Rocksmith’s Spookiest Songs

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.

Rocksmith 2014

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.

“The Number of the Beast” – Iron Maiden

“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?

“Possum Kingdom” – Toadies

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.

”Nightmare” – Avenged Sevenfold

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…

“Heart-Shaped Box” – Nirvana

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.”

“Paint It, Black” – The Rolling Stones

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.

“Raining Blood” – Slayer

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.

“(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” – Blue Oyster Cult

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.

“Stonehenge” – Spinal Tap

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.

For more on Rocksmith 2014, check out these stories:

Rocksmith 2014 Dev Team: Our Favorite Basslines

Rocksmith 2014 – 5 Things to Know About the PS4 & Xbox One Edition

Bachsmith Reimagines Classical Masterpieces for Rocksmith 2014

Rocksmith 2014 – How A Request Becomes a Song

Rocksmith 2014

Rocksmith 2014

Release date — October 2013
Developer — Ubisoft San Francisco
The all-new Rocksmith 2014 Edition is bigger, better, and faster than ever. Rebuilt from the ground-up, you’ll experience vastly improved features, a new look, more flexible and deeper practice tools, new techniques and tunings, over 50 new hit songs, and much more. With the revolutionary Session Mode, Rocksmith 2014 Edition takes guitar-learning to the next level by allowing you to play guitar with a virtual band that follows your every lead. Select from an assortment of backing instruments or styles, and Session Mode reacts to the notes you play. Start your journey with Rocksmith 2014 Edition.

ESRB Rating: TEEN with Mild Lyrics and Mild Fantasy Violence
The Author

After 15 years in the games media, Dan Amrich hopped the fence and is now the Community Developer for Rocksmith at Ubisoft San Francisco, which he hopes retroactively justifies his sizeable guitar collection. For fun, he creates puzzles and juggles fire, but not at the same time. Follow him on Twitter: @DanAmrich.