Something that appears to be popular right now is Vintage Halloween, in which the holiday and its trappings–decorations, costumes, treats–are throwbacks to the early days when a kitschy positivity was the aesthetic of the hour.
But for me, Halloween is a cumulative holiday. It evolves with what scares people, tapping into and borrowing from the pop culture psyche as it goes. Sure, those smiling big-eyed black cats and clowns have their place in the celebration of Halloween, but so do Satanic hippies, machete-wielding maniacs, John Carpenter, and heavy metal.
Acid Witch get Halloween’s cumulative nature down. Their brand of sludgy psychedelic death-doom definitely embraces Halloween’s classic roots like hags over pumpkin cauldrons and castle-dwelling vampires. But it also references subliminal messages, VHS slasher movies, Pan worship, weed, and sex. The band isn’t content to try and sum up the holiday’s heart with one era or a remembered time that doesn’t truly exist. Instead, they get into the nitty-gritty of the night’s atmosphere, down to the antiseptic smell inside a plastic mask.
On top of all of that, the band’s bizarre witchy sound means that their music is appropriate for Halloween celebrations. There’s plenty of organ and throbbing guitar leads that have a hypnotic effect on the listener. Just as Dracula AD 1972 embraces rock and roll as a conduit for evil, so Acid Witch see stoner metal as a way to express the fun-loving devil-worship of the night where the dead are at their most alive.
Listen to Acid Witch’s Witchtanic Hellucinations below. Dream of Halloween.