Released: 1988, Def American
It's Halloween time again and one of the best times of the year for METAL!!! Let me clarify, I know that every time of the year is a damn good time for the devil's music, but the things that we normally associate with Halloween mesh extremely well with the brute force, imagery and overall doomy quality of metal music. That said, I tried to pick a classic that would exemplify the Halloween-metal connection. My first thought, whenever I think of Halloween, will always be King Diamond's metal masterpiece, Abigail. Man, that album brings back the memories. When I was in high school, my local college radio station would always play the full album on Halloween night!!! How cool is that!!! The first time I heard it, I was completely blown away by the creepy, powerful vocals. I had never heard such an otherworldly sound. And to think that this voice was being projected by an actual human being...it was almost unfathomable!!! Alas, Abigail has already been a classic pick here on Metal-Rules.com and with good reason (IT ROCKS!!!).
Since I cannot pick the ULTIMATE Halloween album, I needn't look much further for the next best choice. That would be, in my opinion, the self-titled release from the evil one (second only to King Diamond and/or the Devil himself), Glenn Danzig. This album came, seemingly, from out of nowhere. I distinctly remember being at home on a late Saturday evening watching (on Headbanger's Ball), for the first time, a black and white video filled with intense, demonic imagery. It looked like a silent horror film, but it was sound tracked by Glenn "Am I Demon" Danzig!!! The video was Mother and it just leveled my fragile 16 year old mind!!! Teenagers out of the rural Midwest, in the late 1980's, were not equipped to comprehend such imagery (this was way beyond your typical Motley Crue video, etc.!!!). I loved it though, it made me feel vicariously "evil" during the few minutes it took to listen to the song and, the second it was over, I could go back to being my happy, few (if any) troubles, teen-self.
The whole album hits a cool compromise between the best of hard rock (AC/DC, etc.) and the doomy qualities of bands like Def American label mates, Trouble. Songs like Twist of Cain, Not of this World, She Rides and Soul on Fire plod along with the confidence of bonafied classics. These songs, although borrowing from the past, have a fresh, yet timeless feel to them that cannot be denied. The album is really a monument to the reserved heaviness of hard rock meets metal...a side path of metal that, in this case, seems to lead straight into hell!!!