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Nightmare Fuel / Genesis

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This progressive rock band is often thought of as rather light and cheerful, but these moments indicate otherwise.

  • From The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, the Lamia, the Slippermen (again!), and Doktor Dyper.
  • "Snowbound", a song about hiding a dead body in a snowman, certainly qualifies for this trope. A method of "waste management" that would have done Tony Soprano proud.
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  • "The Day the Light Went Out", the B-Side to "Many, Too Many", also available in Genesis: 1976-1982. See also: The End of the World as We Know It.
    When they went to bed that night no one would have believed
    That in the morning, light would not be there
    The dark hung heavy on the air like the grip of a jealous man
    No place was there known to have been spared
    Then panic took control of minds and fear hit everyone
    The day the light went out of the daytime sky.
  • "Mama". Mechanical drum machine? Check. Ominous music? Check. Big drumming finale, like in "In The Air Tonight"? Check. Phil almost doing a Metal Scream? Check. Phil's Evil Laugh? Check. Stalker with a Crush Clingy Jealous Guy lyrics that would make Sting proud? Check. Is there a HONF bingo?
  • There's also the thief trapped forever in a disembodied state in "Home by the Sea", the global disaster and "beautiful river of blood" from "Domino" - for a band so many people think of as pretty light and fluffy, the Collins-era Genesis had a shitload of really chilling lyrics.
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  • The twisting, loud, deathly melodies at the end of Entangled, played on mellotron and a warbly synthesizer, particularly as the song's lyrics concern a patient's discussions of mental illness with a psychiatrist, definitely count on their own.
  • "The Knife", about a soon-to-be dictator rallying his followers.
    I'll give you the names of those you must kill
    All must die with their children
    Carry their heads to the palace of old
    Hang them high, let the blood flow
    Now, in this ugly world
    Break all the chains around us
    Now, the crusade has begun
    Give us a land fit for heroes, NOW!
    • The remastered edition for the 2007 Tour Edition of Turn It On Again: The Hits manages to be even worse, with Gabriel's voice now distorted in a way that sounds as though he's talking through a megaphone as he says the following:
    Some of you are going to die... martyrs, of course, to the freedom that I shall proviiiiiiide!
    • The ending: "We have woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooonnnn!!!"
    • There's a part where Peter Gabriel begins chanting "We are only wanting freedom" which begins progressively creepier as more voices join in, giving a Voice of the Legion effect to it. Towards the end of this, we hear an officer giving a command to his men:
    "Okay, men, fire over their heads!"
    [A child is heard screaming]
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  • Steve Hackett has an instrumental track on his debut solo album, Voyage Of The Acolyte, sandwiched in between two gentle pieces, called "A Tower Struck Down". It is an aggressive, increasingly chaotic and dissonant piece with persistant, distorted electric guitars and analog synths, a sound effects Jump Scare in the middle, and the sound of a Hitler rally of "Sieg Heil"s at the end. Sweet dreams, kiddies.
  • Visually, many of Peter Gabriels costumes count, such as the Watcher Of The Skies, the Slipperman from The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, and the Guard of Magog from "Supper's Ready" can send nightmares.
  • The subject of wrongful imprisonment in "Inside and Out" is a real Adult Fear. It is strongly implied that the man's actions were consensual, but that the parents of the girl he made out with have it in for him. The song states that the event took place in August '53, and that he has been out (as of 1977) for 20 years, meaning that he spent four years in prison and then was let out, likely due to insufficient evidence. Several summers pass where he tries to explain his story differently (most likely modifying his story to get a lesser sentence) and he eventually gets out, but the judge tells him that he's 'paid for his lies'. Then, 'with that behind you, you can't plan ahead' - he's been found (technically) innocent, but nobody will hire him. It's still however implied that they can imprison him again, regardless of his claims of innocence, if more 'evidence' turns up, and this time they definitely won't let him go. The effect symbolises the way the man is still paying for the crime he did not commit. It also highlights how sadistic some authority figures can be.
  • "Return of the Giant Hogweed" should be Narm or Nightmare Retardant due to being based on the invasion of a plant species. However, when you actually listen to it, it doesn't come out that way, due to the sheer darkness of the ending, what with its dissonance and proto-NWOBHM galloping rhythms. "The Musical Box" from the same album can also qualify, what with its Stalker with a Crush lyrics and bloody backstory/ending.
  • "White Mountain" is about a wolf named Fang who seeks to take control of his pack by killing its leader. After stealing the packs crown and sceptre, the pack realises what he's up to and go to kill him. The pack leader's declaration that Fang must die is accompanied by very loud bass kicks from the drums, adding a very dark tone to what had mostly been a by the books prog rock song with its acoustic guitar and keyboards.
    Fang, son of Great Fang
    The traitor we seek
    The Laws of the Brethren say this:
    That only the King sees the crown of the gods
    And he, the usurper,
  • The "Land of Confusion" music video is pretty creepy, with its Uncanny Valley puppet versions of celebrities (made by the folks behind Spitting Image) and Genesis themselves (ESPECIALLY the Phil Collins puppet, who looks like a squashed tomato).
  • "Driving the Last Spike", not least because everything the song describes actually happened to numerous railroad labourers. It'll be particularly frightening for individuals with claustrophobia.


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