Jun 132012

As you know, I’m a sucker for cool album art. Long ago, I started an experiment, testing the hypothesis that if the album art is cool, the music will probably be cool, too. There’s absolutely no reason why the two should necessarily go together, but it just seemed that way to me. So, I started a series of NCS posts where I picked music to check out based solely on the album art. You can see the previous installments through the EYE-CATCHERS category link on the right side of this page.

I haven’t done one of these posts in ages, but decided to revive the series today with new music from two bands: Helcaraxë and Manic Scum.


I knew nothing about this New Jersey band until seeing the stupendous painted album art (above) for their forthcoming album (their third), Red Dragon. The artist is Alan Lathwell, who it turns out also did the awesome cover for the latest album from The Horde (check that HERE).

I didn’t find any definitive word about a release date, but I did find that Helcaraxë have recently uploaded their entire discography to Bandcamp, including a song-stream for four tracks off of Red Dragon — one of which (“Skin Changer”) features guest vocals by Mikael Stanne of Dark Tranquillity. So I listened to those four songs, and they support the EYE-CATCHERS hypothesis: This is a genuine bonanza. Continue reading »