Jun 122016

Rearview Mirror


As I’ve mentioned before, I wasn’t listening to extreme metal in the late ’80s or the ’90s. With the help of some knowledgable guides, I’ve spent time over the last decade trying to catch up on what I missed. It’s a deep history, and the process of exploration isn’t nearly finished. Today’s Rearview Mirror focuses on my most recent discovery (with thanks to Jan K. once again for turning me on to the album you’re about to hear).

Obtained Enslavement was a black metal band formed in Stord, Norway, in about 1989. The band’s founding members included Pest (who went on to become the frontman for Gorgoroth both before and after Gaahl), guitarist Døden, and drummer Torquemada, and they were soon  joined by a phenomenal keyboardist who used the name Heks. Together they recorded two demos and four albums before disbanding (though additional musicians also participated on some of the albums). Continue reading »

Jun 212012

(Andy Synn gives us examples of reverse-Eye-Catchers.)

In between reviews (at the moment I have pieces on the new Vintersorg, Gojira, Ihsahn, and De Profundis in gestation) and work on future editions of The Synn Report (for which I have a vague outline of what bands I want to cover, and in what order), I’d like to drop in little columns on bits of metal culture tangentially connected with the music. It’s fun to do, and it gives me a bit of breathing space and a place to clear my head.

Now, while I have a long-running piece on metal lyrics and the art of writing them (and then setting them to music) in the works, I thought for now I’d do a short, irreverent piece on metal artwork.  More precisely, bad metal artwork.

Ok, so clearly I could have filled this entire list with bad black metal artwork… although similarly I could easily have filled it with bad death metal artwork (any number of covers featuring zombies, rape, or zombie rape would do) or bad thrash artwork (robots, tanks, robot-tanks, etc). But I’ve gone for a cross-genre approach to make things a little fairer, and to allow me to fit in some real stinkers.

All these examples have been chosen from my own collection, and I’ve selected a few pieces of artwork that have unfortunately been latched onto otherwise great albums. Not all of them are utterly terrible, but none of them do justice to the music contained within. Continue reading »