Well... what kind of scary are you trying to get across?
Like... thrash... "Welcome to hell" kind of scary or somethin else....?
well we are a progressive rock band but im looking for like a horror scary like
locrian, phrigian, phrigian dominant...and the aeolian can also be used aswell

and also try lots of chromatic notes
ok... I was just gonna say, a lot of thrash/progressive/death metal often does not write in a key. If you use cromatic chords building on each other in the right way, you can get a sort of hard sounding, powerful effect.

Horror scary......... hmmm.... well my input here is probably next to useless but if I were you, whenever you decide on a scale, definitely utilize your passing diminished chords to get kind of a cool, off sounding progression.

Just experiment.
Minor 2nds

Build chord progressions off of those, and you can get some scary stuff.
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apparently if you use the Locrian mode (7th mode of a key), you can get a 'dark' type of sound, but i dont really know, seeing as i have hardly touched that mode.

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an organ would help. or keyboard with organ effect. tritones give a bit of haunt, like black sabbath. not quite haunting, but just cool
chromatics are great
also try half steps but on different octaves like

E -----8-----------------------------------------------

from my song "Enter Dark Materia"
(youll know if you played FF7)
Last edited by FeatherBreeze at Jul 3, 2006,
tritones and chromatics. My 2nd band is a goth/horror punk band, so I have to make pretty much everything sound scary!
minor keys work too if u play them right.
Seriously, what makes good horror is melodies that involve dissoance to make the melody kind of make ur spine tingle. I do it all the time, and people tell me I write scary stuff. Give it a shot.
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I've used the locrian and I don't think it gave a particulary scary sound

I'd say chromatics and diminished stuff...I kinda tend to use diminished things alot because I really like the sound.
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(General statement)

remember the sound of the scale is greatly affected by what chords are being used.
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yes, definitely diminished. also, try just experimenting without thinking what scale to use. for example - idk if u consider it scary, but it's certainly strange and slightly eerie with the right pedal FX - the beginning to the second solo in Metallica's "Four Horsemen". It goes like this:

|---------14-----13-------12---------| ... etc.

Play it as all triplets. It sounds cool imo. sorry if this wasn't a big help... i'm by no means a living theory book, but i tried.
OH! I almost forgot: do NOT forget the use of other things besides theory! (ie. dynamics, attack, volume, etc) Trust me, using all that's in your repetoire is the key to writing the best within ur potential. It makes sense, right?
yeah pretty much listen to everybody above me, this is some really good advice. somebody said tritones--if you don't know what that is, it's the b5 interval, i.e., E to Bb. very creepy, sometimes called the devil's interval hehe