In keeping with the current zeitgeist, we are deep into this month’s annual, October-long Halloween celebration of dark music. Originally, the game plan was to make the first half of the month a look back on some of the more ominously eclectic albums from the recent past, but that script has been flipped: all the older material that has withstood the test of time is going to be creeping in from now through the end of the month And just to keep you guessing, not everything here is going to be macabre, menacing or morbid. Here’s what’s on tap for about the last ten days of October, barring the unforeseen:

  • Darkly anthemic art-rock instrumentals from a highly sought-after film and video game composer

  • A clever electronic composer releases a balmy, atmospheric album to balance out his previous collection of chilly industrial collages

  • One of the most memorable, eclectic metal bands around hails from the Black Hills of South Dakota
  • This dark all-female outfit veers between doom metal, dreampop and 80s gothic sounds
  • An icon of southwestern gothic rock goes fullscale orchestral

  • A rising star classical violinist explores the mysterious and the macabre
  • Brooding motorik instrumentals from a distinctive Iranian-born film composer

  • Troubled lockdown-era themes from this eclectic, cinematic Mexican singer
  • This Spanish metal band leave their Iron Maiden fixation behind for a much more colorful, diverse original sound
  • A memorably brooding debut album from a promising new Brooklyn jazz guitarist
  • These crate-digging stoners can’t resist sharing their rare finds on their latest vinyl compilation
  • And some blasts from the recent past, exhumed just in time for Halloween: a macabre symphonic suite, 80s-style gothic rock, doom metal bombast and creepy 21st century string quartets
  • The Best New York Concerts of 2020 and Best Albums of 2020 pages are live now. The Best Songs of 2020 page is next…but it’s going to have to wait til later. Stay tuned!
  • Every November, there’s always an issue with women here. If you’ve been keeping up with this blog for any length of time, you may have noticed that New York Music Daily’s coverage is split equally between male and female artists. And the monthlong October Halloween celebration of dark music inevitably results in an imbalance favoring the guys. Does this mean that men are inherently more evil than women? Assuredly not. But it stands to reason that guys tend to be scarier than women. So in order to restore equality here, the last two months of the year will feature a slight increase in the number of female artists you’ll see on the front page. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be scary music from male artists, or male-fronted groups here. It just means you may meet some amazing women over the next sixty days.
  • Looking further into the future, the consensus is that this fall and winter are going to be a rough ride. But this blog is optimistic. Have you seen the crowds at the protests around town, and around the world? Maybe you’ve been part of them. The medical fascist train has jumped the rails, and flames are rising from the wreckage. We just have to stand back far enough to watch the carnage instead of getting caught up in it. Prediction: 2022 is going to be way better than 2021. Ultimately, the game plan here is to return to more concert coverage and calendar listings, just like in the good old days of early March 2020!