The very first part of Halloween prep I do every year, without question, is getting together the Playlist. It really helps get me in the spirit of the season. I know some people have a master Halloween playlist they continually add to and have blasting in their ears the entire season. And I have one too, but that’s usually reserved for seasonal background noise when I need it. I typically make new playlists every year to heavily include bands or genres I am spinning a lot at that moment anyway or to highlight stuff I’ve discovered since the previous holiday that I want to absorb more. Sometimes I just like to binge albums, say listen to a different King Diamond record every day in October. But no matter the musical whims of the moment, Acid Witch is always in heavy rotation during this magical season.
Who is Acid Witch
Acid Witch is “Halloween Metal” from Detroit. Looking at the resumes of the band members on Discogs, these guys really are front and center in the Motor City metal scene. Detroit specifically, but Michigan in general, has always been a hotbed for some wild ass frenetic rock n’ roll, from fuzzy 60s garage punk to proto-punk to glam to the early days of heavy metal—the list of bands is endless. There’s something in the water. Or in the case of Acid Witch, something in the swamp water.
The band looks to have been around about 12 or 13 years, with three full-length LPs and a bunch of singles and EPs under their belts, with October 31st being a constant theme among them all. I first came across them roughly a decade ago, maybe a little less, when I stumbled onto their second album, Stoned. The cover art, along with the band name, immediately appealed to me and I knew they’d be right up my alley. However, when I started clicking on YouTube videos, I was initially a little disappointed. I was hoping for more of a Witchcraft/Orchid sound, but maybe heavier. The vocals really threw me. Honestly, though, after I listened and listened, there is no other sound or vocal style I’d want for these ambassadors of Halloween.
Why Acid Witch
Acid Witch sound like the Halloween parties you went to in your 20s, where the floor is sticky, the house doesn’t smell that great, a muted slasher movie is on the TV in the background, the costumes are gory as hell and everyone piles in together to sing along to The Misfits.
The music is heavy as hell, death doom I guess is what you’d call, but really it’s just dirty heavy metal. The vocals are ghoulish and dripping with Halloween sludge. The lyrical content is sometimes right on the nose for the season and other times it’s just horror movie-inspired goofiness that doesn’t take itself too seriously while also taking the subject matter very seriously. These crushing tunes are interspersed with audio skits, samples and oddities that really drive home the sound they are after.
I’ve curated a Spotify playlist, culled from their LPs and the singles and EPs that are available there, though there’s more stuff on Bandcamp, like their Midnight Movies, wherein they cover tracks from Rocktober Blood, Trick or Treat, Black Roses and Return of the Living Dead.
Also, not on Spotify is their contribution to a Samhain tribute album, in which they cover, what else but “Halloween II”:
If you need a little help getting spooky this Halloween season, crank up some Acid Witch and get apocalyptic.