It’s finally Halloween and everyone needs a playlist to fit the spooky season. Horror Bands are a staple of this time of year and of the rock and punk music scene. Here at Lace ‘Em Up as a part of our DISTORTION section of the site, we wanted to give you 10 essential bands to explore this Halloween season. There are many bands that haven’t been included, we only have 10 spaces after all but expect 10 Essential Goth Bands coming to the DISTORTION section of the site soon.
You can listen to our Halloween-themed playlist while reading this article on our Spotify.
The 69 Eyes
The 69 Eyes is a Finnish rock band that has its roots in gothic rock, glam metal and rock’n’roll. Founded in Helsinki in 1989 by current members Jyrki 69, Bazie, Timo-Timo and Archzie. They would later be joined by drummer Jussi 69 in 1992. The 69 Eyes have released 13 albums which is pretty impressive for a band that has been around for over 35 years.
They really gained a lot of new fans thanks to Skateboarder and Jackass, Bam Margera but they wouldn’t still be around or even as popular as they still are with just that. The music is what really gets you. It’s a magical mixture of gothic rock and glam metal that seems to work perfectly. Goth and Glam are really just the same thing but in different colours so of course they would make a perfect blend, add in that Rock ‘n’ Roll and you have one of the best bands to come out of the Finnish rock scene.
Their music sounds like their influences which include Mötley Crüe, Hanoi Rocks, The Mission, The Cult, The Sisters of Mercy, The Lords of the New Church, The Doors, Elvis Presley and Billy Idol.
Three singers in almost 20 years means things have been constantly changing for The Creepshow, but that hasn’t stopped them from putting out horror-themed bangers regularly. Formed in 2005 in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, the Creepshow started off as a psychobilly band but slowly moved into a more punk sound, while still retaining their previous sound. Their songs are heavily inspired by horror films and are perfect for anyone who loves some spooky undertones to their musical taste.
Satanic Doo-Wop might not seem like a natural combo but Twin Temple are masters of this style that is completely their own. Twin Temple is a duo formed by a married couple and practising Satanists Alexandra and Zachary James. They are deeply spooky, you should see inside their new house, it is a Victorian gothic dream, you can see images from their Metal Hammer interview from this year’s spooky edition. New house I hear you say, well that’s down to them being doxed a while ago.
Their music is very interesting and heavily influenced by 1950s and ’60s artists and bands such as The Platters, Roy Orbison, and Buddy Holly while also incorporating their faith and lifestyle into their lyrics. They discuss serious topics as well, from otherness to LGBTQ+ rights. They exclusively record in mono to keep that authentic sound. Twin Temple is a true joy and something truly different when it comes to horror or gothic bands.
Ice Nine Kills
Ice Nine Kills also known as INK formed in 2000 in Boston, Massachusetts during high school when Spencer Charnas, who is the only remaining founding member still in the band to this day, and Jeremy Schwartz. Starting off as a ska-punk band they have shifted gears into metalcore early on in their musical journey. incorporating many different types of metal, rock and punk Ice Nine Kills have created a sound of their own described as “theaticore”
Their first three albums are very much in the mould of metalcore but they seemed to expand their sound and lyrical creativity with Every Trick in the Book, an album where every song was inspired by a different book. Their name actually comes from the fictional substance ice-nine from the novel Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Their most recent albums, The Silver Scream and The Silver Scream: Welcome to Horrorwood, in what is a planned trilogy of albums inspired by horror movies have been their biggest hits to date. It’s also some of their best work.
Creeper is one of the best bands to come out of England in the last ten years, along with Sleep Token, creating a resurgence in the British music scene. Hailing from Southampton the Gothic Punk band has evolved over the years to include more depth and skill in their lyrical and musical style. Being influenced by AFI, Alkaline Trio, The Bouncing Souls and David Bowie their most recent album, Sanguivore, they have added Jim Steinman and The Sisters of Mercy to their inspiration.
My Chemical Romance
My Chemical Romance also known as MCR was formed in Newark, New Jersey by Gerard Way in the wake of the 9/11 disaster. After a long hiatus, they are back with Way being joined by his brother Mikey, Ray Toro and Frank Iero. They have released a new song and have just completed a reunion tour. A greatest hits album and a 10th-anniversary edition of their highly influential and critically acclaimed The Black Parade were released during the hiatus.
They are one of the most influential pop-punk and horror rock bands of the 2000s. Their first two albums, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love and Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge built their profile but it wasn’t until 2008’s rock opera The Black Parade that the group truly became a phenomenon. The lead song off of the album, Welcome To The Black Parade, is the sound of a generation and still to this day is played at rock clubs all over the world. This was followed up by their fourth studio album Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.
The Cramps have had a resurgence as of late thanks to their song, Goo-Goo Muck‘s appearance in a viral scene from the Netflix show Wednesday. The Cramps are pioneers of the psychobilly subgenre by mixing punk rock and rockabilly elements. If you hear a band after the late 70s making this kind of music, The Cramps are probably a huge influence on them.
Founded in 1976 and active until 2009 the only permanent members of the group have been husband and wife duo Lux Interior and Poison Ivy. Songs the Lord Taught Us was released in 1980 which includes I Was A Teenage Werewolf and Zombie Dance. Goo-Goo Muck, originally written and performed by Ronnie Cook and the Gaylads, would appear on their follow-up album Psychedelic Jungle.
Ghost is a Swedish rock band formed in 2006 in Linköping with their debut album Opus Eponymous being released in 2010. While Tobias Forge, the frontman and mastermind behind the band remained anonymous for the first three albums but was outed because of a lawsuit involving former band members. With each album Forge takes on a new persona of a satanic pope or a “demonic anti-pope, starting with Papa Emeritus I and passing the torch to his brother Papa Emeritus II with the release of Infetissumam.
A younger sexy Papa came forth in the form of Terzo with the release of their third studio album Meliora, which resulted in them earning a garmmy award for their song Cirice. Papa Emeritus III, Terzo, was dragged off stage towards the end of this cycle only to be replaced by the previous Papa’s father, Papa Nihil. With Prequelle we were introduced to Cardinal Copia, who had to earn his Papa status. This was achieved near the end of the album cycle when he ascended to Papa Emeritus IV before releasing Impera in 2022.
There is a lot of lore behind this band while their music has been described as Gothic Abba, which is quite funny but also slightly true. But the best way to describe Ghost’s music is that of a heavy metal, gothic rock sound tinged with 80’s anthem hits and some symphonic sounds. Their fans are some of the most passionate within the rock and metal community, even dressing up as different variations of the Papa’s, Unnamed Ghouls or Sister of Sin at their shows also known as Rituals.
The Misfits are possibly one of the most influential punk rock bands of all time. Do you like horror punk? or punk in general? Do you like bands embracing the macabre and horror themes in their imagery and sound? then you have The Misfits to thank for that. inspiring bands as diverse as Metallica, Greenday, AFI and My Chemical Romance to name a few. They are one of the most iconic bands of the 80s and their logo is one of the most recognizable, even appearing on the jacket of the love interest to Taylor Swift in her music video for I Knew You Were Trouble.
Forming in New Jersey in 1977 the band had disbanded by 1983 yet most of their albums were released after this, continuing their mythos. Glenn Danzing, the original singer of the band went on to form both Danzig and Samhain, two other highly influential bands in the metal and punk genre. The band re-formed in 1995 with Michale Graves as their new singer releasing two more albums before disbanding again in 2000. Since then they have periodically released albums, with multiple different lineups but the original lineup, consisting of Glen Danzig, Jerry Only and Doyle von Frankenstein has come together on multiple occasions since 2016.
Black Sabbath is the kings of Heavy Metal, and one of the unholy trinity alongside Led Zepplin and Deep Purple, creating a sound all their own from the ironworks of Birmingham. Founded in 1968 and consisting of Tony Iommi, Bill Ward, Geezer Butler and Ozzy Osbourne these four men pioneered the heavy metal sound with their first three albums, Black Sabbath, Paranoid and Master of Reality. Iommi has been the only consistent member of the group and many lineup changes followed after the departure of their singer, Ozzy Osborne in 1979.
They have influenced a whos who of metal and punk bands from Judas Priest to Foo Fighters. Other artists influenced by Sabbath include Slayer, Nirvana, Black Flag, Anthrax, Opeth, Pantera, Candlemass and Machine Head. Those are just a few while their work in helping create the Heavy Metal sound has helped create a whole host of subgenres including thrash metal, black metal, doom metal, alternative rock and grunge.
If anybody who plays heavy metal says that they weren’t influenced by Black Sabbath’s music, then I think that they’re lying to you. I think all heavy metal music was, in some way, influenced by what Black Sabbath did.Lamb of God’s Chris Adler
10 Songs You Need To Add To Your Halloween Playlist
I Love The Darkness In You – The 69 Eyes
One Foot In The Grave – The Creepshow
Satan’s A Woman – Twin Temple
Hip To Be Scared – Ice Nine Kills
Further Than Forever – Creeper
Welcome To The Black Parade – My Chemical Romance
Goo Goo Muck – The Cramps
Year Zero – Ghost
Dig Up Her Bones – Misfits
War Pigs – Black Sabbath.