1. Slipknot - "Psychosocial"
On a list like this there is really only one place to start: Iowa's Slipknot. I feel many people fail to give Slipknot a chance simply because they choose to wear masks in their videos and when they perform, which is a shame because of the vast number of great songs they have. Their masks have evolved from album to album and have become more sophisticated. Why the masks? There are many answers, but honestly it's fucking cool, so don't worry about it.
2. Mushroomhead - "43"
When a band gets as big as Slipknot there are always other bands that fans and critics mention to draw comparisons to, but in Mushroomhead's case the similarities start at the appearances. Though they got their start in 1993 Mushroomhead really didn't find a mainstream audience until people started to notice the masks worn by Slipknot resemble those donned by Mushroomhead (who initially had the idea to differentiate members from the other bands they were apart of). I'm not hear to start any band-wars and regardless if the idea was ripped off (which I doubt) both bands kick ass and have carved out their own corners of the metal world.
3. Ghost BC - "Monstrance Clock"
Easy now, that says CLOCK. Ghost BC (known as Ghost outside of North America) are relatively new on the scene and have been getting attention at festivals like Coachella and recently Rock in Rio with Alice In Chains and Metallica. The most notable thing about the Swedish group is their members (known only as Nameless Ghouls) wear dark robes and hoods while performing and the vocalist, Papa Emeritus paints his face like a skull and wears the robes of a bishop. The true identity of Ghost BC's musicians has yet to be revealed, if it ever will be.
4. Mudvayne - "Dig"
Why is it only heavier bands seem to do the "lets wear crazy shit when we go on stage" routine? I guess it's not only them, but for the most part. When Mudvayne hit the scene they quickly became known not only for their raw and relentless metal sound, but the different costumes they'd wear while on stage. Fans would be left guessing until the curtain rose. Would it be the alien costumes? The satanic rabbits? When they won the MTV Award for best Hard Rock performance in 2001 they accepted the award in pristine white suits and each member had an oozing bullet hole through their foreheads.
5. Mr. Bungle - "Squeeze Me Macaroni"
Mr. Bungle were a band that never saw much commercial success, though i'm sure they could all be arsed about that. Getting their start in the mid 80's Mr. Bungle were know for their experimental style of music, often combing different sorts of instruments into a single song to achieve the desired effect. Like kazoos, banjos and death-metal drums. They were also known to wear jumpsuits and masks on stage. Or just full blown Halloween costumes. Singer Mike Patton would also go on to take lead vocal duties for Faith No More.
6. Buckethead - "Jordan"
If there's only one thing Buckethead wants to do for the rest of his life it's release albums. To date he's release 62 records. The guy loves playing guitar, and by damn can he ever play it. Though he typically remains a solo artist or studio musician he did agree to become part of Guns n' Roses during the pre-Chinese Democracy days. Some say he stood out like a sore thumb because of his play style...or maybe because of his desire to wear a plain white mask and a KFC bucket on his head while he performs. Either way, he didn't stay caged in GNR for long was soon back on his bucketheadin' album releasin' ways.
7. Deadmau5 - "Ghosts n' Stuff"
Taking an internet screen name that sounds like "deadmouse" came to Joel Zimmerman after he found just that in his home computer when he attempted to clean out the tower. It's a name he continues to use to this day as one of Canada's most well known and acclaimed House Music producer and performer. Oh and he just happens to wear a giant mouse-like head at his live events.
8. Sleep Party People - "I'm Not Human At All"
I forget where I heard of these guys, but I remember the video distinctly. Everytime I try to describe it always boils down to "The one with those guys in bunny masks". Great song, but i couldn't find much info on the group.
9. Alice Cooper - "Wicked Young Man"
If you don't know Alice Cooper he sort of began the whole Shock Rock musical style in the 70's and 80's. Though his act was not totally original (see Arthur Brown) his was the one that media ate up. Cooper (born Vincent Furnier) claims the soul of a long dead witch named Alice lives inside him and makes him do these horrible acts. Acts that make it on to his stage show (which he thankfully is still putting on to this day). Decapitations and skewerings are common occurrences at an Alice concert. Some acts have gotten him into hot water however, like tossing a live chicken into a rabid crowd...the poor fowl was torn to pieces within seconds.
10. GWAR - "Let Them Slay"
It\s kind of unfair to include Gwar on this list. They aren't humans in costumes. In fact they aren't humans at all. They came from the planet Scummdogia and arrived on our planet when their ship crashed into the Antarctic. There they remained frozen for centuries before a sleazy producer unthawed them and saw their amazing musical prowess. The rest is basically factual history. Other amazing Gwar songs? "Saddam-a-go-go", "Immortal Corrupter" and "Bile Driver". Check them all out though. Do it.
What are you guys dressing up as?
Again Happy Halloween!
JZ - @jonnyzhivago