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Publisher's Summary

A metal guitarist is gifted with a guitar grimoire, which he inherited from his late father's library. With careful reading, practice, and commitment, this strange occult book could make him the greatest musician in the world...if the magic works in his favor.

©2017 Brian Barr (P)2017 Brian Barr

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Bang your head, shred your axe, and cast a spell

This piece by Barr is slick, and really flows. The concept is just great, and I think it is a kernal of a concept for wat could be a most brilliant novel. A grimoire that has music sheets?!? Magic through metal!?! Awesome! The story is just a touch R rated with a great big capitalized, italicized, Bolded R. In other words, this aint for the kiddies. My ONLY complaint is that the book was too short, I wanted more. I wanted to see the Main Character grow in his power and fulfill a great destiny. Still, the ending was satisfying.

Gregory, here, really does do a great job. He throws out some new voices, and adds a lot of emotion to the story. That was the biggest complant I had with him in a prior story he did for Barr, and here he proves he can step into the ring, put on his gloves, and fire off one heck of an uppercut into your jaw.

Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

Somewhat humorous and massively gory, as is Barr's usual wont, this story took a slightly campy theme (music and magic) and turned it to the dark side. Very entertaining and well read, I would definitely recommend to my horror- loving friends.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Nice horror and metal story

I received a free copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

The only thing that Kevin Nolan shared with his deceased father was their love for metal music. Kevin’s father had a guitar grimoire with many spells for different things. Kevin never believed in magic, but his girlfriend convinces him to try one of them just to see what happens.

This is one of those stories which seem a bit too short. I would have liked to explore more the grimoire and the spells. Something I found interesting is the kind of flashback Kevin experiences through his father’s eyes and the moment he witnesses the truth.

I missed some character development, but this is quite normal in a short story. Nevertheless Barr made a good job at picturing Kevin’s family and the relationships among them.

What did not completely convince me was the end. There are some unexplained aspects and I think it was a but rushed.

Rick Gregory’s performance was perfect, delivering very good characters’ interpretations and an excellent narration without being intrusive.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • TU
  • 08-07-17

very short but entertaining story

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Short, metal-themed, humorous horror story. The narrator was a bit nasal, but I thought he did a good enough job on such a short audio book. I do wish it was a longer because it didn't have enough build up or character development. I would never use credits to pick up an audio book this short, but it would be a great fit for an anthology.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A Good 1hr Listen

If you could sum up Metal Magic in three words, what would they be?

***I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review***
Metal. Magic. Mayhem.

What did you like best about this story?

***I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review***
The title really got my attention, as I am a Metal Fan and recall one of Pantera's first album's in the 80's being called Metal Magic. Heh.I really enjoyed the first part of the book when the main character is remembering his father and you are given a vivid description of him. It was bittersweet and amusing and then the horror starts...

How did the narrator detract from the book?

***I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review***
I didn't feel that the narrator was a good fit for the book, as he has quite a nasal, whiny voice and he tended to narrate. In. A Robotic. Voice which I found distracting. I wasn't convinced when the narrator used cuss words, it just sounded like little kids mimicking someone tough, trying too hard to sound tough themselves.
I felt a narrator with more of a deep, gravelly voice would be more suitable (think Michael Kramer who narrated Triptych by Karin Slaughter or Steven Lang who narrated Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill).

If you could rename Metal Magic, what would you call it?

I think Metal Magic was a great name for the book, it doesn't need to be changed. Gun to head - call it Grimoire.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Heavy Metal

I enjoyed this very short thriller but wished was longer with more character development. You never know what your family does outside your home this is what Kevin experiences his father life he never knew about. Good narration. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Comedic horror

This is my 3rd horror book by Brian Barr. I've enjoyed them all. They are definitely horror, but I find them humorous as well. Great short story and great narration by Rick Gregory!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Death Metal and the Occult

This is a story of a young man with Daddy issues that turns to the solace of his death metal and experimentation with satanic worship through playing his music. The elements of the story were written well enough with good dialog and no gaping holes, which is hard to do in such a short tale. But, I hated it. Not scary, just dark and gory. The moral of this unbalanced story being completely overshadowed by the big dark scenes.

I was given this audio book for free in exchange for my unbiased review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Familial ties thru demonic music

Rife with heavy metal imagery, Metal Magic is the tale of young man growing up idolizing his dad and learning to connect with him through music and these heavy metal grimoires left behind. Kevin Nolan misses his deceased dad but he loves the music and he suspects the grimoires can lead to something great. So does his girlfriend Cassie.

This was a fun, short piece from Brian Barr. The author did a good job of showing how Kevin idolized his dad when he was kid but also including a few references to his mom doing all the work while his dad lazed about. Still, Nolan Sr. always dreamed of one day making it big with his music and now that he’s gone, Kevin has the same big dream.

The grimoires were a nice touch. At first, I just expected them to be music journals, perhaps with undertones of the supernatural because, hey, heavy and metal and demon worship go great together in fiction. I was pleasantly surprised there was more to them.

Cassie was a good addition to the story even though I felt she got very little character development (but this is to be expected in a short story). She was a nice supportive girlfriend, always encouraging Kevin with his music especially once he dug up his dad’s grimoires. Again, Barr surprised me with her ultimate story arc. Yay!

While this story sits in the Horror Genre, I felt it was 90% sentimental parent worship and 10% horror. I still quite enjoyed it but nothing particularly gooey & messy happens until the very end.

All around, an entertaining tale that hit key buttons for me – heavy metal, grimoires, etc.

I received a free copy of this book.

The Narration: Rick Gregory gave a very good performance on this book. He had distinct voices for all the characters and his female Cassie was spot on. This tale did have a few emotions and Gregory did a good job with those as well. His enjoyment of this tale came through in his performance.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Short story, poor narration.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A better narrator. The narration was pretty poor. The narrator has a nasal voice which makes it sound like whining throughout and distracts massively. Scenes of conflicts are also unconvincing because of that.

Would you ever listen to anything by Brian Barr again?

I would probably buy an audiobook from Brian if it is of longer length. This particular book was an hour long, too short to spend a credit on. Thankfully I had received this one for free. This book could probably combined with a few more books of similar lengths and made into an anthology.

Any additional comments?

I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful