Few things are more universally taboo than having sex with a dead body — which is exactly why rock and metal musicians are so fascinated with the idea. Murder may be dastardly and brutal, but there’s something about becoming aroused by a corpse that is so unbelievably horrific that it immediately inspires the sick individuals who make the music we love. And though cases of actual necrophilia are rare, your average death metal band would have you think that there’s an epidemic of post-mortem boots-knocking going on right under our noses.
To honor this bizarre love of cranking one’s mortal coil, we decided to put together a list of the 10 greatest songs about necrophilia. Since death metal, gore metal, and deathcore have endless variations on the theme, we chose not to go too deep down the multi-syllabic song-title rabbit hole, but still managed to include some of the genre’s sicker acts.
Here are the best songs about finding limbo by the dashboard light…
10. Exhumed, “Funeral Fuck” (Slaughtercult, 2000)
On this track from 2000’s Slaughtercult, Exhumed penned what everyone imagines a death metal song about necrophilia to be. Frantic, disgusting, and equal parts rage and lust, “Funeral Fuck” isn’t a track about romance beyond the grave so much as a paean to humping a body to pieces. Of course, we wouldn’t expect anything less from the Bay Area kings of gore metal. It ain’t all flower wreaths and mortician’s wax.
9. Insane Clown Posse, “Cemetery Girl” (Riddle Box, 1995)
“The earth has been rather cruel to my dying sugar/Is that a bug up on her face? Oh, it’s just a booger.” ICP may go hard on the clownish mischief a lot of the time, but “Cemetery Lady” brings the full eerie atmosphere. Sure, there are lyrics about being able to choke your girlfriend since she’s already dead, but some of Violent J’s other rhymes have a believable Edgar Allen Poe vibe to them. In that respect, ICP remain true to their Halloweenish tendencies, never feeling the need to be gory when creepy is just fine. Wicked gross.
8. Murderdolls, “Grave Robbing U.S.A.” (Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls)
Technically, this track from Murderdolls’ 2002 debut is about some Plan 9 from Outer Space-style alien zombification. But when the intro ends with the creak of the coffin lid and Joey Jordison (we think) saying, “I’m first!” it’s pretty safe to assume what the band are taking turns at. When Wednesday 13 sings, “Back in the summer of ‘76/I would dig up bodies to play with,” it pretty much seals the deal. A fun, spunky track about some good ol’ fashioned exhumation.
7. T.S.O.L, “Code Blue” (Dance With Me, 1981)
This frantic, psychotic track by California punk legends T.S.O.L. plays on a recurring theme: turning to the dead when living lovers aren’t interested. Granted, the band make this less of a forlorn gothic tale so much as an ultra-creepy exploration of a cadaver. The result is a track that exposes the harsh, corporeal reality of wanting to bed down with one of the Silent Majority. Not for the faint of stomach.
6. The Black Dahlia Murder, “Deathmask Divine” (Nocturnal, 2007)
Michigan’s The Black Dahlia Murder are the only band on this list to write their song about a true story. “Deathmask Divine” is based on the case of Carl Tanzler, the doctor who stole his patient and love interest’s body in 1933 and turned it into a giant wax doll. While Tanzler’s story never includes specifics about his, uh, boudoir activities with said preserved body, Trevor Strnad’s screams of, “I wonder, are you dreaming still/Spread eagle, blood removed?” certainly fill in the gaps. No pun intended.
5. Impaled, “Back to the Grave” (The Dead Shall Dead Remain, 2000)
While it’s arguably the crassest track on this list, Impaled’s “Back to the Grave” is also one of the most awesome. Though it opens with a quote from 1932’s chaste Universal film The Mummy — “Do you have to open graves to find girls to fall in love with?” — it quickly descends into abject depravity. Lines like, “I ram the ass with my fist” are about has repulsive as one can find concerning the subject of post-mortem love, but also make for excellent gore metal fare. Hope your SO doesn’t spring a leak!
4. Cradle of Filth, “Amor e Morte” (Midian, 2000)
In predictably baroque fashion, Cradle of Filth couch their tale of love beyond the grave in flowery language and tear-streaked cheeks. But the core concept of laying one’s beloved after her demise is very present, harkening back to gothic tales like Wuthering Heights. There might be more crypts and ruffles here than gushing innards, but the ghastly sentiment shines through even louder for the track’s ornate descriptions. Sometimes a little blood goes a long way.
3. Cannibal Corpse, “Unite the Dead” (Gallery of Suicide, 1998)
It wouldn’t be a list about necrophilia without a Cannibal Corpse song! But while many Cannibal Corpse songs seem to be about having sex with a dead body, they’re usually about having sex with someone while they’re dying. Yet “Unite the Dead” is about necrophilia in reverse, with horny zombies rising to fuck the living, and maybe have group sex with an undead whore-mother (we think?). Fast, disgusting, and with a fanged vagina thrown in to boot, this is every necrophiliac’s most bizarre fantasy. Brazzers is just the beginning.
2. Slayer, “Necrophiliac” (Hell Awaits, 1985)
It had to be Slayer who brought corpsefucking to the metal masses in the ’80s. “Necrophiliac” is about as classic a song about exhuming and banging a corpse as will ever be written, the track’s stark thrash metal hinting at the base nature of the protagonist’s demonic lusts. That said, it’s a Slayer track, so of course the guy knocks up the corpse with Satan’s spawn, who will undoubtedly burst from its belly in a deluge of mung and destroy all life on earth. Good times!
1. Alice Cooper, “I Love the Dead” (Billion Dollar Babies, 1973)
Though death metal bands may have done it to death by now (pun definitely intended), it was Alice Cooper who first blew up the topic of man-on-cadaver love with 1973’s “I Love The Dead.” Though neither his first or last song about the chilliest embrace — “Refrigerator Heaven” was on 1970’s Easy Action, and “Cold Ethyl” would later appear on 1975’s Welcome to My Nightmare — this song was the Coop’s grandest declaration of sick desire. Slow, big, and groovy, the song remains a chilling testament to the desires of a morbid mind. It’s just a shame that decency laws wouldn’t let this one be brought to life (as it were) on stage.
Words by Chris Krovatin