Swinford, Dean-Death Metal Epic II-Goat Song Sacrifice (Book Review)

Reviewed: April 2020
Released: 2017, Publisher: Atlatl Press
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: JP

The vast majority, (99% or higher) of publications about Heavy Metal are non-fiction.  So when a Metal themed fiction piece is published it always catches my eye.  In this case the publication in question is the Death Metal Epic trilogy. I intended to review all of them individually.

Dean Swinford is an American professor of English who resides in North Carolina. He is a life-long Metal fan and has tried his hand at writing a Metal themed fiction piece.   Printed and presented by Atlatl Press the first part of the series was written in 2013.

Last month I reviewed Part I of this trilogy, so I do recommend you go and read that review if you have not already. I added more detail in that review and instead of repeating myself these reviews are intended to be read, like the books, in sequence. Accordingly, this review is a bit shorter!

GOAT SONG SACRIFICE has the same look and design as THE INVERTED KATABASIS for a nice consistent look. It’s a bit longer, 50 pages longer but the story never drags.

The story picks up our protagonist in Europe, and adds a love interest, some (mild) romance and the evolution of the band.  There are some further metaphysical themes and dreams woven through the text but not a distracting degree.  There are a few graphics scattered through the pages, and many of the chapters are clever plays on Metal phrases, album or song titles.  The new characters introduced are believable and well developed. There is a thin layer of grime across the entire story, drugs, alcohol, hangovers, one night stands and being broke, crashing on couches, kicking the dirt around in Europe as many young people have been known to do!

GOAT SONG SACRIFICE definitely concludes on a cliff-hanger. In in this world of instant gratification and impatient binge watching, some readers might find this technique less than satisfying but I feel it adds nice dramatic tension and heightens my anticipation of the finale, with the odd title of THE SINISITER SYNTHESIZER!

Much like Part I, this is a fun tale, engaging, interesting and Metal to the core!   Bring on THE SINISTER SYNTHESIZER!

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