May 162010

We like five things about the new Relapse Records release from a Rhode Island band called Howl: the album cover, the name of the album, the name of the band, the lyrics. Oh yeah, we like the music, too.

First things first — the album cover.

Now, we can hear some of you saying, who gives a shit about the cover art if the music sucks? Well, you’re entitled to your fucking opinion. But in our fucking opinion, this band could sound like a garbage truck backing up and this album cover would still stand the test of time. Plus, we saw the album cover before we heard the music, so it comes first.

Just gaze upon that sucker at the top of this post. It’s really only half of the full image. To see the full thing in all its hellish glory, you need the CD insert to unfold.  Looks like this:

The artwork is by Ryan Begley. He’s done artwork for Pelican, Clouds, Ruiner, Doomriders, and other bands, but we gotta say he’s outdone himself with this one. Skulls, flames, skeletal hand, glowing triangle, and plenty of eyeballs (you can never have too many eyeballs) — all rendered in appropriately hell-hot colors. And it meshes beautifully with one of those other things we like — the album title (Full of Hell). OK, now for the music: It’s devilishly good. (more after the jump . . .) Continue reading »