Saturday, January 27, 2018

And Justice For Art Presents: "A Look To Bloodstock Festival's Rock And Metal Museum."

Directed & Produced by Leo Aragón (Jörmungandr Media), exclusively for And Justice For Art, this mini-documentary explores the origins and mission of Bloodstock Festival's Rock And Metal Museum, also known as RAM.
Filmed during the 2017 of the famed UK-based festival, it features exclusive interviews with various legendary visual artists, including RAM's founder, Paul Raymond Gregory (Saxon, Dio, Blind Guardian), Eliran Kantor (Testament, Hatebreed, Sigh), Christian Sloan Hall (Amon Amarth, Metal Hammer), Oliver Andrew (Cynosure Guitars) as well as many Bloodstock Festival's fans.
The video also includes a brief look—as well as fans' reactions—to the book "And Justice For Art" Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers." The book is exclusively available at:

Saturday, October 7, 2017


According to Bloodway's mainman—guitarist/vocalist Costin Chioreanu—the experimental Metal band's new recording, "A Fragile Riddle Crypting Clues" is "the closing chapter of a trilogy which started back in 2014, with our debut EP and continued with the our first full length in 2015."
Bloodway's "A Fragile Riddle Crypting Clues"
As a consummate visual artist that has collaborated with bands like Enslaved, Mayhem, Arch Enemy, Arcturus, At The Gates, Chioreanu was in charge of envisioning and producing the album's cover artwork. "I think is pointless to say that each cover or illustration I'm making for Bloodway is highly personal and is a window to my deepest inner world," he admits.

The illustration features the same human-like character that has appeared on the band's previous imagery. "On all Bloodway albums we have the character and his shadow. This cover keeps the legacy of previous two records. Now the character is on fire and is yelling in pain, while the shadow tries to calm it down."
The cover of Bloodway's 2014 debut EP introduces the human-like character and its shadow.

Chioreanu explains the concept even further: "The character is yelling because all the experiences he had achieved, because he understood the essence of human life in this thing called society. He is the child of fire, that inner child every creative person needs to have and to protect. The child is desperate, he is still playing at those strings of a key. The key has two meanings: once it represents that key of the cell prison which nobody once to leave in order to live outside society, but is also presents the idea that music is the key to the soul and high realms. The music is also a portal to the depths of mind, as that higher character is showing in the picture.. the key has a chain. The chain tells a story: there are moments when you might want to quit music, from various reasons, but you simply cannot, as you are totally addicted to it. Sometimes this addiction can harm your soul, when you see musicians and friends from the scene turning into monsters hunting just fame and money, when you see the void exploited at maximum and the whole artistic decadence for the sake of attention and profit. The addiction to music can be also like a blessing, that dream world we all dreamers need so much. Depends on us how we can get the power to keep ourselves in that dream world as much as possible. The shadow of the character is having for the first time wings. Is a sign that it will soon departure to higher realms, to reach different worlds, higher than the flesh or flames of his companion."
Chioreanu's artwork for Bloodway's first album, "Mapping The Moment With The Logic Of Dreams." 

Regarding, the elements surrounding the main character in the artwork of "A Fragile Riddle Crypting Clues," the artist explains: "The entire base of this world is falling, piece by piece. As much as the character understands the structure of the prison around him, created only by the hand of humans a sick imposed perception, as more the foundation of this is turning into pieces. The math-squares from behind who are "measuring" the spectrum of visible universe are a parody o the pathetic human tendency of measuring and classifying everything.The face made of leaves is the soul of the band. This band is heavily related to autumn and it will forever remain like that. So, the bars of the prison are having as well a second meaning: those are the hands of 3 characters which are the band members, Me, Alex and Mihai. We created with our hands and minds this whole story, so we are there as well."

Bloodway's "A Fragile Riddle Crypting Clues" will be available on November 3, 2017 via I, Voidhanger Records.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


The master of monochromatic macabre art, American artist Mark Riddick (RIDDICKART), painted the cover illustration of "Hellraisers." This is the new book by well-known journalists Christopher Krovatin and Axl Rosenberg of and other acclaimed online Metal publications. This volume explores the history of heavy music and the genre's development through decades.

Regarding the collaboration with Mark Riddick, Krovatin comments: "Mark is wonderful to work with and excellent at interpreting my half-baked design concepts. We came to him with two ideas, one featuring the gates of Hell and another featuring a zombie headbanger raising the dead from the pit. When he sent us sketches, we liked them all too much to pick one or the other, so had him combine the two!"

The American artist also designed the book's logo. "Having Mark do our cover was a dream for me," Krovatin adds. "I've grown up worshiping the dude's art, and we wanted this book to not feel dated or topical but instead to embody that timeless old-school metal feel that Axl and I love so much."

"Hellraisers" can be ordered here
Mark Riddick's complete, original illustration.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Photographer Paul Harries Goes To Bloodstock 2017

Paul Harries' amazing portfolio includes photographs of Rock/Metal luminaries such as  Metallica, Nirvana, Ghost, Muse, Green Day, AC/DC and Osbourne, among many others. He's currently one of Kerrang! magazine's resident photographers and has even published a Slipknot-inspired photobook titled, "Slipknot: Dysfunctional Family Portraits."

Earlier this year, Harries works were displayed at the exhibition "Access All Areas" at Proud Camden. From August 10 to 13, the renowned British photographer will be exhibiting a selection of his images at the Rock And Metal Museum—also known as RAM. This event takes place during UK's premier Metal gathering, Bloodstock Festival. And Justice For Art briefly interviewed Harries about his participation in this important annual event. 

How did you become a Rock/Metal photographer?

Paul Harries: I have no musical talent but I had to get into the music business somehow. After a few years of working in bank I started taking my camera to gigs. After a few chance meetings I started shooting for a fanzine (Helter Skelter). The guy who owned it knew someone at Kerrang! and when they needed a photographer one night he put my name forward.

You are one of the main exhibitors at this year's Rock And Metal Museum. How did that come to happen? 

Paul Harries: Vicky from Bloodstock came to my Access All Areas exhibition launch night and asked if I would be interested in showing off some of my work in the RAM.

Can you tell us more about the images you will be exhibiting at RAM?

Paul Harries: The images on show are Lemmy, Slipknot, Ghost, Slash, Lamb Of God and Lizzy Hale. I thought this selection would fit in nicely with the Bloodstock vibe.

Can you tell us the story behind one of the photos on display?

Paul Harries: Ghost at London Palladium, March 2016. This shot was taken just before the doors opened for Ghost's show at this spectacular London venue famous for musical theatre and Royal Variety performances. Papa quickly got into costume while I spoke to the lighting guy about turning up all the house lights. I took this shot on stage facing the auditorium. My set up was very simple, a tripod for the long exposure and one lighting head with a soft box to my left. Time was very tight and I think we nailed the shoot within ten minutes.

What are your expectations regarding participating at this year's Rock And Metal Museum? 

Paul Harries: Not expectations really, I just like to show my work. The prints are available to purchase so if I sell a few that will be great.

More About Paul Harries at:

More About RAM at:

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Christian Sloan Hall Goes To Bloodstock's Rock And Metal Museum 2017

American illustrator, Christian Sloan Hall is widely known in the Metal world for his striking, Viking-laden imagery for Swedish metallers, Amon Amarth. In addition, he's also produced visuals for Dimmu Borgir, Testament, Insidious Disease, Sunn o))) and  many more. Last year, he had the opportunity to create an exclusive artwork for the Rock And Metal Museum, which takes place at the prestigious UK Metal gathering, Bloodstock Festival. The comic book-influenced image features a fierce female heavy metaller and was personally commissioned by Bloodstock's organizer (and celebrated visual artist) Paul Raymond Gregory.

This coming August (from the 10th to 13th) the artwork is returning to this year's edition of Bloodstock and the Rock And Metal Museum. A limited edition of fine prints  will be available during the event. Below Sloan Hall talks about the image and his plans Bloodstock/RAMM 2017.

This image was originally featured on the Rock And Metal Museum during Bloodstock 2016. How did you initially got involved with the festival?

Christian Sloan Hall: Well, I met the Gregorys back in '08 when my friends in Dimmu Borgir headlined the festival. I've been a fan of Paul Gregory's work for ages so I would always jump at the chance to talk to him whenever I saw him there at Bloodstock. Then in 2014, my good friend Dean informed me that Paul was going to start featuring other artists in the RAMM gallery, so I dropped my friend Vicky, Paul's daughter a line asking about it and the rest is history!

The artwork below was originally unveiled last year at Bloodstock’s Rock At Metal Museum. What inspired you to create this artwork?

Christian Sloan Hall: The artwork was created especially for RAMM at Paul's request. Lemmy of Motorhead had just passed away earlier that year and Paul told me of his plans to set up the Lemmy bar at Bloodstock, and that the RAMM gallery would be housed within, in tribute to Lemmy's incredible contribution to Metal and Punk culture. So, Paul asked me to create an image that embodied what Motorhead meant to me personally, and that was no easy task!

So, the Motorhead t-shirt this lady is wearing is not a coincidence. There’s in fact a clear Motorhead connection. Right?   

Christian Sloan Hall: I was born in Los Angeles and grew up listening to Motorhead as my older brother Kyle was a huge fan as were most punks/ Metal heads back in the early eighties. My brother Kyle and Misha took me to my first Motorhead gig in '88 I think it was, at the Santa Monica Civic where they were playing with Suicidal Tendencies, and a huge brawl broke out when Motorhead came on and it grew into a riot. I'll never forget Lemmy singing up in to the downturned mic over a sea of swirling violence! But as the riot grew and people were fleeing out of the venue to be met by a plexiglass shield wall of riot cops, it was the most intense gig I've seen to this day!

And though out the ‘80s I experienced a lot of the Metal scene in Hollywood and what impressed my young mind the most were the crazy hot Metal chicks and the debaucherous glam filth you would see happening at the gigs when my brothers band played at these Hollywood venues like the Troubadour, the Roxy, Whisky A Go-Go, Hollywood Palladium, to name a few. And then later when I was older seeing gigs up there, we would always end up at the Rainbow bar and grill on the sunset strip, which became a mecca for Metal Heads and Lemmy would be there quite a bit, playing Pac Man or just getting pissed. So, the Metallic Motormaiden I painted is the embodiment of all those experiences.

Fine prints of the artwork will be available at the Rock And Metal Museum this. Can you tell us more about it?

Christian Sloan Hall: They'll be crushingly glorious full colour prints, and she may be The Unattainable Metallic Motormaiden 'occultress' of Doom, but her beauty can be possessed in print form! But only limited to 50 I believe. And they'll all be signed and numbered by myself.

You're also exhibiting other works at Bloodstock this year—specially your work about Amon Amarth.

Christian Sloan Hall: Yes, Amon Amarth are headlining this year, so Paul thought it would be cool to display some of the work I've done for them over the years. So, two of the battle scenes I've done for them that have been used for backdrops will be on show, as well as some of the illustrations I've done for tour shirts, and a few others like some pieces I've done for DC snowboards, all in the theme of Viking battle arting.

In your opinion, how important are venues like Bloodstock’s Rock And Metal Museum to help promoting Heavy Metal-related art?

Christian Sloan Hall: It's beyond important, it’s vital! the once flourishing Illustration industry has been a dying one for decades, struggling to survive in the face of constant exploitation and digital emulation. Events like this are crucial in the battle to keep the industry alive but restore Illustration and art to its former glory Paul Gregory's efforts in this struggle are heroic and I'm greatly honored to be able to be a part of it!

Find out about the Bloodstock and the Rock And Metal Museum at:

Find out more about Christian Sloan Hall at:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Celebrated Romanian artist, Costin Chioreau (Enslaved, At The Gates, Arch Enemy), is launching a contest focused on “20 Cycles Back,” a one-of-a-kind cassette edition, featuring material recorded live in the rehearsal room of his dark Metal band, Bloodway.

“20 Cycles Back" was recorded via the cassette player that Costin used 20 years ago to record his demos. Its cover artwork was also created by him, using black ink on white paper and was cut and folded to fit the tape case.

The cassette's track-list is:
01. Walking Past Near The Lighthouse
02. Free Ends
03. Mapping The Moment With The Logic Of Dreams
04. Mirror Twins
05. The Transfinite Castaway
06. Sunstone Voyager And The Clandestine Horizon
“20 Cycles Back” comes as a unique, original piece and will be awarded to a single, lucky winner through a worldwide contest. 
To enter the contest, participants must send an email to with the subject “Subscribe”. Write your full name in the email, as it will serve for picking a winner with the tool. Once you subscribe to this newsletter, you will receive all the future news regarding Bloodway’s activity or Costin Chioreanu’s visual and musical projects, thus you won’t have to dig for stuff in that huge amount of information on the social networks.
The contest ends on April, 16th of 2017. The winner will be chosen on April, 17th and will be immediately contacted to set up delivery/shipping details. The shipping costs will be covered by Bloodway.

See a promotional video featuring Costin painting the cassette's artwork below:

For Bloodway music check out this link:


Saturday, October 22, 2016

A Treatise Of Magic: Angelo Roccagli and Overunit Machine

Italian metallers, Overunit Machine recruited fellow countryman artist, Angelo Roccagli of Black Reflection Media for the design of the cover and inner illustrations featured in their new album "Aldaraja." In the following interview, Roccagli recounts how these graphics were brought to life.

The front cover artwork

How you became involved with Overunit Machine and this particular project?

Angelo Roccagli: I got in touch with Overunit Machine thanks to a Facebook comment. A friend of mine is a fan of the band and when they did a post searching for a graphic designer for their new album, my friend proposed my name. So the band checked out my work and they contacted me.

Who came up with the cover concept and what inspired? Were there any other cover concepts that you discarded?

Angelo Roccagli: The idea for the cover is mine. There was another image I proposed, but the band thought that wasn’t strong enough so I decided to slightly change it and made it a part of the inner pages.
The complete front/back cover

Did the band give you any materials (lyrics, music, etc) in order to get you inspired?

Angelo Roccagli: No, they didn’t give me any materials. They just gave me the title “Aldaraja” (a XVI century Latin treatise on magic) and some keywords to let me imagine how the artwork should be. This was strange, it was the first time I found myself in this kind of situation, all the other bands I worked with gave me lyrics and few songs. But, although this caused some initial problems for me, it let me free to open my mind and work following the instinct of my inspiration, I took it as a creative challenge.

Human, mechanical and oceanic elements are heavily present not only in the cover but also in the inner illustrations. Can you explain the symbolical significance of these elements? 

Angelo Roccagli: The human element always fascinated me in all his aspects, I think it gives the watcher the feeling of being part of the illustration, a way to let him identify himself with art. The oceanic factor was a choice I made casually, following the instinct as I said before. The band wanted something mystical and I thought that the sea and all its characteristics could fit well in this case.

Is there any specific meaning behind the constant present of the triangle and other mechanical/mathematical references?

Angelo Roccagli: Yes, all those parts have a sense in my concept of the artwork. Other keywords the band gave me were “magical” and “decay.” The triangle and all the symbols I used are the magic side, related to the occult symbology. The mechanical parts are the decay side. I say this because I choose to associate this features to the modern age: the concrete, logical and material aspect counter-posed to the unreal world of magic.

Tell us more about the making-of process not only for the cover but the whole layout.

Angelo Roccagli: I started to design a inner illustration of the booklet. This allows me to develop the imaginary and the atmosphere of the artwork, without being stressed by the cover, the most hard part to create. I showed it to the band and they found it great, so I knew I was stepping in the right way of thinking. So I keep on collecting and gathering ideas based on those keywords, trying to interpret them with my own sensitivity and my artistic style.

About the technique: it’s all digital. With Photoshop I manipulate images chosen from an accurate selection based upon the ideas I have. I use a lot of textures in my work, and I ‘m really meticulous when it’s time to opt for one of them. Most of time I create them on my own, starting from photos I made. And so I did with this artwork.

There's a prominent use of stock imagery. From what sources you selected these images and what was the criteria for your selection?

Angelo Roccagli: I pick up the images from websites that provides stock photos. This took a lot of time, because I searched with a very specific criteria. Since the title refers to a XVI century book, I looked for images that could give that kind of “ancient” feeling, both for the human features and the symbolical elements. Also the mechanical parts are not contemporary drawings, but handmade illustrations.

The color palette for this design is very specific and tends to avoid too much tonal vibrancy. Can you tell us more about the reasons to select this particular tonal combination?

Angelo Roccagli: The color palette is one of the things I prefer about this work. When you think about a Metal release the first colors that usually come in mind are dark/black oriented, so I decided to go to the opposite side. This was a risky decision because it could be seen bad by the band, but they liked this style. So I continued using these bright backgrounds, focusing on complementary colors, as blue and red, to create opposing shades. I choose to use red as a predominant color, because I think it can be related to something passionate, impetuous, but also primordial and magical.

This artwork is a good example of your visual style and your obvious preference to mix photography with digital media in order to create images of cryptic beauty. Can you comment about this?

Angelo Roccagli: Since I was sixteen I use this type of art to express my thoughts and my way to see certain aspects of the world. I grew up staring at the beautiful works of masters like Travis Smith, Seth Siro Anton, Zdzisław Beksiński and they gave me the inspiration to try this kind of catharsis, obviously always trying to do it with my personal style. Mixing photography and other digital media allows me to do it with a more “realistic” feeling. I like to take photos of existing natural places, cities, people, walls and make them a part of a new reality in my visions. I take details and transform them in a unique frame. I like to think that as a sort of realistic fiction.

How did the band reacted when you showed the finished artwork?

Angelo Roccagli: The band just loved each illustration, they were really enthusiastic each time I forwarded them a new piece of the work. Luckily they gave me such freedom to create the artwork and they liked all of my proposals. In the meantime, while I was working, they let me listen to three songs of the new album and I realized that my work fitted perfectly with their music.

Angelo Roccagli 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

...And Justice For Art: The Revised Edition

A limited, revised edition of the out-of-print book ...And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers was recently released by indie publisher Dark Canvas.

This one-of-a-kind collection of stories features more than 450 color graphics and recounts all the particulars behind the making of artworks as iconic as Slayer's "Reign In Blood," Morbid Angel's "Blessed Are The Sick," Metallica's "...And Justice For All," Mayhem's "Grand Declaration of War," Tiamat's "Wildhoney," Cradle Of Filth's "The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh," Black Sabbath's "13," and many more!
The stories are told through 105 exclusive interviews with renowned musicians like Jeff Walker (Carcass), Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Max Cavalera (Soulfly, Sepultura), Fenriz (Darthrone), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Paul Masvidal (Cynic), Chris Adler (Lamb of God), David Vincent (Morbid Angel), Travis Ryan (Cattle Decapitation) among many others. The book's Revised Edition also features new revealing commentaries by Dani Filth (Cradle of Filth), Dave Lombardo (Slayer), Kelly Schaefer (Atheist), Neige (Alcest) and by critically acclaimed illustrators such as Michael Whelan, Eliran Kantor, Dan Seagrave, Joe Petagno, Arik Roper and Travis Smith, just to name a few.
When asked why he decided to create a revised edition, author Ramon Oscuro Martos—who writes for Metal Underground—says: "I didn't want to just re-print the same book again. I had new material available. So, I decided to introduce some changes that definitely bring something new to the table while keeping intact the essence of previous edition. There are new comments, more graphics, but it's still the same book... dramatically improved and updated."
Metal musicians that have supported the book.
The author believes that all the additions "make the book more complete. It's like what happens with an album or a movie: there's the original edition. Then you get the especial edition, the limited box set, etc... For me, this is it. This is the best version of the book I can create and it demonstrates that a creative work can evolve through time and become better, eventually... There's nothing wrong with that."
The Revised Edition of '...And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers' is limited to 300 copies and it's exclusively available right here.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Best Panoramic Metal Album Artworks Of 2016

Since the release of Black Sabbath's debut, "Black Sabbath," countless Metal recordings have featured striking panoramic-shaped graphics on their front/back sleeves. Usually, the right portion of these images (the front cover) is the one that receives most of people's attention. However, in many cases, the left sections—commonly known as 'back sleeves'—tend to be as visually and thematically important as the front and reveal new layers of meaning and artistic intricacy. Just think about timeless album artworks like Iron Maiden’s “Somewhere In Time,” Saxon's "Crusader," Mastodon's "Once More 'Round The Sun," or the aforementioned Black Sabbath’s debut and you’ll get the idea.

Below, we're exploring six of 2016's most relevant panoramic Metal album covers. We talked to bands and the designers about making-of process and meaning behind these mesmerizing images that have already become part of heavy music's visual legacy.

BEASTWARS "The Death Of All Things" 
New Zeland-based sludge metallers, Beastwars, employed the unrivaled artistic talents of fellow countryman, Nick Keller, for the creation of the amazing artwork that adorns the  front/back sleeves of band's new album "The Death Of All Things." 

The imposing 60cm x 120cm oil on canvas painting is based on the legend of the Phoenix bird—but with a new twist. "In discussions around the visual direction, Beastwars' vocalist, Matt Hyde, revealed strong themes running through the album—songs dealing with trials of life through vice, damnation and possible redemption; a complete sense of running out of time and how, like death, all things can change in an instant," Keller explains. "No ending is perfect, strewn with unfinished hopes, ambitions and dreams. While that does sound grim, we wanted to express an impacting sense of power and optimism with the cover art."

Having designed the covers for the band's previous recordings definitely gave the artist freedom to explore certain themes—including the Phoenix idea. "I thought the idea of a twist on the mythological Phoenix presented an interesting metaphor for a number of these themes. Unlike the classical creature, birthed from the ashes of it's predecessor, our bird should be bursting forth from the belly of the serpent."

"The Death of All Things" is available via Beastwars' bandcamp.

KVELERTAK "Nattesferd"
Kvelertak collaborated on their first two album covers with American musician/illustrator, John Baizley of Baroness. For their third full-length, "Nattesferd," the Norwegian combo decided to change their visual aesthetics and joined forces with legendary artist, Arik Roper. The American visionary would develop a haunting, Sci-fiction-inspired landscape that also incorporates Nordic motifs.

"I came up with the concept, though I asked for input from the band," Roper—known for his artworks for Sleep, High On Fire, among others—reveals. "They suggested the Owl because they apparently use owls as an ongoing theme. I liked the idea of combining Norse mythology with Science Fiction elements. So I thought of a futuristic character within a fantastic environment and the tree of life, Yggdrasil, as part of the world."

The alluring, blue-dominated illustration was created with ink, gouache, and pastel. "Nattesferd" is available via Roadrunner Records.

Italian fierce quartet, Hierophant, combined efforts with fellow countryman, Paolo Girardi, to create the artwork for their new album, "Mass Grave." The wild visionary painter delivered a chaotic, red/crimson-dominated piece that features most of his visual trademarks—including apparent disarray in the composition, exploration of apocalyptic themes and a confluence of grotesque, violent and supernatural visual elements.

"Hierophant wanted a totally red artwork," Girardi comments. "For the front side (right) I've thought of Italian crypts under churches (columns and vaults), Italian cemeteries  mixed with the hill of crosses in Šiauliai, Lithuania  Many corpses as in many war (or drug trafficking) scenes. The big eyeballs give a human, deep, sick, insane, obsessive, delirious accent to the scene."

The artist used oils to create such apocalyptic vision. He confesses that the left portion of the artwork (the back) was mainly "inspired by Luis Rojo's apocalyptic landscapes with water and post-atomic ruins, joined with Turner's romantic views of Venice or London. The tower of houses in the middle  has been inspired by many Italian southern picturesque villages, clanged to spurs."

"Mass Grave" will be available via Candlelight Records.

TEMPLE OF EVIL "The 7th Awakening"
Released on CD early this year, "The 7th Awakening"—the debut of Cyprus-based black metallers, Temple of Evil—features a cover art depicting an obscure, cryptic ritual. It was crafted by the artist known as Khaos Diktator Design. "The main ideas for the artwork came into existence several years ago," the band comments. "It was obvious to us that the artwork needed to reflect the general atmosphere of the songs, conveying the appropriate dark feelings and ideas on to the listener and viewer, as both music and art need to be equally complementary and representative of each other."

According to Khaos Diktator, he got "brief instructions from the band concerning the concept and atmosphere which was expected from me to achieve with my art. After that I listened to the album tracks while trying to create clear visions which will be transformed into painting later. This album was pretty inspiring and it was easy to translate it on canvas.Temple of Evil creates occult, ritualistic atmosphere, so I figured out that fusion of baroque technique and images that I achieve while listening to their music came out as perfect recipe."

 "The 7th Awakening" can be streamed and downloaded at Temple Of Evil's bandcamp.

MAZEMATH "The Illusion Of Freedom"
"Creating this cover was really challenging in terms of bringing to life the different views and ideas of the band," reveals Scotland-based artist, Gabriel Hernández regarding his artwork for "The Illusion Of Freedom." This is the debut album by novel Chilean metallers, Mazemath

"The main concept they asked me to illustrate was a human timeline from baby to a defeated man, was only the starting point," Chilean-born Hernández says. "There were other ideas they wanted to incorporate: a group of girls in fetal position and a burning city. Since all these elements needed to have their own level of importance, I suggested them to create an extended cover, basically to enhance the main concept and give coherence to all these elements and build a consistent world.

Expanding on the cover concept, the band comments: "The lyrics [of the title track] talk about growing up and realizing that the game of life is not what they told and you are not free at all. The classic image of the monkey evolving into man came to mind. Every element in the art has to do with some track of the album: the bombers, the numbed bodies, the tree and the crows, the sun is really Apophis 99942 (an asteroid that may clash the earth), the burning city has some iconic building of Chile’s capital and the iron necklace was a torture device that was used on slaves." 

Hernández adds that "working digitally allowed me to manipulate elements at every stage of the process such as sketches, line art and final color, until they were happy with the result. I like to state that this project was definitely a collective effort rather than an illustrator’s vision."

"The Illusion Of Freedom" will be released on September 30, 2016. 

ARKONA "Vozrozhdenie"
Originally released in 2004, "Vozrozhdenie" ("Revival") has become a landmark in the career of Russia's premier Folk Metal collective, Arkona. Fast forward to 2016, the band decided to re-record the album and appointed celebrated illustrator Kris Verwimp with the task of painting a new cover art.

Verwimp (well known for his involvement with many Folk and extreme Metal projects and as the creator of mythical character, Odoric) started painting the ambitious panoramic artwork in 2015, using acrylics and water mixable oils on paper. "The moment is etched in my memory when I heard "Vozrozhdenie" for the first time," he comments. "I was awestruck by the phenomenal vocals and wonderful songs. Who would have known back then, that I would one day be painting a cover for a re-recording of this album?"

According to the artist, "the painting itself is a re-imagining of the original artwork in my own style. It depicts a Pagan celebration scene with a Slavic princess, warriors, priests and idols. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find out what the little insect creatures at the bottom represented, so I left those out. I also did illustrations for each song on the album."

"Vozrozhdenie" will be released on November 11th by Napalm Records.

USURPRESS "The Regal Tribe"
The eerie panoramic artwork for Usurpress new album, "The Regal Tribe," was painted by Marald Van Haasteren of Marald Art.

Exclusively for And Justice For Art, the Swedish metallers reveal that they "sent Marald the lyrics and the synopsis for the storyline of the album and gave him freedom to create something based on one of songs of his choice. He chose the track "Across the Dying Plains" and the painting is his interpretation of what it would look like. Those who are familiar with his art know that the skeleton, and especially the skull, is a recurring theme in his paintings. I think it's very important that the artist feels that he/she are allowed to do what he/she wants to do instead of just doing something that the band has already decided. The result will always be more alive and inspired."

"It was an absolute pleasure working for [the band]," Marald recently said. "Thanks again for all the artistic freedom and trust."

"The Regal Tribe" is available via Agonia Records.

IHSAHN "Arktis"
The cover for Ihsahn's "Arktis," is basically a rework of old photo of Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen, taken during his three-year expedition to the North Pole. Such stark visual approach is a continuation of the photography-based aesthetics Ihsahn and Spanish graphic artist, Ritxi Ostáriz have developed on the covers of the musician's previous albums. "As always, it's been an amazing pleasure to work for Ihsahn," enthuses Ostáriz. Before "Arktis," he designed the artworks for "Eremita" (2012) and "After" (2010), among others—usually using a similar aesthetic approach.

Regarding the relationship between the panoramic image and the album's music/lyrics, the visionary Norwegian metaller comments: "The whole atmosphere of facing the cold, immense unknown fits rather good with the general lyrical concept of the entire album. It paints a sense of doubt, hopelessness and frustration yet celebrates curiosity, free will and the choice to avoid conformity. It is, at best, an observance of one’s insignificance in relation to time, nature and space yet each individual’s ability to make things matter even if only to themselves.”

"Arktis" is available via Candlelight Records.

If you want to know more about the making of some of Metal's most iconic panoramic album artworks—like Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath," Sleep's "Dopesmoker," Obituary's "Cause Of Death," Neurosis' "Times Of Grace," "Cathedral's "The Carnival Bizarre," Skid Row's "Slave To The Grind,"—check out the book "...And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers" and dare to explore this fascinating topic even further. The book is available exclusively via our online store at BigCartel