Horror Rock A to Z: 26 Ghoulish Greats That Define the Genre

Trick-or-treat yourself to macabre music legends from Alice (Cooper) to Zombie (Rob)

Rock music and horror bear so much in common, it can sometimes be tough to tell them apart. Both beloved, incendiary art forms get pulses pounding, hearts pumping, hairs raising, heads banging and, above all, the vivid, visceral goal of each is to get us to scream. If we faint, all the better.

Fright fare even bubbled deep in the primordial ooze from which rock-and-roll initially arose, as blues singers wailed about devilish downfalls and hellhounds on their trails, while country and hillbilly players conjured ever increasingly demonic abandon and occasionally rhapsodized about spooky doings on back roads and in deep woods.

Once rock proper hit in the ’50s, an elite breed of merrily malevolent musicians consciously incorporated horror tropes into their recordings and live performances. From those scare-raisers came entire genres steeped in the traditions of terror: shock rock, heavy metal, goth, industrial, and numerous subgenres of punk.

Put them all together, and Horror Rock is very much its own untameable creature, particularly during Halloween season. What follows is an alphabetical guide to 26 antic artists who embody this ferocious music—and all the scares that come with it.


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