From the Full-length Studio Release,
Fatal PortraitBy Octavio Ramos Jr.
“Oh, it’s Halloween!
Every night to me is Halloween
Like an ancient scene
You know just what I mean
Halloween, you are my pride
Halloween, not just a dream
The moon is full, another perfect day has begun
Like a demon’s eye, that devil’s eye
We will ever die
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
With roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain and the Christian holiday All Saint’s Day, Halloween today is largely a secular celebration that involves elaborate costumes, trick-or-treating, and checking out haunted attractions. It’s a time when horror fans can partake of telling ghost stories, watching horror films, and frightening others with their weird antics.
One big fan of Halloween is King Diamond, who began his musical career in bands such as Brainstorm and Black Rose. Diamond then went on to front the mighty Mercyful Fate and of course his own band, King Diamond. Noted for his falsetto vocals and his ability to act out a variety of characters simply by changing the register of his voice, Diamond is also known for his facial makeup (which has changed through the years) and his elaborate stage presence, including the use of crossbones for a microphone holder.
Since forming King Diamond, Diamond has focused on telling elaborate concept stories, one per album. There are two exceptions to this model so far: 1995’s Spider’s Lullabye (which does include a mini-concept that I call “The Eastman Story”) and the band’s debut release, Fatal Portrait (which also includes a mini-concept that I call “Molly’s Fatal Portrait”).
The seventh track on Fatal Portrait, “Halloween” is a standalone song that pays homage to the holiday. The song opens with a catchy but heavy guitar riff over which Diamond shrieks, “Oh, it’s Halloween!” The riff continues to build as drummer Mikkey Dee sets down a midlevel pace. Diamond’s falsetto is strong throughout, as are the guitar antics of Andy LaRocque and Michael Denner. The solos in particular hint at structures later heard of albums such Abigail and Them.
Lyrically, the song hints at the origins of Halloween (“Like an ancient scene”), as well as how the Holiday is a celebration—perhaps even an embracing of—evil. On that night, when the moon is full, the day is perfect, much like a demon’s eye, a devil’s eye, one which will ensure that we will ever die. In Diamond’s world, every night is Halloween, which is just “another evil scene.”
Other great Halloween songs produced by metal bands include Helloween’s 13-minute epic “Halloween” (Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. One), punk rockers the Misfits with “Halloween,” Acid Witch’s “October 31” (Witchtanic Hellucinations), Force of Evil’s “Samhain” (self-titled album), Warhammer “Halloween” (Abattoir of Death), and Iron Cross’ “Halloween” (self-titled album).
Diamond’s “Halloween” also appears on the Mercyful Fate/King Diamond compilation titled A Dangerous Meeting and various King Diamond compilations, such as Dark Sides and The Best of King Diamond.