Magazine

Women Of Metal: Halloween special

Happy Halloween! It’s time to welcome spirits into our world for a brief moment tonight. The customs may have changed throughout the centuries, but the message and symbols don’t differ that much. Let’s delve into the roots of Halloween and celebrate it with some thematic music. We’ve created a special Metal Goddesses Halloween playlist for you, and we hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.

So, how and when it all started? The origin of Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celts – pagans ruling over the British Isles and several parts of Europe from the Late Bronz Age onwards – who celebrated Samhain. The festival marked the end of summer and the harvest season, and the Celts believed that during Samhain, the line between the world of the living and the dead becomes blurry. The Celts would sacrifice animals to the Celtic gods and light bonfires. All of that with animal heads and skins as costumes, telling each other fortunes. Later on, when the Celts were conquered by the Romans, Samhain was combined with the Roman festival called Feralia. It was a day when the Romans honoured the dead ancestors and commemorated their beloved ones by bringing various offerings and food to the graves of their ancestors. Once Catholicism became the official religion of the Roman Empire, Samhain was incorporated into Christianity, to match up with a three-day celebration composed of All Saints’ Eve (October 31st), All Saints’ Day (November 1st) and All Souls’ Day (November 2nd).

Nowadays, Halloween is very popular mainly in America, and it’s all about costumes and mask, bats, witches, spiders, black cats, skeletons, ghosts and Jack O’Lanterns. We tried to associate this celebration and all its symbols – present and past – with music. We have found a bunch of scary and creepy as well as deep songs that fit the topic and created a Metal Goddesses Halloween playlist for you. It features songs about death, witches, vampires, spirits, zombies and other creatures. Here are some facts and details about a few of the chosen tracks.

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Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil)

Let’s start with creatures of the night and other inhuman beings. What a Halloween playlist it would be without vampires and zombies? Perfect songs about these monsters are “Vampire” from Xandria or “Zombies” from Lacuna Coil. The most sorcerous and mythical creatures are definitely mentioned in Nightwish’s “Elvenpath”. Gnomes, elves, wolves, sirens, goblins, trolls, dwarves etc. can be all found in the song’s lyrics that pay homage to the fantasy genre full of magic and wonders.

This Halloween special couldn’t be without Swiss heavy metallers Burning Witches. Their latest album “Hexenhammer” is lyrically centred around the book The Hammer Of The Witches (in German Hexenhammer) that legitimated the witch hunting in 1486. The track “Executed” tells the tragic story of a Swiss woman Anna Göldi who was the very last person in Europe to be executed for witchcraft. The witches are also the main theme of other songs such as Tarja Turunen’s mysterious “Witch Hunt” or Blackbriar’s powerful “I’d Rather Burn” sung from a perspective of a witch that would rather burn at the stake than have her soul taken away.

The spirits gather in Leaves’ Eyes epic track “Spirits’ Masquerade”, and you can encounter them at “Ship Of Doom” by Xandria, too. Butcher Babies invite you to “Monsters Ball”, and Lacuna Coil will haunt you forever along with their entrapped anguished spirit in “The House Of Shame”. The track was inspired by a real sanatorium in America that is said to be haunted.

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Sharon den Adel (Within Temptation)

“Someone is dancing on my grave, sending shivers down my spine.” Do you know the lyrics? It’s taken from Within Temptation’s track “The Dance” released back in their early era. Eerie lyrics aside, the track is one of the darkest and doomest Within Temptation tracks and it’s a complete opposite of chilling intro of “Candles”, which soon evolves into one of the most epic Within Temptation songs. Don’t forget to light a candle for each beloved soul that entered their eternal sleep.

When talking about Halloween, we can’t forget to mention one of the best-known mystery and horror poems and stories writers. Edgar Allan Poe and his most famous poem “Raven” inspired Beyond The Black’s “Nevermore”, Tristania’s “My Lost Lenore” and Eluveitie’s “Quoth The Raven”. Powerful poem, indeed.

A truly tragic (and twisted) love story is portrayed in Cradle Of Filth’s “Nymphetamine” featuring the amazing Liv Kristine on guest vocals. By the way, the song was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2004 so it couldn’t be left out of our playlist. The similar theme is present in Tarja’s song “An Empty Dream”. It’s definitely one of the eeriest Turunen songs musically and lyrically. Moreover, it is featured on the soundtrack for the Argentinian horror movie Corazón Muerto, so it rightfully deserves a spot in our playlist. In the end, Haloween without a horror movie isn’t really Haloween, right?

Speaking of horrors, have you ever wondered how it would felt to wake up in a body bag? Not the coolest picture, huh? Well, listen to Butcher Babies’ “#iwokeuplikethis” to find out what happens after you unzip the bag. And last but not least, the award for the creepiest song goes to Nightwish and their track “Scaretale”. The combination of lyrics, music and vocals makes it really creepy as hell. Listen for yourself and let us know if you get chills when this song starts playing. The full Halloween playlist with all of the mentioned plus other songs is available below. Enjoy!


(A Spotify account is required to listen to this playlist. To create one, click here. It’s free.  Photo credits to the owners.)

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