Every night to me is Halloween
Like an ancient scene
You know just what I mean!
—King Diamond, “Halloween”
Yes, we do indeed know what you mean, thanks, King! In that same spirit (ugh, sorry) of Halloween—and following up on our massively successful, dozens-of-page-views-getting indie rock science songs playlist—Scientific American presents a Spotify playlist of br00tal, science-themed heavy metal mayhem for the truest warriors only.
Science references in heavy music are everywhere: U.K. grindcore pioneer Godflesh used a photograph of a cell growing on a microchip as the cover for its record Selfless, while German prog metal band The Ocean has made an entire career out of paleontology concept albums. Our playlist covers astronomy, genetics, climate change, the Cambrian explosion, gory medical textbook viscera, prescient warnings of technology run amok, graveyards of lifeless planets, and so much more. It’s all killer, no filler.
In our bubbling, boiling hell broth, we’ve got classics from Judas Priest and Black Sabbath, plus pulverizing doom, thrash and death metal from Darkthrone, Testament, Carcass and (of course) Death! We made sure to include plenty of lesser known cranium crushers by the likes of the croaking doomsayers of Cough, the brain-melting cosmic travelers of Gigan, the sepulchral creepers of Tomb Mold, the lumbering Italian sludge lords of Ufomammut and the avant-garde black metal dungeon synth sound of Krallice.
But what, you ask pedantically, does science have to do with Mercyful Fate’s “Curse of the Pharaohs”? Well, professor, first off, you should know that archaeology is a science. More importantly, any metal playlist released around Halloween is required to feature a Mercyful Fate song and an accompanying photo of Fate frontman King Diamond, and that is an oath we shall not break!
The playlist is embedded below. Or you can listen to it on Spotify here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)
Ryan Reid is Scientific American’s digital art director.