Churchburner (Black Metal Gangsta Rap Metafiction)


This landed into my emails with no description apart from something along the lines of “this sounds good!!” So when I tried to search it up for myself, just to get a little insight, apart from its obvious namesake, I trawled and found very little. But I was increasingly intrigued because of it. No description worked in this book’s favor. Churchburner itself is a very short story. The bigger plot is simple, and from a description someone might give, you might be inclined to give it a miss. I really thought this wouldn’t be for me, the opening chapter or two just didn’t grab my attention, but something urged me to carry on. The more I read, the darker the story became, the more spiritually dark it felt too. This read is beyond sinister, but also alluring and like watching a car crash. 


“This armored woman had a giant spiked phallus extending from under her heavy belt, steel and gleaming. Each thrust produced a reflexive twitch from the man that she had bent over, but the man had to have been dead already. The liters of blood splashing onto the concrete floor quickly became the plop-plop of intestines pouring out in heaps as the armored monster disemboweled the man with her hateful fuck-weapon, completely opening him up from the bottom. She continued jabbing with her phallus of ruination, which seemed to have grown even bigger and was now reaching all the way into the dead man’s chest cavity with her thrusts, dragging huge chunks of lung and tissue on the way out that splatted to the floor.”


The characters are written brilliantly, and the small trip of Kim, J and Big J, have deep roots together. This really helps to motivate a connection even though you learn very little of them, their journey before or even any basics. The author focuses on the now, and on the force that follows them throughout the story.  The “malevolent” force, Zathane, is an other worldly being, ready to fuck up lives of those ready, or not. There are deeper messages at play, whether the reader knows it or not. Zathane and her forceful,  chaotic ruination of Kim and her people’s lives, gives off a vibe of “when everything is taken from you what will you do, live another day, or bury yourself alive?” At the end there are some small essays and an excerpt from a book named Codex Aversum. They explained some of the things that could be perhaps lost during the story, and opened my eyes to further spiritual worlds I hadn’t heard of before. Churchburner is deeper than a horror story, with a demon who fucks people with a spiky dick to kill them. Honorable mention to the brilliant artwork throughout the book.


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Written by Arianne, Sovereign Deity of the Damned

Churchburner (2023)
Even Dean Shelton
Castaigne Publishing
Cover Art: Glenn Brewer
4.5 / 5