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The Final Reconciliation

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  165 ratings  ·  60 reviews

Thirty years ago, a progressive rock band called The Yellow Kings began recording what would become their first and final album. Titled “The Final Reconciliation,” the album was expected to usher in a new renaissance of heavy metal, but it was shelved following a tragic concert that left all but one dead.

The sole survivor of that horrific incident was th
Kindle Edition
Published February 3rd 2017 by Crystal Lake Publishing
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Dan Schwent
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-books, 2017
Metal band the Yellow Kings are on their first tour when they meet Camilla Bierce, the woman who will be their downfall...

I was tangentially aware of The King in Yellow for years after playing Call of Cthulhu: Horror Roleplaying and my interest was further piqued by True Detective. When I read the synopsis for this, I was all in.

Told by the lone survivor of the band thirty years in the future, The Final Reconciliation is the tale of the disintegration of a band as they record an album, both pers

As the synopsis indicates, THE FINAL RECONCILIATION, by Todd Keisling, pays homage to the ideas presented in Robert W. Chamber's "The King in Yellow". Even H.P. Lovecraft wrote in reference to Hastur (sometimes referred to as "The Unspeakable One", or "Him Who Is Not to be Named"), and the city of Carcosa. However, Keisling has simply nailed these concepts in a modern day style and setting, using Rock musicians as his "artists". The entire tale is told in the vein of an interview with the on
Kenneth McKinley
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, own-kindle
So, as a fellow metal-head, I feel a kindred spirit with Todd as he unfurls The Final Reconciliation, a story about a journalist who is interviewing Aidan Cross. Cross is an aging guitarist who is institutionalized for going off his nut over the tragic show his band played 30 years ago. Aidan was the guitarist of the prog-metal band, The Yellow Kings. After hardcore touring in support of their EP, the band lands a two-album deal and head to Los Angeles to record their official first record. Afte ...more
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 young rock and rollers from Southeastern Kentucky get in a little bit over their heads, when Johnny the lead singer, takes on a new groupie. The beautiful and mysterious Camilla. She immediately asserts her will over Johnny and the band as they prepare for the release of their groundbreaking first album, The Final Reconciliation. Her influence is undeniable and with her help, “The Yellow Kings” first show is going to be a killer. Literally. It may also be the end of world as we know it. Now th ...more
Frank Errington
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Review copy

First, some background on The King in Yellow. Prior to season one of HBO's True Detective series, few people ever heard of Robert W. Chambers or his book of short stories by the same name. According to Wikipedia the book is named after a play with the same title. The first half of the book features highly esteemed weird stories, and has been described by critics as a classic in the field of the supernatural. There are ten stories, the first four of which mention The King in Yellow, a
Glenn Rolfe
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Todd Keisling’s THE FINAL RECONCILIATION is a rock and roll nightmare set to the soundtrack of the end time. Take off your mask and rejoice!"

Full review to come.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
This book has been called Lovecraftian, but I think that's mostly because any book that's described as Lovecraftian automatically sells a bunch of copies. (Note to self: Describe next book as Lovecraftian.) Robert W. Chambers' King in Yellow mythos, which this book is actually based on, is less well known, but I've got to say, it's refreshing to come across a horror novel that isn't Lovecraftian for once. This book stands on its own, so you don't need to have read The King in Yellow first, but i ...more
Jen (LOHF/Book Den)
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-copy, horror
I was nervous going into The Final Reconciliation because I had Robert McCammon on the brain. How can I think of a horror story that revolves around music without thinking of McCammon's The Five? I feel bad for any book that has to live up to McCammon, but The Final Reconciliation had no trouble at all! Where McCammon's The Five was about feeling the emotion of music, The Final Reconciliation was about feeling the music itself. (That and some kick ass horror.)

I'm a metal head and I fancy myself
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been on a bit of a novella kick the past six months. I've consumed titles by authors such as Laird Barron and Stephen Graham Jones, and for the most part loved every single one of them. So I was delighted to see author Todd Keisling continue this trend of excellence with The Final Reconciliation, a creepy and enthralling take on Chambers' Yellow King mythos.

Told in an interview narrative, The Final Reconciliation tells the story of the Yellow Kings, a progressive metal band whose members,
11811 (Eleven)
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Heavy metal and esoteric horror. A splendid marriage sanctified in an abyss.
The Grim Reader
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Already I have a strong feeling that this novella from Crystal Lake Publishing and Todd Keisling will be amongst my years best. A big call, I know, but for me this story hit all the right notes (see what I did there?!).

In the late 1800’s the short stories of Robert W. Chambers called ‘The King In Yellow’ was first published. Chambers created a mythos of weird, cosmic horror that Keisling has tapped into with great effect in ‘The Final Reconciliation’. The narrative follows an interview with the
Noelle Kelly
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Final Reconciliation is a hard metal symphony of terror.

Written in an album format, The Final Reconciliation is a tale of the occult, a gypsy who is more than she seems and a hard metal band trying to make the big time. When The Yellow Kings have the performance of their lives, there is only one survivor.

I was delighted to receive an ARC of The Final Reconciliation from Crystal Lake Publishing (link to the Crystal Lake website). This is the third book I've read from Crystal Lake Publishing,
Aug 03, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, horror
I've read a few books about rock bands selling their souls for fame and fortune, and I haven't really liked any of them. Maybe it's because I haven't read The King in Yellow and Other Horror Stories which inspired this story, but I just couldn't get into it. ...more
Michael J.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, novella
Author Todd Keisling has created a horrific composition in THE FINAL RECONCILATION, combining heavy metal music and horror mythos for a compelling configuration of a novella. It’s a quick-paced and captivating read that craftily builds tension right up to the final bloodbath.

A progressive metal band from Southeastern Kentucky parlays a successful EP release into a two-record contract with a major music label. Outside forces, in the guise of an entrancing ethereal groupie, exert a subliminal in
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is my first read from Keisling. It definitely won’t be my last. He writes well and easy and doesn’t convolute his work with prose he thinks may impress, much like Koontz. The topic within the pages culls from ideas born in the late 1800s by Robert W. Chambers. Ashamedly, I was unfamiliar with Chambers’ King in Yellow mythos until Keisling breathed his own life into it with The Final Reconciliation--a modernized, rock & roll take on a dangerous and haunting idea. The book reeks of Lovecrafti ...more
Matthew Rogers
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Taken from: https://thewriterfromthenorth.wordpre...

So, it's been awhile, but hello fellow reader nerds! I am back with a review of The Final Reconciliation written by Todd Keisling, as I asked for an ARC copy in trade for a review.

I'll give you the skinny before I jump right in. It'll probably be short though, but this review will be full of love (and maybe spoilers? Just read at your own risk).

So, as taken from Goodreads:


Thirty years ago, a progressive rock band called The
JL Shioshita
It's like reading a Rolling Stone interview...but filtered through Chambers and Lovecraft. What's not to like. I just wish it was longer.
Morgan Tanner
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Now I don't want to sound all fan-boy straight off the bat, but OMG OMG he just sooo understands me, it's like Todd has written this book just for me, ooh I'm in love!!!

OK, so my love for the book isn't that demented or stalkerish, but the ingredients here are pretty much exactly what floats my boat. Lovecraftian madness-inducing horror told through the story of a metal band. And they're definitely metal and not just rock, the drummer plays double-kick!

Keisling obviously knows his genre (music o
Robin Lee
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
“This world is nothing more than a masquerade”


I found this story to be a brilliant, original, modern-day take on “The King in Yellow” mythos. Especially, for those that are into heavy, metal rock bands. The writing was perfect and the setup for the story was excellent. It’s a story told within an interview and the chapters are tracks off the LP. (They actually sound like song titles). I thought I had one of those special, lanyards with backstage privileges that gave me a ve
Tere Fredericks
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Build-up is Amazing

The story as told by the protagonist, Aidan, has you wondering why he wasn't the lyricist. Excellent background, and of course the fore shadowing is in the title.

Little by little, we are led to The Final Reconciliation, which gives the reader the urge to either scream or read more rapidly. As beloved was sleeping soundly next to me (how can he DO that when I am holding my breath to the point of taking deep gulping breaths when I could no longer hold it) I chose more rapid
Eddie Generous
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Unnerving Magazine Review
Though I’m not much of a rock fan and to me most metal sounds like enraged infants clanging on pots and pans, I enjoyed this story about a metal band bridging worlds and destinies. It was easy to follow and easy to slip into. It is a cosmic, or perhaps eternal, Lovecraftian horror told in the style of Interview with the Vampire, 30 years after tragedy struck a rocker and his band.
The story is told in the glare of hindsight, the if-I-only-acted-differently notion appears,
Paul Ataua
May 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Aging guitarist Aidan Cross is interviewed about his Metal band, ‘The Yellow Kings’, whose meteoric rise to stardom some thirty years earlier, being somehow brought about by the enigmatic and controlling Camilla, was cut short by a disastrous show that left the other band members dead and him in a mental institution. All was not, and maybe still isn’t, what it seems. Short and entertaining read that doesn’t disappoint.
Jim Reader
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm a sucker for mash-ups of magic and music.
This book delivers on that premise beautifully, and horrifically.
Mixing heavy metal and Robert Chambers "The King in Yellow" mythology is a brilliant idea, and Keisling handles it quite well.
If you're a horror fan, this is a novella well worth your time.
Scarlett Algee
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
So it's February, and I can already tell that THE FINAL RECONCILIATION will be on my "year's best books" list. Aidan Cross, former guitarist for The Yellow Kings, recounts the tale of his band's humble beginnings, their shot at fame, and the horrific damage done by the recording of one unreleased album--and the presence of one woman who's not at all what she seems.

That's just a tiny summary of the plot, because I'm not sure I can do it justice. The idea of using a metal band as the focal charact
Paul Bennett
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a professional reviewer, I'm somewhat of a wannabe writer and a sometimes prolific poet. Therefore SPOILERS may be present, though I'll try to steer clear of them. Also I tend to be long-winded, and I apologize for that up front.

I don't fancy myself a horror reader. I've lived far too terrifying of a life to enjoy being scared in books which I find to be the best form of escape from the terrors of day to day life to be drawn to the genre. That being said, when this book was recommended t
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I bought THE FINAL RECONCILIATION on the back of reading an ARC of Keisling's next novel DEVIL'S CREEK - which was utterly stunning. I think I've 'discovered' a new favourite author at this was equally terrific.

If you're a fan of heavy metal music, you really need to read this! A struggling metal band (maybe set in the early 90s?) release their debut EP and begin to pick up positive press and fans. Along the way they pick up a woman they originally think is a groupie, but she is much more and be
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm only going to say a little here because I want to make a video review on my channel. All I will say about The Final Reconciliation here is that it's a brilliant and creepy blend of cosmic horror and rock 'n' roll. Think if John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the break up of the Beatles had been chronicled by Ambrose Bierce, Robert Chambers and a little bit of Lovecraft thrown in for good measure and you will begin to know the Final Reconciliation. Do you know the yellow sign?
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
As always seems to be the case whenever I read something I enjoy that mixes Evil, the occult & Metal... I immediately want to tempt fate and listen to the forbidden album. Like Dürt Würk's music in Grady Hendrix's 'We Sold Our Souls' (published about 1-1/2-years after this), I really want to hear the Prog/Metal that will summon Hastur featured on The Yellow Kings' debut, and only full-length, album. ...more
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: free-to-review
Definitly going to have to look for more from this author! I got a free audible copy to review and it was from my favorite narrator, definition go audiobook if you can!
David Watson
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thirty years ago a new progressive rock band exploded onto the music scene called The Yellow Kings. The band was made up of 4 teenagers with big dreams who released an ep and toured America, eventually landing a record contract. Along the way, they meet a young woman named Camilla who has an odd influence on the band. After their first tour, The Yellow Kings went out to Los Angeles to record their first album, a concept album called The Final Reconciliation. Little did they know it would be thei ...more
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Gore and More: The Final Reconciliation - Todd Keisling 2 19 Feb 02, 2017 09:24AM  

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TODD KEISLING is a writer and designer of the horrific and strange. He is the author of several books, including Devil’s Creek, Scanlines, and The Final Reconciliation, among other shorter works. He lives somewhere in the wilds of Pennsylvania with his family where he is at work on his next novel.

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