Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series “Spooktober Edition,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore tunes from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip! 🎃

“On a gathering storm comes a tall handsome man
In a dusty black coat with a red right hand”

There’s no shortage of bone-chilling songs in the discography of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. The man has an album titled Murder Ballads, for crying out loud! But his single “Red Right Hand” (off the 1994 album Let Love In) has become shorthand for “creepy mood” in television and film, making it the most well-known song of his catalog. The track was used effectively in the first three films in the Scream movie franchise, in an episode of The X-Files, and, well, in the movie Dumb & Dumber, which is scary in a different way. (Founding and former Bad Seeds member Mick Harvey told the NY Post, “That happened quite by accident… I’m not sure we would have wanted it in a film like that, but there you go!”) Most recently, the song has been the opening theme to the BBC crime show Peaky Blinders, resulting in a slew of covers, like the one by Cave’s former girlfriend PJ Harvey.

Unfortunately, Nick Cave is not exactly one to divulge what his songs are about. In fact, he apparently didn’t even plan this one out, admitting to Rolling Stone magazine in 1994 that he ad-libbed the lyrics in the studio:

That’s quite true. One of my great talents is ad-libbing, I have to say. I had the title, and basically I knew what I wanted to sing about, and it was a matter of just going in and putting it down. There’s certain lines in there, obviously, that aren’t off the top of my head, but there’s ones in there that definitely are. Aren’t I incredible?

And modest, too! In another 1994 interview with German magazine Spex, he dances around the idea of the devil:

Spex: But here you’re clearly talking about the devil.

Nick: I’m really not sure what about I’m talking there, to be really honest with you. I have to sing a few verses with the music that we have written together. I sang how it was in my head. So this is a somewhat mysterious song for me. I suppose, “Red Right Hand” is a hand, plunged in blood, you know? It is the Evil. It is about someone, who pretends to be the saviour, but he isn’t.

Spex: Consequently the Devil.

Nick: You can say that’s the Devil. But it is only a song about… it is only that, what it is.

“They never caught the man
He’s still on the loose
It seems he has done many many more
Quotes John Milton on the walls in the victim’s blood
The police are investigating at tremendous cost
In my house he wrote, “red right hand”
That, I’m told is from Paradise Lost

— “Song of Joy”, Murder Ballads, 1996

Cave grew up the son of a librarian and an English professor, so it’s no surprise that he’s inspired by literature. And while I can’t find a direct quote from Cave to confirm it, it’s treated as common knowledge across the internet that “Red Right Hand” was inspired by “Paradise Lost” by 17th century English poet John Milton, an epic poem with over ten thousand lines of verse on the Biblical story of Adam & Eve. The closest we get to a confirmation is “Song of Joy,” a song he described to Swedish magazine Pop in 1994 as “the pre-eminently most nasty, most implacable song” on his following album Murder Ballads. And in an essay on an old version of the Nick Cave website, Bad Seeds drummer Jim Sclavunos reveals:

Toward the end of Bad Seed (Ian Johnston’s autobiography of Nick Cave), a fleeting clue is dropped about a new song Cave was in the process of writing at the time. With the working title of “Red Right Hand II” it relates the tale of a father of three that murders his entire family — the very same scenario laid out in “Song of Joy”, the opening track of Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds 1996 album Murder Ballads. The references to “his red right hand” and other Miltonian citations sprinkled throughout link the two songs; but the gory details in “Song of Joy” make it clear that Cave had left behind the baleful romantic brooding of Let Love In, and this was to be a more bloodthirsty successor.

It’s interesting that Nick Cave carried the idea of the “red right hand” to the next album, an album that sees the demise of 65 (fictional) victims (yes, someone counted!). So, maybe “Red Right Hand” isn’t about the “devil” himself, but about the devil that lurks within, that compells a man to murder his entire family.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series “Spooktober Edition,”where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore tunes from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip! 🎃

The Birthday Party (originally known as The Boys Next Door) were an Australian post-punk band, active from 1978 to 1983. Despite limited commercial success, The Birthday Party’s influence has been far-reaching, and they have been called “one of the darkest and most challenging post-punk groups to emerge in the early ’80s.” The group’s “bleak and noisy soundscapes,” which drew irreverently on blues, free jazz, and rockabilly, provided the setting for vocalist Nick Cave’s disturbing tales of violence and perversion. Their music has been described by critic Simon Reynolds as gothic, and their single “Release the Bats” was particularly influential on the emerging gothic scene.

In 1980, The Birthday Party moved from Melbourne to London, where they were championed by broadcaster John Peel. Disillusioned by their stay in London, the band’s sound and live shows became increasingly violent. They broke up soon after relocating to West Berlin in 1982. The creative core of The Birthday Party – singer and songwriter Nick Cave, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Mick Harvey, and singer, songwriter and guitarist Rowland S. Howard – later went on to acclaimed careers.

The Birthday Party – ‘Deep In The Woods’

There’s no denying that Nick Cave is the master of murder ballads, and in all honesty, any number of Bad Seeds songs could have made this list: ‘Song Of Joy’ is an obvious pick, and ‘Red Right Hand’ is an all-time spooky classic.

However, I thought it’d be more useful to spotlight another side of the beloved troubadour with The Birthday Party’s ‘Deep In The Woods’, with Cave showcasing his trademark creepy lyricism alongside the cataclysmic guitar playing of Rowland S. Howard to incredible effect. It’s a bit of an obscurity, but ‘Deep In The Woods’ is quite frankly terrifying from start to finish.

Birthday Party – Deep in The Woods. Album: The Bad Seed, 1983

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series “Spooktober Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore tunes from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip! 🎃

One of, if not “The” most disturbing 10 minute recorded songs of destitution and insanity that culminates in total tragedy, ‘Frankie Teardrop’ is considered by many to be one of the most disturbing songs ever made, with High Fidelity writer Nick Hornby famously describing it as ‘a song you only want to hear once’.

Complete with jarring synth loops from Martin Rev and and Alan Vega’s twisted, contorted vocal performance, ‘Frankie Teardrop’ sees the electro-punk pioneers at their most insidious, and more than 40 years since its release, it still sounds just as ghastly.

Dominating most of the album’s second side, “Frankie Teardrop” is the dark, pulsating heart of Suicide’s self-titled debut of 1977, the most extreme statement on a record many listeners already found too extreme. With Alan Vega delivering lyrics like cut-ups from a Pop Art catalogue in his rockabilly hiccup, and Martin Rev sculpting droning washes of future-noise and bubblegum echoes from cheap keyboards and rudimentary rhythm machines that sounded like they were about to catch fire, Suicide sounded like nothing on Earth.

Formed in New York City in 1969 from a background of avant-garde jazz (Rev) and visual art (Vega), they were against the grain from the first. Their early shows were as much confrontational performance art as music performance, Vega attacking the walls of venues with a bike chain, when he wasn’t himself being attacked by the audience.

In retrospect, their two-guys-and-some-machines set-up drafted the analogue blueprint for music’s digital future, but at the time people reacted as though they were assaulting the very spirit of rock and roll. “We were breaking a lot of sacred rules,” says Rev today. “The amount of people in a group; the instrumentation; the theatre of it. And, of course, the fact we were called Suicide.”

“Frankie Teardrop,” though, was the song that sent people over the edge. A hissing, two-note, proto-industrial nightmare of hypnotic monotony, punctuated by Vega screaming like a man with thorns in his soul, it’s the ten-minute-plus tale of a 20-year-old factory worker who can’t afford to feed his family, cracks up, and kills them and himself: Bob Dylan’s “Hollis Brown”, reimagined by Travis Bickle.

“Yeah,” says Vega. “It got the reaction it was supposed to get. Frankie, Frankie…”

Suicide: Frankie Teardrop. Album: Suicide Released 1977

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series “Spooktober Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore tunes from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip! 🎃

CARACH ANGREN is a Black Metal band from the Netherlands that was formed back in 2003. Their style is characterized by a prominent use of orchestral arrangements and Horror stories.

The band draws inspiration from books, movies, and general discussions about these topics when trying to form a new haunting story. As the story is a main element in all our releases, we really try to work hard on this and be fresh and innovative without losing our identity. I think the fans deserve something spectacular and new every time.

Today’s Psychedelic Lunch, Spooktober Edition featured track comes from the record, “This is No Fairytale.” Check out the official video for the killer track “When Crows Tick On Windows.”

Carach Angren: “When Crows Tick On Windows” Album: ”This is No Fairytale” Release Date: February 23rd, 2015

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series “Spooktober Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore tunes from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip! 🎃

With Ending Life Slowly being inspired by death and decay that takes place during the latter part of Fall, starting the album with a song dedicated to Halloween was a natural first step. It marks an end to the most hallowed month of the year, and celebrates its macabre mayhem before we enter the cold void of November.

Autumn’s Eyes: Ending Life Slowly. Release Date October 31st 2017

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series “Spooktober Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore tunes from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip! 🎃

One of the best one man metal bands Ive ever heard, and a master of contorting creepy atmospheres.

Diabolical Masquerade was an avant-garde/atmospheric black metal solo project of Anders Nyström (aka Blakkheim), guitarist for Katatonia and Bloodbath, origins from Stockholm, Sweden. Nyström wanted to have a band where he could compose more extreme music while Katatonia were exploring more mellow themes and moods.

All of the music on the first two albums were written and performed by Nyström, with guest vocal appearances from longtime collaborator Dan Swanö. Swanö later became an integral part of the project, as co-writer and co-arranger, performer, engineer, mixer and producer on the ‘Nightwork’ and especially ‘Death’s Design’ albums.

Diabolical Masquerade has released four full length albums: Ravendusk In My Heart (1996), The Phantom Lodge (1997), Nightwork (1998) and Death’s Design (2001).

Since long journey from 1993, Diabolical Masquerade was laid to rest in September of 2004. But recently Anders Nyström stated that he is working on a new Diabolical Masquerade album and he is also looking for more members for live performances.

DIABOLICAL MASQUERADE: Haunted By Horror. Album: Nightworks. Released September 21, 1998

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series “Spooktober Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore tunes from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip! 🎃

My Dying Bride are an English doom metal band formed in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Forming in 1990, they are known for their slow yet extremely heavy riffs and remarkably morose poetic lyrics. Along with former Peaceville labelmates Anathema and Paradise Lost, My Dying Bride is one of the pioneering acts of the death doom metal movement in the early 1990s, labeled as one of the “Peaceville Three”. However unlike their peers, My Dying Bride would remain on Peaceville from their signing in 1992 to their departure in 2017, making them one of the longest tenured bands on the label.

This band makes some of the best gothic metal ever recorded, and its completely saturated with raw horrific emotion.

Like Gods of the Sun is the fourth album by My Dying Bride released in 1996, and the last album by the band to feature Rick Miah, who left the band in 1997, on drums and Martin Powell on keyboards and violins.

My Dying Bride: Here in The Throat, Album: Like Gods Of The Sun Released October 7th 1996

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series “Spooktober Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore tunes from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip!

Metal, punk and rock songs are Halloween-appropriate – both genres revel in not just horror and morbid subject matters, but also that Addams Family-ish enjoyment of outsider status and freaking out the normies. But when it comes to writing songs specifically about the day, very few bands have written incredibly memorable tracks. It’s hard to lock down that exact giddy, autumnal atmosphere that only Halloween provides, and pen a track that’s both as spooky and celebratory as the day itself.

But a handful of bands and artists have answered the call with flying colors. Whether with ambient soundtracks to trick-or-treating or raucous anthems to the Druidic celebration of Samhain, these songs pay worthy tribute to the holiest day of the year for all creeps, weirdos, and monsters.

Wednesday 13 – Halloween 13-13 (2012)

The Duke Of Spook writing a Halloween song is like Santa writing a Christmas carol, and thankfully the result is exactly what you’d expect it to be. Halloween 13 – 13 is a big, fun, hands-in-the-air holiday anthem, honoring ‘the dead on holiday’ with a finger-snapping rhythm and giant woah-full choruses. What the song lacks in the folk traditions of Samhain, it makes up for in complete dedication to the latex-covered cavity-inducing top-hatted spirit of the season. Sometimes, you’ve just got to put on a rubber mask and dance like you’ll be dead by dawn.

Spook & Destroy is the third extended play by American horror punk musician Wednesday 13. It was released on 9 October 2012.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series “Spooktober Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore tunes from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip!

Photo Credit Christy Lee

OPETH

Nectar

Morningrise is the second studio album by Swedish progressive metal/rock band Opeth. It was released on 24 June 1996 in Europe by Candlelight Records and on 24 June 1997 in the United States by Century Black. The recording sessions took place at Unisound studio, in Örebro, during March and April 1996, and once more the band used producer Dan Swanö. Morningrise was the last Opeth album produced by Swanö. It was also the last Opeth release with drummer Anders Nordin and bassist Johan De Farfalla.

Morningrise showcases Opeth’s signature style, exploring the dynamics between the combination of black metal and death metal vocals, and guitar parts with lighter progressive and acoustic elements.

Who is Opeth? Opeth is a Swedish band which could be described as a progressive metal, death metal, band prog rock band but this description wouldn’t really do any justice to the special kind of music that they play: their music transcends categorization. For they blend elements from 70’s progressive rock with elements from the 80’s traditional heavy rock, jazz, classical music (mainly from the Baroque era), and 90’s death and black metal.

Their compositions are usually very long (for example, every track from the “Morningrise” album is above the 10 minute mark, with one song even clocking in at over 20 minutes), and they usually let the listener experience many mood changes, in what could be described as true “journeys” of many discoveries.

While their newer material is extremely polarizing, you can’t go wrong with Opeth’s back catalogue of brilliant song writing.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series “Spooktober Edition,” where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore tunes from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip!

GOBLIN

Zombi: L’Alba Dei Morti Viventi

Anything Goblin will do here since they have scored some of the most memorable horror movies of all time.

Goblin is an Italian progressive rock band known for their soundtrack work. They frequently collaborate with Dario Argento, most notably creating soundtracks for Profondo Rosso in 1975 and Suspiria in 1977. CD re-releases of their soundtracks have performed well, especially in Germany and Japan.

Psychedelic Lunch