The Beauty of Symmetry in Metal Imagery

Archive: Immortal

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.

Corpsepaint - Multipic

Dress up for Darkness – Black Metal Style

20th of November, 2011

Today is head-day on symmetal.com. We just talked about the Metal head and hairstyle, now we are talking about the Black Metal face uniform: the corpse paint.

Corpse paint is a black-and-white make-up that’s most of the time strictly symmetric. Nowadays mainly used by Black Metal bands around the world  to intensify the bands’ imagery of evil, inhumanity, and corpse-like decay. It is most commonly used just on the face, but also on arms and torso. Because im might look rather non-evil, if your face is a corpse and your arms are well tanned like a beach bodybuilder in a neon thong. Sometimes it involves other colors than black and white. But even then corpse paints aren’t really colorful or life-affirming, because the only added color is red – more blood for the corpse.