Rotten Sound (previously on Symmetal) is a Grindcore band from Vaasa, Finland. Their fantastic music has accompanied me for more than 15 years now – they’re one of my all-time heroes (next to Nasum). Their latest album Abuse to Suffer was released via Seasons of Mist in March 2016.

Rotten Sound - CyclesMedeia - Abandon AllThe artwork for Abuse to Suffer was created by Thomas Boutet aka Mush Design who has already created the cover design for Rotten Sound’s 2008 release Cycles as well as Medeia’s Abandon All from 2011.

The design shows a dark and gritty hallway in a one-point-perspective and an eye looking at the viewer as vanishing point. The central element in the composition are open heads arranged like a Matryoshka doll. Matryoshka dolls (or nesting dolls) are sets of typically seven wooden dolls of decreasing sizes that fit inside of each other. Each doll splits in half at the mid section and opens to reveal another smaller doll nested within.

Matryoshka Dolls

The Matryoshka principle is a graphic design method that has often been used and interpreted in new ways for different occasions. For example for this brilliant advertising campaign for the Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung created by ad agency Y&R Zurich.

SonntagsZeitung 1 SonntagsZeitung 2 SonntagsZeitung 3

Rotten Sound’s cover artwork is a perfect example for a cliché free Extreme Metal design (ok, there’s a skull, but no chains, blood, swords or lightnings). The sepia color palette with gold and brightened black is very unique and gives the design a retro and very balanced feel.

Rotten Sound - Abuse to Suffer