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Metallica of Horror

Writers know that music is one hell of a muse. Music, good music, fuels performance just as much as bad music can completely drain the gas tank. Of course, good and bad are subjective. The key is finding that melodic combination that moves you, pumps you up, and pushes you towards your goal.

Music also helps create a sort of frame or backdrop to any creative project. Though I write on occasion, I spend most of my creative energy putting the magazine and anthologies together. There’s a lot that goes on during the process, but each time I have music playing, and the interesting thing is that the band or sound that I listen to during a project definitely helps shape it all.

Deadman’s Tome March to the Grave



March to the Grave is the Horrors of War issue of Deadman’s Tome, and a tribute to veterans everywhere. This issue does not glorify war, but doesn’t protest it either. Like Metallica’s Master of Puppets, this issue paints war as a ruthless machine that destroys lives, shatters families, and demoralizes those that survive. It just so happens that Metallica was heavy on my playlist during the development of this anthology. Metallica with a dash of Slayer.

Monsters Exist


Monster’s Exist came together alongside March to the Grave and heavily benefited from a group effort that expanded over two months. Every author wrote his or her story from the ground-up based around a particular urban legend. Metallica and Slayer played heavily in May, fueling March to the Grave, but in June I was all about the raw, hi gain sound of bands like Kyuss, Dozer, and The Truck Fighters.

Real American Horror


The strong contrast of black, white, and red of a neglected barn out in the middle of nowhere screams Slipknot. Which would make sense, because during development of this anthology it just so happens that my baby girl would NOT go to sleep to anything other than Slipknot’s Psychosocial. I’m not even joking. My daughter would only seem to fall asleep to Slayer and Slipknot. Nothing else would do, and Psychosocial was the song that would sooth her to sleep.

I wonder how this transposes to the reader, though. Because as you read through the stories, I’d imagine you would have your own playlist playing. Maybe you read Real American Horror while listening to classic rock, maybe you read Monsters Exist while listening to some serious gangster rap. I don’t know, but I would like to.

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Veteran Loves March to the Grave

Back in May, Deadman’s Tome released a war focused horror anthology called Deadman’s Tome March to the Grave. This collection of short stories reflects the absolute horror of life on the frontline much like Metallica’s Disposable Heroes and One. But the horror that a soldier experiences in combat doesn’t go away when they survive long enough to get the ticket home. PTSD is very real. And I was in an odd position of receiving an email from a combat veteran, a marine to be exact.

I did my time as Marine. I’m a veteran that’s served in the Iraq war. I’ve been shot at, and I’ve shot back. I’ve been to close to IED a few times, but I’m alive to talk about while some of my guys aren’t. They died serving. Their deaths haunt me, man. To this day, I cannot shake off the feeling that it should’ve been me. As bad as that is, no of that compares to the time a kid came at me. I’m not a monster. I’m not some hateful monster, but all I saw was a gun aimed at one of my squad mates. In that moment, Jesse, in that moment you don’t have time to wait. You act. You engage. You take action. You can’t even imagine how that has fucked with my head.

I was hesitant to read this [March to the Grave]. Someone shared it to me, and it had that Masters of Puppets style to it, which is nice, but it I thought it would’ve been a bunch of bull. I don’t know if the writers had real experience are knew someone with real military experience, but hot damn was this shit believable. I hope that people read this and become reminded of the horror that soldiers go through. It’s not the glorious thing that a lot of people say it is.

Anyways, I wanted to say thanks and keep it up.

The man requested that his name not be revealed, and I respect that. I asked him to leave a review on Amazon. Hopefully, he’ll come through.

Check out March to the Grave for Kindle