Come out from the shadows, you creatures of the night! The Christmas lights and seasonal greetings will soon be upon us, but it is not this month! This month belongs to horror movies, to scary costumes, and to spooky tunes! This month belongs to us! Today we kick off the annual month-long celebration of Halloween, so grab your hockey mask and your creepiest black metal record!
As some of you may know, I prefer my horror more on the ponderous, dread-inducing side. Give me a brooding atmosphere, a gnawing, clawing, biting sense if unease, a healthy dose of mystery, and an uneasy resolution and I’ll be a happy (albeit disturbed man). It is that sense of the unknown, of the impossible forces conspiring for ruin, that has always appealed to me in the works of writers like Lovecraft and Simmons and that permeates some of my favorite horror movies, like The Thing and Babadook.
As a welcome to October, then, I greet you with an ambient album that casts a dour tenor upon the days ahead. In 2008, Steven Stapleton’s imperious drone project Nurse With Wounds was commissioned to remix Sunn O)))‘s strenuous debut ØØ Void. His version, christened Sunn O))) Meets Nurse With Wounds when it came slithering and hissing out of Stapleton’s fetid womb, was included as the second disc of The Iron Soul of Nothing.
Intriguingly, Stapleton perversely subverts the impermeable gravitation of Sunn O)))’s drone music, bathing it in a sinister masque of coiling tape hiss and undulating electronics. The release retains its heaviness, but under Stapleton’s occult tutelage, it takes on a pallid hue and sinister intent. Rather than crush you to a pulp with a bloody hammer, it traps you in the dark and undoes you with clandestine knives just as your sanity frays, leaving you to question everything.
It would make an excellent score for a brooding horror film and works as a fantastic introduction to the month of Halloween.
Perhaps you’re more of the slasher type, though. What will you be jamming to get your blood boiling and your fear churning? What movies do you plan to watch? Let me know in the comments below.