Blood on the Tracks

Body Count Cop Killer

Body Count courted controversy with 1992’s “Cop Killer”

A provocative and short-lived song that left an impact long after its commercial release

violent femmes add it up

Violent Femmes’ “Add It Up” captures the dark side of adolescence

The Violent Femmes may get older, but their music is permanently preserved by the elixir…

Bloodrock D.O.A.

Bloodrock’s “D.O.A.”: A disruptive rock anthem

Music isn’t always meant to be a source of comfort. That’s maybe self-evident when you…

Coven Satanic Mass

Coven’s “Satanic Mass” put witchcraft on wax

Looking back at the first black mass pressed on vinyl

Suicide Frankie Teardrop

The proto-industrial nightmare of Suicide’s “Frankie Teardrop”

One of the most harrowing listening experiences of all time

Kate Bush Breathing

Kate Bush confronted fears of nuclear war in “Breathing”

In 1980, Kate Bush’s take on nuclear war was so devastating because of its intimacy

Sufjan Stevens John Wayne Gacy Jr.

Sufjan Stevens’ “John Wayne Gacy Jr.” highlights the banality of evil

Unless you experienced it firsthand, Sufjan Stevens‘ “50 States” project probably sounds like a bizarre…

Sarah McLachlan Possession

How Sarah McLachlan’s “Possession” highlighted the dark side of fame

An art-pop banger that shines a light on menacing fan obsession.

Lead Belly In the Pines

“In the Pines” — A song that remains open-ended after 150 years

Untangling the mystery within the song and the one from whence it came

black sabbath riff

How the “Black Sabbath” riff captured diabolus in musica

How the first heavy metal record introduced the sound of evil to rock music.

broadcast witch cults of the radio age review

The strange occult lore of Boards of Canada’s Geogaddi

A look back at the duo’s stunning electronic epic, and all the mystery surrounding it.

Patty Waters Black is the Color

Patty Waters’ “Black is the Color of My True Love’s Hair” is an exorcism of a folk song

A vocal jazz take on a folk song, turned into a menacing descent into madness