Welcome to Tales From the Metalnomicon, a twice-monthly column delving into the surprisingly vast world of heavy metal-tinged/inspired literature and metalhead authors…
Douglas Wynne understands we’re living in a post-Clive Davis/Oh God! You Devil world. He knows you can’t just go out to the crossroads howling your rendition of “Me and the Devil Blues” and expect to knock all of us jaded motherfuckers on our asses. So when Wynne invites us out to an isolated recording studio to observe industrial goth metaller Billy Moon cut a (perhaps final) album for the producer/manager he is beginning to believe may be a malevolent supernatural force, it isn’t to subject us to slow walk us toward a Ralph-Macchio-vs.-Steve-Vai climax.
Instead, The Devil of Echo Lake throws the infernal kitchen sink at us — sex, drugs, stalker groupies, witches, a chapel ghost, corporeal manifestations of ancient pagan gods, gunplay, samurai swords, fire, demonic possession, autoerotic asphyxiation, rock n’ roll excess to the nth degree, etcetera. (Wynne also pulls a clever All the King’s Men-esque narrative trick by letting us see a good deal of the action through the outsider perspective of a low-paid studio engineer trying to make his bones with this surrealist nightmare unfolding around him.) It’s an impressive, crackling, no-holds-barred debut from an author who can actually write about rock music without it devolving into No seriously I’m cool! preening clunkiness.
Check out an audio excerpt from The Devil of Echo Lake below. The book trailer is posted after the jump. Billy Moon’s Souncloud page lives here. The Metalnomicon previously noted Wynne’s short story “The Last Chord” in the entry on Dark Discoveries rock n’ roll issue.