Welcome to Cursed Imagery, a new series here at Nine Circles dedicated to highlighting terrific new metal album artwork. Or, probably more commonly, less than terrific new metal album artwork. (Let’s face it: not everyone can be Dan Seagrave, folks.) As metal fans, we’re well aware that there’s no shortage of fodder on this front, and it’s high time we honed back in on — and had a bit of a chuckle at — the visual side of the terror we put in our ears each week. (Or each month. Probably month, given my track record for actually writing on this site anymore. We’ll see.)
Anyway! This week’s selections are after the jump. Read on and take a look!
The Rods — Brotherhood of Metal
My word, y’all. This image straight up inspired the column you are now reading. What, I ask, is more metal than a literally metal three-headed cybernetic terror dog clawing its way through a post-apocalyptic New York City? Extra points for making the dogs resemble Zuul and Vinz Clortho ONLY MORE HORRIFIC. I don’t know much about The Rods, but judging by the logo font, album title and this goddamned steel Cerberus on the cover, I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume they really like metal. And hell, if it’s gonna give us glory like this, then I still might, too.
Snøgg — Chhinnamasta
Hats off to Snøgg for an album cover — nay, an art experience — that appeals to the inner acne-covered 14-year-old boy in all of us. Naked lady with boobies NOT blurred out? Check. Said lady is also decapitated and possibly Medusa? Check. Wielding the Cloud Strife Buster Sword from Final Fantasy VII? Oh, yeah. Hell, these guys even put the title of the album — side note, what on Earth is a “chhinnamasta”? — in freaking CHILLER font, a.k.a., the edgiest, Hot Topic-iest stock font Microsoft Word came loaded with. (I definitely used this font more times than I can count during my high school years.) Yep, take me back to 2003, and I’m pretty sure Snøgg would be my new favorite band.
Fetid — Steeping Corporeal Mess
I’m sure a lot of people will find this piece kinda gruesome. I, dear reader, am not one of those people. Spoiler alert: for my day job — you know, the thing I do when I’m not writing jokes about metal art or singing the praises of intentionally outdated-sounding electronic music for this site — I’m a hospital nurse. So, I’m numb to this shit. And let me tell you, I have seen this particular colonoscopy before. Ten bucks says this is not a commissioned painting, but actually scope footage from a guy Fetid paid to NOT follow the clear-liquids-only dietary restrictions before they put a tube up his butt. I’m wise to your shenanigans, death metal bands.
Silent Knight — Dethrone Tyranny
So, I’ll be honest, I’m not including this one to say anything snarky. I’m including it because this album artwork feels like a pretty blatant example of plagiarism. You see, folks, back in 2001, Gamma Ray put out an album called No World Order, which had…I mean, kinda, this exact concept? So, okay, the central figure here is different. And the opposing figures are not reapers, but rather Undead Viserion (RIP) and Mecha Drogon. But…there’s too much similar here to be purely coincidental. Even the title graphics feel lifted. If I’m No World Order artist Hervé Monjeaud, I might think about calling my lawyer…
UPDATE (6/8): Sooo, yeah…leave it to your boy to neglect to dig a bit deeper into No World Order on this one. Full disclosure: I had come across the original album cover years ago and thought it was badass…but then never actually listened to the thing. As such, I didn’t realize that this Silent Knight release is a cover of a song from that album. Derp.
The band reached out to us via Facebook, alerted us to this and politely pointed out that the similarity in design was, you know…the point. My sincere apologies to them, and to the artist behind their cover of “Dethrone Tyranny,” Andrej Bartulović.
Qayin Regis — Doctrine
Let’s be honest, what upstanding metalhead among us hasn’t, at one point or another, ever wondered, “Hmm…I wonder what it would look like to watch a skeleton trying to take a shit?”
That’ll do it for this edition. Got any suggestions for future posts? Leave ’em in the comments. And stay tuned for more ridiculous metal album artwork down the road!