Killer Klassix: All Hallows E.P.

The EP is a classic, acting as a horror movie for the ears, attaining underground fame with gamers who indulged in “The Boy Who Destroyed the World” on the “Tony Hawk’s ProSkater 3” soundtrack, and exemplifying the experimental structure of punk music as a whole.


Antonio Llanos, Staff Editor

In the heyday of their youth, California punk pioneers, A Fire Inside (AFI) released a small, four-song EP that would reign supreme amongst the Horror-Punk genre and forever establish the standard for hardcore, melodic punk and using horror movies for lyrical inspiration.

All Hallows” E.P was released on Oct. 5th, 1999, under the now defunct Nitro Records, started by Offspring vocalist, guitarist and lyricist, Dexter Holland. Punk bred punk if you are more of a producer buff.  The EP is one second short of 13 minutes but exhibits the labor of love and affection for not only the punk genre, but for the artistry of horror movies. While most punk albums don’t have transitions or even long songs, “All Hallows” EP is immersive, using the negative space of sound to solidify transitions of a creepy music box, a dark forest in the middle of a storm, a haunted house, and even a self-playing haunted piano.     

AFI kicks off the EP with “Fall Children,” a rallying cry for Halloween lovers and fans of spooky season.  The song acts as the anthem to Halloween lovers across the nation who wish to let their inner horrors unleash in the presence of the golden sun and in the crimson shadows of the pallid moons. Davey Havok, vocalist and lyricist solidifies a melodic chorus, screaming, “This day so hallowed, this day so hallowed, from here to forever, its will I will follow,” solidifying the sainted Halloween spirit in its daunting, yet powerful, spiritual connection. The season (and album) drive the immersive nature by creating an environment that not only nurtures the spooky, rebellious nature within the listener but awakens the primal spook within.    

“Halloween” follows “Fall Children” and is a cover of an acoustic track by the horror-punk pioneers, The Misfits. There are stark differences with the track, immediately adding electric guitars, adding a faster pace to the tempo of the song and a melodic baseline that can be heard contrasting the guitars. Glen Danzig’s lyrics pulse, and complement with Havok’s chaotic howls and screams. The song uses more horrific imagery pulling from classic horror films and literature to solidify the ominous shadow of the autumnal spirit.  Danzig’s lyrics whisper “This day anything goes/ Burning bodies hanging from poles/I remember Halloween/Halloween, Halloween, Halloween, Halloween.” Clearly Danzig had decided to write a lullaby for infants, but Havok decided to charge the song along with lyrical intensity and overwhelming grotesque brutal imagery.

“The Boy Who Destroyed The World” is an original track written by Havok and is the story about a boy losing hope and innocence. Though dismal and better set to be put onto a more solidified album, “The Boy Who Destroyed the World” ended up becoming the breakout track from the entire EP and even called the attentions of Activision Game developers to put the track on the third installment of Tony Hawk Pro Skater franchise, “Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3.”  Havok screams the chorus, “Remember when we were all so beautiful?/ Never again, never again/But since then we’ve lost our glow.” At face value, the song highlights a beautiful, pure spirit’s radiance going out and in response  becoming like so many others. Conversely, the song subtly hints at society’s inability to acknowledge the driving factors behind life’s ominous path. The song pinpoints light’s metaphorical significance of vibrancy and the wonder that keeps one tethered to the desire to cherish the small things one seeks out or would otherwise form the cataclysm that the title explicitly states.

The EP is a classic, acting as a horror movie for the ears.  The EP has everything an album by a hardcore punk band should have: fast paced drums, repetitive yet catchy guitar work, intricate basslines and vocals that are not only screamed, but are sung with such aggressiveness they manage to emit actual notes. Even 25 years after its release, “All Hallows” EP remains a staple in every punk’s collection. If you are looking for other spooky punk albums along the lines of “All Hallow’s” E.P. for this season, try  The Misfits “Famous Monsters,” 45 Grave’s “Sleep In Safety,” Tsunami Bomb’s “The Invasion From Within” and Son of Sam’s “Songs From Earth.” 

If you can handle it, please, enjoy your spooky season with this EP.