Well it would seem that Cosmic Hearse now officially has a time-honored holiday tradition; The Dennis Dread Halloween Mixtape. I always look forward to his eclectically spooky grab bag of razor-infused apples and cianide-laced candy corny gems of obscure sonic fright. For those of you who don't know the man, or dare to doubt his creepy credentials, Dread is the man behind the great Battle for Art blog, Destroying Angels Magazine, and most notably the twisted artist behind all great album covers for Darkthrone, Autopsy and a few other notable noisys. So sit back and let Dennis Dread haunt your dreams.
Children's Black Mass ~ Quintessence
Quintessence was comprised of the entire Mazzei family: Michael, Edith, Francine, Terese and Loretta. The gang’s all here. Who are they? I have no idea. To the best of my very questionable knowledge, this score for John Russo’s 1982 “thriller” Midnight is the only thing they ever recorded. Our All Hallows Mass has begun, brothers and sisters....
One/Werewolves On Wheels ~ Don Gere
Meandering hippy evil from the best genre-bending satanic/werewolf/biker flick ever made. Recorded in 1971 and recently re-issued by the fine audiophiles at Finder’s Keepers. “Hey, we all know how we’re gonna die, baby! We’re gonna crash and burn!”
Sinister Purpose ~ Credence Clearwater Revival
Put me in coach. I’m ready to play. Today. Look at me. I can be. Centerfield.
God of Darkness ~ Bum
Bum was formed in 1964 in Essex, England and released this occult rocker in 1967 shortly before changing their name to Iron Maiden in 1968. Relax, their other jams are mostly longwinded and not nearly as menacing as this wild invocation would suggest. An altogether different bunch of limeys would go on to have much better luck with the name Iron Maiden. Catchy isn’t it?
Voyage Of Darkness ~ Jagged Edge
Street metal from Cleveland, Ohio circa 1982 that will kick your ass and make sweet love to your woman in the Chinese take-out parking lot. Punk upstarts like Minor Threat are often celebrated for hand gluing their records and booking their own shows but there was a whole microcosm of “privately pressed” hard rock that doesn’t get enough credit for keeping the D.I.Y. spirit alive during the 70’s and early 80’s.
Prince Of Darkness ~ Omen
Omen did everything right on Battle Cry. This is a perfect heavy metal record from the fucking awesome album cover art to the hyperactive ode to nocturnal emissions ‘Be My Wench’. If you’re in a band that professes to play “heavy metal” and don’t listen to Battle Cry on a regular basis you should probably reconsider your genre. And reason for living.
Werewolves On The Hunt ~ Stormwitch
Thanks to the musical genius and sheer determination of Steve Harris and Dave Murray, nerdy longhairs can waste the rest of their lives on youtube turning over obscure stones of NWOBHM and watching bands like Stormwitch clamber into the light. This is the lycanthropic power anthem from their 1984 debut LP.
Dead Of The Night ~ Demon Flight
You don’t see many Demon Flight patches sewn onto metal vests. That’s probably because their entire catalog consisted of three songs, including this shrill castle stomper featured on the very first Metal Massacre comp in 1982 that gets in and gets out without wasting our fucking time with moody intros, meditations on trees or general progression. Play this in a room full of black metal symposium types and watch ‘em squirm…
I Am The Skull ~ Danava
Danava has come a long way since their humble formation as a Goblin cover band back in 2003 and emerge from the theatrical basement prism as one of the most potent bands in the Northwest. Their new album Hemisphere of Shadows is one of the best records of the year. Ignore all the inevitable “hipster” and “faux retro” bullshit and enjoy some righteous banging.
Satan’s World ~ Crysys
More exceptional heavy rockin’ from Portland, Oregon! The mostly unknown and unfortunately spelled Crysys self-released one LP called Hard As Rock on the mysterious Long Street Records and it’s a smoker. I’d love to find the boulders along the Sandy River where they painted CRYSYS ROCKS and raise a few Budweisers from an inflatable raft in their honor.
Witches ~ Doomed
From the 1992 Doomed To Death 7” but widely heard for the first time this year thanks to Aphelion’s green vinyl comp, Doomed was an Autopsy side project featuring Chris Reifert, Danny Corrales and Petri Toivonen of Funeral. Corrales is one of the most underrated guitarists in any genre (and one of the nicest dudes you’re likely to meet) and if Reifert didn’t actually invent death metal he certainly twisted it to its greatest, goriest heights. Essential!
Buried Alive ~ Deathrash
Here’s a fun ripper from New Jersey’s Deathrash circa 1986 featuring Tony “Whiplash” Scaglione on drums! These dudes are actually back together and my talented pal Rich Rethorn did the cover drawing for their 2010 compilation Thrash Beyond Death which features a hapless mosher who is banging so enthusiastically that his grinning skull has exited his face. If this sounds too happy for a Halloween mix tape, go read some Edgar Allan Poe and fuck off.
Satan Theme ~ The Nightriders
The classy title theme to Al Adamson’s 1969 biker classic Satan’s Sadists, a “wild new movie all about the wave of revolution and anarchy sweeping the U.S. today.” Composed and conducted by Harley Hatcher and performed by The Nightriders. I just looked up Satan’s Sadists on IMDB and the Plot Keywords are: “Biker, Stabbed In The Throat, Female Nudity, Russian Roulette, Gore.” What else do you need to know?
Ballet ~ Michel Polnareff
If your ears feel as though they’re being molested by this creepy little synth number, it might be due to the fact that it’s the score to a creepy little 1976 film about a serial rapist. Side two is a queasy concept composition that plays like a bummer meth binge titled, fittingly, ‘The Rapist’. Fortunately overlooked by miserly record collector types due to the incongruous cover art, this one can still be salvaged from Goodwill bins.
The Hungry Moon ~ Xander Harris
Justin Sweatt is the enigma behind Xander Harris, one dude with a laptop, synthesizer and taxidermied raven who gets Italian horror soundtrack disco right! I scored this Contamination cassette a few months ago at a Portland gig in support of his Urban Gothic LP and was thrilled when he turned out to be a totally nice guy who can carry a conversation. I admittedly expected some greasy Klonopin addict with a Flock of Seagulls haircut and pointy shoes.
Halloween ~ The Coffinshakers
Tonight the graves are opening up! The beautiful baritone of Swedish Johnny Cash/Lon Chaney disciple Rob Coffinshaker beckons the bad moon rising and summons the children of the night. For fuck’s sake, can someone please tell Mr. Coffinshaker to drop me a line? I really want to draw a cover for this guy.
Little Black Bag ~ Gene Moss and the Monsters
1964 was indeed the “year of the monster” and this little ditty summarizes the ghoulish zeitgeist pretty well. There were tons of novelty records like this but Dracula’s Greatest Hits is distinguished by outstanding artwork by none other than Jack “EC” Davis! My copy still has the monster fan cards insert and, predictably, the drawings are far better than the actual music.
I'll Cut You Down ~ Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats
They have a dumb name and recently signed to Rise Above records so I can already sense a Ghost-like backlash on the horizon but this catchy dirge perfectly invokes the urban malaise of Whitechapel circa 1888. Enjoy it while you can.
Spell Thrust ~ Cult of Daath
Cult of Daath don’t seem terribly active and didn’t bother responding to my adoring e-mail last year informing them that this tune from their 2010 Doomed By The Witch cassette is an instant classic. In fact, it’s one of the best metal songs of the past decade. “Ring the astral bell!”
Golem ~ Protector
In Jewish folklore the Golem was a hulking creature made of mud, sorta like Frankenstein with a kippah and an overbearing mother, so I figured I could slip this German thrash homage into my Halloween mix without stretching the parameters too much. “Myth? Truth? Who knows?”
Excrement Exorcist ~ Cross
I imagine these dudes living together in some filthy Seattle punk house that smells like moldy bong water. As weird as it sounds, I hear influences as disparate as Hellhammer and Integrity on their 2010 Never Ending Death demo and I actually mean that as a compliment. One of these guys was in Wormwood who played at my house back in 1999 and I remember them sounding vaguely like mid-era Neurosis but that’s mostly gone on this three track offering.
Halloween Queen ~ Acid
Some fans consider this third/final album the band’s weakest link and it certainly lacks the cool cover art of their preceding LP’s and Black Car EP, but it’s still a total rager. The Halloween Queen married Satan when she was 17! Is that even legal? For those who don’t already know, Acid was a Belgium rock band which boasted musicians named “T-Bone”, “Anvill”, “Demon”, “Dizzy Lizzy” and of course the beautiful Kate De Lombaert. Class act!
Ballad Of The Hip Death Goddess ~ Ultimate Spinach
To my untrained ears this groovy epic perfectly echoes the CCR tune we opened with and merits the 8+ minutes it has usurped here. These mild mannered New England “heads” recorded a few albums of mostly lite rock back in the late 60’s but somehow managed to nail this sexy psychedelic death ballad in the process. Great Von-esque intro too!
Munster Mosh ~ Virus
Yup, the third-tier UK thrash band with some of the most poorly executed artwork to ever disgrace 12 square inches doing their uncredited 1988 rendition of the Munsters theme song. It’s not like I could put this on my Thanksgiving mix tape. Happy Halloween!