10 Scariest Songs In Rock Music

Scariest Songs In Rock Music

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It would be easy to fill out our list of the 10 Scariest Songs In Rock Music with heavy metal music. There are so many metal songs from the genres of doom metal, death metal, and so on that would fit the bill rather nicely. But that is just too easy. Of course, one also has to determine what we mean by the term scary. Scariest does not always have to be bathed in the horror genre. I had some nuns back in a catholic school

in the 1960s that were scarier than any Vincent Price movie I have seen. Scary can mean many things. So, let’s see where this takes us.

# 10 – I Love The Dead – Alice Cooper

Well, we might as well get Alice Cooper out of the way. I couldn’t think of a better song to open this list than Alice Cooper’s “I Love The Dead.” Just the opening line alone will have you pulling the sheets over your head. The song was released on the album entitled Billion Dollars Babies. The album was released in 1973. The Billion Dollars Babies album was a massive success for Alice Cooper as it went all the way to number one on the Billboard Top 200 album charts. The album was filled with many hits, from “Elected” to the title track. Yet Alice Cooper saved the creepiest one of them all, “I Love The Dead,” to close the album out.

# 9 – What’s He Building  – Tom Waits

When putting together this list of the scariest rock songs of all time, Tom Waits’ song “What’s he building?” was the first one to come to mind. It’s almost difficult to call it a song as it’s more of a spoken word performance. There is really no melody or chord changes. It is a perfect spoken word performance surrounded by incredibly creepy sound effects. Nonetheless, it is Tom Waits’ spine-tingling delivery and lyrics that set a scene that is horrifying. Does this guy live next door to you?

# 8 – Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner

There is something very unsettling about listening to Warren Zevon’s “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.” It’s a fictional story, but the way Warren sings makes it sound like it really happened. The fact that this was the last song Warren Zevon performed before he passed away also lends itself to the song’s legacy.

# 7 – The Mercy Seat – Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash has recorded many dark songs throughout his career that we could have included on this list. However, his cover of Nick Cave’s “The Mercy Seat” is one of the most daunting songs he has ever recorded. Nick Cave plays a major role in this because, of course, he wrote the song, but also in his piano performance that goes head to head emotionally with Johnny Cash’s spell-binding vocal. You get the sense that Johnny Cash is not just singing about the character in this one, or was he just that good? This one is intense.

# 6 – Me and the Devil Blues – Robert Johnson

Landing in the number six spot on our 10 Scariest Songs In Rock Music list we present the Robert Johnson classic. This one is very scary because of the reality of the song. Robert Johnson wakes up in the morning with the devil at his door. He walks with him side by side. It is all a metaphor, of course, but it is what the devil is going to make him do and who he has become that is horrifying when he sings “Me and the Devil, Was walkin’ side by sideAnd I’m going to beat my woman, Until I get satisfied.” It doesn’t get more awful than that.

# 5 – The Monster’s Loose

In completing The Bat Out Of Hell Trilogy. Meal Loaf and Jim Steinman released the third and final chapter called Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose in 2006. This was almost 40 years after Bat Out of Hell was released and 20 years since Bat Out Of Hell II. Because so much time had passed, there was probably a lack of interest in the third chapter. That’s sad because Bat Out of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose was a really good album. The difference on II was that Meat Loaf used multiple songwriters on the album as opposed to just Jim Steinman.

The opening track and the one that was placed on this list, “The Monster Is Loose,” was written by John 5, Desmond Child, and Nikki Sixx. The opening instrumental of “The Moster Is Loose” is fueled by a sort of comic book terror. It’s a lot of fun, almost Alice Cooper-like. Metal Loaf’s vocal performance is dead on perfect, with a scary intensity surrounded by creepy background vocal effects.

# 4 – Evil Never Dies

You knew we were eventually going to get to the metal genre. Oh, but where to start? Well, you can’t go wrong with Judas Priest. This one has it all, hard-hitting hair-raising guitars, nightmarish lyrics, and, of course, a spine-tingling vocal performance by Rob Halford. The song “Evil Never Dies” was released on the Firepower album. Beware of this one because “there is voodoo in the night.”

# 3 – Fear Of The Dark – Iron Maiden

One can’t put together a scary song list without adding at least one Iron Maiden song. The band really nailed the horror genre on this one. Yet, it is more of a psychological thriller based on paranoia than sheer horror. The first time we hear the lyric “I have a phobia that Someone is Always there,” the band breaks out into an intense jam that multiplies the meaning of the lyrics by 10. That’s how you do it.

# 2 – Careful With That Axe Eugene

The repeating bass line that opens the song puts the listener in a trance instantly. Of course, there is no musical instrument creepier than an organ that jumps into the picture, spinning around the bass line. Then there’s those screams by Roger Waters that bounce off David Gilmour’s grisly guitar lines. The fact that there are no lyrics makes it even more troubling because, with a title like that, along with the instrumental music, one’s own imagination can lead to more horrifying thoughts than any song’s lyrics could.

# 1 – Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

This one is terrifying just looking at the album cover before you even place the vinyl on your turntable.  I have never heard a more disturbing song in rock music than Black Sabbath’s “Black Sabbath.  When Ozzy sings, “Oh no no, please God Help me,” that’s it. I’m done. Turn the lights back on, change the channel, do something, and just get me out of here. But of course, it is just so good, in such a troubling, compelling way, you can’t stop listening to it. Please help me.

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