First up is an EP that I originally spotlighted back in the spring: Nine Inch Nails' Ghosts I. This first part of the quadruple EP Ghosts I-IV is available to download for free and consists of 9 instrumental tracks that range from haunting and beautiful to loud and noisy. While not Halloween music per se, ghosts are such a common theme at this time of year that this release is nonetheless very appropriate.
Next, we'll stop by last.fm for Februus' cover of "This is Halloween", originally from Tim Burton's 1993 film The Nightmare Before Christmas. To me, this sounds like a great cross between the original version from the movie and Marilyn Manson's cover version from the bonus disc of the 2006 reissue of the soundtrack: the instrumentation is a gothic metal style much like Manson's version, but the variety of voices in the vocals is much more like the ensemble style of the original.
Our next stop will be Jonathan Coulton's website for a pair of songs. "Creepy Doll" is a song inspired by "various 70s horror movies that scared the hell out of [him] when [he] was a kid," and "Skullcrusher Mountain" takes us to the secret lair of a misunderstood evil genius. You'll probably meet his half-pony, half-monkey monster and his hungry wolves along the way, if his doomsday squad doesn't ignite the atmosphere first. Like most of Coulton's songs, these two are a lot of fun to listen to, so if you like what you hear, I would highly recommend checking out some more of his songs - a lot of them can be downloaded for free.
Mary Shelley Overdrive is another band that I have discovered thanks to the Free Metal Albums blog. They have two Halloween-themed EPs available from their blog: Shock Theatre and Bride of Shock Theatre (download links can be found in the right sidebar of their blog). I was initially drawn to these releases for the covers of Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses" and Blue Öyster Cult's "Godzilla", and after a couple of listens their version of The Misfits' "Halloween" quickly became another favourite of mine. I love the movie samples that are sprinkled throughout many of the songs. Most of the music has a punk or metal feel to it, and much of it is rather noisy, but it could make a great soundtrack for whatever you're doing this Halloween.
Ondrej Kapov De Triste's Creeps Theme is a short but very sweet release featuring the opening and closing themes for a horror movie. There is some wonderful potential here and I would love to hear what this artist could come up with for a full film score; for now, please enjoy "Emotion" and "Emotioncreep" this Halloween.
As a bonus treat, why not help yourself to some free Smashing Pumpkins music, perhaps to listen to whilst carving jack-o'-lanterns? Hundreds of their live recordings, spanning nearly two decades, are available from the Internet Archive. The Smashing Pumpkins were also one of the first artists I featured on this blog for their freely available studio album Machina II/The Friends & Enemies of Modern Music, which makes for an excellent listen at any time.
I hope that these last few posts have helped you to find some good music to listen to this Halloween. If you've found anything cool here or elsewhere, I'd love to hear about it in the comments. Have a safe and Happy Halloween, and Happy Listening!