Book Review – Undead Fleshcrave: The Zombie Trigger – author Jim Goforth

5 out of 5 skulls (Author reviewing Author)

You’re better off if you prefer your metal black…

I am a longtime fan of Jim Goforth’s extreme horror novels and stories, having immensely screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-1-24-20-pmenjoyed Plebs and With Tooth and Claw. Undead Fleshcrave continues the tradition of uniquely imaginative action-packed page-turners that he is becoming known for. The premise of the book is a genocidal conspiracy of the evil company Global Death, which has discovered a method of transforming death metal aficionados into ravenous zombies by incorporating an instrumental and vocal zombie trigger into the music of their new mega-band Undead Fleshcrave. While the zombie trigger is only capable of converting death metal fans, once these headbangers are transformed, their scratches and bites can convert any other person with whom they come in contact, regardless of the victim’s musical leanings. By this means the zombie scourge is unleashed on the general population in epidemic proportions. Non-death metal fans in the concert audience provide fast food for the newly transformed zombies, making Undead Fleshcrave concerts gruesome affairs indeed.

Seth and several of his friends are black metal aficionados who innocently attend Undead Fleshcrave’s debut concert in the doomed city of Armada. The zombie trigger is a hideous cacophony of noise that produces nausea and physical illness on non-death metal fans, but does not convert them into zombies. Seth’s group is surrounded and attacked by the flesh eaters and several of them are torn to pieces and devoured. Several others are lost in the chaotic riot that follows the concert, while Seth and a few of his cohorts are rescued by Black, Tempest, and Blizzard, members of the black metal band Subversion. These band members, along with four militant female followers, have become aware of Gobal Death’s apocalyptic conspiracy and formed a mission to prevent it by killing the members of Undead Fleshcrave.

Seth and his friends get sucked into the counter-conspiracy, and join the Subversion team in pursuing Undead Fleshcrave in their city-hopping tour of destruction. What follows is a story of non-stop action as the protagonists follow the trail of blood and mayhem and and move ever-closer to the Undead Fleshcrave band members. Seth finds his true love in Scarlett, one of Subversion’s female followers, and in the rare interludes between pursuing the band and fighting zombies, an intense sexual relationship develops.

The reader never knows which character will die next. As in George R.R. Martin’s books, being a protagonist is no guarantee that a character will live to see tomorrow. An enjoyable, but tension-ridden camaraderie builds between the characters replete with shifting loyalties that continually keep the reader guessing.

Readers who get squeamish at the prospect of fountains of gore and body parts littered across the landscape might be well advised to seek milder fare. But for extreme horror and zombie apocalypse fans, Undead Fleshcrave should be your cup of tea. Perhaps the most disturbing scene is when a group of renegade cops capture our protagonists at an out of the way gas station, and decide to execute them all on the chance that they might turn into zombies. But first, of course, they will enjoy the bounty of the sexy leather-clad hotties including Seth’s flame Scarlett. At least that’s their plan . . .
The final scenes present a suspenseful relentless escalation of the action as the pursuers close in on the pursued, who have no intention of going down without wreaking maximum havoc. This book is a great diversion and a lot of fun. I wish I knew more about the death metal and black metal sub-genres, because I sense there is a satire on the music scene incorporated into these pages. However, it’s not necessary to be into heavy metal music to thoroughly enjoy this book.

 (Review by Gregg Zimmerman, author of The Queen of Bones)

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