Archive: Black Metal
BlackShore is a Black Metal band from Lübeck, Germany. The band was formed in 2007 by Hades and Blizzard and has released three albums (Railway to BlackShore, Legion and Terror) and two EPs. Terror – their latest album – was released in November 2013 via Black Skull Records. I briefly spoke to Hades about Terror’s cover artwork.
2013 has been a great year for Metal so far. So I thought this would be a good time for a small recap of this year’s Metal albums. Based on the cover artworks of all 2013 releases by five of the biggest record companies (Metal Blade Records, Relapse Records, Nuclear Blast Records, Century Media Records and Roadrunner Records) here’s a nice and simple statistical overview for the Data Metal Nerd in you.
Metal logos reflect the essence of a band’s (or in the case of Guttural Death: a webzine’s) music and attitude. They can be dark, brutal, aggressive and horrifying, but at the same time beautifully crafted with an amazing eye for details. It’s the beauty in the chaos that makes Metal logos stand out. This video shows
Hypocrisy is a melodic Death Metal band from Ludvika, Sweden, formed in 1991 by Mastermind Peter Tägtgren. They started as a traditional Death Metal band, but soon started to incorporate melodic elements in their sound. To this day Hypocrisy released twelve full length albums, four EPs, two demos, two compilations, two live releases and four singles. Albums like Penetralia, The Fourth Dimension or The Final Chapter are under my most heard albums ever.
Most Metal cover artworks are based on recurrent sujets, elements or themes. Among the most common elements are those referring to death, torture, gore, religion, mysticism or politics. And when it comes to overall visual concepts the symmetry in its diverse forms is one of the most popular one. Maliciously one could say that the artists lack of innovations and creativity. But on the other hand why change a winning team? In that matter Metal is a quite reactionary genre. Admittedly there are always new streams, expressions and creations but in its deep core Metal always tries to conserve its traditional values.
One very interesting and very common symmetric concept for Metal covers are faces looking directly at the viewer. “Faces” and “looking” should be understrood rather freely, as we aren’t talking about regular faces or heads. More likely demon’s heads, skulls, melted faces, rotten faces, (gas) masks, animals or robots/cyborgs. And they don’t all have eyes in a traditional meaning. Some have none, others have objects coming out of them, are glowing in the dark or, well, are rotten. But the remarkable resemblance is that they all are making direct eye contact with the viewer.
Enslaved is a Progressive / Black / Viking Metal band from Bergen, Norway, formed in 1991 in Sveio. The band name was inspired by the Immortal demo track “Enslaved in Rot.” (source). Though Enslaved began as a typical Norwegian Black Metal band, they always incorporated song structures unusual for the genre, thus shifting towards Progressive Viking Metal. Most of the band’s imagery and lyrics relate to Norse mythology – as you can see in their logo design.