May 152013

I came across some news today involving three bands I like.  Unfortunately, the news involves releases that we can’t yet hear, but at least the news brings album art that’s pleasing to mine eyes. And then I came across one other piece of eye-catching new artwork that introduced me to a new band and a new song that I’m pretty sure fractured my skull . . . as if I needed any more skull fractures. Here’s what I found:


As we previously reported, this Swedish black metal band have a new album named The Wild Hunt coming on August 19 in Europe and August 20 in the US via Century Media Records. Today I learned that they will first be releasing a two-song single, both digitally and in a variety of physical formats, in late June. One song will be an original album track named “All That May Bleed”, and the B-side will be a cover of “Play With the Devil”, originally recorded by the Swedish black/heavy metal band Taiwaz in 1988; Gottfrid Åhman from In Solitude has contributed a guitar solo to that cover track.

Above, you can see the just-disclosed artwork for the single, which is quite cool and was created by the amazing Zbigniew Bielak II, whose work for Ghost we featured at length here. As for the original song, here’s what Watain had to say about “All That May Bleed”:

“‘All that May Bleed’ shows but one facet of a quite diverse album, but we chose this song as a first glimpse into ‘The Wild Hunt’ because of its bombastic lunacy and white-eyed malevolence which could be said to constitute a main foundation for the album. The lyric is an invitation to sacrificial blood letting, ecstatic zealotry and human sacrifice. The salt of Satan in the wounds of Christ!”

Well then, if this is an invitation to sacrificial blood letting, ecstatic zealotry, and human sacrifice, I accept! Continue reading »

May 092013

I’m getting a late start on the day and didn’t write a post last night that would be ready to start things off this morning. I stopped at my favorite watering hole at the end of the work day and lions got me. I shouldn’t call my friends lions, but once I used the term “watering hole”, images of prey animals being mauled in the savannah immediately came to mind. I felt well and truly mauled by the time I fell into bed late last night.

While I recover from too much drink and smoke, I thought I’d give you something to gaze upon. This is a collection of recent artwork completed by various artists for forthcoming metal albums or merch. We’ve featured the work of most of these artists before, and I follow what they’re up to, because they kick ass, figuratively speaking of course. There will be new music accompanying some of the art, too.

The first piece, above, is by Japanese master Toshihiro Egawa. It’s something he did for a Russian band I’m pretty high on, 7 H.Target. They’ve now finished a second album, Psy Slam Damage, which is coming out May 16 via Coyote Records. But Egawa’s artwork isn’t for that album. It’s an illustration for the next album . . . 0.00 Apocalypse . . . which will feature vocals by Mirus (ex-Katalepsy) and will be released by Sevared Records sometime later this year. Mark Cooper has also created artwork for the album, and this post will include something by him, too. Continue reading »

Oct 272012

In June I included the stupendous cover art you’re looking at (sans the band and album names) in a post about new metal artwork.  Then, I didn’t know who the artist was, but now I do:  Mark Cooper (a/k/a Mindrape Art). He created this piece for the cover of a new album by Rings of Saturn named Dingir (din-jeer), and that leads us to a sordid tale of woe, the moral of which is a reminder that the community of metal still includes people with no morals.

In June, when the album art was released, the band’s label (Unique Leader) also provided a teaser clip of samples from the album and a tentative release date: November 20. The recording and production work on the album was apparently finished. What remained was the promotional run-up to the release.

And then Dingir ran into some potholes on the road to its release. First, as disclosed by the band last night, undisclosed “legal issues” arose which led to a delay in the album’s release from November 20 to February 5. I’ve seen no explanation of these issues. Undoubtedly, that extra two months of waiting for release was a source of frustration for the band.

But second, and more important, an unfinished, unmastered, pre-production version of Dingir leaked yesterday, apparently appearing across a variety of metal blog spots and torrent sites, as well as on YouTube. And that drove the band to take unplanned action to limit the damage. Continue reading »