Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Monsters Are Coming! Out of shape, overweight, kinda slow Monsters...

Well, we had hoped to have the new Monsters anthology out this week. At least the digital version, if not both print and digital. It isn't.

Rest assured, it is coming, and soon. I would like to apologize for the delay personally. This is one production that has been riddled with issues pretty much from inception. However, I'm either incredibly stubborn, or incredibly thick-headed, because we went ahead with it anyway -- and I'm glad we did. We have some amazing stories, and I can't wait to present them to you. I am, in fact, frustrated by the delay, but must put the blame on the shoulders upon which it belongs: my own.

So, my apologies, and I sincerely hope -- I believe, thanks to our authors -- that it will be worth the wait.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Small Bites with Pete Turner

Pete Turner has tried his hand in many facets of published writing: from short stories, poetry, newspaper articles, church plays, a screenplay, to Christian rock lyrics. In 2010, he published his first novel, Whisper A Scream (Noche Files I). After it was republished it became the #1 Customer-Rated Horror, #1 Religious Fiction, #1 Ghost Horror and #1 Occult Horror Novel on Amazon Kindle as well as #4 Best Seller list on Religious Mystery Amazon. His second novel, Whisper from the Woods (Noche Files II) also appeared in the top ten of many of these charts as well and #1 Best Seller for Religious Mystery during a promotional tour.

 Pete currently lives in Kentucky with his wife, Tammi and their four children. He is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, with an MA in Counseling and a BA in Psychology and Pastoral Counseling. He has worked in many avenues in the mental health, social work, grief therapy, Christian Counseling fields, and currently an adolescent psychotherapist. He is currently working on Whisper of the Fallen (Noche Files III) hopefully coming out by Winter of this year and putting together an anthology of short stories, lyrics, and other writings to be published this summer. You can find more info at Pete's website or Facebook page

Without further ado...

A Flame in the Dark: What is your favorite monster/horror icon?

Pete Turner: My favorite Horror icon would have to be Dexter Morgan from the TV show Dexter. A serial killer with a conscious?? A serial killer of serial killers? A serial killer that everyone roots for, I would have to say is a great twist in writing. 

AFitD: Favorite horror movie?

PT: I have so many favorite horror movies- so I’ll narrow it to three: Psycho, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th (each of the originals)!

AFitD: Favorite author?

PT: My favorite author by far is Ted Dekker.

AFitD: One question you wish people would ask you, and your answer?

PT: The one question is how many tattoos I have… the answer is technically 15. But eventually my back will all be one and then it will be six.

AFitD: Who is Jesus, to you?

PT: Jesus to me is my Lord and personal savior. He is my inspiration to write. I'm not sure what I do in writing is ministry, but I do try and be educational in dealing with the forces of evil—Only Jesus Christ can defeat evil. It’s not our works or morals or mantras or ‘salt’ that defeats evil, but the power of Jesus!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Free Fiction and Other Goodies: Bits & Pieces 2.25.13

The folks at the SpecFic Authors Collective have a selection of free fiction -- much of which is sitting firmly on the paranormal end of the speculative spectrum. Highlights are Soul Smuggler, by Milo James Fowler, 4 collected "paraNOIRmal" shorts featuring a "phantasmal antihero" named Mercer; another Fowler short called "Mercer's Ghost," which is a paranormal western; and a horror short co-written by Gustavo Bondoni and our good friend Lyn Perry, called "Beyond The Veil." Details on these and others at the Collective. (h/t to Lyn Perry)

Author Mike Dellosso has introduced the new cover to his upcoming novel, Fearless. According to Delloso's website, Fearless is about a 9-year-old girl named Louisa, who "mysteriously appears in the middle of a house fire with no memory of how she got there or where she came from." Louisa enters the lives of Jim and Amy, a hurting couple who has suffered a terrible loss, and sooner reveals there is more to this little girl than meets the eye. Check out the full synopsis at the website.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

IV: Zombie-themed Album Covers from Christian Bands

For the first post on another new feature here at AFitD, I decided to combine two personal loves: zombies and Christian music. Today's list includes four Christian album covers featuring zombie or undead imagery. With each, I'll also include a sample track, if I can, from the album in question. Just to give you a taste. Enjoy!

1. Romero, The Awakening

Even the group's name is evocative of zombie culture. I recently got the chance to talk to these guys about their ministry and influences. The members of this deathcore band have a love of horror cinema and a passion for spreading the gospel. For those who can understand what they're saying, anyway.

Plus, there's honestly something I love about hand-drawn covers.

2. Vengeance Rising, Once Dead

Vengeance Rising, sometimes described as thrash, sometimes death metal, always extreme, has always been one of my favorite groups. Sue me. Once Dead is the final album featuring the founding members of the group, before the core musicians split off to form Die Happy. Roger Martinez stayed behind, made some other albums (Released Upon The Earth is a notable, excellent album), and then went off the deep end, denying Christ and deciding to turn into an atheist. It's a tragic story, and one worth exploring. In the meantime, we're left with this, a fantastic album with an almost whimsical cover featuring the members of the band rising from their respective graves. Cheesy? Maybe a little. But who cares?

3. Soul Embraced, Dead Alive

Featuring members of metalcore pioneers Living Sacrifice, Soul Embraced has a new album coming from Rottweiler Records. Dead Alive features great writing and solid death metal. A side note -- and I've mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating -- this is the band that wrote the song "My Tourniquet," which was covered by Evanescence (Drummer Rocky Gray also played frums for that band).

4. The Deadlines, The Death and Life Of... 

When this group started, they were a horrorpunk band -- the first and only (to date) such group ever on the Tooth & Nail label. Though they have kept their psychobilly/surf punk sound, they left behind their horror roots after the debut album. Still, the debut was a ton of fun, and has a cool cover, to boot.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Greg Mitchell's Dark Hour: Bits & Pieces 02.20.13

The final installment in Greg Mitchell's "The Coming Evil" trilogy drops today. Mitchell is celebrating the release of Dark Hour on his website. The new novel concludes the story begun in The Strange Man and continued in Enemies of the Cross

You can find his new book on Amazon

Speaking of Amazon, Pete Turner's recent Kindle giveaway for Whisper From the Woods (book two of his "Noche Files") was successful. The author reports 1240 copies were downloaded the day of his event. The first book of the series, Whisper a Scream, also landed at the number 3 spot for Christian mysteries on Kindle. 

In the world of music, former shockrockers Rackets & Drapes are back, but have left behind their industrial horror rock past and moved into a darkwave-inspired techno-industrial. They plan on releasing their new album this October at Gothicon. You can catch up on R&D news, and hear samples of their new material, via their Facebook page.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Small Bites with John Zelenski

Our first victim: John J. Zelenski
A new column here at A Flame in the Dark, Small Bites is a micro-interview feature where you, the reader, can get to know authors, filmmakers, musicians, and others working on the darker spectrum of the Christian-based arts. The first to be strapped to our proverbial dinner table is John J. Zelenski, the author of Walker’s Vale.

He introduces his book, and himself, thus:

My name is John J. Zelenski and my debut novel is Walker's Vale, Christian-based supernatural / paranoramal / horror- thriller.  The book was in part inspired by my own true-life events I encountered as a child when my family and I moved into our then new home.  I enjoy things that go bump in night (except when it's me tripping over toys on the way to the bathroom) and have a deep love of Christian metal/hard rock.  My true love(s)besides Jesus Christ are my wife and son and daughter....and chocolate chunk cookies. I am currently working on another supernatural / horror book that strays in a little bit of a different direction, however, there will be a sequel and a prequel to the Walker's Vale story.  Any movie producers listening?

A Flame in the Dark: What is your favorite monster/horror icon?

John J. Zelinski: Absoutely, the Alien from Alien.  Sorry Mr. Predator

AFitD: Favorite horror movie?

JJZ: Tough one becuase horror can divided into so many sub-catagories.  Also, this answer can change from year to year, but for now I would have to say a little know gem called Fear Of The Dark (Canadian Film).  It doesn't need nudity, language, or disrespect of God to be scary.  Check it out!

AFitD: Favorite author?

JJZ: Besides me?  I would have to say Emily Bronte.  She not only wrote Wuthering Heights (my favorite), but a lot of deep, dark, incredible poems as well.

AFitD: One question you wish people would ask you, and your answer?

JJZ: Interesting question -

I think it would be, "Why do bad things happen to good people?  I would simply answer, I do not know!  Then we would hold hands or embrace and find solace in the fact that we both answered life's hardest question.

AFitD: Who is Jesus, to you?

JJZ: Let me answer by quoting Dennis Jernigan:  "Taking my sin, my cross, my shame Rising up again I bless Your name You are my all in all."

We want to thank John J. Zelenski for allowing us to experiment with him. Go find out more about him -- and his book -- at his website, and take a look at his book.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Dropping The J Bomb: An Interview with (deathcore band) Romero

I was introduced to Christian deathcore band Romero through a compilation by Warclub Records. I did some digging and found an eclectic metal band with death and black metal influences, whose horror-inspired lyrical imagery pointed to the grace of Christ. Shortly after I found out about them, Romero called it quits. And then started back up again.
I caught up with guitarist Dakota Whiteside and vocalist Joe Andreani and asked them about the mission and music of their lately defunct -- and now re-formed -- metal band.

A Flame in the Dark: A Christian, horror-inspired death metal band? Let's start with the obvious: how do you reconcile your faith and your commitment to share Christ with your horror imagery?

Joe: Well, I'm not really sure how to answer this question to be honest.

I mean, I don't know if I'd necessarily say that we have a horror-based image (which makes me think of bands like the totally awesome Grave Robber) so much as I'd say\, like how you put it before, that we're horror-inspired.
When we first started I suggested the name Romero as kind of an inside joke/reference to George A. Romero (the 'godfather' of zombie movies) because when we first started playing shows and didn't have a name people would find out that we were Christians and their reaction at best would be a sarcastic reply along the lines of "So, you guys believe that a cosmic Jewish zombie died for your sins and you talk to him to talk to God? Yeah, that totally makes a lot of sense! Stop trying to feed people these adult fairy tales!"

We just kind of shrugged stuff like that off, but funny enough it made us all think "Wow, Jesus rose from the dead, he's the undead... whoa." and it made the name Romero that much better to us; haha.
That's not to say there weren't things that would get to us too, though.

Sometimes there would either be a sudden and complete shunning of us as soon as we spoke out about being Christians (which to me was kind of hilarious because it really shows how hypocritical and narrow-minded people can be, which is the same thing I always hear people say about Christians). I mean it was ridiculous; one moment people would be upfront or in the pit just totally getting into our set and then as soon as we'd drop the J bomb (Jesus) they'd back away from the stage or go sit down or would bash us by yelling things like "F your God!" or just walk around the pit now flipping us off instead of moshing, but it was a two way street; we also had a lot of people who weren't Christians who totally supported us and even yelled at some of the people in the crowd when they'd shout something derogatory at us while we'd be talking between songs; and while I don't encourage that since there were quite a few times I thought a fight was going to break out, it was cool to see someone who didn't share our faith be supportive of what we had to say.

I mean any support we've gotten has been awesome; we really do legitimately love our fans and friends we've made because we also get a lot of flack from Christians too since we don't really agree with the modern concept of church and we're very out spoken about that as well or just because of the fact that we're Death Metal; like one time after a show a kid came up to me and told me a story about how he got in trouble at school with a teacher for playing our music in class when they had a music show and tell day and the teacher thought we were the most evil demonic sounding thing and demanded that the kid turn his CD off because it was a Christian school and music like that was "of the devil."

We also don't like to sugar coat or hide the fact that depraved things happen in this world; and I think sometimes our lyrics can be pretty extreme for a "christian band", but I mean in certain circles I grew up in; it was like taboo to discuss anything bad that happens in this world, but that doesn't make sense to me.
People need to be aware of what's going on; there's way worse things happening right now in reality than what's displayed in any horror movie and that's why it's so important to try and make a change as well.

Sometimes we also feel like you have to kick the devil in the teeth (which; I mean I have no idea what or who the devil truly is; growing up in church with the Sunday-school attitude of him being this red humanoid being who lives in hell and tries to mess with humanity, to different theological views like that the devil is an existing spirit crafted to be a tempter to humanity, or that Lucifer was just an evil king that existed at a point in history and isn't the same as the serpent in the garden of Eden ect.) it's truly hard to really say what's out there I just know that evil exists; and that's where we need to aim any and all anger at is evil itself; which is what the track Aequitas off the second EP is about.
I mean, I'm at a point in my life where I openly admit that I know absolutely nothing; except that I believe God is real and through faith in Christ I'm saved, and I'm clinging to that with everything I have, but back to horror movies....

We all dig horror movies (some of us more than others) but when we hang out we do like watch a lot of random and cheesy horror movies (Like the Evil Dead series) or play Left 4 Dead (a zombie themed FPS video game) at practice when ever we kind of get stuck or needed a break from writing; it's kind of just a part of who we are, something we've always been drawn to or gravitated towards, not all of us grew up in church and I feel like because of that we never really had any sort of stigma around certain things like horror movies.
I mean; even when I was a little kid I never understood why there was such a big controversy around metal and horror movies; despite the fact that the local video stores cardboard cut out of Freddy Krueger use to scare the heck out of me as a kid.

It's kind of like, when I was younger I always wanted to try the doom video game series, but growing up in a christian household my parents were against it; but I just didn't get it, I'd always be like "but you're in hell killing demons; you're killing demons." to me it just seemed like for a christian that would be the greatest game ever; haha, but I mean there's definitely some horror movies out there that I personally wouldn't choose to watch because I feel that they could have a negative impact or that they're just not worth filling your head with; same with some music as well, but then there's other horror movies that I can really appreciate, especially any of the George A. Romero zombie movies and the way they stand as a commentary on humanity and society, but I also really like a lot of Wes Craven, John Carpenter and Sam Raimi movies as well; some of which in my opinion ultimately contain stories about facing and over coming your greatest fears vs just being your average slasher movie with buckets of gore.

As far as sharing our faith or love for Christ goes; it just comes down to that we really believe that Christians should never be passive or silent about their beliefs; though I don't really think ANYONE should be passive or silent about their beliefs either even if someone does disagree.

So, while not all of our songs are directly "christian themed" for say, we always take a moment during our sets to talk about our faith and try to encourage people to come talk to us afterwards if they want prayer or just need to get something off their chest.

That's what our biggest goal as a band is really; to just reach out to people who are hurting; especially those who may be misunderstood, I mean I know what's it like to be the kid in church wearing an Iron Maiden shirt and being called "evil" for it or being out somewhere and someone try to minister to me because of my tattoos, it sucks, but people are people; we all make mistakes, all of us.
AFitD: How did Romero start?

Romero's debut EP, "The Awakening," from 2011.
Joe: Well; there use to be a local venue/skateshop called Fusion Effect in Shawnee, Oklahoma where I met Mitch (one of the founding members of Romero) when his, then band "Chaos Control", had been opening for Carnifex.

We started hanging out a lot over the summer at my parents and you know, we'd just kick it and sit around playing guitar all day.
After summer; Mitch went off to college and we didn't really talk for a few months, but later he gave me a phone call seeing if I wanted to hang out with him and his friend Aaron who also played guitar.
The three of us got together and we were like "let's start a band" of course, that meant having three guitarists since at the time that's what the three of us did; and well that didn't work out very well, and our search for a vocalist and other members was about the same....

Trying to find people who are into death metal in Shawnee Oklahoma was very hard to say the least.
Eventually; I was like "well, if we can't find a vocalist I guess I can give it a shot".

Shortly after that we found a bassist in a friend of ours (Dylan Herron), and a drummer in Dylan Woody who we had actually met when he came to try out for vocals at one point and later messaged us saying he could also play drums if we were looking for a drummer.

At this point we actually were a secular band called; something like "Plague Upon The Sky" or something super cheesy and "metal" like that. We lasted for, maybe three months before calling it quits.

After that though, Aaron and I started hanging out a lot and started getting into a lot of deep talks about God and decided that we should start a ministry based band; we talked to Mitch about it and he was on board.
At this point I booked a show a month in advance thinking "we can totally find a drummer and get stuff together in time" (to this day I have no idea what I was thinking)

So, our search for a drummer began which eventually lead us to Jeremy Marquez; who was the drummer for Mitch's old band Chaos Control. We found Jeremy and talked to him about it and he seemed really down for it stating that he had wanted Chaos Control to have been a christian based band, but when we did get everything set with him and we were ready to start writing....

We only had four days to practice and get a set together for our first show.

It was the most fun and intense thing I can remember; at that point in time I was no where near use to doing vocals still and threw up quite a few times during the whole process of getting use to using my diaphragm; my sides hurt so bad, but after four days later we pulled it off and played our first show outside of the local game-stop where I worked at the time for the midnight launch of a new game; and that's how we started.

AFitD: You recently decided to call it quits as a band (or at least, as Romero), but then to continue on and work on new material. Can you tell us a little more about what was behind both decisions?

Joe: Well, as far as the calling it quits portion goes; Aaron decided to step down from the band last year for personal reasons; which I think was a huge discouragement to a lot of us. When we started; we didn't want to just do ministry, but be brothers to each other; so him leaving was really like having a family member move away.

Shortly after, our drummer Dylan Woody had also stepped down to move to Texas; which at that point left myself, Dakota (guitar) and Corey Hess (bass) trying to figure out what to do.

We decided to talk to our original drummer Jeremy Marquez about coming back to the band (who had left to focus on work) and he did, and then we went in an attempt to really hit everything harder than we ever had before.

(Though, to be honest through different circumstances quite a few members came and went over the years [one time a friend and I sat down and tried to figure out how many people had been in Romero in total and I think it came to 14] and each time someone left; it kind of became more painful for me personally to carry on; because we all were brothers to each other and after awhile; playing on stage without them felt kind of empty.)

That aside, things were going pretty well; and we were able to do an EP release show in our home town and then our last show we played had been opening for Impending Doom; which to us was huge since we had all been fans since their EP.

Unfortunately, at that last show I had been feeling insanely sick all day; like running a fever feeling like I was going to throw up if I ate anything kind of sick and half way through our set I ended up coughing up a sick mucusy chunk of blood followed by a migraine and my vision splitting; it was horrible and I had to finish the set sitting down against the drums screaming into the mic for the last few songs; it really scared me since nothing like that had ever happened before.

After that show I ended up going to the dr's and then laying in bed for two weeks with a 104 temperature; I kind of thought I was going to die and the doctor thought it was west nile virus and stuff; so I decided to go ahead and step down as vocalist and things just kind of fell apart from there I suppose.

After I recovered I ended up moving out of state and started a new job and spent 5 months without doing anything musically; it just totally ate away at me.

So, I gave Dakota a call and we started talking about forming a new project; after awhile we decided we didn't want to abandon the ministry aspect that Romero had and ultimately decided; why not just start Romero up again?
Dakota - I can only really comment on the reunion part of things. For me, I think it was all of the fans that were reaching out to both Romero on Facebook, and myself. Like; hearing stories of how Romero's music had really touched kids in the music scene, that's something that's kind of surreal to imagine. I used to look to bands like Haste The Day and think the same thing people in the music scene are thinking about us, and it's an amazing feeling! It's the sort of thing that I don't really know what to say, except praise God for using us in that way, because I know that's what I myself am called to do. But in addition, I literally could not get another music project going; and like Joe, it ate away at me as well. So one day, out of the clear blue, I sent Joe a text and suggested getting Romero back up again. After a week or two of prayer and seeking the members, we picked Dylan Woody back up on drums, and our good friend Anthony Knox on guitar now. Life was good once again for me.

AFitD: You've started work on some new material. What can you tell us about it? Are you looking to go back to the more evangelical lyrics of your first EP, or the more horror-inspired themes of the second?

Dakota: When it comes to the actual music; I really want to step it up a few notches from our last release, the 'We're Not Safe' EP. Also; I didn't really get to add to much to that EP besides the lead parts (IE the solo in 'Carmilla'), so now that I get to be involved in the writing process 100%; I feel like this next release will have more of my own stamp on it than 'We're Not Safe'. The direction I've envisioned for this next release is to make it more technical, faster, heavier, and just aim for an all around more mature sound. For the longest time, as long as I've played guitar, I've progressed heavier and heavier with music. Starting with bands like Metallica at a young age and now into bands such as Thy Art Is Murder. And the one thing I've always wanted, was a Christian band to listen to, whose music was as good as the secular bands I was into. So that's something I really want to do with the full length. I want to write music that compares to the likes of bands such as TAIM, Signal The Firing Squad, and Carnifex, but have the message of God behind it. Because I'm sure there are people out there who want the same things I want, and well, I figure if I want something like that bad enough, why not just make it myself, you know? So I'm really looking forward to writing the new material and getting it to ears that I know will enjoy it and be blessed by it. And while I also want it to be a step up, I'd also like the bring back that old-school Deathcore feel. Because I feel like it's just come to a routine of writing generic riffs and breakdowns anymore, and that ends up with everything sounding the same. While we're Deathcore, I'd like to stand out from the crowd as something unique, but also stay a little trendy to keep the audience listening.

Joe: Well, we're currently in the writing process for it and about 75% done with a song that we're hoping to record and have out within the next month to help promote what we hope will be our first full length album and show that the band does indeed still have a pulse.

Romero's Second EP, "We're Not Safe," dropped in 2012.
As far as the lyrical content goes, we are going to have songs focused on God and faith, we're going to have some in the vein of short horror themed stories that have kind of an underlying moral to them (like "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things" and "Carmilla" on the second EP) but we also want to make some of the songs extremely personal as well; which the second EP began to take that direction with tracks like "Patrick Swayze Was No Kurt Russell," which truthfully is aimed at Christians who tear others down and lead people away from God by being unloving and judgmental.

AFitD: So, back together, new material... what does the future hold for Romero, and for the members? I Know some of you had other musical projects in the works as well. Are those still on the front-burner?

Dakota: I know I, myself, plan on staying with Romero as long as God is calling me to do so. I stand very strong in my beliefs and want to do whatever it is God would have me do, which in this point in time, is Romero. As for side projects, I'd really like to get things with Romero running 100% before I branch off and try to do any side projects. I've been practicing vocals a lot here lately and would love to maybe try my hand at those. Whether in a band that plays shows, or just writes music, but who knows. For now though, my main focus is Romero.

Joe: As far as the future goes; I just hope we can pull together and make the full length album a reality. We all have a lot going on in our personal lives at the moment, and I'm currently not even in the same state as the other guys still, but this is really a passion to us and we don't want to give up on it.

As far as the other musical projects go.... My wife and I are still working on an acoustic project called Orphan; Dakota, myself and a drummer named Tyler Fisher, formerly of another Oklahoma based christian band called Teeth Like Lions that we toured with in the past, were discussing doing a project with Dakota on vocals and myself on guitar, but the details on that are still up in the air.

This Week in Horror & Suspense, 02.16.13

Pete Turner's second entry in his "Noche Files" is free for Kindle today. Pick up Whisper from the Woods today only at Amazon.

Relevant Magazine takes a look at "The Walking Dead," community, and friendship in a great piece exploring the deeper meanings in zombie fiction. Check out the article here.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Beautiful Gray Day: A Review

Grrr Records has never had a massive roster, but has nevertheless managed to bring forth an eclectic group of bands and musicians. Over the years, the label has introduced the blues rock of Resurrection Band, hardcore punk from Crashdog, a modern, post grunge effort by a group of teenagers named Sheesh, Celtic folk rock, hippie rock, and now solid goth act Leper.

Leper, who has been around since around 2000, describes themselves as "a darker Pink Floyd, an Edgier Cure with some NIN mixed in." This seems like as good a description as any.

Beautiful Gray Day is Leper's third full-length album, and possibly their most accessible to date. Though the first two albums were replete with monster movie and horror references, BGD eschews such enticements in favor of a subtler, more moody approach. For one thing, even the title is just a touch more upbeat than the instantly-depressing title of their sophomore effort, "And Everybody Died." Their debut was even less subtly titled Kreischen (from German, The Shriek).

Leper tends to let their lyrics dictate the flow of the music. Because of this, some of the tracks sort of plod interestingly along ("Ascolta"), while others lean toward Nine-Inch-Nails-inspired industrial ("Spezza Spezza Spezza"). Possibly the most accessible track (read: radio friendly) is the medium-paced "Perseguita (Haunt)." The song borrows heavily from The Cure, leaning almost toward catchy before pulling slightly back to maintain its mostly dreary feel.

Lyrically, you get a real feel for the ministry aspects of band on this album, more so than in previous works. Some of the songs on BGD ("Oido Tutto - I hate Everything," and "Fai Come Vuoi - Do As Thou Wilt") seem almost a direct challenge to much of the Goth/Scene lifestyle, while others, like "Non Ho Piu Paura Di Dormire (I'm Not Afraid to Sleep Anymore)" act more as an answer to the fears and emotions that drive people to it.

Overall, this third effort from Leper is a dark but enjoyable musical journey from dark alternative rock to an ambient industrial. Whether you or not you describe yourself as "goth," Leper presents an almost friendly introduction to a mysterious, and often beautiful, artistic style.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Around the Web: This week in horror and suspense 02.02.13

Happy Groundhog Day! (Side note: how is there not a super-cheesy Syfy original about fuzzy Phil and his shadow terrorizing small-town Punxy?) In case you were wondering, the rodent says we've got an early Spring coming.

Anyway, Christianity Today has a pretty good article on why we're so fascinated by zombies. It is by no means definitive, but it's pretty well-done, and avoids being condescending.

Our friends at Fear and Trembling have Issue 51 available to read. New stories include "A Fixer-Upper," by  Mark Silcox; "Song of the Frogs," by M.T. Nagel; and Unprepared by Celesta Thiesson.

Speaking of stories, two authors are currently offering their books free on Kindle. Sam Whittaker's A Ghost of Fire is free for the next four days. J.M. Rawbone is offering Bunker free today only. You can read Sweet One's review of Rawbone's book here.

The youth group horror film Sahri is now available to watch free for a limited time. You can watch the movie on YouTube or Vimeo. You can also read our review here.

Finally, in music, Romero, a Christian deathcore band with horror influences, has announced via facebook that they are back and working on new songs. The group had previously announced they were splitting up.