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Book Review: Axes of Evil – Edited by Alex S. Johnson

Axes-of-Evil-BookAXES OF EVIL
A Heavy Metal Horror Anthology
Edited by Alex S. Johnson
Chupa Cabra House Publishing
576 Pages

A mammoth collection of thirty-three tales with a common theme surrounding heavy metal folklore, legends and horror that will exhilarate even the blackest of souls.

Mourningstar By Del James-Destruction likes on the horizon for Rhain, Wraith, Revile and Ruin collectively known as Mouringstar at their last gig.

All The Rage By Lindsey Beth Goddard-Triston Seever a demon incarnate wreaks havoc slaying groupie after groupie.

The Plaster Casters Rise Again By Charie D. La Mar-Debby and Crystal will go to any lengths to acquire a mold of the biggest and baddest rock stars.

The Cold And Lonely Tombstone Of Angus Smith by Jeff O’Brien-Kevin and Addy prowl the cemetery in hopes of a supernatural show of their own.

Battle Of The Bands By Joel Kaplan-The Skull Fukkers vie to stay alive in an ll out gore fest.

The Doom To Come By Andrew Freudenberg-Lisbet and Ohlin battle for three centuries until one finds their ultimate demise.

Sinister Cavan By Jim Goforth-Ned Friar and Malcolm Miller, two Christian advocates vow to put an end to the band’s debauchery.

Beyond Death By Chuck Rios-First person account goes to extraordinary lengths to get the attention of the girl of his dreams.

Rio Grande Blood By Chris Kelso-Leather face has a score to settle with a music critic from Shred Magazine.

Tour Of Skin And Bones By Michael Faun-Dead Oath the metal band find all new meaning to the term instruments of death.

Seven Goats By Mathias Jansson-A poem about one man’s obsession with unleashing the apocalypse.

Louder, Faster…By John Claude Smith-A Satan’s Whirlpool concert goes terribly awry for a devoted fan named Dylan.

Ex Punk By MP Johnson-Lilly gets an epiphany at an Inter Scissor concert.
An Unholy Statement By Kerry Lipp-Scott takes Lisa to a Devil’s Knot concert that turns into hellfire and anarchy.

Keltorrian By Jacurutu23-The rants and ramblings first person account of a man on the edge of madness finds fame in music who soon regrets it.

Let Him Who Hath Understanding By Morgan Silva-(Inspired by Iron Maiden’s Number of The Beast) A tale of one man’s descent into the occult abyss after witnessing a sacrificial ritual.

Frygga: Dreams of Fire By Christine Morgan-Renate a member of an all –girl Viking band has re-enacting dreams of being burned at the stake.

Death Call By Christopher Hivner-Kicker, a drummer for The Plague Rats is infested with hallucinations of fairies who ask for help in slaying Dave Mustane.

Gargamanthanga By Martin Garrity-First person account of an exorcism performed during a surgical procedure.

Backstage Passes By Anna Haney-Denver receives backstage passes to meet The Killing Hoard and gets more than what he bargained for.

Rita By Mimi A. Williams-A woman pieces together what happened the night before in a soundtrack to Metallica’s Enter Sandman.

Die Clown, Die By Alex S. Johnson-Joe, a clown by trade attends a Love Bomb concert with a dyer finale.

Once Bitten, Twice Shy By Charie D. La Mar-Brian and Corrine experience tragedy at a Great White Concert.

Rock and Roll All Night By Sephera Giron-Danica relives her rock and roll glory when a coworker takes her to New Orleans for a weekend.

Hardcore Crust By Terry M. West-Gary, a film maker is hired by a metal band to shoot a vampire P*rnography flick.

Unholy Concoction By Robert Holt-A band Unholy Concoction reluctantly plays a private gig at a desolate castle.

Axes Of Discordance A Bangalore Story By Jay Prakash Satyamurthy-A group of college kids audition a drummer that seems just a little off.

Crush By S. Macleod-Sadie, a heavy metal vocalist copes with being abducted.

Harbinger Master By G. Arthur Brown-Drip and Bark, two teenaged fans hang out with the group Harbinger Master backstage and get more than what either bargained for.

The Dreadheads By Grant Wamack-Brian a journalist interviews the infamous band and learns the meaning behind their song Suicide Rattle.

Before The Ball By Ray Van Horn Jr.- Ted, Rich, Dillon and Floyd kill time before their favourite MTV video show The Headbanger’s Ball.

To Hell With The Metal By Sean Leonard-Kerwin and Hall, two detectives investigate the poser murders of metal musicians.

Extremophiles By Lucy Taylor-First person account of an obsession with the band and frontman Magnus Ochoa.

What could possibly go better together than heavy metal and horror? The perfect blend is as synonymous as peanut butter and jelly or perhaps more apt what sex and drugs is to rock n’ roll. Each explores the darker side of human nature mostly in sin. Primal tendencies are explored in depth, accentuating conflict creating some of the most effective horror.

Whether fans of metal or terror; there is an undeniable correlation with intrigue in the other. Chances are the consummate head banger or fright fiend has explored the scream induced medium. Each acts as a cohesive unit showcasing the eerie elements contained within.

A relative culture or way of life forms for the avid heavy metal fan. Often there is a common bond of acceptance or sense of belonging. Many who have suffered adolescent social isolation or bullying find surrogate comfort in metal music. The lyrics resonate and relate to their own personal turmoil. The same could be said for horror fans looking for an escape to venture into abominations far worse than their own reality. In essence the exploration into each genre is therapeutic and balances us in the end through vicarious fantasy.

The stories in Axes of Evil cover a broad spectrum of subgenres. From the classic good versus evil to the paranormal to zombies and Slasher fare. Subtext or themes from every author is as diverse as each wordsmith.

Some realism is penned to further enhance the suspended sense of believability. One tale focuses on the ill-fated Great White concert tragedy, while another incorporates and actual Metal God Dave Mustane as its central character.

For this avid reader I would have preferred to see a biographical section for each the contributing authors. When I take a shine to a particular writer I often like to explore previous or additional forth coming endeavors. It’s a non-issue really but would have created a handy blue print for further searches.

This massive collection boasts thirty three tales and an excess of five hundred pages which is ideal for revisiting time and again whenever the hammer gods beckon.

5 comments

  1. The ‘Sean Leonard’ whose story appears in that anthology with the story “To Hell With the Metal” is me, seanofthedead, reviewer of extreme horror for Horrornews.net!

  2. That was you Sean, that was awesome. Great collection

  3. Thanks for the review! (S. MacLeod here) Glad there are metal fans reading. I’m really pleased and proud to be part of this volume, and Axes 2,2.666, 3 will be coming soon! :)

  4. Charie D. La Marr

    Thanks for the mentions. Most appreciated. I like showing off different facets of my work.

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