Blood on the Tracks

How Memphis rap tapes in the ’90s spawned a chilling legend

An innovative scene that gave rise to a very weird myth.

tom waits what's he building

In Tom Waits’ “What’s He Building?”, it’s not clear who the monster is

The sinister centerpiece of 1999’s ‘Mule Variation’ is a bait and switch.

coil hellraiser

The too-scary-for-Hollywood tale of Coil’s Hellraiser soundtrack

A rejected film score with a reputation that precedes it.

Smoke on the Water

Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” and a notorious concert fire

A rock ‘n’ roll song with a killer riff and a sinister backstory.

The two songs at the heart of Robert Johnson’s devil myth

A pair of tracks that helped to build on the myth of the devil at the crossroads.

Mercyful Fate Into the Coven

How Mercyful Fate’s “Into the Coven” became a focal point during the Satanic Panic

Tipper Gore, the Filthy Fifteen, and a nation gone absolutely bonkers.

Sunn O))) Bathory Erszebet

Sunn O)))’s “Bathory Erszebet” is myth-making horror drone

A story of (maybe) true horror, told inside a coffin

Black Country New Road For the First Time review

The haunting of Slint’s “Good Morning, Captain”

How the Louisville indie rock legends launched some grim legends of their own.

Bruce Springsteen Johnny 99

How Bruce Springsteen’s “Johnny 99” ended up an unlikely political statement

“Born in the U.S.A.” wasn’t a message of conservative optimism, and neither was this.

Jim Sullivan’s “U.F.O.” and the story of his strange disappearance

How the California singer/songwriter’s 1969 song possibly foretold of his disappearance six years later.

Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” captured cruel detachment in the face of tragedy

Blood on the Tracks returns with a Southern gothic tale of suicide and unconscious cruelty.

Pharmakon Bestial Burden Blood on the Tracks

Pharmakon’s “Bestial Burden” is a harrowing dirge of survival

The sound of a struggle for survival against one’s own body.

Jesse Presley Nick Cave Tupelo

The Firstborn is Dead: Two musical epics about Jesse Presley

When two similarly twisted songwriters dive into the same story of dark Americana.