From Hell’s Heart
Halloween/horror monster week 4: Vampires
The month of October means the imminent arrival of the Heavy Metal Holy Day…Halloween! This, the scariest and Metal-est of all months, we bring you five new topics for our editorial column FROM HELL’S HEART. Each week we will post the staff Top Five songs based on classic Halloween/Horror monsters. Week 1 was Frankenstein, 2 Ghosts, 3 Zombies, and this week’s subject is vampires! Please join us and enjoy all of our theme columns this month and have a happy Hell-o-ween!
1. Iced Earth – Dracula
Iced Earth’s HORROR SHOW is popping up quite a bit on these Halloween-themed lists, and for good reason. “Dracula” is a somewhat straight re-telling of the classic Bram Stoker tale, but done with Iced Earth’s pure metal power and theatrical flair. As usual, Matt Barlow’s thespian performance steals the show on this defiant track.
2. Helstar – Harker’s Tale (Mass of Death)
I would hold up Helstar’s NOSFERATU album as THE metallic doctrine on vampires. Each of the 6 songs that make up this half-album length concept are phenomenal and weave an intriguing tale. While thrash, this song is certainly a more sophisticated take than my #3 entry, but no less powerful for it.
3. Slayer – At Dawn They Sleep
Vampires gone thrash! Typical of Slayer, this is a vicious, ripping (pun fully intended!) take on vampires that’s still distrubing 30+ years later.
4. Evergrey – Nosferatu
Another defiant take on vampires, Evergrey’s progressive, churning “Nosferatu” revels in the vampiric mythos as the central character takes pride in his depraved state. Like Barlow, Tom Englund inhabits convincingly inhabits the charcter to take this song over the top.
5. Heavenly – Dust to Dust
This one is perhaps an unorthodox choice, but I wanted to highlight Heavenly’s phenomenal DUST TO DUST album as it’s one of my absolute favorite power metal albums. The title track is a ballad which manages to be both uplifting and melancholy at the same time.
Mercyful Fate – Return of the Vampire
Dimmu Borgir – Blood Hunger Doctrine
Cradle of Filth – Lovesick of Mina
Nokturnal Mortum – Return of the Vampire Lord
1. My Dying Bride –A Kiss To Remember
One of the great metal songs about vampires, delivered with MDB’s customary glacial pace, but what a mood they set. The unsettling sound of those thumping drums and dreary violin make for a perfect Halloween pairing.
2. Iced Earth – Dracula
Another from Horror Show, no surprise here really, Iced Earth proving a whole album of Halloween monsters can be done with quality despite the sorta cheesy concept of the project. Once again, Barlow puts his stamp on the tune, his vocal acrobatics relaying the story from the perspective of Dracula himself.
3. Sanctuary – Veil Of Disguise
Dane and company avoid the clichéd Transylvania villain and instead opt for a vampire tale of ancient Egyptian origin. It’s a cool tune, with Dane masterfully instilling several of his vocal personas into an intense songs that ends with him showing off his impressive range.
4. Slayer – At Dawn They Sleep
Justly revered by metal fans the world over, from Dimebag Darrell and Lombardo himself, to Six Feet Under, “At Dawn They Sleep” is Slayer proving their ability to pummel at all speeds. The song is almost progressive in both approach and length, with “At Dawn They Sleep” being Slayer’s third longest studio track.
5 . Powerwolf – We Drink Your Blood
Taking a break from werewolf song topics for a moment, Powerwolf delivers a worthy vampiric tune to the world of metal with plenty of spooky keys and gothic overtones to boot.
Coroner – Nosferatu
Bloodbound – Nosferatu
There are many, many monsters associated with Halloween but perhaps none more iconic than vampires. There are just a few of my favourite tunes out of literally hundreds of songs about the creatures of the night.
1.) GRIM REAPER-Night Of Vampire (from Rock You To Hell, 1987)
2.) MOONSPELL-Vampiria (from Wolfheart, 1995)
The scream at the end of this track still sends shivers down my spine, 20 years later!
3.) EVERGREY-Nosferatu (from: Solitude, Dominance, Tragedy, 1999)
I bought this album when it came out and this was certainly one of the best songs on the album.
4.) WRATHCHILD AMERICA- London After Midnight (From Climbin’ The Walls, 1989)
A semi-faithful retelling of the classic story of Dracula.
5.) VENOM-Bloodlust (from: Bloodlust single, 1982)
Despite not actually appearing on BLACK METAL, this song and video is most associated with that era. A quintessential Vampire tale!
JUDAS PRIEST-Love Bites. (from: Defenders of the Faith, 1984) Based on the lyrics I’ve always associated this with being a tale of vampire.
1) Venom – “Bloodlust” (Single, 1982)
“COME ON TURN IT UUUPPP!!!!” That riff rolling off of Mantas’ guitar, the pounding of Abaddon’s pawn shop drum kit, and Count Cronos (the vampire supreme) spewing threats to tear into the flesh of any being he may encounter makes this the archetype for all vampire metal anthems.
2) Mercyful Fate – “Return of the Vampire” (BURNING THE CROSS, 1981)
Originally appearing on Fate’s 1981 demo and then again on the IN THE SHADOWS reunion disc, it might be one of the oldest metal tunes to tackle the subject of Nosferatu. Detailing the vampire’s evening routine as he hunts for dinner, it’s classic horror metal before there was even such a thing.
3) Slayer – “At Dawn They Sleep” (HELL AWAITS, 1983)
If Mercyful Fate took the classic horror approach with their vampire tale, Slayer went full on 80’s slasher flick with “At Dawn They Sleep”. With Satanic soldiers striking their prey and their jaws locking into your veins, Slayer’s depiction of vampiric blood and gore in this tune is unrivaled.
4) Darkthrone – “Transylvanian Hunger” (TRANSYLVANIAN HUNGER, 1994)
Vampires and Black Metal are a match made in Hell, and Fenriz knows it. Celebrating the chilling cold of the Nordic mountains and a thirst for warm human blood, this is a hunger that cannot be sated.
5) Ancient – “A Mad Blood Scenario” (MAD GRANDIOSE BLOOD FIENDS, 1997)
MAD GRANDIOSE BLOOD FIENDS had a common vampiric theme running across the album, and this opening track is absolutely manic in its pace. Between then vocalist Kaiaphas spitting as many syllables of vampiric poetry as possible in the span of four minutes and Aphazel summoning the spirit of Steve Harris in a racing, six string gallop, it’s a high impact vampiric workout.
1. Slayer – At Dawn They Sleep
Blood sucking creatures of the night
Nocturnal spectre hiding from the light
Cries screaming out every fright
Eagerly awaiting plight
Apparitions from the pits of Hell
Death plagues the streets in which they dwell
Demented lust, the secrets they must keep
Addicted to your blood
At dawn they sleep
2. Gamma Ray – Blood Religion
3. Mercyful Fate- Return of the Vampire
4. Iced Earth – Dracula
5. Moonspell – Vampiria
Jorn Lande & Trond Holter present Dracula Swing of Death – “Queen of the Dead”
Judas Priest – Love Bites
1) Mercyful Fate : “Return of the Vampire” (1992)
2) Iced Earth : “Dracula” (2001)
3) Nokturnal Mortum : “Return of the Vampire Lord” (1997)
4) Stutthof : “Wampyric Metamorphosis” (2004)
5) Mütiilation : “Tears of a Melancholic Vampire” (1995)
1. Septicflesh – The Vampire From Nazareth
2. Slayer – At Dawn They Sleep
3. Ozzy Osbourne – Bark at the Moon
4. Blue Öyster Cult – Nosferatu
5. Megadeth – She-Wolf
1. Slayer – At Dawn They Sleep
2. Morpheus Descends – Immortal Coil
3. Avulsed – Zompiro
4. Broken Hope – Felching Vampires
5. Mercyful Fate – Return of the Vampire
1. Kiss of Death – Murder Of My Sweet
2. We Drink Your Blood – Powerwolf
3. Dracula – Iced Earth
4. Dracula – Swing of Death – Jørn Lande & Trond Holter (not a song, but I can’t bypass this concept album)
5. Vampire – Xandria
1. Rob Zombie “Living Dead Girl”
Since the theme of the month is Halloween and ghouls I can’t leave the master of horror out, he made it once again to my list, this time with the epic Living Dead Girl.
2. Entombed “Night of the Vampire”
A classic pick with the legendary Swedish old school death metal act Entombed. They have managed to do the old Rocky Eriksson song their own way. It’s easy to be proud of being Swedish with bands like Entombed.
3. Monster Magnet Goliath and the Vampires”
I don’t think I have featured a song by Monster Magnet before so I’m proud to present Goliath and the Vampires on to this weeks list.
4. Jorn Lande & Trond Holter present Dracula Swing of Death – “Queen of the Dead”
One of the worlds best singer lands on this weeks list with his new concept album. Jorn Lande’s voice is Ronnie James Dio and David Coverdale wrapped into one.
5. Evergrey – Nosferatu
Sometimes the evil comes from Gothenburg Sweden in the shape of Nosferatu.
- Slayer – At Dawn They Sleep – Anyone’s got a question? No I guess not, it’s fucking Slayer!!
- Bloodbound – Nosferatu – what about a power metal tune? Well here is one in the shape of Nosferatu from the Swedish act Bloodbound.