening sounds of elevator music, you will quickly be subjected to a sinister realm of maniacal proportions. The more I listen, the more I can identify with the terrifying sounds that are appropriated from every day life. This is the perfect recording to meet all of your spooky endeavors.
9. Moonrise Of Dead Masses – 10/31/1978
This album is a chilling homage to one of the greatest horror movie franchises of all-time, Halloween. How more appropriate than to release this tribute than during the season of All Saints’ Eve. This album has it all, spine-tingling keyboard chops, retro soundscapes, drum pad beats from the 70’s & 80’s, as well as haunting atmospherics that will thrust the listener back to the greatest time period of horror cinema. The layers of keyboard madness create a culture of sonic malevolence that is completely addictive to listen to and frightening enough to to make you want to sleep with a nightlight on. This is another excellent album to get you in the mood for Allhallowtide and should be played at loud volumes to cause apprehension in the kiddies that want to solicit for a tasty treat!
10. Wrought Records Presents – Reliquary Of Terror Vol. 2
Leave it up to Wrought Records to come through with the goods – especially for the Halloween season. ‘Reliquary Of Terror Vol. 2’ is a superb compilation of spooky intonations, compliments of some of the most distinguished artist in the Dungeon Synth genre. Featuring over an hours worth of frightening endeavors, this anthology of awe makes for a perfect companion while celebrating the dark festivities. Featuring menacing soundscapes, seasonal field recordings, and a deluge of synths and effects, each artist brings their own special “It Factor” to these recordings, showing their unique individuality, while jamming in unity in the spirit of long forgotten Saints! Finally, that album cover is nothing short of amazing and sets a bleak but festive mood for the audial invasion that will soon occur.
Special Thanks To Droned Artworks!!
Huge shoutout to Droned Artworks for being so kind to let me use some of their artwork for this article. Waclaw Traier does an amazing job at creating some of the most obscure and unique paintings around. Even the artwork for my site was commissioned by him and it sets the perfect tone for what I’m trying to convey in my publishing’s. His artwork has also been commissioned by numerous bands and artists across multiple genres to create some of the most unmistakable album covers ever. Please find his amazing artwork at the site below:
If you’re into ominous, single player card games, look no further than Warclaw Games. Still an up-and-coming game developer, there are already several fascinating games available for digital release. Check out the website for more details:
Metempsychosis Physical Release:
The Opinionated Optimist Podcast Halloween Reviews!!
Episode 49 The Movie Malignant Is Quite Benign
Episode 50 – Halloween Horror Nights 30: The Good, The Bad, The Plexiglass
Episode 51 – Howl-O-Scream Orlando
Additional cemetery photos courtesy of Carlton Whittle Photography. Please follow him on IG: