Blood on the Tracks

Lead Belly In the Pines

“In the Pines” 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.

william basinski on reflection 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

Theatre of Ice

How Theatre of Ice put the “death” in death rock

There’s a funny, odd scene in an episode of Gilmore Girls where Rory assures her…

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.

robert johnson devil myth

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

best intense album closing tracks slint

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

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

nebraska

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.