(Long-time NCS supporter and guest writer SurgicalBrute brings us this collection of metal to enhance your Halloween experience. The bands are Ctulu (Germany), Malichor (Australia), Orloff (US), Attic (Germany), and Demon Lung (US).)
Its been far too long since I’ve written an actual guest post for No Clean Singing. Part of that has to do with a combination of work, friends, and my own personal laziness, but the bigger reason has been I just haven’t felt like the site has really needed any input on band recommendations… and that’s awesome. It really says a lot about how great this site is, with its ability to cover such a wide variety of metal styles, that even a self-proclaimed curmudgeon like myself is satisified.
So what’s got me writing a post today? Well hell, that’s easy… it’s October and my favorite holliday is just a few weeks away. I love Halloween. Whether it’s the gothic imagery, the cheesy horror movies, or the child-like glee of picking a pumpkin, I cannot get enough of this time of year and everything that goes with it. Now, when it comes to Halloween the music is always important, and for metalheads there’s plenty to choose from…bands like King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Deceased, and Electric Wizard probably all spring to mind. But for those of you looking to add a few more albums to your Halloween rotation, give these bands a try.
The name alone should be more than enough reason to add this band to any Halloween playlist, but the music created by these Germanic black metallers definitely doesn’t disappoint. Using the stories of Lovecraft as a lyrical inspiration, Ctulu takes a very melodic approach to their black metal, going so far as to even weave some gothic metal elements into their songs. Fans of bands like Dissection and Sacrumentum will find a lot to enjoy here, and while the music may not be wholly original it has outstanding atmosphere and top-notch musicianship.
While they may share similar lyrical themes with the previously mentioned Ctulu, the Australian blackened thrashers in Malichor take a far more aggressive approach to their music. While the less than refined production combined with the raw vocals are unlikely to bring the sunken city of R’lyeh to mind, the blistering pace and face-melting riffs will make even mighty Cthulhu bang his tentacled head.
As a label, Razorback Records specializes in horror metal, and I can’t think of a better place for a band like Orloff to release their first full-length. With a name inspired by Count Orlok, the nightmarish vampire of F. W. Murnau’s classic Nosferatu, these Louisiana death metalers have created a crushing style of down-and-dirty death metal encased in an atmosphere of gothic horror. With their mid-paced beats and driving riffs, Orloff is not only a love letter to Halloween but to all things horror related.
Of all the bands currently kneeling at the feet of King Diamond, Germany’s Attic probably come closest to grabbing the brass ring. There’s no denying co-guitarists Katte and Rob are truly impressive, laying down varied and absorbing melodies with an old-school edge, but truthfully, where this band really shines is with vocalist Meister Cagliostro. While no one will ever be able to touch the vocal range and ability of the one true King, Cagliostro bounces between a demonic mid-level to a near operatic falsetto with impressive skill. Now some people will inevitably have a hard time seperating this band from their influences, but for the rest of us Attic scratches an itch left unattended for far too long.
One look at the cover of Demon Lung’s 2013 full-length release The Hundredth Name should tell you you’re in for a dark and gloomy ride. A concept album that follows the son of Satan as he assembles the devils bible in order to unmake the world, this is music tailor-made for the Halloween season. Shanda Fredricks’ vocals are morbid and wailing, guitarist Phil Burns’ riffs are a chugging crawl, and they work together to create an enormous sound full of epic occult doom. Demon Lung have created a fantastic debut, and I have no doubt we’ll be seeing this album show up on plenty “best of” lists this year.