On the 1st of January 1818, the first edition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus was published anonymously. There are many reasons to celebrate its bicentennial, all of which have been covered over the last 200 years and, indeed, over the last 2 weeks but for me, as a horror fan, Frankenstein’s an important book. It has its roots in gothic literature and has prescient sci-fi elements, but I think it sets up much of what we’ve come to subsequently know as horror over the past two centuries.

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Image : © Bernie Wrightson.

Horror’s arguably the most maligned genre, when it comes to books, TV and films, in the same way that metal is for music. I find this interesting because, not only are they my two favourites, but they also both often do the same thing. They use heightened metaphor — usually macabre or grotesque metaphor — to explore psychological, philosophical and emotional themes. I guess this doesn’t work for everyone and both are regularly dismissed as exploitative trash but for me, they’ll always have my heart. I’m drawn to the dark, to the over-the-top, and to the extreme. …

It feels anathema to choose a covers album over every original piece of work that came out this year (especially in a year that gave us tons of great music) but this is the one I keep coming back to, the one that makes me feel the deepest reaction, the one that repeatedly takes my breath away. This, frankly, is the sound in my heart.

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Let me justify my love…

I spend a lot of time on metal news websites and I’d say my least favourite articles are the ones that are all “Check out an incredible metal cover of this euro-disco anthem!” It’s so clickbaity and the appeal seems to be just the incongruity of it all. The assumption is that you probably didn’t like the song before but now you can, either ironically as a joke, or because it’s been made into metal. Musical snobbery sucks enough as it is, but worse is that the ‘unexpected’ cover almost always wrecks what was originally a great song and turns it to novelty (the same applies going backwards incidentally — classic metal songs reworked on the ukulele/noseflute/cat are rarely any good either). …

Five Perfect Metal Albums For Autumn

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Image: Freestocks.org / Model: Astathre

Yes, I’m one of those people. Autumn is my favourite season. I mean, of course it is. I live for horror movies and “Halloweeny” would be an ideal adjective to describe me (were it an actual word), but the late October spookiness is far from Autumn’s only appeal. I don’t do well in the heat of summer and those days when finally the temperature starts to drop again are like a literal breath of fresh air. …


C.J. Lines

Author of Filth Kiss and Cold Mirrors. Film distributor. @denofgeek columnist. Award-winning pie-maker. Horror podcaster. Niche blog at @ninjasalltheway

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