Fall is in full force; the leaves are falling and there is a briskness in the air. As Halloween approaches, we’re gearing up for the festive Autumn season with a rocking playlist that will have you amped up and Halloween-ready. In June, Reservoir announced the acquisition of the publishing catalogs associate with heavy-metal record label Century Media, and we’ve rounded up some of the more spirited tracks in the catalog for your listening pleasure. So put down the pumpkin spice latte and crank up the volume–it’s officially Rock-tober.
Varsity Week – “Anyways”
This four-piece alternative pop-rock band based in Los Angeles will have you rockin’ out to their latest single, “Anyways,” released earlier this year. Produced by Jim Kaufman and AWOLNATION’s Kenny Carkeet, the song details a carefree, fun and adventurous attitude, with lyrics like “trying too hard/ running too far/ doesn’t mean to be a mad of anyways.” The group added, that the cut is “about being yourself and doing whatever you want. If someone doesn’t like that, it doesn’t matter anyways.” The mid-tempo track backed by strong guitar and drum beats is catchy and relatable, so you’ll definitely be listening on repeat!
In This Moment – “Half God Half Devil”
Featured on In This Moment’s sixth studio album, Ritual, released back in July, “Half God Half Devil,” is haunting and intense, both lyrically and rhythmically. Reservoir writer Dave Bassett co-wrote the heavy metal tune for the five-piece, California-based group, which is quite the departure from his latest alternative-rock co-write Vance Joy’s “Lay It On Me.” The cut features echoing guitar riffs and raspy vocals, while heavy drums and eerie emotions drive the melody. Plus the chorus’ lyrics, “I can bring you back to life / half god, half devil” are perfect for getting you into the Halloween spirit.
Lacuna Coil – “Closer” – Karmacode
The gamers out there will surely recognize this guitar led-track and intense bass chorus from popular video games Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Rock Band and the Rock Band Metal Track Pack, as the song is one big adrenaline rush. This four-piece metal band dropped “Closer” in 2006 off their album Karmacode, which debuted at #28 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart. The group has a knack for churning out powerful projects; they’ve released two EPs and eight LPs since their 1994 debut, the most recent being 2016’s Delirium, their only album which was recorded and produced entirely in their home country of Italy. Listen to “Closer” for a taste of what Lacuna Coil has to offer to inspire and motivate you.
Spock’s Beard – “Hiding Out”
Spock’s Beard’s opening track off Brief Nocturnes and Dreamless Sleep begins with soft piano notes but is quickly juxtaposed with hard-hitting guitar riffs, throwing listeners into the chilling journey this song is about to take them on. “Staring into the black, its all I see/ Holed up in this shroud of obscurity/ Inhabiting nothing or its inhabiting me.” Between the prog-rock band’s pounding drums and virtuous solos, the lead vocalist’s mellow and enchanting voice is showcased in these haunting verses. The track picks up, the once calm vocals now have an added rasp, as he proclaims, “This garden feels like a graveyard/ I’m flying beneath your radar/ Can’t understand my behavior/ Can’t seem to find your favor.” The instrumentals on this track are intense and impressive—you likely won’t believe your ears when you hear the tempo of this fiery melody.
Iced Earth – “Great Heathen Army”
The third single off of this past summer’s 10-track smash LP Incorruptible, released via Century Media, Iced Earth’s “Great Heathen Army” heats up any room with deep lyrics and unique vocal effects, which bring a mysterious and mythical quality to the track. Though the track begins slower, it quickly speeds up with spooky, minor-key chords and intense lyrics, “Seeking revenge the Heathen Army/ They’ll bring the empire to its knees/ The pagans strike, the Saxons fall/ Show no mercy, make them crawl.” Producer and band member Jon Schaffer described this album-opener as having a “kind of Viking vibe to it,” a testament to its dark and severe-sounding tone.
Riverside – “Cybernetic Pillow”
Polish rock band Riverside is known for their progressive rock style, a genre classified by its musicality and eclectic sound. This spooky track, “Cybernetic Pillow,” is featured on the group’s 2007 third studio album Rapid Eye Movement, which was named one of Classic Rock’s ten essential rock albums of last decade and peaked at #2 on the charts in Poland. The track feels very controlled and mature with a steady, mid-tempo beat, while lead singer Mariusz Duda’s vocals are softer and have an echoed, haunted vibe. Furthermore, the editing on the track is unique as vocals blend smoothly into extended guitar notes and higher pitched instrumentals.
Suicide Silence – “Smoke”
The American Deathcore band Suicide Silence brings the flames with this burning track, “Smoke,” off of their 2009 album No Time to Bleed, which debuted on the Billboard 200 at #32, Rock Chart at #12 and the Hard Rock Chart at #6. The track immediately begins with rapid drums and guitar chords that immediately draw you in, while the scary shrieks paired with intense instrumentals create the perfect haunted Halloween sound.
Vampires Everywhere – “Immortal Love”
The scene of Vampires Everywhere’s “Immoral Love” music video opens with that what appears to be the main character having a nightmare, setting listeners—and viewers—up for a chilling experience. As the pulsing piano notes and thumping bass build up your heart rate, the metal bands vocalist enters the song, proclaiming, “Stitch heart shaped mechanical piece/ To your sleeve and hope to die cross your fingers/ and say goodbye.” Spooky? We think so. The track kicks into full gear as the lyrics intensify, stating, “I’d do anything to bring you back to life/ Call it love call it fear/ Till we all just disappear.” This unique track is featured on the group’s debut album, Kiss the Sun Goodbye, which ranked #19 on the Billboard Top Hard Rock Albums and #43 on Billboard’s Top Independent Albums.