Man, do we have a loaded week for y’all this time out. I don’t wanna pretend all of them are bad or that I’m gonna have snarky comments for each one; it’s just a nice, well-rounded group of album covers for your viewing (and, occasionally, joke-reading) pleasure this week. EIGHT of them, to be exact. So let’s not waste any more time with this post intro — here are our highlights from the July 5 new release crop!
Bloodlust — Leather, Steel & Hell
So, d’you think these guys like Satan? Either way, the new EP from Australian black thrashers Bloodlust keeps things perfectly on-brand. A demonic war-goat is exactly what I want to see visually from a band whose previous two efforts were titled Cultus Diaboli and At the Devil’s Left Hand. Pitch perfect.
Tongue — What Do We Know of Horror
I might just be a weirdo, but all I can think of looking at this one is Gollum. “WHATS DOES IT KNOWS OF HORROR, PRECIOUS?” (I don’t get outside much.)
Rod of Correction — If Might Makes Right… Then the Rod is God
Let’s start with the most-immediately obvious: black and pink is a deeply underrated color combination. (Not to be confused with BLACKPINK, which I can’t comment on and don’t plan on being able to comment on any time soon.) Now, the less-immediately-obvious: R.O.C. — no, I’m not spelling it out — get major points for including a retro-style sun graphic in their cover. Also, their mascot looks like he jumped straight out of Mad Max: Fury Road, so I’d say this wins.
Mystik — Mystik
“Oh man, this’s gotta be blue-cover black metal, right?”
You might think so, but you’d be wrong! Mystik, from Sweden, actually traffics in a classic-sounding heavy/speed metal with soaring lead vocals from frontwoman Julia von Krusenstjerna. Either way, their self-titled full-length — out this week on vinyl — just rips, both musically and artistically. This cover has a perfectly eerie backdrop, and “Girl meets Random-Antlered-Forest-Fella” may as well be this year’s The Shape of Water.
Soul Grinder — The Prophecy of Blight
Good lord, y’all, where do I begin with how much I love this thing? Bright colors in general are freaking fantastic on metal albums, but when said bright colors are magenta and highlighter-yellow? I’m powerless to resist. Also, I love how the artist took great pains to make sure this…creature… (let’s call it Swamp-Grimace?) was anatomically correct — right down to its green swamp-boobs. The only thing that I noticed and now cannot unsee is the vaguely arced component of its chest armor, which appears to make a kind of smiley face with said swamp-boobs as the eyes. I’m so here for it. (Also, I hope never to have to utter the phrase “swamp-boobs” again.)
Turilli-Lione Rhapsody — Zero Gravity (Rebirth and Evolution)
I’ve got a bone to pick with Luca Tirilli and Fabio Lione here. The cover of the debut album from their umpteenth-different incarnation of Rhapsody is, in a vacuum, pretty solid. But, it is nowhere near as outrageous as I can categorically guarantee the music within will be. Couldn’t we at least get a dwarf centaur riding on the back of a sword-wielding dragon? Is that too much to ask?
Swan Valley Heights — The Heavy Seed
At first, I was tempted to assume Swan Valley Heights’ artist was completely out of ideas, but then I realized he/she may have had literally the greatest idea: what if Daft Punk, but cavemen? And walking across a pathway forcibly collaged into an interplanetary landscape? Truly a perfect(ly ridiculous) album cover.
Ecliptic Vision — Ecliptic Vision
Another unwritten rule of album cover design: when in doubt, add the color teal. If still in doubt, make your band logo super gnarly and add in an extraterrestrial shaman. Ecliptic Vision nails all three here.
That’ll do it for this week’s edition! As always, leave suggestions for future Cursed Imagery posts in the comments, and stay tuned for more next week!