Friday, October 25, 2013

The five best Vocaloid songs to rock out on Halloween

Halloween's less than a week away, and if you've followed yesterday's list you already have a crop of new games lined up to play to get you into the Samhain swing of things.

But what about great songs to carry you through the season?  One can only listen to Thriller, Monster Mash, and MC Hammer's Addams Family Groove so many times before the true horror of Halloween begins to set in.

Thankfully, a raft of super-talented Vocaloid producers have stepped up over the past five years or so to create some of the most creepy, unsettling, and downright awesome songs to put you in the Halloween mood.  While you don't need a working knowledge of Japanese to appreciate these, keeping an open mind to the genre certain helps.

Musunde Hiraite Rasetsu to Mukuro 
(Join Up, Open Up, the Rakshasa and the Corpse)
Composer: Hachi feat. Hatsune Miku

There's really a lot to like here.  While the lyrics are a bit nonsensical (even if you speak fluent Japanese) the jazzy koto riffs and thrumming bass line make this song easy to love - even if it's creepier than all hell.

The live version of the song is really something to experience if you can, as the audience's chanted responses add an extra level of ritualization to the sinister theme of the song.

Fun fact: While "Rasetsu" doesn't translate neatly to the western myth of vampirism, it's about the closest approximation you can make.

Available (legally) from: Nowhere, really... but you can find ways to download it
Creepiest lyrics: Now, tonight, again, let's party freely
Together with the low-tier members from Hell 
What will be degraded at the bay of this banquet
is found within the atrocity and savagery among us
so pure and clean that it is wicked

Haikei, Ido no Sokokara (Greetings, From the Bottom of the Well)
Composer: Machigerita-P feat. MEIKO, Hatsune Miku & Kagamine Rin

Far more unsettling than upbeat, Greetings, from the bottom of the well also draws heavily on Japanese folklore - in this case, an Onryō, or vengeful female spirit.  This helps explains its singsong nature and quintessentially Japanese melody... although you may (rightfully) wonder why the hell someone would make a song like this in the first place.

Think of it as a sort of "hate" song from Samara (The Ring) to one of her future victims, and you won't be far off from what to expect from this Vocaloid creep-fest.

Available (legally) from: Again, not an easy one to purchase... but free MP3s do exist
Creepiest LyricsMocking spiders and flowers drop down  / How about sending some candy too?

Trick and Treat
Composer: Oster P. feat. 
Kagamine Rin & Len

Like Musunde Hiraite Rasetsu, this one's more danceable than it is disturbing.  In fact,  if you didn't catch the lyrics, you'd be excused for thinking it's just another catchy duet between sibling Vocaloids Kagamine Rin & Len.

Trick and Treat's one of the earliest Halloween-inspired Vocaloid songs, and it might feel a bit too pop-y to include on a playlist since it's not even in a minor key... but its theme and lyrics are every bit as unsettling as the other songs on this list.

Available (legally) from: Not on Amazon or iTune either.  What's a fan to do?
Creepiest lyrics: My my, what a wicked child! You're already awake
If the blindfold came off, then shall I blind you?
Come now, smile! Let's see that precious face

Gift From the Princess who Brought Sleep / Belphegor's Gift
Composer: Mothy feat. Hatsune Miku

Part of Mothy's still unfinished Seven Deadly Sins septet of songs, Belphegor's Gift represents the sin of Sloth and tells a rather twisted tale of a princess who poisons everyone in a town so they'll leave her the hell alone.

Ok... so that's a bit of a simplification, as there's a jilted love story at the center of the song, but you don't need to appreciate any of that to rock out to the rather excellent track that accompanies Miku throughout this one.

Fun Fact: The use of 'Gift' throughout the song is a very subtle, and deliberate, pun. Depending on the verse, the meaning switches between the English definition (a present) and the German one (poison).

Available (legally) from: Don't cheap out! This one's 89¢ on Amazon
 Creepiest lyrics: Please sleep with this gift of mine
You can sleep well with this gift of mine
Yes, I am Princess Sandman who brings eternal repose
just so that you can be happy forever.

Compser: cosMo@暴走P feat. Hatsune Miku

The closest thing to rhythm game boss fight music that you'll get (that isn't from The Charlie Daniels Band), Sadistic.Music∞Factory is designed to be grating, disturbing, and creepy as all hell. Unsurprisingly, cosMo@暴走P delivers all that and more with one of more his more memorable and and innovative Miku tracks to date.

The song's a bit of a letter of frustration to the whole music design process, which is why it's the perfect song to conclude Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F.

Available (legally) from: Looks like this one's free, too
Creepiest lyricsYo! You there! Don't let your hands stop! 
Did you think I couldn't see you?
If you dare slack off again, consider this place your grave... 
Are we clear?

Banner image source: Zerochan