The leaves are falling, and the dead are rising. Halloween is here and you’re shaking in your shoes, but not because it’s cold out.

The ghosts and ghouls are ready to dance and play, but your Halloween playlist is far from ready. You need something ripe, but your selection is getting a bit stinky. And that means the zombies are getting hungry.

Well, you’re no brainless ghoul! You know you need a new recipe for your cauldron.

A new mix, perhaps?

You came to the right place, because this selection serves a ghastly variety of creeps and corpses.

GHOUL – DUNGEON BASTARDS

If you think Ghoul looks like a renegade band of post-apocalyptic cannibals, that’s what they’re going for. And they jump straight for your jugular.

It’s a monster mash (err, mosh)! Drums kick out with monstrous motion, while the guitar leads howl like the bride of Frankenstein to her monster man’s groans. Ghoul are hungry for your flesh – just listen to the graveyard smash “Blood and Guts.” That is, if you have the guts.

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Trick or treat seconds: Impaled

ZOMBIE GHOST TRAIN – GLAD RAGS & BODY BAGS

Though they are named after mindless flesh-eaters and lifeless spooks, that’s mostly their costume. Zombie Ghost Train actually have more in common with trains – groaning old trains jumping on skeletal bass tracks.

Zombie Ghost Train play psychobilly with their bony hand on the upright bass, while their fleshy hand cradles a recently deceased lover’s neck. With that baritone croon, they could get hearts beating in the most lifeless graveyard. Give a little love to them – they might just take your heart.

Trick or treat seconds: Tiger Army

SCHOOLYARD HEROES – ABOMINATIONS

My schoolyard never had heroes. There was, however, a bug club. They dug up worms and ate them. These Schoolyard Heroes would turn the bug club into worm food.

Schoolyard Heroes sounds like Hayley WereWilliams tearing open a paranormal paramour. If they weren’t howling bloody murder at the morbid metal school parade, the Schoolyard Heroes would be the murderous masterminds in flicks like Scream or Urban Legend. They sing about teenage love… except the only heart doing any throbbing here is the one pulled out your chest.

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Trick or treat seconds: Stolen Babies

FIXIONS – GENOCITY

Some things don’t dance on legs, whether they ever had them or not. Whatever those things are, they are certainly stranger things than the regular Halloween beasty.

Wordless as a Xenomorph, Fixions writhes past your ears with a sleek and metallic pulse. It works you – a Thesselhydra to your Will Byers – echoing eerie melodies into your ear. Like all darksynth, it doesn’t have to say much before you start whipping around like Will Byers.

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Trick or treat seconds: Carpenter Brut

MOONLANDINGZ – INTERPLANETARY CLASS CLASSICS

Did you ever feel like everyone at your party is staring at you like a stranger? It’s not just your Halloween playlist. If the Moonlandingz are playing, you have invited bodysnatchers to your shindig.

Though they live, don’t worry. Organs and mellotrons set a spooky sci-fi mood, while croaks and chants try to replicate human speech. It might not make sense, but like the werewolf daze of “The Rabies are Back,” you will be a happy host body for a rabid need to dance.

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Trick or treat seconds: Powerman 5000

WILL WOOD AND THE TAPE WORMS – SELF-ISH

The undead somehow contrast well with a cabaret collection of characters. For the half-brained zombie, you also get the mad genius of someone with two minds – that would be Will Wood.

Zombies be warned, as Will Wood’s beats will blow out your joints while his genius blows your mind. The Tape Worms transmit Transylvanian sounds into their fat earworms, which will eat their way to your Halloween heart. You’ll be wondering who you are after all the dancing.

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Trick or treat seconds: Major Parkinson

45 GRAVE – SLEEP IN SAFETY

If punk rock runaways were found left for dead on a Transylvania road, they might be marked with two fresh piercings on the neck. As vampires, they’d arise as 45 Grave.

These vampires punks are so devil-may-care that they made it onto the silver screen (appearing in Blade Runner). Silver and vampires, you say? How? With a robust diet of riboflavin-flavored non-carbonated polyunsaturated blood. A little B (movie) vitamin goes a long way.

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Trick or treat seconds: Specimen

ANGEL WITCH – ANGEL WITCH

Spine-tingling sensations seem to crawl out on the nights before Halloween.
One such night, my friends and I waited under the moon. Staring at me, they started chanting “You’re an angel witch, you’re an angel witch!”

Was I the Halloween sacrifice for this coven?

It turns out that Angel Witch are concerned with similar life-and-death matters. Though they might rock with the undead, they are but mortal heroes of horror-made-metal. They just fell for one too many witches at the Samhain soiree.

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Trick or treat seconds: Enforcer

SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES – PEEPSHOW

Bats love to fly by night, as do banshees. Whether it’s a sepia day or blood moon night, Siouxsie’s witching way with words keeps color as well as her make-up.

There’s nothing sinister about Siouxsie, though. As much as the dancing devilries at your zombie jamboree, she herself is spellbound by the music. Her ghostly sentimentality floats above the tribal drum rolls and glassy guitar, and her haunting heart could even make a scarecrow shimmy and shake.

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Trick or treat seconds: Echo and the Bunnymen

DEAD SCIENCE – VILLAINAIRE

Some things creep through the night barely noticed in the breeze. But with their spiny legs and sharp fingers, you can’t help but hear a sharp raking among the rustling leaves.

If two creeps were crowned freak king and queen of the zombie jamboree, their otherworldly waltz would be to Dead Science. They sound like a multi-instrumentalist Freddy Krueger paired with a singing Shelob… music to the pointy ears of any imp.

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Trick or treat seconds: Mother Mother

Now, don’t just lurk… give a BOO! with your favorite Halloween tunes!

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