One For Sorrow

By Dawn King

No one knew when it was going to come back. The first time it came was three weeks ago, on the 14th December. It had been ten times since that night. No one knew when or if there was going to be a next time. Each time it came they prayed for it to be the last time, but their hopes were always dashed when they discovered the next body.

No-one knew why it killed. It just did. That was why it came. Each time it wanted another person. Someone else had to die. And it always knew who it wanted, like something or someone was telling it who should be next. One by one it was wiping out the already tiny population of the town and there didn’t seem like there was anything the townspeople could do about it.

Many people had seen it, but few could describe it. Big and black was all they could say. Ghostly yet real! No one saw its face though. It was just a movement in the darkness. A shadow in the blackness of the night! And it was silent. No one heard it arrive or leave but there were always motorbike tracks left behind in the mud. No one in the town rode a motorbike and if it was just a passing traveller someone would have heard or seen something. Some people thought it was a deranged psychopath that had escaped from the nearby mental institute, others thought it was some sort of sub-human, undead monster while those who believed, thought it was the Grim Reaper himself, come to wreck carnage on their little town.

But whatever it was, it was dangerous, and it killed. One slash with what seemed like a razor-sharp knife across the victims’ throat was all that it took. There were no screams, no cries in the middle of the night. It was an instant death just as all the terrified people hoped it would be. If they had to be the next victim, they hoped it would be quick.

St Peter’s was a fishing town, just off the coast of Norfolk, on the North Sea. It was a quiet, sleepy town that had hardly any visitors or sightseers. All the people who lived there knew each other by name and there was virtually no crime.

Everybody remembered the 14th December as the day the beast arrived, and everyone could feel its presence. Despite already being winter, the air turned cold and bitter. And then the rain started. Heavy, torrential rain that fell in sheets. Seeing was an impossibility. The storm lasted for three hours and then stopped almost as abruptly as it had started. But everything stopped. There was no breeze, no sound of the waves lapping onto the shore and all the night birds were silent. Nothing moved. It was like time had stopped everything. This period of timelessness only lasted about two minutes but for those who were awake, it felt like an eternity. They felt like they were immortal. They were trapped in a world where time didn’t exist. Time couldn’t age them, and time couldn’t kill them. They were going to live forever….and then it ended. The night birds started to squawk and squeal as they did every night and the sea resumed its gentle movements. A breeze quickly built up and soon it was morning.

It was one of the local fishermen that had perished during the night. His throat was slit cleanly and deeply from one ear to the other. His eyes were closed, and his hair was a matted mess where blood had split around his head. There was no sign of another person being there except the open window. The sill was wet from where the rain had come through the window and paper had been blown about the room. He lay on his bed, the white sheets turned red from the leaking wound, where the murder had taken place. No blood trails were found anywhere and there certainly wasn’t any sign of a struggle. A cross had been slashed into the fisherman’s chest; a mark that was to be found on all future victims of the savage beast.

And that was how it all started. Since that first night nine other people had been slaughtered in their beds, all with their throat cut and the mark etched on their chest. The people of the town were terrified. They had no idea who was going to be next. Doors and windows were locked and bolted to stop the beast entering their homes. But it always found a way. Nowhere was a hiding place. People hid in their cellars but after searching the rest of the house, it soon descended the stairs and found its prey. It was like it was stalking its victim. The beast in black. Silent but deadly. No-one could escape. It always got who it wanted.

Mary lived alone. It was the 10th January. There were no New Year celebrations this year. It didn’t seem right with all those people gone. It was late in the evening and she was in bed. She heard the front door being opened, the front door that she had locked and bolted at sunset. The beast never ventured out in the daylight. It was always at night. They were safe until dusk.

She didn’t know where to go. She knew all about the beast and she knew she was going to die. She knew there was no point in running. She fumbled about in a drawer and pulled out her bible. She gently kissed the leather cover and held it against her chest reciting prayers she had read, while saying her own, praying for safety.

But the beast was bigger than God. God couldn’t save her now. Her house was in darkness. She didn’t want to see it. But wherever she went in the house she could feel it. She looked round but there was nothing there. She heard nothing. No footsteps, no breathing, nothing. Suddenly she felt a gust of wind fly over her. Outside the storm had started up again. Rain fell, and the winds blew. And then she was dead, and the beast was gone.

A magpie sat on the roof of the old lady’s house and let out a tremendous cry. It sounded like a cry of victory. Then with a flap of its giant wings it flew out over the sea into the sunrise. Day never lasted more than six hours now since the beast had started to come. They never had a sunny winter’s day. It was always dark and cloudy. The birds had gone. All that remained were the night birds and crows. All the winter flowers had died, and bodies of dead animals lay everywhere. The town had turned into something out of a horror film. The streets became deserted. No one knew who was next. But they always knew someone had been. The beast had them under its control. Few people dared to go outside now, even in the daylight. They were prisoners in their own homes. The nearest town was five miles away and nobody wanted to be a target for that long, day or night. The town had acquired a deathly silence that was only shattered by the storms in the night or the crows in the day.

The twelfth slaughter happened five days later. It was the local butcher this time. A magpie sat on the roof of his house as the body was carried out of the house. It let out the same cry as the one sat on top of Mary’s house. Nobody noticed it, few people heard it. They had more important things to worry about.

There were more killings. More innocent people died at the hands of the beast in black. Still no one saw it. It was black as the night, as silent as a mouse but as dangerous as a poisonous snake. Fewer people thought it was human. It had extraordinary powers that allowed it to be as quick and as quiet as it was.

The magpie returned, unnoticed by the townspeople, with every death. Crying victoriously and flying off across the sea. However, one day it flew no more.

It was the twenty fifth body that had to be collected. The undertaker was used to seeing dead bodies, but so many of these people were his friends and they were butchered in such a way it was repulsive to look at. He couldn’t take it anymore and he had taken his gun with him just in case there was any sign of the beast. He was to be disappointed. The beast had long gone, just like he had with the other twenty-four deaths.

Frustrated he fired off his pistol as he left the house. He hadn’t intended to kill or hurt anything, but he caught a magpie as it flew off across the sea. The dying bird spiralled as it fell into the sea. As it drew its final breath, it let out a loud cry.

Black smoke rose as it hit the water, thick black smoke that choked the onlookers standing on the beach. And then an image rose from the middle of the frothing waves. At first it was just a blur but is soon became clear what it was. The beast! The monster that had inflicted so much pain and suffering onto the town was there, in front of them, floating above the sea. But still, its face couldn’t be seen. Its huge blade like arms were wrapped round its chest and the rest of its body was covered in what looked like black leather. It just stayed there, floating above the sea and staring at them. Then it unfolded its arms, which glistened in the dawning sun, and laughed, a haunting, cackling laugh that sent shivers down the spines of the townspeople.

“Come to me,” it called in a long, low, fierce voice and then, still laughing, it disappeared in a cloud of black smoke, as lightning lit up the sky.

Was this the end? Had the beast in black really gone?

The next day everything started to return to normal. The birds flew home, the flowers bloomed, and the streets were full of happy people talking about the previous day’s events. The past three months had been a nightmare. Now they could start to live their lives again.

A moving, emotional memorial service was held for all those that died, and a plaque was erected in honour of them. The seaside town become alive again. News of the drama had spread, and many people flocked to what was rapidly becoming known as the beast in black’s hunting ground. The people of the town would rather have forgotten all about it, but they couldn’t seem to get rid of the numerous reporters, photographers and sightseers.

The novelty and hype surrounding the events soon wore off and the people of the town could rebuild their lives in peace, until they read the recent headlines in the national newspaper:

“Terror as Beast in Black strikes again!”

This time it was in London.



Disclaimer: This piece of writing is solely the property of Dawn King. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this, unless you have the strict permission of the author. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.




Thunderfuck And The Deadly Romantics – Dirty Sleazy Rock ‘N’ Roll


Thunderfuck And The Deadly Romantics – Dirty Sleazy Rock ‘N’ Roll
Cargo Records UK
Release Date: 26/07/2019 (Europe)
Running Time: 41:31
Review by ‘Dark Juan’

Oh God. Oh my good God. Jesus Christ in a chariot driven sidecar. These are a bunch of devilishy handsome chaps, aren’t they? I haven’t seen faces that craggy since Mount Rushmore or beards quite so luxuriant since Uncle Albert’s on Only Fools And Horses. Vocalist Thunderfuck (a rather splendid name which has already earned a bonus point for sheer wonderfulness and audacity. Especially with that face, seeing as he looks like he has charged at full pelt into a brick wall) both makes me want to cheer him on with a beer or arm myself for imminent violence. I have not yet decided which, although I have come to the conclusion drinking heavily is the way forward this evening. But that is my general rule of thumb for a Saturday night in the company of my millions of adoring minions. Yes, ok, there’s probably two people hanging on my every word worldwide. Quit harshing my buzz, motherfucker.

Hello, dear acolytes, I’m Dark Juan and I am currently dying of heat exhaustion as it is 11pm at Dark Juan Towers and it is STILL 25 fucking degrees. I am not even in my invocation robes this evening. I’m wearing nothing but denim cutoff shorts and a rictus that could only loosely be described as a smile because I’m sweating my beer out as fast as I can down it. Sir Igor Egbert Cleavage-Hoover (being his full name – shame he is not KC registered because I would fucking LOVE to write that on the registration form) is laid next to me, alternately emitting the kind of smells that were outlawed by the Geneva Convention or begging for my beer. Satan has a better chance of getting a checkout job in Asda than Igor the Evil One has of getting my beer, the little alcoholic bastard. He likes gin. A lot. Sir Zeusington Zeus, KCVQ, VC, MM, DFC and Bar has sparked out across most of my sofa, leaving me a square inch to perch on as I write this nonsense, and Hodgson The Living Breathing Biological Warfare Machine has taken himself and his weaponised arse upstairs to wait for Mrs. Dark Juan to emerge from the bathroom. I swear that woman is half mermaid. She’s never out of the sodding bath.

Anyway, this mob of Canadian horror film extras (sans special effects makeup) are releasing “Dirty, Sleazy Rock ‘n’ Roll” on July 26th and I am supposedly here to tell you about it, aren’t I? We have already concluded that this band and the lead singer in particular have a fucking awesome name and I like it a lot. The music on the record is pretty run of the mill heavy rock mixed with the odd punk riff and attitude. Thunderfuck is not what you would call an accomplished singer either. In fact he has a short of cheery, beery and hoarse delivery that rather…… approximates the note he is going for rather than necessarily hitting it, and there are occasions where he just doesn’t fucking bother. This is NOT negativity, however. Rock n roll and especially metal has forgotten its roots and the fact that us metal fans are one big, drunken, happy family – at its most cheerful with some filthy music playing and two or three hundred of us are in a field dying of alcohol poisoning and projectile vomiting competitions. THIS is what Thunderfuck and The Deadly Romantics are about. They do not give two fucking hoots about precision, your worthless fucking opinion, technical ability, tuning, or any of that shit. They are here to play rock and roll and party. I am here to tell you that this record is a fucking hilarious soundtrack to your Saturday night drinking and party treats and quite simply have that same level of obvious fun, enjoyment and sheer dickheaded joy in what they are doing as what GWAR used to have. The band are musically most similar to the Love Commando himself and his crew (Zodiac Mindwarp and The Love Reaction in case you’re a fucking dirty philistine from hell who has never heard Britain’s greatest rock and roll export. I, Dark Juan, Groove Ipssisimus and Sex Fuhrer, command YOU, false metaller, to listen to Back Seat Education and Prime Mover (NOT THE GHOST ONE!) repeatedly and then you will understand the peculiar, childish genius of Thunderfuck and his mob of freaks), mixed with the punkiest of riffs and the party hard aesthetic of Andrew WK. Lording over it all is the demented ringmaster that is Thunderfuck, a man born not to sing, but to command an audience. It is very easy to imagine this band in a live setting and the lyrics are just funny as fuck. They are very misogynist in places and in others downright perverted but I have the sense of humour of a twelve year old, so I have been laughing my arse off for the past hour and although this record is absolutely from a musical quality point of view a fucking disaster area, it has that amazing thing called entertainment… Excuse me. I have to attend to something. Mrs. Dark Juan has interrupted my lyrical flow to make me sate her thirst for horror. So as she has chosen to watch a horror film on an ENTIRELY LEGAL (Disclaimer: Could possibly be lying. Then again, might not be.) streaming site and has a kind of Luddite electronic warfare field that completely fucks up any electronic entertainment device or internet connection known to man (anything that works on 19th century technology, like, I dunno, fucking goat chariots or spinning wheels or ploughs and oxen and shite, she is groovy with) and I have to step in otherwise her computer would have more viruses than a fucking Ebola victim with AIDS, Gonorrhea and a fungal nail infection. Where was I? Oh, yes.

Thunderfuck and The Deadly Romantics are almost ridiculously entertaining and I love and hate them at the same time. I love them because they are fun, raw and rock n roll in distilled and super potent form, but as an actual musician (yeah, I can play instruments. My old band might not agree, but they are just wrong ok?) they set my teeth on edge, especially Thunderfuck and his approximate approach to singing. This, however, has not ruined my enjoyment of a record that sets new standards for beer soaked fun in a world of metal that’s getting far too serious and po-faced for its own good. I love this record. It’s ironic I love this record because I recently reviewed Warrior Soul’s latest album and it was an assault on my senses and my intelligence and it was rather like this one, but Kory Clarke has fuck all sense of humour, whereas these guys are all about the fun and the party. I have a full and all abiding hatred of all ballads that don’t match up to Skid Row’s 18 And life but even the ballad on this record (charmingly entitled Go Fuck Yourself) is fucking brilliant. Every song on this record is just out and out party music.

Thunderfuck And The Deadly Romantics, I conclude, are awesome. Buy this record, be appalled at how sloppy it is, but then appreciate it for the sheer amusement value it generates. I defy you to not smile when listening to this record. If you don’t there’s summat wrong with you. Bon soiree, mes amis!

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System has been educated, amused and edified and awards Thunderfuck And The Deadly Romantics 8/10 for full on rock n roll joyfulness.

01. Drink this Party Dry (This is Thunderfuck at his most excruciating.)
02. I’m Not In Love (Certainly not a cover of the 10CC classic!)
03. Anal Annie (Almost pathetic but still amusing if you are an overgrown child like me.)
04. Spray My Love (Could be a WASP song with that title.)
05. The Finger (Probably not to do with V For Vendetta.)
06. Attention Whore (Thank you for noticing, Thunderfuck. Yes, yes I am.)
07. One More For The Road (Inspired by Boz Scaggs, by any chance?)
08. Let’s Fuck (No thanks. I’ve seen your face.)
09. Go Fuck Yourself (That would be my standard answer to the above question, unless Gemma Arterton or the utterly delectable, delicious and delightful Beth-Ami Heavenstone was doing the asking…)
10. Get My Hole (Not on your fucking nelly, Thunderfuck.)
11. Jaegerbomb (Give me 10 of the fuckers. To be fair there is a serious message to this one dressed up in the lyrical shenanigans – Thunderfuck was developing a serious problem with drinking and quit Jaegerbombs in order to survive.)
12. #Me Too (For rock n roll sexiness, then yes. Fuck yes.)

Thunderfuck – Vocals
Johnny Douchebag – Guitars
Jim McPain – Guitars
Ryan Cumsock – Bass
George Leghumper – Drums



Promo Pic1


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Novacrow – Black Syrup EP + Criminal Mastermind EP

01 Black Syrup EP Cover

Novacrow – Black Syrup EP + Criminal Mastermind EP
Black Syrup – Self Released 12-03-2016
Criminal Mastermind – Self Released 16-11-2018
Running Time Black Syrup: 19:45
Running Time Criminal Mastermind: 17:40
Review by Beth Jones

Novacrow are a young band that first popped onto our radar at RockWich this year. We bought their first EP “Black Syrup” then, and I had intentions of doing a review for it, but time has run away with me yet again. So now, with the release of their second EP “Criminal Mastermind” I am going to give you two reviews for the price of one! Think of it as a Christmas special!

Hailing from Liverpool, Novacrow are a fourpiece of young and vibrant musicians with a zany sense of humour, and this is purveyed perfectly by their music. They have a bit of a horror vibe going on, but a healthy dose of on-stage craziness and over the top facial expressions really brings out their sense of fun and makes them compelling to watch. If ACME did Alice Cooper, this is what it would look like! Musically they have a great sleazy, heavy rock sound, with catchy melodies that are easy to sing along to.

The first EP “Black Syrup” is a really good offering as a first release. It has some great, funky bass lines, provided by Federico “Freddy” Spera, with Valerio Pompili providing good, solid rhythms on drums, and grungy, sludgy guitar from Jonyx. This is all rounded off nicely by the powerful vocals and additional guitar of Kitty Staunton, with her vocals set high in the mix, cutting above everything else with clarity and precision.

The EP is five tracks in all, but my favourite is ‘Fight The Horde’, because it has lots of distinct sections, a racing pace, and some great guitar riffs and solo work. The backing vocals provided by Jonyx and Freddy also cut through brilliantly and make the song feel really full. It is a great track to bang your head to and makes you want to move!

I also want to mention ‘Colourless’. This is only a short track but is beautiful in a melancholy sort of way. It is an instrumental piece with classic style guitar and bass, and minimal percussion. In real contrast to the other tracks, it creates an ethereal and haunting end to the release.

02 Criminal Mastermind EP Cover

Fast forward two years and the newly released EP “Criminal Mastermind”. It is still the same old madcap craziness that makes it Novacrow, but you can tell that it is two years further down the line. The production is more thought out and the songs are even more creative.

The guys have ventured a lot further into their backing vocal roll on the first track, ‘Fever Swamp’, which really adds an extra layer to the sound. It is a good punchy track and a great way to kick off the EP.

It all gets a little darker with the second track, ‘Laughing Gas’, which has a much more sinister feel to it. Kitty’s vocals soar high, in an almost wailing banshee style, which gives you a slightly unnerved feeling! It is in complete contrast to the very funny third track ‘Criminal Mastermind’ (if you haven’t seen the video for this, it is a must watch for comedy genius value).

The final two tracks on the EP are again quite dark and twisted, bringing a psychotic air to the proceedings. The final track, ‘Are You Happy’ is my favourite track because it is so dark! In a minor key, and 3/4-time signature, giving it the feel of some sort of freaks waltz. Combined with an odd, funfair style wind organ drone in the background, and strange music-box like twinkly bells, it combines many things that would be the stuff of nightmares. It is brilliantly clever. Kitty’s vocals are, as ever, impeccable as well. Love it!

You may be wondering why I have only scored them a 7/10 collectively for both EPs – well I figure that, whilst these two are great, they still have more to give. I, for one, cannot wait to see how they move on now, and what new weird and wonderful creations come out of the Novacrow mad science lab! Seriously for fans of zany theatrical rock, these really are the band for you to keep a very close eye on.

Black Syrup:
01. Fat Frog
02. Fight The Horde
03. Black Syrup
04. Set In Stone
05. Colourless

Criminal Mastermind:
01. Fever Swamp
02. Laughing Gas
03. Criminal Mastermind
04. Lab Rat
05. Are You Happy?

Promo Pic1 - 82 Photography (Please Quote)
82 Photography


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Beth Jones and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.