The team at Ubisoft Studio SF releases new songs for Rocksmith 2014 every Tuesday, and this week’s DLC is a collection of Halloween-appropriate songs with dark themes and morbid subject matter. New this week, you can learn to play “Dead Man’s Party” by Oingo Boingo, “Hocus Pocus” by Focus, “Devil on My Shoulder” by Billy Talent and “Killed By Death” by Motörhead on guitar or bass, and you can check out a preview of all those songs here. But we have plenty more unsettling, disturbing and scary songs in our 700-song library – in fact, you might already own a few of the songs that would be perfect for this weekend.
Our criteria for this list was that the song couldn’t just have a spooky title, like “Frankenstein” by The Edgar Winter Group or “Black Magic Woman” by Santana – though we have both of those – but songs with unsettling themes, vibes and lyrics that stick with you after you hear them and make you uneasy.
“Let him who hath understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number. Its number is six hundred and sixty six.” You can take your pick of sinister songs when it comes to British heavy metal icons Iron Maiden – and we have several in the Rocksmith library – but this track’s breakneck pace and lyrics recounting horrific hallucinations, Satanic ritual sacrifices and promises of vengeance – not to mention that speedy solo – make it the one for you and me. Plus, have you seen the band’s mascot, Eddie?
It’s hard not to be at least mildly disturbed by a song that shouts “Do you wanna die?” at you as its musical fury builds. Spiky lead lines and unusual chord voicings punctuate a cryptic story of dark secrets and seemingly false promises of eternal beauty behind the boathouse. Fun fact: Possum Kingdom is a real place – a lake and state park in Texas. We’re not visiting.
Hard rock and heavy metal have always favored darker themes, but several staffers called this one out right away as particularly appropriate. With lyrics like “dragged ya down below / down to the devil’s show / to be his guest forever,” that’s understandable. Enjoy the theatricality and harmony leads as you sink ever deeper…
This song, which comes with the main Rocksmith 2014, is evidence that you don’t have to sing about bats and witches to brew a disturbing sonic stew. From the main descending riff, things get deeper and heavier in a hurry, with Kurt Cobain conjuring a guitar cacophony alongside imagery of meat-eating orchids, umbilical nooses and edible cancers. It should come as no surprise to find out that the song’s original title was “Heart-Shaped Coffin.”
Here’s another one that comes with Rocksmith 2014. The minor key and spiraling sitar riffs perfectly support Mick Jagger’s battle with his inner darkness – “I look inside myself and see my heart is black” pretty much sums it up, but “I want to see the sun blotted out from the sky” help drive the theme home anyway. The chorus gets kind of bouncy compared to most of the material on this list, but the hypnotic repeated lines as the song fades into oblivion really leave you lost in despair.
Slayer is, in a word, evil – and with songs like “Angel of Death” and “Dead Skin Mask” in the running, we had trouble determining the most appropriate track to feature in this list. But the punishing, relentless pace of this fan-favorite track is designed to leave no hope in the mind of the listener, let alone the guitarist trying to keep up with those insane solos. Lyrics like “Trapped in purgatory, a lifeless object, alive / awaiting reprisal / death will be their acquisition” will rival any horror flick you decide to watch this weekend.
As a famous pirate once said, death cannot stop true love – all it can do is delay it for a while. That’s the gothic romance that drives this song’s supernatural story, and the repeating riff becomes hypnotic, backed by chords that undulate on endless waves but never really deliver you to what feels like a safe resolution. Watch for the bassline to kick up some dust during the outro — this one traps you and won’t let go.
The Druids! No one knows who they were, or what they were doing, but their legacy remains hewn into the living rock of one of Spinal Tap’s most legendary production numbers. Demons and banshees live well alongside the epic grandeur and crushing riffs of this classic, but the real monsters of this song are the mandolin riffs that will snarl your fingers at the three-minute mark. Don’t let the Celtic march tempo fool you – it’s a beast.
That’s far from a complete list – what are your favorite morbid, unsettling, or spooky songs to play in Rocksmith 2014? Chime in below – weirdly, we’d like to see what dark thoughts lurk in your brain.
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