I often cite that the first record I distinctly recall asking my parents to buy me was Michael Jackson's THRILLER. I still have my well-worn vinyl album from 1982, and while I've played Jackson's works for The Rock Daughters since birth, it's really been over the course of just the past few months that they've really started to enjoy them. Now, with the Halloween season soon to be here, Epic/Legacy Recordings in collaboration with The Estate of Michael Jackson, will release Michael Jackson SCREAM, a collection of hits inspired by Michael's love for season, available beginning September 29, 2017.
If you're looking for some heavy tunes to spin this Halloween, look no further than Napalm Records' Heavy Halloween Playlist - just launched on YouTube and ready for your streaming and viewing pleasure. Packed with 32 of the "most brutal, bloody and creepy" videos from the Napalm Records roster, you'll find new music and classic tracks from the likes of POWERWOLF, HUNTRESS, MEGAHERZ, ALESTORM, MOONSPELL, and a band that's very near and dear to me... PRODUCT OF HATE. Toplining the Heavy Halloween Playlist is "Unholy Manipulator" - a video that I directed and edited. Originally created as a combination music video/short film while the band was still independent, it stars HELLRAISER's Ashley Laurence as the title character in a not-for-kids slash-fest produced by Robert Kurtzman (FROM DUSK 'TIL DAWN, WISHMASTER) and featuring the production and FX skills of his Creature Corps. The video was reissued with new audio and some updates via Bloody-Disgusting, and the single just hit iTunes. "Unholy Manipulator" appears on PRODUCT OF HATE's debut album, BURIED IN VIOLENCE, out February 5, 2016 via Napalm Records. Happy Halloween!
I always get asked about music for a Halloween Playlist, and while there's a lot of variables in the mix, I always like to sprinkle the unintentional Halloween songs with the classics. This year, the folks behind the long-running NOW series of compilations have made it easy by doing just that with the 2015 release of NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL HALLOWEEN. The 18-track collection features classics from John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN, THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS and TRUE BLOOD, alongside some songs that have been featured right here at THE ROCK FATHER Magazine in previous 31 Days of Halloween countdowns - tracks from Rockwell, Rob Zombie, The Specials and more.
When it comes to spooky music that's perfect for Halloween, but not really intended for Halloween, I have a bunch of go-to bands for the season. SLAYER is a big Fall favorite, as are THE BIRTHDAY MASSACRE, ROB ZOMBIE, ALICE COOPER, etc. They're bands that have a certain "vibe" about them that fits - and they're all completely different from one another, yet still utterly perfect. The latest to fill that niche is one of my favorite contemporary acts, GHOST. This Swedish act seemingly rose from nowhere to become an increasingly recognized name - with a "Satanic" image both creepy and nonthreatening at the same time, putting forth three albums of excellence over the course of the past five years. Fronted by the Pope-esque Papa Emeritus on OPUS EPONYMOUS (2010), Papa Emeritus II on INFESTISSUMAM (2013) and the current Papa Emeritus III on 2015's MELIORA, GHOST, their mainstream infiltration found them debuting at #8 on the Billboard Top 200 last month with the release of their latest album. Indeed, an audience is listening... and if you're not, it's time to start. GHOST secures a place here in my annual 31 Days of Halloween on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine.
While I'm a self-confessed Halloween fanatic enthusiast, as parents, my wife and I are always concerned about the abundance of extra Halloween candy that tends to wind up here at Rock Father HQ after trick-or-treating (which by the silly rules of this town has been as early as October 24 in recent years). Generally, it ends up going to my wife's office, but this year another idea has arrived via photographer Micah Smith and his wife Katie. SWEETS THE WITCH AND HER SWEETSWITCH is a new book that tells the tale of a witch that's willing to trade candy for toys. There's even a song and music video to go with it...
Way back in February, I'd already locked-down an entry for 2014's 31 Days of Halloween here on THE ROCK FATHER when I reviewed HOME, the latest album from JAZZY ASH. "Monsters" follows the New Orleans flavor of HOME, presenting a playful take on what exactly "monsters" are. Is that a zombie, or just a shadow? Is that some sinister creature in the corner, or just a pile of laundry? Is that the demon tree from POLTERGEIST outside? Nope, just your neighbor's weeping willow. Stream the track below, or grab it on iTunes as a fine addition to your 2014 Halloween Music Playlist!