Ah, Metal. Metal Documentaries have covered why metal is the music most likely to lend itself to darker themes (tuning, the perfect fifth, Black Sabbath etc.) and I encourage you to seek them out on your own for further explanation. Metal is the music that I listen to when I want to feel like I am made up of broken glass, atomic explosions and righteousness. It appeals to a different chemical balance.
I haven’t covered much metal on site. Partially due to that I don’t listen to much metal on a regular basis, partially because a lot of that I listened to during my metal wasn’t spooky. Spooky music like The Crimson Ghosts, Lugosi’s Morphine and The Cramps are of a different flavor of fun than Iron Maiden.
And, I don’t listen to that much metal all that often. Even when my hair was at its longest, I was never that deep into the Metal sphere. I was the casually dressed at the headbanger ball while my teenage friends blasted out the heavy from car stereos and bedrooms alike. I picked up two albums that I sincerely enjoyed: the live Emperor release and ‘Beneath the Remains,’ by Sepultura (which I find appropriate for a gravedigger, no?)
Emperor is as black metal as I go. I try to keep to the Americas and the classic UK bands if I ever listen to them now. Mastadon. Strapping Young Lad. Sabbath. Call it some hometown pride.
But, if there’s someone who I can say is king of spooky metal, it’s the great Dane himself, King Diamond.
From my novice perspective, Metal takes its horror seriously. A lot of bad metal takes its horror way too seriously. But for my tastes, Diamond gets the balance of sincere horror, spooky and theatrics down right in his music. From his opus ‘Abigail,’ to 2007’s ‘Give Me Your Soul…Please?”, Diamond’s flair for dramatic storytelling in his music makes him a good addition to your spooky library.
Problems I can immediately see with having him as an addition to your Halloween mixer: No singles and his falsetto. Chances are that King Diamond album you just bought is a concept album, each track a different piece of a longer story. The first Diamond record is more like the traditional album, home
Plus, though he has relied less on it over the later releases, Diamond is known for one of the stronger falsettos in Metal. King can hit a high pitch.
Can’t say I know him personally, but from posted interviews and interaction, he comes off as a humble and gracious person. It’s a strange life to live when you make your living wearing make-up. I get the impression that he knows that. There’s a visible gratitude for each and every fan that helps him continue with his art.
Throwing on a King Diamond record in between the Misfits or your Psychobilly comp is a nice way to keep your ears feeling fresh. I highly recommend it. ‘Abigail,’ ‘Them’ and ‘Give Me Your Soul…Please?’ are my suggestions for this season. ‘The Puppet Master’ is a good album but it’s more for Christmas. Seriously.
If you have any metal recommendations, post a comment.