The Beauty of Symmetry in Metal Imagery

Archive: Cover

Zeal & Ardor – Symmetry is Fine

20th of June, 2017

Zeal and Ardor is a Black Metal project by Manuel Gagneux, a Swiss-American musician who had previously created a project called Birdmask, that he describes as Crycore. Zeal and Ardor’s debut album ‘Devil is Fine’ was first released on Bandcamp in 2016 and re-released by MVKA on February 24, 2017. Gagneux wrote and recorded the album himself (source).

The album’s core idea is based on one question: what would it sound like if slaves had sung songs that didn’t praise god, but satan. The result is a highly unique mix of Gospel, Jazz, Pop and Black Metal. Gagneux apparently got the idea in conversations on 4chan (source).

gorguts-title

Gorguts – Rise and Fall of the House of Wisdom

19th of July, 2016

Gorguts is a Technical Death Metal band from Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. The band was formed in 1989 and was part of the first wave of Death Metal. In 2013 I wrote a post about their fantastic release Colored Sands, a concept album about the Tibetan culture and history (Here’s the link to the article).

In 2016 Gorguts still surprises with exceptional music and a concept and topic that’s more than unusual for today’s Metal. Pleiades’ Dust is a concept EP consisting of a single track that lasts for more than 30 minutes. “A long narrative composition, that was not written with the intention of being edited in segments.” as Gorguts frontman Luc Lemay says about the EP.

BlackShore – 52 Meters Deep in Symmetry

23rd of June, 2014

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.

Intronaut - Milk Leg - Feature

Intronaut – Milk Leg

29th of June, 2013

Intronaut is a progressive Post-Metal band from Los Angeles, California, USA, formed in 2004. The band features former members of Anubis Rising, Exhumed, Uphill Battle, and Impaled and has released four albums to this day. Habitual Levitations is their latest release with Milk Leg being its single. Milk Leg’s cover artwork was done by Randy Ortiz, a self-taught artist, illustrator and designer from Winnipeg, Canada.

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.