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The ultimate prog rock Halloween playlist

Prog Halloween

So October 31 is upon us. Halloween. The night when we usher in the darker half of the year and remember the dead. When ghouls, ghosts and other creatures of the night are said to walk among us.

Those of us in the know are all aware that prog can hold its own in the dark, sombre and morbid stakes. So we've dug out a few of our favourite prog tunes from the grim side of the track to help you enjoy your proggy Halloween just a little bit more...

Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing

Given that it's an album comprised of ghost stories, how could we not start with Wilson's title track to his 2013 album? A song about an old man nearing the end of his life, haunted by he images of his dead sister and a raven, that just refuses to sing for him...

Arena - One Last Au Revoir

Arena's 2011 album The Seventh Degree Of Separation was a concept album about a man witnessing his own death and funeral. Jolly stuff eh? The song was also nominated for a Prog Award no less.

Van der Graaf Generator - A Plague Of Lighthousekeepers

A song about a lighthouse keeper tormented by seeing people die in the sea that surrounds him. Not exactly Jollity Farm...

Genesis - The Lamia

From the band's epic 1975 album The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, The Lamia takes its title from the mythological woman who becomes a child-eating monster when her own children are murdered. Zeus also deprived her of sleep, so her anguish was constant. Nice

Goblin - Profondo Rosso

From the soundtrack to Dario Argento's legendary 1975 giallo movie, for which, having failed to get Pink Floyd to write the soundtrack, Argento turned to Italian prog rockers Goblin, whose score helped put them, and Argento, on the map.

Shubb-Niggaruth - La Ballade de Lenore

This French zeuhl band are named after one of Lovecraft's deities from Cthulu. If that's not scary enough, listen to this eerie nine minutes of haunting vocal-led music intro that dissolves into sonic dissonance.

The Enid - Something Wicked This Way Comes

Any song that takes its title from Ray Bradbury's creepy 1962 novel deserves to be on any Halloween list. 

Black Widow - Come To The Sabbat

Acid folk, folk horror and prog combine on this, Black window's best-known song from their 1970 album Sacrifice, all haunting themes of Satanism and the occult. "Come to the Sabbat, Satan's there..." indeed.

Comus - Drip Drip

Acid folk proggers Comus were quite terrifying. None more so than on their 1971 debut First Utterance and this tale of harrowing violence…

King Crimson - Epitaph

Although ostensibly a ballad, this emotive track from the band's 1969 In The Court Of The Crimson King debut, the despairing vocal from Greg Lake encapsulates the harrowing fears of the time of nuclear war.

Rush - Witch Hunt 

This eerie sounding track from Moving Pictures became part of Rush's Fear series of songs, that also includes The Weapon from Signals, The Enemy Within from Grace Under Pressure and Freeze from Vapor Trails.

John Carpenter - Halloween

And last, but by no means least, how could we have a Halloween playlist without the prog-loving horror master John Carpenter's original theme music for the movie Halloween itself. Stay safe out there folks...

Jerry Ewing
Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock, as well as sleevenotes for many major record labels. He lives in North London and happily indulges a passion for AC/DC, Chelsea Football Club and Sydney Roosters.