- "Sorrow About to Fall" is a notorious example of this. The music is haunting to say the least, and the lyrics are no different. Basically, it tells about the aftermath of a city which has incurred some form of apocalyptic event and that there's a 'sorrow about to fall'. It isn't made clear to the listener what happened to the city or its inhabitants, but one such interpretation is that the city was completely obliterated and the result was few to no survivors. If anything, it's a stark contrast to what ELO were known for in the past.There's a silence in the city
There's nobody around
And everyone that we knew
Moved to higher ground
- There's a particularly notorious example at the end of "Mr. Blue Sky", when you can hear Richard Tandy say "Please turn me over!" in a rather haunting vocoded voice.
- The introduction to "Fire On High" sounds like a satanic composition, until you get to the 1:29 mark. And then there's the backmasking. "The music is reversible, but time is not. Turn back! Turn back! Turn back!" There's something about a recognizably-human voice producing noises that no human could ever make that's just creepy.
- You also have the relatively dark looking album cover for "Afterglow", which you can see here.◊
- Pretty much every song in the album "Balance of Power" has haunting and evocative lyrics set to happy, mostly synthesized, backing music. And to say the least, those sort of songs were not what ELO were known for before.
- A number of the tracks on the group's 1981 concept album Time fall into this category, largely due to both the general melancholic motif of loss transcending each of its songs and the lo-fi vocoders and early '80's digital vocal effects employed on multiple occasions:
- From the End of the World is possibly the album's most major foray into nightmarish territory, owing to its distorted-sounding melody, high-pitched vocals and eerie synthesizer instrumentation. However, its darker tone is justified in that it implicitly describes the singer being brainwashed to believe his own lover in the past has abandoned him.
- The combination of low Geiger-esque notes and faint, haunting choir rendition of "Rain, Rain, Go Away" in the opening of Rain is Falling easily qualifies, although the remainder of the track is noticeably more downtrodden and ponderous than genuinely creepy.
- Extending the scope into the album's unreleased songs, When Time Stood Still is the clearest example of this among them, particularly the stark, slow-hitting rhythm and the breathy, distant quality of the vocals describing the barren "halls" of space-time.
Nightmare Fuel / Electric Light Orchestra