Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.

He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.

Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Haunting the Chapel

Creepy images of  sculpted wraiths haunting the chapel from one of the photogs at Reuters.  Ghostly statues planted at St. George's Church in Lukova, Czech Republic by artist Jakub Hadrava.  I might be off, but Hadrava could be a Slayer fan. 

All images courtesy of Reuters

                            Listenin' to:  Killing Joke - MMXII

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Bro Science Life

Dom Mazzetti is reportedly a former fitness trainer turned comedian.  His online video series "Bro Science Life" is a sensation at YouTube. 

As I've dedicated most of my year at the gym getting into shape, I've found Dom's videos to be a freaking riot and occasionally on-the-mark.  For some hard-hitting, knuckleheaded satire, check out "10 Machines You Didn't Know Were Bicep Machines" and subscribe if you're so inclined. 

Also recommended are "How to Skip Leg Day," "What Your Gym Gear Says About You," "How to Get Your Girlfriend to Start Lifting," "Locker Room Etiquette," "People You Hate at the Gym," "Rookie Mistakes in the Gym," "Do You Even Lift?" and "What is Crossfit?"

As Slappy Squirrel would say, now that's comedy.

                 Listenin' to:  Motorhead - Another Perfect Day

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ah, the Amazing World of Lego

If you like to gamble...hit me with the rest, boys. 

                      Listenin' to:  Motorhead - Ace of Spades

Friday, November 14, 2014

Roaming Conowingo In Search of Eagles

This week I had a little time out from life with my stepsister Tina escorting me all around Conowingo, Maryland.  Our prime objective was to scout some bald eagles to photograph as this is the prime season in their migration to hover at Conowingo Dam a spell and fuel up on the fish also hotly contested by area fishermen.  As you can see by this series of photos, we covered a lot of territory on a truly awesome hike.  The weather flip-flopped from foggy and cold to sunny and warm, but as the Boomers like to say, it's all about the journey, man.  A journey we had and it fed my soul like few activities do outside of writing, reading and music.  We found our eagles, a patch of woods where someone's taking good care of a gaggle of feral cats, and even a showoff vulture, who all but demanded the attention of my lens as he squawked and spread his feathers and coat for me.  The dam itself was stuffed with photographers, as you'll see at the tail end.  Too bad they wasted their time in one spot!  So much more to see off the beaten path, sheesh...


Photos (c) Ray Van Horn, Jr.

                      Listenin' to:  Nine Inch Nails - With Teeth

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ray To Have a Short Story Included in the Upcoming Axes of Evil II Anthology

I'm pleased to announce my short story, "Widow" has been accepted for publication in the upcoming anthology Axes of Evil II.   This is the sequel to 2013's Axes of Evil, a compendium of heavy metal and horror-themed fiction.

I would also like to express my gratitude to Mr. Earl Wynn for these glowing remarks about my story "Before the Ball" in the original Axes of Evil:

"'Before The Ball'" by Ray Van Horn, Jr. takes the 80's monster movie concept in a thrilling direction.  I love the way this piece is constructed, steeped in the vibe and paraphernalia of the period and saving the big, creepy reveal for a spot near the end.  Rock on!"

                          Listenin' to:  PJ Harvey - Rid of Me

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Triple Play - 11/9/14

Sunday Triple Play is back this week and I'm feeling the need for some slinky and sensual cuts.  First up is the super sexy "Breakfast Can Wait" from Prince's new album Art Official Age.  Afterwards is my vote for the greatest love jam of all-time, The Flamingos' gorgeous "I Only Have Eyes For You" from 1959.  If this doesn't get you in the mood, then perhaps Depeche Mode's red-hot, uncensored clip for "Soothe My Soul" from Delta Machine will calibrate your engine.  If not, there's always Barry White and in his case, resistance is futile.

Prince - "Breakfast Can Wait"

The Flamingos - "I Only Have Eyes For You"

Depeche Mode - "Soothe My Soul"

Friday, November 7, 2014

Coolest Toy Ever.

Evel Knievel, baby.  Crank 'er and watch him haul ass.  Truly, they don't make anything as cool as this these days.  My Knievel wrecked more than jumped, but this toy gave us Gen X kids a workout and the one time I was given a free pass to jump Evel from the top of the steps and out the front door was the greatest spectacle I'd seen of my youth.  Until Star Wars hit the theaters, of course.

                         Listenin' to:  The Hollies - Greatest Hits

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Still Kicking...

The above photo is yours truly as a zombie in-between takes on the set of "Bane" from a few years back.

Thank you to those who have written me and queried where I've vanished to.  I didn't quite keep up with my Halloween film fest as much as I wanted to, though I squeezed in what I could including my mandatory B favorites Trick or Treat from 1986 and Halloween III:  Season of the Witch.  Hey, we all have our guilty pleasures.  However, the superb made-for-t.v. terror ride from 1981 Dark Night of the Scarecrow made its way into the player on Halloween night in what is probably going to become a tradition, since my guests have requested that one two years straight now.

I'm alive, I'm fine and I'm appreciative of your concern, readers.  The drop-off here at the Crash Pad was a matter of having to prioritize a very busy month, and that active trend will continue forward.  I will maintain business as usual here at this site, but not on an everyday basis.  I think I have enough loyal supporters of this hub to feel that random versus daily posts will work just as well. 

Over at Blabbermouth, I have reviews running of the latest from Slipknot, Exodus, At the Gates, Unearth, Opeth, Cavalera Conspiracy, In Flames, Electric Wizard, Decapitated, Obituary and Sick of it All.  I have quite a few other reviews I've written that are waiting to go live, so hang tight and hang out over at Blabbermouth!

I've made my health a priority this year and through a strict diet and rigorous exercise program, I'm proud to say I've lost a total of 38 pounds since April.  This has been my biggest success of the year and it's become my proverbial safety zone as I roll on through life and look toward an equally successful future. 

I have a new fiction project I'm working on as time permits and stay tuned regarding the No Salvation comic book, masterminded by Society 1 front man Matt "The Lord" Zane and Dominic Valecillo, who is wrapping the final pages of art.  Matt and I beat on our script a few rounds and I think the three of us have come up with a unique concept we can't wait to share with the masses.

On the flipside, I'm saddened by the news of the passing of Wayne Static.  Wayne gave me a hilarious interview years back and he had me talk with his wife Tera for a bit, as well.  I've always loved Static-X and Wayne's solo album was pretty boss, as well.  That groove-driven "evil disco" vibe was unique unto itself and hardly reproduced by Static-X's imitators and peers, save for maybe Powerman 5000.  Later, it was passed to me by Wayne that he was appreciative of one of my Static-X reviews.  Thus I felt tremendous satisfaction by the brief interactions I had with the guy and it's a shame he left this life too soon. 

So stand by, readers.  More stuff to come, and thank you as ever for your support.

                           Listenin' to:  Static-X - Machine