Buttkickin’ Halloween Songs: “Prelude To Madness / Hall of the Mountain King” — Savatage (1987)

His towers of stone
Shall not be overthrown
For eternity
It is guarded by the king
Insanity and the power that it brings

Now if you’re wondering why the cover of Savatage’s 1987 album looks like a the cover to a Dungeons and Dragons module from 1979, the music of Savatage might not be for you. And I wouldn’t try to argue otherwise, really, except that (a) you’d be missing out on some really cool if sometimes goofy music, and (2) you wouldn’t get to hear the pure high fantasy Halloween awesomeness that is Prelude To Madness / Hall of the Mountain King.

And you’d be missing out!

Savatage emerged out of the 80s as one of the forerunners of progressive-styled metal, and you can hear it all over this track. Deep into their bag of tricks they went and applied their skills to the unmistakable 1875 orchestral piece by Edvard Grieg.

You’ve heard Grieg’s Hall of the Mountain King multiple times throughout your life. Guaranteed. I think Atari used it to great effect in an early 1980s video game commercial. That’s how it was introduced to me, anyhow. Nothing but high culture in the Casa von Hokeyhausen.

But Savatage’s take is all high fantasy and the tolls of bells and thunder and dark winds and ominous orchestrations and towers of stone and powerful sorcerer kings and terrifying black magic and of course MADNESS!! SHEER MADNESS!!!

This one is a total no-brainer. Put this on when your Halloween Party guests need that extra ounce of MAJESTIC BLACK MAGIC POWER! And also other things!

Lost inside
Forever hidden from the sun
Madness reigns
In the Hall of the Mountain King

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