The Beauty of Symmetry in Metal Imagery

Archive: Hardcore

Why are you looking at me, Metal cover?

6th of January, 2013

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.

Coliseum Goddamage Feature

Coliseum Goddamage – Yellow Symmetry

25th of July, 2012

Coliseum is a Hardcore band from Louisville, USA, formed in 2003. They’ve released three full length albums (Coliseum in 2004, No Salvation in 2007 and House with a Curse in 2010). The cover depicted above is taken from one of their three EPs – Goddamage, released in 2005 via Auxiliary Records.

Coliseum Goddamage Re-Release

Goddamage’s cover artwork reminds me of the artworks of Black Haven with its black and yellow color coding, the iconic screen printed motifs and a love for big skulls. This cover not only features a big skull as central element but also skull headed bikers and a dead girl holding another one. The EP has been re-released as a deluxe LP edition (see picture on the left) with additional live tracks and all three tracks from their 2005 split EP with Doomriders. Packaged in a metallic gold triple-gatefold jacket that spreads out to a whopping 3 feet in length. You can buy it over here.