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Corpsepaint

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4.09  ·  Rating details ·  125 ratings  ·  37 reviews
It’s been years since the groundbreaking debut of black metal band Angelus Mortis, and that first album, Henosis, has become a classic of the genre, a harrowing primal scream of rage and anger. With the next two albums, Fields of Punishment and Telos, Angelus Mortis cemented a reputation for uncompromising, aggressive music, impressing critics and fans alike. But the road ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 30th 2018 by Word Horde
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  125 ratings  ·  37 reviews


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Janie C.
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This novel gathers up the self-destructive hedonism of the modern world and drops it to freeze in an unyielding territory of winter landscapes and ancient lore. Black metal is a key element of this story, but you need not be an expert to appreciate the creeping menace of a foreign atmosphere. Pagan beliefs are passed on through generations of unwaveringly faithful advocates of a Ukrainian cult. Through the eyes of newcomers, the reader is swept into the strict and unwelcoming atmosphere of an ...more
Christopher Slatsky
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Though Corpsepaint begins with an appropriate Nietzsche reference, I finished David Peak’s book with a Cioran quote in mind,

“Music is everything. God himself is nothing more than an acoustic hallucination.”

Cioran, his pessimistic philosophy heavily influenced by Nietzsche, came to mind given his fascism—relevant given the nationalist Ukrainian bigots in the novel who’ve combined their passion for black metal and forbidden occult lore into a shifty, rickety ugly political movement. But Peak is
...more
Paul Roberts
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Misanthropy cursed with talent.

From the smack-riddled alleyways of Shitcago, Peak takes the American black metal aesthetic and sends it, ill-prepared, into neo-pagan Eastern Europe; to ancient forests where tremolo guitar riffs and blast beats are hymnals to wormlust and perverted ceremonies.

Slatsky is dead-on here: if Algernon Blackwood was alive and unwell and fed a steady diet of Grifteskymfning … he would have crushed out something like Corpsepaint.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
The Grim Reader
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Regulars here will be familiar with my affinity towards metal, and it's the blackest of metal on most occasions is what I can be found listening to. Yes, that abrasive, caustic stuff where singers shriek, garggle and howl into the microphone, guitars cut and scythe and drums blast you into a state of perpetual unconsciousness. Admittedly, it isn't for everyone and so might be the case with this novel from David Peak published by the fabulous Word Horde.

If Corpsepaint had a soundtrack then it
...more
M Griffin
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A work of true cosmic horror set in the death-tinged world of the black metal scene. The fading master Strigoi takes his desperate protege on a bender across Eastern Europe, ending at the Ukrainian compound of a pagan metal collective still adhering very old ways. Peak drags the reader below ground to confront forces seeking to spread a powerful, ancient darkness. Corpsepaint is a bleak, terrifying ride.
Sam
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
An interesting story, especially if you are at all familiar with black metal. While most black metal bands are content to make music about their raging misanthropy, Wisdom of Silenus takes a more hands-on approach. This is a slow-burn cosmic horror story and I think the payoff is worth the build.
S̶e̶a̶n̶
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the black egg of all creation
Recommended to S̶e̶a̶n̶ by: the itching of waiting
Shelves: 2019, somewhere-else, mist
In Corpsepaint David Peak pierces straight to the dark core of the lurid rumors encircling the black metal scene and fully plumbs its shadowy depths of possibility. What begins for an aging metal legend and his newly recruited drummer as a series of wretched nights of drunkenness soon transforms into a journey to the frigid Ukraine, where all is not as it seems and an evil presence older than time itself dominates the land. It is here where an album will be recorded—an album such as the world ...more
Jordan
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: weird, horror, 2018
Corpsepaint is the new novel by David Peak. It tells the story of aging metal musician Max (aka Strigoi) being given the chance to record his next album on an exclusive compound owned by the Ukranian group Wisdom of Silenus. Max, having burned most of his bridges, hires an up and coming musician Roland to accompany and record with him.

When they first get to the compound things are a bit off. There are strict rules to be followed, rumours of a dead former drummer, and an otherworldly expectation
...more
Aaron
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Black Metal genre of music is one that lends itself well to horror and weird fiction. With darkness, misanthropy, and supernatural malignancy being cornerstones of the genre, there is fertile ground to work with. David Peak's Corpsepaint tills that ground beautifully.

Corpsepaint is the story of Max, the creative power behind the legendary black metal act Angelus Mortis. Together with Roland, his new drummer and fellow completely broken person, they travel to the deepest parts of the Ukraine
...more
Heidi Ward
Corpsepaint validates what every parent whose kid listens to metal always feared . . . and then pushes it screaming over the edge. In perhaps the darkest fish-out-of-water story ever, American black metal legend - and unrepentant junkie - Strigoi (Max to his friends) and his untested new drummer Roland journey deep into the wilds of Ukraine to record a "comeback" record at the studio/compound of reclusive Northern black metal neo-pagans the Wisdom of Silenus.

But what at first seems like a
...more
Karl
May 06, 2018 marked it as to-read
This copy arrived with a bookplate signed by David Peak and other goodies from the publisher.
James Chatham
[3.5/5 stars]

Corpsepaint is a black metal horror novel. If you're like me, that sentence alone is enough to make you pick it up, because it's a combination of two of my favorite things: black metal and horror novels. The writing style itself evokes feelings of the second-wave black metal bands the characters of the book idolize - there's an undercurrent of nihilism throughout that pairs perfectly with a nice dose of Transilvanian Hunger. One of the things I absolutely love about this book is
...more
Bjorn
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'll offer two reviews here, one very short and one not so short. First, the short one.

A brutal, searing portrait of a very human evil coupled with blisteringly nihilistic cosmic horror. I loved it, and if you love cosmic horror, black metal, or both, go read this. Now. 5 out of 5 stars.

And now, the longer review, but first let me reiterate that I am, in fact, a fan of black metal. I am listening to Aoratos's album "Gods Without Name" as I write this, for example.

When I first learned of black
...more
Dave
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bold-new-dark
You know that scene in the movie Prometheus when Noomi Rapace's character, all bloodied and bruised, says, "We were wrong! We were so, so wrong!" That's me right now, as I was all prepared to dislike this book.

It's because of the subject matter, I admit, or rather because of a general cultural tendency to import cred from the fringe. (And, my word, how black metal has suffered in that regard.) Having read some of David Peak's other work, I should have known better. Because, in the end, this is a
...more
Christopher
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I am a fan of other works by David Peak, heavy metal music, and philosophical horror. It was inevitable that I would get around to this book sooner rather than later.

You could describe the story that unfolds here as related to a few others (The Ritual comes to mind), but that would be a disservice to it. 'The Ritual', for all its excellent build, gives way to an endgame that comes across as being written by Tipper Gore in the midst of a xanax-panic. The recent movie adaptation partly fixed this
...more
Morgan K Tanner
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I heard about this book I knew I just had to read it. A Lovecraftian-esque supernatural horror novel about a black metal band? Shit, two of my favourite things in this fetid existence on a desolate planet of pain and suffering. Then I read the synopsis and I was salivating with full Transylvanian hunger!

So a black metal artist, Max, who almost redefined the genre with his band’s first 3 albums, is getting a bit tired of the fanboys creaming themselves over these albums. He just knows
...more
Kyle Rader
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was the trve kvlt. Real black metal vibes throughout the entire book. David Peak gets what black metal truly means and conveys it through this lightning fast fever nightmare of a tale. Nihilistic? Check. Outright hostile to the point of being anti-life? Check. Make no mistake, reader. This book is filled with apocalyptic misery. If your tastes don't run towards bleak, then this book may not be for you. You don't have to be an expert in black metal to get into the story. David Peak's got you ...more
Matthew
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
An imaginative and tragic story told in an inventive and fascinating fashion, Corpsepaint will keep you riveted from start til finish.
Horror DNA
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: tony-jones
I found the astonishingly bleak Corpsepaint, the latest release from David_Peak, a totally riveting and lyrical read which had me glued to the page from beginning to end. I love literary, highly original horror novels, which are stacked with menace and nihilism. I also dig plots which have a strong musical theme throughout, and Corpsepaint is hard to beat in all these departments. All the main characters are protagonists in the black metal scene, an extreme sub-genre of heavy metal, and I did ...more
Steve Stred
Jul 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
** Edited as review is now live on Kendall Reviews! **

3.5/5

I think after reading this book as well as ‘We Sold Our Souls,’ I’ll need to take a break from horror books based around heavy metal. Maybe it’s because I’ve been a metal fan for so many years and have seen the old guard, who believed in church burnings and the anarchy age and either say what they did years ago was a mistake or simply fade away to the mountain regions in France, but I really struggled to enjoy this.

The story itself is
...more
Jo Quenell
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a brutal novel about black metal and cosmic horror that starts off serious as a funeral and never lights up. An infamous black metal band travels to the Ukraine wilderness to record an album with notorious cult act Wisdom of Silenius. Things go...awry, to say the least.

I loved this book. The tension is thick from the start and ramps up until everything goes off the rails. David Peak knows how to write with restraint--he gets the reader uncomfortable before the horror even starts. When
...more
Kayla
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
David Peak is an amazing writer. Wow. I just wanted to get that out of the way. This horror novel is about two black metal musicians traveling to an isolated compound in Eastern Europe to meet with a reclusive band and create a new album. Max is a star in the genre, wanting to show everyone that he can still make incredible music, and Roland is a young drummer who is tagging along to work as a writing partner. Both men are deeply nihilistic, spending their days aimlessly wandering, drunk and/or ...more
Gary Budden
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, having been on a hunt lately for decent novels and fictions about underground and subcultural music scenes. Black metal is a fascinating subject in its own right, a music that's often ridiculous, sometimes terrifying and occasionally even quite beautiful (I'm thinking of stuff by the more folk-influenced end of things, like Ulver, Winterfylleth, Agalloch etc.) but always interesting and worthy of investigation.

This is a novel about the life-hating, misanthropic
...more
Emily
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5
**Review coming soon!**
...more
Rodney
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: word-horde
Review to come.
Tony
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found the astonishingly bleak “Corpsepaint” the latest release from David Peake a totally riveting and lyrical read which had me glued to the page from beginning to end. I love truly literary novels which are loaded with this level of nihilism. I also dig plots which have a strong musical theme throughout, and “Corpsepaint” is hard to beat in all these departments. The main characters are all protagonists in the black metal scene, an extreme sub-genre of heavy metal, and I did wonder how the ...more
William Tea
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
***this review originally appeared on The Ginger Nuts of Horror website***

For a subculture so frequently concerned with purity and with being “true,” black metal sure does mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

For some, it is a spear in the side of the messiah, a gleefully Satanic rejection of Judeo-Christian morality and all its virtuous, vacuous, turn-the-other-cheek propriety. For others, it is a pagan communion, a ritual through which man’s animal spirit may reunite
...more
Jordi
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
”She saw visions of the end of everything, of the cities of the world buried under hundreds of feet of volcanic ash, of the sun blotted out of the sky - pure beauty - and then everything went black.”

This book takes you to a cold and dark place - some may say that we are already there. A tale of cosmic horror set in the turbulent black metal music scene, it grabs you from the first few pages.

It tells the story of two American black metal musicians, Max and Roland, on their one-way trip to record
...more
Tenebrous Kate
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
As grimy and nihilistic as a novel set in the world of black metal ought to be, Corpsepaint is a journey into a miserable world filled with miserable people doing miserable things to one another. The cosmic horror/supernatural elements prevent it from being just another wallow in the gutter of human behavior, but make no mistake: there's not a single ironic wink or glimmer of light to be found here. Peak delves into the dynamics of black metal's manifestations in the present era without ...more
Brian Steele
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
A stunning, character-driven tale that keeps you turning pages. A slow burn of heavy metal and cosmic horror, wonderfully told. An untold tale of behind-the-scenes music industry and ancient, galactic monstrosities.
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David Peak is the author of Corpsepaint (Word Horde, 2018) and The Spectacle of the Void (Schism, 2014). His writing has been published in Year's Best Weird Fiction, Denver Quarterly, Vastarien, and Electric Literature. He lives in Chicago.
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