The Beauty of Symmetry in Metal Imagery

Archive: Dimmu Borgir

Hypocrisy - End Of Disclosure - Feature

Hypocrisy – Tales of thy Symmetry

15th of June, 2013

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.

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.

Dimmu Borgir - Alive In Torment - Shaped

Shaped Symmetry

13th of May, 2012

Shaped CDs or LPs are an invention made for collectors and labels aswell. To generate more money from one single release of a band it’s common practice to release different editions. The regular release, a special digital release, country specific releases and special collector’s editions. They often have extra tracks, a booklet with way more pages, content and pictures and sometimes come as shaped CDs.

Depicted above is Dimmu Borgir’s Alive in Torment shaped CD. The other examples are Dismember’s Death Metal, Statovarius’ I Walk To My Own Song and Machetazo’s split with Marrow on silver vinyl with red splatter in a sawblade shape.