Axes Of Evil Review

This is an incredible collection. This is 576 pages of bad-ass, gore-soaked heavy metal thunder! I recognized only a few of the names in the table of contents, but every story in this book captures the true essence of metal, of rock and roll, and all of them kept me riveted (always impressive, as far as anthologies are concerned.) Like a killer album, every "track" in Axes of Evil is a single, all strong and well-performed, but here are some of my favorites:

"Battle of the Bands" by Joel Kaplan is an intense vision of a vicious future that makes violently playful dystopian sci-fi like “The Running Man” look like kiddie fare. Think Smash TV with guitar-blades that sound best when stabbing human flesh (and other equally creative, destructive gadgets used to flay grateful fans and the members of other bands alike)

"The Plaster Casters Rise Again" by Charie D. La Marr is a funny, wild, and totally raunchy tale that features a bad ass (and very well endowed) viking rocker named Thor. If you know anything about Cynthia Plaster Caster, you can imagine how this story begins, and it just gets more interesting from there.

Lindsey Beth Goddard's "All The Rage" mixes Lovecraft-style elder-god madness with heavy metal to create a soul-devouring tale of brain-melting music and audience massacre without anyone even touching a blade. Great lines in this one.

"Frygga: Dreams of Fire" by Christine Morgan is as elegant as hell and twice as poetic. I love this piece, and not just because I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Norse mythology. The tale is gripping, powerful and very intriguingly told.

"Before The Ball" by Ray Van Horn, Jr. takes the 80's monster movie concept in a thrilling direction. I love the way this piece is constructed, steeped in the vibe and paraphernalia of the period and saving the big, creepy reveal for a spot near the end. Rock on!

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