Straight outta Detroit! Halloween were local heroes in the Motor City during the eighties. They called their act “The Heavy Metal Horror Show” and dressed up in freaky, spooky clothes and had all kinds of cool decorations on the stage including candles, jack-o-lanterns, and cob webs. Every night was Halloween at a Halloween show, and from the footage I’ve seen, it must have been a blast watching these guys perform! For those who remember Halloween, I bet the nostalgia factor is through the roof. As someone who grew up absolutely loving anything and everything about October 31st, I just wish that I had known about this band’s existence in the eighties. If my brothers and I had owned a copy of the Don’t Metal With Evil tape back in the day, I can GUARANTEE you we would have worn this thing down to a nub. We loved this kind of shit. With song titles like Scared To Death, Trick Or Treat, The Wicked Witch, and Tales From The Crypt, Halloween embraced a kind of campy, PG-13 version of the dark side. Not the more mean-spirited, shock rock, overly sexualized, or overtly Satanic side that bands like W.A.S.P., Lizzy Borden, or Mercyful Fate adhered to. (Don’t get me wrong, I advocate that stuff too!) Halloween were a little more fun-at-heart than those bands. Just the kind of thing my twelve-year-old self would have soaked up like a sponge.
The reason I probably never heard of Halloween back in the day is because they never made much headway outside of Michigan. Don’t Metal With Evil, in fact, was released independently by the band (Motor City Metal Records). From what I can gather, the cassette version of this album first appeared in 1984. The vinyl edition came out in 1985. Halloween later released Don’t Metal With Evil on CD in 1998 (this is the version I own). The record sounds like it was recorded on a low-budget, but the excitement of the band is palpable. In fact, drummer Bill Whyte may have been TOO excited, because he didn’t really keep time too well. As for the singer Brian Thomas, he was average at best. The best performer in the band was easily guitarist Rick Craig. He had some nice chops, and dished plenty of cool riffs, licks, and solos. Overall, Don’t Metal With Evil is a live wire of a record, with plenty of speed to go around, and the endearing spirit of METAL flowing through its veins. The whole thing is just fun and catchy. You know that prepubescent little boy who still lives within your hardened, callous heart? He will eat this up like it’s a fistful of candy corn. My score: B