Sunday, February 12, 2012


Two years ago, some friends of mine observed that every year could use more Halloween and less Valentine's Day. Valhallaween was born.

Valhallaween is a Viking-themed celebration that includes helmets, weaponry and midnight marauding. No bar or household is safe, especially not the Lucky 13 Saloon, although they welcome that kind of debauchery anyway. Of course the holiday needs a soundtrack.


  1. Swedish Choir, "Du Gamla, Du Fria"
  2. Led Zeppelin, "Immigrant Song" (Live)
  3. Iron Maiden, "Run to the Hills"
  4. GWAR, "Ragnarok"
  5. Amon Amarth, "Valhall Awaits Me"
  6. Megadeth, "Take No Prisoners"
  7. Ozzy Osbourne, "Over the Mountain"
  8. Judas Priest, "Breaking the Law"
  9. Motörhead, "Iron Fist"
  10. High on Fire, "Rumors of War"
  11. Sepultura, "Territory"
  12. Mastodon, "Emerald"
  13. AC/DC, "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)"
  14. Black Sabbath, "The Mob Rules"
  15. Metallica, "Seek & Destroy"
  16. At the Gates, "Slaughter of the Soul"
  17. Blind Guardian, "Valhalla"
  18. Queen, "We Are the Champions" (Live)
18 of the all-time greatest pillaging songs packed onto one disc of awesome.

This was not easy. Nearly every great metal song could soundtrack a Viking invasion, and there's even an entire subgenre dedicated to this subject. Thus for the sake of keeping order to create chaos, the Valhallaween score has a few rules.
  1. It can't be too serious. Sorry, Eluveitie, but this is for a party.
  2. It can't be too silly. Everyone's definition of what constitutes as silly metal differs (my dad would say all of it,) and a lot of people will say I broke that rule by including GWAR. They made the cut, but Manowar did not.
  3. Songs with some sort of Viking or pillaging theme get priority over those without. 
"Immigrant Song" is the most obvious choice, with "We Are the Champions" being second, so I included crushing live versions of both. Taking off from those two, I wanted this mix to be sea shanties for a metalheads, a crowd that some conservatives consider to be hooligans. Modern day Vikings, if you will.

The hardest part was picking one song from each band. Any Amon Amarth song would suffice here, as would plenty of choices from Priest, Maiden, Motörhead or Mastodon. This was settled by applying rule three. Songs like "Take No Prisoners" and "The Mob Rules" won out over tracks that were just as good, but didn't quite trample villages the way the final choices do.

At the 11th hour, I tracked down and ended up including the Swedish national anthem. It's a charming, minute-long melody. As Valhallaween's opener, it works as both a rousing send-off and as a China shop for oncoming bulls with names like Johan Hegg, Max Cavalera and Lemmy Kilmister.

Happy Valhallaween! On we sweep with threshing oar.

Download here: Valhallaween

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