Columbus, Ohio-based metal quintet, Death of an Era, launched their new album titled Black Bagged on June 23, 2014 via Artery Recordings / Razor & Tie. The new, 13-song effort is packed to the gills with pummeling breakdowns, shuddering solos, guttural growls, and a whole heap-load of awesome! Whilst the band is currently promoting their effort in every way possible, we thought it’d be a gas to check in with drummer Michael Cooper and talk tats. Here’s what he had to say about his.
2014 is just beginning and there already are a lot of interesting artworks adorning the covers of many Metal albums. We’ve selected four of the most striking ones to-date and spoke with some of the people involved in their development who in turn revealed numerous interesting facts. We listened, learned and now, we’re sharing with you this info! Feel free to do the same…
For some Hard Rock/Metal fans, the best way to support their favorite bands is by buying records, t-shirts, concert tickets, etc. Others go a little further and start fanzines, blogs and websites. There’s also a very select group of people that helps to protect and enhance the visual legacy of the genre. British designer, Hugh Gilmour is one of those such people. He’s been a true champion in keeping current the visual works of old masters like Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Dio and by also designing new, original covers for artists like Bruce Dickinson, Orange Goblin, Grand Magus, and the list goes on… Herein Gilmour talks about his origins as a designer, his passion for music and the particularities of creating the visuals for Special Edition reissues, something which he considers a unique privilege.
These days, American Prog Metallers Fates Warning are indisputably busy. They are promoting their most recent opus, Darkness In A Different Light, the cover artwork of which features a rather-simple-yet-iconic digital illustration of a bird-like origami piece. If fans look back; however, they’ll discover that some of the most unforgettable cover artworks in this band’s discography have been designed by Ioannis. This Greek-born artist has created, for the band, hypnotic and surreal images that stimulate viewers’ imaginations to unexpected new heights. Herein the artist reveals the stories behind the making of four of these such cover artworks. Discover the secret….
Picture the covers for Kiss’ Destroyer, Rainbow’s Rising, or Manowar’s Kings Of Metal. These works of art all posses the epic feel and masculinity that only an artist like Ken Kelly is capable of conveying. For more than 40 years the Connecticut-born illustrator has been working non-stop, creating Comics, book and album covers, film artwork, private commissions, and much more. In fact, his KISS artworks have been featured as part of the band’s merchandise more than any other visuals in the band’s history.
Dusty Peterson is one of those illustrators who really enjoys talking about their work. His level of enthusiasm is evident, especially when giving detailed explanations of his creative process, his technique, and the pieces of which he’s most proud. Even though to date this Seattle-based designer has produced artworks for Metal giants the likes of Six Feet Under, Bloodbath, and Cattle Decapitation, he still keeps exploring new creative paths that help him to become a more refined artist. PureGrainAudio recently had the opportunity to delve into Peterson’s mind and learn about his influences, sources of inspiration, the mechanics behind his creativity, and his overall experience working in the world of extreme music.
Without Judas Priest, Heavy Metal wouldn’t exist as we know it today. Their influence in the development of the genre has been well-documented thanks to their four decade-long career. The same can be said about the mostly iconic covers accompanying each of their album’s cover artworks. Whether they’re are portraying a fallen angel, a hand holding a razor blade, or an eagle ready to attack, the truth is that their impact on Metal aesthetics and popular culture in general is both undeniable and revolutionary.
“Entartete Kunts,” the title of which is a play on the German phrase “entartete kunst” (degenerate art) is a new book that is being released by the Ajna Offensive on June 21st. The book, written and curated by Dennis Dread is a 340 page read filled with the glories of underground art. Now why, you may be asking, is an art book being even written about on a music site? Well, mainly due to the fact that many of the paintings, portraits, and artists themselves have been vastly important in underground punk and metal music. For example art by musicians such as Chris Reifert (Autopsy), Erik Danielsson (Watain), Michel Langevin (Voivod), and Rob Miller (Amebix) are all featured. In addition, album covers from bands such as Voivod, Darkthrone, and others are strewn about the book.
If there’s one band that has never been lured by the temptations of mainstream commercialism or false musical trends, look no further than Darkthrone.
After publishing more than 7,000 album reviews and 40 Rock/Metal-related books, Martin Popoff can easily be considered one of genre’s ultimate writers. The Toronto-based author has also professed on many occasions his love for the visual imagery used in Metal and Rock music. In fact, he’s already written several books about the subject, including “Run For Cover”, a look into Iron Maiden’s iconic illustrator Derek Riggs and “Worlds Away”, a book centered on the visuals created by Voivod’s drummer Michell “Away” Langevin.
Sweden’s classic rock heavyweights Spiritual Beggars are now streaming a new track, “Kingmaker,” taken from their upcoming album Earth Blues. The new album is set for release Tuesday, April 16 in North America via InsideOut Music.
Bleached share a second single “Dead In Your Head” from their much anticipated full-length album debut, Ride Your Heart. In the new song, the duo sing about loosing a lover, but despite the dark topic maintain a poppy effervescent sound. The track is fun, light-hearted and will make you dance, but never looses that classic rock and roll edge.
Bristish illustrator Mark Wilkinson’s work has been adorning the cover sleeves of Rock and Metal albums for decades. His work for bands like Judas Priest and Marillion, as well as for posters for the Monster of Rock Festival, Star Wars movies, and book covers is widely recognized. His refined technique and unique fantastic visions have made of the artist a legend within the world of commercial illustration. To celebrate his career of more than 30 years, Wilkinson recently published the book “Shadowplay”, a recount of most of his work to date. In this interview the artist talks extensively about the new book, his influences, and his ongoing collaboration with artists such as Judas Priest and Marillion.
Sweden’s classic rock heavyweights Spiritual Beggars are now debuting the first song off of their upcoming 8th studio album, Earth Blues. Scroll down to listen to the song “Turn The Tide” via the YouTube player. Earth Blues celebrates Spiritual Beggars’s 20th anniversary as band. The album will be released on April 15th in Europe and April 16th in North America via InsideOut Music. See below for the track-listing of the album.