The Beauty of Symmetry in Metal Imagery

Archive: Thrash Metal

Gojira Magma – boiling energies etched by Hibiki Miyazaki

26th of July, 2016

Gojira is a French heavy metal band from Bayonne. They have released six studio albums and three live DVDs, most recently their album Magma on June 17, 2016 through Roadrunner Records. The band isn’t easy to categorize, they shift with ease between Death Metal, Progressive Metal and Thrash Metal. Their lyrical themes are equally broad – life, death and nature play major roles in their songs and albums.

The cover artwork for Magma was created by Hibiki Miyazaki from Portland, Oregon. Hibiki is an award winning artist focussing on prints, paintings and drawings who studied at Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD. I had the chance to ask Hibiki a few questions about the idea and process of this amazing artwork.

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.

Einherjer Odin Feature

Top 5 of mythological creatures in Metal

3rd of October, 2012

Metal and all its sub-genres are highly influenced by historical, religious and mythological motifs. Mythological references can be found in every single Metal style – from Black Metal, Death Metal, Thrash Metal or Grindcore to Heavy Metal, Pagan/Folk Metal or Power Metal. They are integrated in artworks, songs, lyrics and appearances of bands, scenes and labels all over the world.

Testament-DarkRootsOfEarth_Digital_booklet_Layout 1

Testament – Dark Symmetry of Earth

1st of August, 2012

Testament is a Thrash Metal band from Berkeley, CA, USA, formed in 1983. They have  released ten studio albums, four live albums, six compilation albums, and six singles to this day. The latest one is pictured above – Dark Roots of Earth released in 2012 (actually yesterday) via Nuclear Blast. It’s an amazing album with an amazing cover. The artwork was created by Eliran Kantor who’s previously worked on Gwar, Atheist or Havok.

Metallica – Master of Symmetry

17th of March, 2012

There’s not the slightest shadow of a doubt that METALLICA’s third full length album is a classic in plenty of ways.

First of all, it is being considered one of the greatest efforts in the history of Thrash Metal. Secondly, it marked the band’s breakthrough and paved their way into the heads and hearts of millions. It’s also the last album METALLICA recorded with their legendary bassplayer Cliff Burton. And most importantly (at least for this little blog): it’s got one hell of a symmetric cover artwork. Crosses, hands, logo – everything’s in perfect balance. It is a beautifully bold, iconic visual that lives up to the quality of music it adorns.