(Andy Synn reviews the debut EP of Australia’s Annihilist.)
Never underestimate the value of good album art. After all, first impressions DO count.
For every cheesy cgi monstrosity, for every uninspired and multi-hued “cosmic” abortion, for every generic “war is bad” post-apocalypse or totally brutal “I’ve never been consensually touched by a woman” guts-n-gore album cover, there’s something far more interesting and eye-catching out there, something that stands out from the pack and practically yells “check this out!”
Such is the case with Australian metallurgists Annihilist and their debut EP Vol. 1.
I find myself in Alaska this morning, preparing for a day of toil for my fucking day job. This means that posts on our putrid site will be scarce today. I’m also behind (again) in putting together round-ups of news and new music. Before I have to immerse myself in what I’m paid to do, I thought I would at least compile a selection of things I spotted over the last couple of days — and this selection is based principally on the attractiveness of the album art.
As announced yesterday, the almighty Autopsy have two new things headed our way. First, on November 13 Peaceville Records will release a jumbo set entitled After the Cutting that includes four discs “full of classics, new tracks and previously unheard rarities from deep within the band’s own archive”. This special release will also include “an expansive book penned by Dennis Dread recounting the career of the gore legend, featuring unseen photos and exclusive artwork”.
Wes Benscoter again handled the Autopsy artwork for After the Cutting. As you can see, it’s sick.
Your humble editor is about to have to devote the rest of the day to his fucking day job, and therefore this will most likely be the last post of this Friday on our putrid site, other than a big review we’ve got coming. And, sad to say, there’s not a lot of new music in this little round-up (until the end) because my time is regrettably short — but there’s a lot of impressive artwork for forthcoming releases that I spotted over the last 24 hours.
This Swedish black/death band’s 2013 debut album Grave Ekstasis drew lots of praise from assorted year-end lists at our site (and elsewhere), and yet I managed to miss it entirely until much later. I won’t make the same mistake twice.
What I saw today (and what you’re looking at above) is the amazing cover art by David Herrerias for the band’s next album, Apollyon. The band revealed the artwork yesterday, and so I assume the recording has been completed, but I haven’t yet seen any info about a release date or method of distribution. I’ll be watching for that….
(KevinP brings us another installment in his ongoing series of short interviews, talking this time with one of our favorite metal artists, Italy’s Paolo Girardi.)
K: So how did you get your start being one of the “go to” guys for metal album covers?
P: I already had done some local metal demo and CD covers here in my small town and villages around the ’90s and early 2000s. But then my friends Blasphemophagher wanted something for their first album, then second, then third and the most recent one. This gave me more popularity in metal. After that I did Diocletian, Tyrants Blood, In League with Satan, etc.
Three years ago (almost four maybe), I reached the point when I could live by painting alone, working all over the world. No more need to work in country, as frescos restorer, carpenter, or other occasional work. I was so glad ’cause I’ve never quit painting, even when I had to work 11 hours per day. After that, my daily wrestling training, then painting ’til after midnight. I’ve always believed at every cost. Obsession, passion, love, stubbornness, madness. Now, I still work hard to do my best for my respectful clients, bands, and labels.
We probably devote more attention to album art than the average metal blog, and the Swedish artist Pär Olofsson has been one of our favorites for years. His cover for Obsolescence, the new album by Abysmal Dawn, is a striking example of his work — and the album is damned striking, too.
So it’s a genuine treat for us to bring you this feature, narrated by Pär Olofsson and Abysmal Dawn vocalist/guitarist Charles Elliott, about how the album art evolved, with step by step images of the artwork, as it eventually took shape in the exchange of ideas between the two.
If you haven’t yet listened to Obsolescence, which is out now on Relapse Records, do yourself a favor and dive into that (you can here it and buy it on Bandcamp). It’s superb. You can find out more about the band and the artist via these links — and at the end of this post, check out their new video for the song “Inanimate”:
Here are a few items that caught my eye over the last 24 hours, partly because of the artwork, but in some cases also because of the accompanying news.
I’m going to put Hate in front of Behemoth for a change.
Thanks to a tip from Andy Synn I saw the announcement from earlier today by Poland’s Hate that they will be releasing a new album named Crusade: Zero on January 15, 2015, via Napalm Records. As usual, the album was recorded and mixed at Hertz Studio with the Wieslawski Brothers.
This morning I spotted three new album covers that grabbed my attention, not only because the cover art in each case is very cool, but also because the bands are, too. In the first two instances, we don’t have music yet, though we do in the third case.
We’ve written many times about this fine Icelandic band, most recently in Gemma Alexander’s review of their 90-minute set at this year’s Eistnaflug festival, and so I was especially excited to see the artwork you’re now looking at, because it’s a harbinger of a new Skálmöld album.
The new album, MEÐ VÆTTUM, will be released by Napalm Records later this year. The cover art was created by Ásgeir Jón Ásgeirsson, whose website is here and who also made the cover art for the band’s last album, Börn Loka. I don’t have any of the new music to share with you at this point, but I’m sure we’ll be featuring it as soon as the songs begin to appear. Here’s the staggered release schedule for the album:
I find myself once again with a long list of new items I think are worth sharing but not enough time to write about all of it. I’m beginning to think this is a perpetual state of existence: TOO MUCH METAL. But rather than be stymied by this predicament, I’ll just have to pick a random assortment of new things — something is better than nothing, right? The first three items in this collection first caught my eye because of the visual art — in each case you can see larger versions of them by clicking the images.
ELIRAN KANTOR AND SATAN
There may be a metal artist whose work I’ve featured on this site more than Eliran Kantor, but I doubt it. And yesterday I spotted his latest work, the cover of a forthcoming live album by the long-running British heavy metal band Satan. The new album is named Trail of Fire: Live In North America, and it will be released by Listenable Records. Kantor created the cover for the band’s previous album Life Sentence, and he explained the concept behind this new one as follows:
“As fire sets the tone of the last album cover, I wanted to focus this one on what you usually get afterwards – ashes left behind. Hence the burnt coal frame. The band came up with the title ‘Trail of Fire’ probably referring to being on the road, and it’s symbolized by the judge’s wig morphing into a trail of burning wooden logs, and the trail of fire actually leads to a trial by fire. I wanted the story told on the band’s covers to move forward too – ‘Court in the Act’ was a trial scene, ‘Life Sentence’ showed the incarceration stage, and now we’re witnessing the execution.”
Here are a couple of news items and new pieces of album art that caught my eye. I don’t have much to add to the information sent to us in press releases — other than to say I am tremendously interested in both of these albums (which happen to come from the same label), and you should be, too! (Click the artwork to view larger images.)
BLUT AUS NORD
Today Debemur Morti revealed the cover art (above) for the new album by Blut Aus Nord — Memoria Vetusta III – Saturnian Poetry. It was created by Kristian “Necrolord” Wåhlin (EMPEROR, BATHORY, DARK FUNERAL, DISSECTION, and many more), and it’s wonderful. The layout was conceived by Dehn Sora (known for his work for NEUROSIS and ULVER, among others).
The label further announced that the album has been scheduled for an October 10th release and will be available on Digipack CD, Gatefold 12″ LP, and a digital download version. Here’s the track list:
Not long ago we posted Part 2 of Ty Lowery’s list of personal favorite album covers for 2014 to date. And then about 5 minutes later, I saw THIS ^^^^!!!
It’s the cover art for Citadel, the new album by Australia’s Ne Obliviscaris. The artist goes by the name Xen, (aka Xenoyr) who is the band’s lead vocalist and lyricist, and whose Facebook page is here:
And wow, isn’t that a fantastic cover?
We have very high hopes for the music on this album, too. It’s set for release through Season of Mist on November 7 (November 11 in the U.S.).
And since Ne Obliviscaris is on my mind, I think I’ll just put this music stream of their debut album right here: