Visionary death metal guitarist/lyricist Jeremy Wagner added “crackerjack horror novelist” to his resume several years ago now with his much-celebrated, deliciously pulpy love letter to metal and apocalyptic literature The Armageddon Chord, but his long-awaited follow-up Rabid Heart is a next level opus that raises the stakes considerably — both in terms of emotional resonance and viscera-flinging brutality — punching a hole in your chest to tug on those heartstrings.
Six months after the Necro Rabies pandemic turned the world into hordes of rabid undead known as “Cujos,” 21-year-old Rhonda Driscoll discovers her zombified fiancé, Brad, in her old hometown. Fearing that her Marine Colonel father will kill undead Brad, Rhonda flees, taking a road-trip with Brad in tow in hopes of starting a new life in a frightening and uncertain world complicated by numerous perils, pure horror, and unconditional love.
And good goddamn is it a white knuckle thrill ride.
To celebrate the achievement — and as a nod to the easter eggs lovingly hidden for metal heads throughout the novel — Decibel solicited a Rabid Heart playlist from the Broken Hope guitarist.
Here’s what our man sent along…including, as a bonus, a selection of the creepy chapter icons courtesy cover artist Claudio Bergamin (Judas Priest/Nocturnal Rites)…
1. TERRORIZER: “DEAD SHALL RISE”
2. DEATH: “ZOMBIE RITUAL”
3. SLAYER: “LIVE UNDEAD”
4. METALLICA: “CREEPING DEATH”
5. TYPE O NEGATIVE: “BLACK NO. 1”
For more information on all of Wagner’s projects visit his official website.