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Halloween Special: Album Spotlight - Calling All Fiends

I think this is a good time to start sharing some Halloween music that I've found recently. I've found some pretty cool music and I'll try to post about as much of it as I can.  The first one I'd like to mention is a fantastic compilation from Oddio Overplay called Calling All Fiends. The premise of this compilation was to create Halloween music that is "frightening, damaging and disturbing", as an alternative to the more popular novelty songs like "Monster Mash" that typically get played at this time of year.

After a couple of listens, I would say that they certainly succeeded. This is not the kind of music I would play for my kids, thanks in no small part to all the screams, backward vocals, strange sound effects, and just plain startling and unsettling moments found throughout the album's 31 songs. However, those very qualities make it absolutely perfect for use as background music for a Halloween party, while handing out treats on Halloween, or just if you enjoy being scared and want something to help get you in the mood for Halloween.

There is a great amount of variety to be found among the songs. A quick look at the track listing on the website reveals that the album is broken up into 3 parts, each carrying its own cautionary description: the first, which encompasses more than half of the songs, is Cinematic, Soundscapes, "frightening works [which] draw the imagination into dangerous territory, risking paranoid madness"; the second, consisting of 6 songs, is Rock, Dance, "ghoulish songs [that] steal control of your body, leaving you a helpless dancing zombie"; the remaining songs are Fiendish Songs, "disturbing tunes [that] open doors into your own terrors, causing nightmares and nervous disorders."

With so many songs all fitting into such broad categories, everyone is bound to have their own favourites. Some of mine include Bureaucratica's "Southern Gothic", which is a great little story set to music that is reminiscent of Steve Earle at his very darkest; Nigel Simmons' "Devil's Candy Shop", which feels like it could be film score music; Sublinear's "Fragility", which has an excellent beat; and Jeffrey Letterly's "The Story of the Stairs", which creates a wonderfully tense atmosphere. Splogman's "Metempsychosis" deserves special mention for being perhaps the most unsettling track on the album - I find the ending of it extremely chilling.

The website for the compilation has a ton of information about both the compilation itself and the artists on it, including website links, which makes this a great way to get introduced to some new artists. It's nice to see how much care has been put into assembling this compilation.

If you're looking for Halloween music that is a little different (and perhaps a little scarier) than you're used to hearing, then Calling All Fiends may be the perfect thing for you. Go check it out, have a Happy Halloween, and happy listening as well!


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