cover image Corpsepaint


David Peak. Word Horde, $15.99 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-939905-38-3

When Max, aka Strigoi, the notorious, has-been leader of black metal band Angelus Mortis, hires new drummer Roland and heads to the Ukraine to record a comeback album, they get much more than they bargained for in Peak’s visceral, folkloric horror tale. Collaborating with Ukrainian death metal band Wisdom of Silenus is what Max needs to jump-start his flagging career, but doing it in on a remote, nationalistic survivalist compound in the middle of the freezing wilderness wasn’t the plan. Roland is immediately taken by Wisdom’s beautiful and strange frontwoman, Seph, but Max is burdened by heroin withdrawal. Then a shocking act of violence seals Roland’s fate, and Seph reveals her hopes that Max’s final song will usher in the world eater, the Lord Leviathan. Peak uses nightmarish imagery, slowly building a sense of brooding, creeping dread. No one is innocent in Peak’s carnival of horrors, and readers hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel won’t find it, but those who appreciate moody, nihilistic horror will be rewarded. (May)