Since today is Halloween I thought I would write up my "classic" today and talk about “Don’t Metal With Evil” by the old Detroit band Halloween. Billed as “Detroit’s Heavy Metal Horror Show” I might never have heard about Halloween if not for the fact that I lived in Michigan and so they were known in the area. I first heard the album when I borrowed the LP from a friend at school. I was entranced by both the fact that they were called Halloween and by the fact that they were from Michigan. Everything metal at the time seemed like it came from magical far off places, so to find a band in our own back yard was pretty cool.
I believe the album came out in 1984, so this was in a pre-“Master of Puppets” world. The music fell somewhere between wanting to be hair metal and something a little heavier; not quite thrash. The vocals were melodic and could be a little on the high end at times, but back then that was still pretty cool. Most of the songs have a Halloween theme to them, “Scared to Death”, “Trick or Treat”, “Haunted”, “Tales from the Crypt” and so on. A few of the tracks diverged from the theme, such as “Justice for All” which, as you might guess, complains about no justice in the justice system. Listening to it now, that song still holds up pretty well. Though to be honest, the nostalgia factor on this album is so high with me that I still really like all the songs.
My favorite song on the album has always been the title track, “Don’t Metal With Evil.” It had the added bonus of a backwards message at the beginning of the song, which cranked up the coolness since backmasking was being demonized in the media at the time because, you know, heavy metal is so evil and all. Those evil heavy metal bands were going to use hidden messages to get us all to kill ourselves. That would make a lot of sense from a career standpoint right? I don’t remember what the message says; I haven’t had the album on LP since I returned it my school friend. I just Googled it and it says “Our message is easy to understand. Don’t metal with evil.” So yeah, pretty evil stuff, better be careful.
For years this was a difficult album to track down. The only copy I had was a cassette recording I made from the LP. Eventually the internet came along and sometime after that eBay, which is where I eventually found a copy on CD. I was questioning whether I should write about this album because I didn’t think anyone would be able to find it, but lo and behold, it is now easily available on iTunes. That’s pretty cool, but hunting down rare albums just isn’t what it used to be. The hunt and discovery was almost as good, if not sometimes better, than enjoying listening to the end result. The times they are a-changing.
So Happy Halloween to everyone. Today of all days, play the metal loud. Now where did I put that Fastway album…