Review: If You Died Tomorrow I Would Eat Your Corpse by Wrath James White

If You Died Tomorrow I Would Eat Your Corpse by Wrath James White
CLASH Books (February 2018)

100 pages, $13.95 paperback; $5.95 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I know poetry fans are a fairly small subset. Fans of extreme horror poetry even more so. Once we cut (CUT—Ha! See what I did there?) that down to fans of extreme horror erotic poetry, we’ve got Steve. Maybe Jessica. Clearly, Leza is. But I’m pretty sure those three bought this the second it came out. The question is how to convince the rest of you.

Because If You Died Tomorrow is just solid poetry, regardless of your personal proclivities.Continue Reading

Review: It’s a Weird Winter Wonderland edited by Robert Bose and Axel Howerton

It’s a Weird Winter Wonderland edited by Robert Bose and Axel Howerton
Coffin Hop Press (October 2017)

276 pages, $14.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Call me a grinch, or whatever. I’m cool with it. I’m just not that into Christmas themed stuff. The fluff and crass commercialism bugs me. At the same time, I love weird stories and I’ve been on a crime kick lately, so I was still drawn to this one.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Cry Your Way Home’ by Damien Angelica Walters

Cry Your Way Home by Damien Angelica Walters
Apex Publications (January 2, 2018)

240 pages, $14.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I’m hoping by now that you already know who the esteemed Ms. Walters is. The queen of deft, delightfully flowing, yet quietly unobtrusive words, and the wielder of one hell of a wicked blade aimed right at your weak spots, is back with another handful of slender needles to poke holes in the red lump of knotted muscle. It doesn’t disappoint.Continue Reading

Review: Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever: Completely Ridiculous Edition by Tom Neely

Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever: Completely Ridiculous Edition by Tom Neely
Microcosm Publishing (September 2017)

288 pages, $17.,64 hardcover; $11.99 paperback; $5.39 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

It seems like a silly idea at best. At worst, a bro-heavy homophobic mess masquerading as satire. You take the two loudest, virulently masculine icons of the early Hardcore movement, Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig, and make a series of comics about them in a relationship. Heck, the standard Odd Couple tripe pretty much takes care of itself. Who would have thought it would turn into something much more over the decade-plus long run collected here?Continue Reading

Review: ‘Buffalo Soldier’ by Maurice Broaddus

Buffalo Soldier by Maurice Broaddus
Tor (April 2017)

144 pages, $9.57 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

So, we’ve got Desmond Coke, right? He’s a former James Bondian spy (full of all the expected baddass, class and Dapper Dan style that goes with the title) who found out a little too much. There’s also this boy, Lij Tafari, stuck at the center of the “too much” I just mentioned. They strike off from their home to find a place where the boy can live a normal life in peace, without being the pawn of political figureheads.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Goat Song Sacrifice (Death Metal Epic II) by Dean Swinford

Goat Song Sacrifice (Death Metal Epic II) by Dean Swinford
Atlatl Press (May 2017)

201 pages, $13.00 paperback
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Welcome back to the continuing adventures of David Fosberg, intrepid aspiring purveyor of the metallic arts most black. If you read Book One (The Inverted Katabasis), that is. If not, you’ll probably still be okay. We start off with Davey living la vida nekro in Belgium with his new bandmate, Svart. Surfing couches, drinking beer and playing only the most kvlt riffs as a part of Desekration. New members are discovered and more things happen.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Night Moves’ by Mary SanGiovanni

Night Moves by Mary SanGiovanni
Post Mortem Press (July 2017)

216 pages, $16.00 paperback; $3.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Fair warning: you may be disappointed to find out that Night Moves is not themed around the works of Bob Seger and his hallowed band of Silver Bullet miscreants. However, it does contain seven short stories and two novellas by one of the finest purveyors of weird horror in the business. Continue Reading

Review: ‘Boy’s Night: An Extreme Horror’ by Wrath James White and Matt Shaw

Boy’s Night: An Extreme Horror by Wrath James White and Matt Shaw
CreateSpace (June 2017)

91 pages, $7.99 paperback; $2.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I generally dig Wrath James White. Both The Ressurectionist and 400 Days of Oppression held sly, unique takes on what usually qualifies as “Hardcore” or “Extreme” horror. I don’t really know anything about Matt Shaw, but this is the book Amazon dumped from their catalog until the cover was redesigned, so I had to buy it, though it has been returned with a different cover.

Unfortunately, it failed to live up to my expectations. Continue Reading

Review: ”Til Death: Marriage Poems’ by Janice Leach and James Frederick Leach

‘Til Death: Marriage Poems by Janice Leach and James Frederick Leach
Raw Dog Screaming Press (January 2017)

112 pages, $12.95 paperback; $4.99 e-book
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Let’s go ahead and skip the expected Princess Bride reference and pretend I made it so we can move on, alright? After all, marriage isn’t just about love, no matter how true that love may be. Just as it isn’t about sex (just ask every hack comic). Or the creation of small clones of yourselves. Or the merging of empires. Sure, those are part of it, but they utterly fail to encompass the actual experience. Marriage is about a life shared, along with all of the terror, heartache, unbridled rage and desperation that entails. The rest is just window dressing.Continue Reading

Review: ‘A Field Guide to Kentucky Kaiju’ by Justin Stewart, Tressina Bowling and Shawn Pryor

A Field Guide to Kentucky Kaiju by Justin Stewart, Tressina Bowling and Shawn Pryor
Apex Book Company (October 2016)
104 pages; $14.95 paperback
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Any amateur naturalist worth their salt knows that Kentucky is one of the finest states in this dear union. Those great, sprawling acres of wilderness call to us, filled as they are with some of the more interesting species of both man and beast. Given this, it really is surprising it took this long for someone to put together a loose guide to the more unusual of its native fauna.Continue Reading

Review: ‘Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling’ edited by Jaym Gates and Monica Valentinelli

Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling edited by Jaym Gates and Monica Valentinelli
Apex Book Company (December 2016)
$13.48 paperback; $4.99 ebook
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

Anthologies based on meta-fictive themes can be a bit of a sticky wicket. Sure, we get bored with the same old over and over again, and it is super cool when someone messes with our heads. At the same time, those “look how deft I am at subverting literature” stories are self important in the most boring way possible. Continue Reading

Review: ‘Season of the Witch’ by Charlee Jacob

Season of the Witch by Charlee Jacob
Necro Publications (September 2016)
367 pages; $15.95 paperback; ebook $3.99
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

A book of gorgeously rendered and lusciously poeticized violence. An on-the-cusp scream queen goddess of the local goth TV channel, who survived the brutal violence which tore her family apart, quite literally. A newly appeared 1-900 service that begs you to find the worst in yourself and reveal it to them. Gangs of thematically self-mutilating freaks roaming the streets. All through the background, the seductive voice of Pirsya Profana slithering between neurons. Welcome to the Season of the Witch.Continue Reading

Review: ‘The Train Derails in Boston’ by Jessica McHugh

trainderailsThe Train Derails in Boston by Jessica McHugh
Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing (June 2016)
346 pages; $14.95 paperback; ebook $3.99
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

What in the ever loving…

Okay, the usual review format (hook, blurb, opinion) just ain’t gonna cut it here. Call me unprofessional or just a plain fool if you want. I’m okay with that. When a train runs this far off the rails, honey, you just have to look at the wreckage from a different angle.Continue Reading

Review: 'While the Black Stars Burn' by Lucy Snyder

whileblackstarsburnWhile the Black Stars Burn by Lucy Snyder
Raw Dog Screaming Press (November 2015)
166 pages; $13.95 paperback; ebook $4.99
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

I’ve been a huge fan of Lucy Snyder’s work for years. Her yarns are fun, gutsy and weird as all get out. While the Black Stars Burn, though, has caused me to realize how important it is in the pantheon of full out capital-L Literature.

“Mostly Monsters” makes this indisputably clear from the first page. On the surface, we have the destructive relationship between a father and his daughter and the damage it causes. A sharp, heartbreakingly personal tale of familial horror that kicked me right in the teeth. At the same time, it screams its manifesto to refuse to look away from the small terrors that shape us daily. The sense of causation here, the implications of what went wrong, where and what could be done to keep it from happening in the future are woven through every word without ever stopping the story itself or robbing it of emotional impact.Continue Reading

Review: 'Ritualistic Human Sacrifice' by C.V. Hunt

ritualisticRitualistic Human Sacrifice by C.V. Hunt
Grindhouse Press (October 2015)
200 pages; $12.95 paperback; ebook $3.99
Reviewed by Anton Cancre

So, there’s this guy. Nick Graves. Nick is a bit of a jerk. He hates his wife, but when her surprise pregnancy derails his plan to divorce her, he decides to move them both far from friends, family and anything they know. That’ll show her. Too bad he didn’t look into the neighbors a bit closer as everyone he meets seems to act very strange and they have their own plans for him.

Let’s be straight here: this is not a book for most of you.Continue Reading