Welcome to the 2019 Musicalypse Award Nominations! It is our second year after having changed our Award system over to the staff vote, and to shake things up, this year we’ve invited A&P Reacts to join us in the nominating and voting for the best of 2019. Since prog was hot this year, there were plenty of picks for this category, so here are our choices for the Most Chilling/Haunting Song of 2019!
This year our nominations will be in their own separate playlists! You can follow them on Spotify:
1. Leprous – “Distant Bells” (or pretty much anything off Pitfalls)
2. Everfrost – “Whisper in a Frozen Tale”
3. Insomnium – “Neverlast”
I’m definitely a few years late on the hype train for Leprous and I’ll fully admit up-front that I’m a modern Leprous fan (the clean vocals, recent albums material). That said, man I really like this stuff. While I could’ve picked any song off the album really, I chose “Distant Bells” for the build-up around 6 minutes into the song. I get goosebumps all over myself every time it comes on.
Fear of death is something that many people can closely associate with. While we must all accept that death comes for us all eventually, it doesn’t mean that we have to like it or embrace it, does it? “Whisper in a Frozen Tale” deeply discusses life and death, protection and ignorance, among other topics in their 13-minute epic finale to Everfrost‘s concept album, leaving the listener haunted by the conclusion to the tale. It’s so musically cold and desperate and emotional, it absolutely belongs in this category.
I’ve been desperately waiting to nominate Insomnium for something, as they’ve been *just* out of reach in so many categories, as my 4th (ish) favorite of so many songs and albums. If there’s something Insomnium does well though, it’s haunting guitar melodies, and “Neverlast” is a perfect example of this. I get the good chills from this one and I always want to rock out when I hear it.
Honorable Mention(s): Tool – “Fear Innoculum”; Cellar Darling – “Death” & “Freeze”
1. Soen – “Covenant”
2. Queensrÿche – “Portrait”
3. The Mute Gods – “The House Where Love Once Lived”
“Covenant” by Soen is my first pick, as the song has a dark atmosphere and haunting guitars. However, what pushed this song up to #1 for me was the music video, which deals with the lamentable subject of child abuse happening in the church and gives the lyrics a chilling twist.
“Portrait” brings to mind Queensrÿche‘s underrated mid-era album closers “spOOL” and “The Right Side of My Mind” and is even in the same key as those two. The guitarwork is restrained and eerie, and the lyrics paint a somber picture.
While The Mute Gods‘ Atheists & Believers is a step down from its predecessor, the one song that left a lasting impression on me was “The House Where Love Once Lived.” The sparse instrumentation and the way Nick Beggs repeatedly whispers the song title give the song a poignant feel, reminding you of times gone by.
1. Deadspace – “Inhale the Slime”
2. Black Crown Initiate – “Years in Frigid Light”
3. Deathspell Omega – “You Cannot Even Find the Ruins…”
Deadspace‘s “Inhale the Slime” is an exercise in pure, unbridled self-loathing. Their fuzzy, murky, black metal is perfectly punctuated by Chris Gebauer‘s over the top screeches. The titular track is but a taste of what The Grand Dissilusionment has to offer. I recommend it to anyone who feels bad and wants to feel worse.
Black Crown Initiate brings us yet another bombastic, extreme prog metal anthem in the form of “Years in Frigid Light.” Aside from its obvious technical prowess, it excels at creating a forlorn atmosphere. Guitarist, Andy Thomas‘ foreboding clean vocals skate the fine line between whiny and melancholy. It gives me chills every time.
French avant-garde black metal group Deathspell Omega may just be the most hair-raising band I know. Their sound is so out-worldly, so dissonant, so disturbing. Truly a grotesque nightmare. Although, “You Cannot Even Find the Ruins…” is not a very black metal song, per se, it sounds as if it’s a haunting slog through the site of a cataclysmic disaster.
Honorable mentions: SUNNO))) – “Frost (C)”; Novembers Doom – “Nephilim Grove”; Leprous – “Distant Bells”
1. Leprous – “Below”
2. Alcest – “L’Île Des Morts”
3. Alter Bridge – “Dying Light”
[ed: Laureline was pressed for time and excused from the text part of the nominations]
1. Sabaton – “The Future of Warfare”
“The Future of Warfare” is pretty chilling because it tells about the world to come. The world was naive and they couldn’t see the horrors the mass-produced weapons would create and what the possibilities for destruction could be.
1. 1914 – “The Hundred Days Offensive”
2. Leprous – “The Sky is Red”
3. Insomnium – “Pale Morning Star”
… [the songs haunted the headquarters]
1. Marianas Rest – “Restitution”
Dark, somber and yet melodic. This song makes your skin crawl and your heart skip a beat. A beautiful dark and heavy song.
2. Cloak – “Into the Storm”
Picking a haunting song out of The Burning Dawn is easy, close your eyes and pick one. Having said that Into The Storm has extra layers of darkness and despair that make this song stand out of the crowd.
3. Swallow the Sun – “When a Shadow is Forced into the Light”
Looking for the definition of haunting/chilling song, this one will pop up. The masters of doom, deliver another masterpiece that will have you screaming in the dark.