Saturday, July 25, 2020

BOOK UPDATE!

We just received from the printer some test pages of the upcoming book, "And Justice For Art - Volume 3." They look AMAZING. The quality of the printing and the colors are spot on. The next step will be printing a color test of the whole book. Once that is approved, the book will be finally manufactured. More updates coming soon!


Saturday, April 25, 2020

Midnight Cemetery: A Cover Art Virtual Revolution

Nowadays, most of humanity is living under quarantine, trying to fight certain lethal virus that has caused devastating effects around the world. Being trapped without having access to 'real' social interaction has become a titanic endurance test. However, it can also be an opportunity to discover new experiences that could lead people beyond the physical walls of their limited living spaces. One of those experiences that can be discovered and enjoyed from home thanks to the wonders of technology is "Midnight Cemetery." This virtual reality tour/exhibit was created by talented multi-media Romanian artists, Adrian-Tabacaru official and Costin Chioreanu and takes visitors inside a ghostly cemetery that looks like nothing you've seen before. In the following interview, the artist talk about the creation of this immersive experience that could revolutionize the perception of album covers in the near future. 

Experience "Midnight Cemetery" for FREE here


Can you describe for readers what is Midnight Cemetery?

Adrian Tabacaru:
 The Midnight Cemetery is a visually striking Virtual Reality experience. It's a place where you can explore and interact with Costin Chioreanu's vibrant artwork he made for the album "Afterlife Romance," an album composed and performed together with Sofia Sarri. A place where everyone is invited to explore a suspended space, surrounded by mysterious characters frozen in time.

Costin Chioreanu: Well, what can I add? It's most probably the first interactive cover artwork. Basically, you can literally (in virtual mode, of course) can visit places which until now were designed for illustrating the booklets of the "Afterlife Romance" album. I think, at least for me, this is the greatest achievement of all. Adrian did an amazing job also with sound and animation... so yeah, I am beyond excited by the result!

What motivated you to work together on this project?

Adrian Tabacaru:
 I love Costin's artwork, it's two-dimensional substance, and thought that it will look amazing to extrapolate this space by bringing the third dimension to it. Adding depth would make everyone feel immersed. This would provide the things that were always missed in an illustration: the 'immersiveness and the interactivity.' I was trying to re-create the atmosphere I felt by exploring Costin's artwork and to create a new interactive world.


This is the thing I dreamed ever since I was a kid that is to be part of the illustration. Back then, I was just imagining it, now it's real...well...virtually-real.

Costin Chioreanu: When I discovered Adrian's work, I got blown away and I couldn't stop my expansive mind of thinking how I could access this world and what amazing things are waiting there for me to discover. It did not took me long time to realize how interesting my work will look like in another dimensional spectrum. I mean, I started with illustration, the next level was to bring my way of doing things in the 2-d animations which are the base of almost 90 videos I've done for bands in the last years. 
So... this collaboration came to me as a logical next step in my endeavor. So I feel extremely accomplished!


Adrian, from the technological standpoint, which were the most challenging aspects of this project?

Adrian Tabacaru:
 I am far from what a technician is able to do, my academic background is musical. I'm actually a techno-fluent computer-composer, a musician who likes to explore technology and express in modern ways. The challenge was that I had no idea how to do it and this is the most beautiful challenge I will always love to do.

How was the development processes? How did you distribute the workload?

Adrian Tabacaru: It took about 6 months to create this experience, Costin was providing the artwork elements in detail, with each individual layer exported separately, and I was trying to recreate this in a three-dimensional atmospheric space by adding animated 3D elements, depth, and interactivity to the characters.

Costin Chioreanu: Yep, and before all this I spend weeks on creating the native illustrations for my album which is by far, the most complex set of illustrations I ever made for an album booklet. And that is because the album I did with Sofia is super personal and an extremely important record for me.


Can you tell us more about the music used for the project, the "Afterlife Romance"?

Costin Chioreanu: Yes, it is an album where I composed and recorded all the music and Sofia took care of the vocals and lyrics. But everything was worked as a conceptual album, from writing music to writing lyrics and interpretation.

It is a, let's say, a more romantic Avant-dark-Prog version of a King Diamond story. It is not that horror, it is not Heavy Metal, but is more spiritual and more eerie. The album speaks about the story of two ghosts, living in a cemetery, who got in love in one of the nights. The cemetery is a system/society between ghosts, is a complete world, and there are rules to be respected as well. Our two characters are getting into some problems because of that, but in the end they escape using the most unexpected trick ever.


This is a groundbreaking project. As you mentioned, it's probably the first cover artwork that has been transformed into a true multi-dimensional experience. How's been the overall reaction to the project so far? Would you do something similar again?

Adrian Tabacaru:
Being a worldwide premiere in this field, people don't know yet what to expect and how to react. I am sure that in time, when Virtual Reality technology will become more accessible, more people will understand it. For sure we will continue to do this kind of experiences. Currently, we are just scratching the surface and the future holds amazing things in this effervescent world.

Costin Chioreanu: I totally agree with Adrian and I really think people from the industry should carefully check this out, because it can become a new way of promoting music in the new world which is forming as we speak. They should take this very seriously as it can be very easy and vital part of the future.

Experience "Midnight Cemetery" for FREE here

Saturday, April 18, 2020

SLAYER-INSPIRED EPIDEMIC


This amazing piece titled, 'Epidemic', was crafted by American artist, Brian D'Agosta of Gostworks Art. "I thought I'd make a new piece, inspired by Slayer's song 'Epidemic' and Larry Carroll's style and palette from the "Reign In Blood" LP cover," the artist says.
This image measures 36 x 42 inches and was produced with acrylic, watercolor, enamel on canvas. It's currently available for licensing. Contact the artist for more details via: 
https://www.facebook.com/gostworksart

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Monday, August 26, 2019

THE CHUCK SCHULDINER RE-ISSUES: A Conversation with Death/Control Denied's former manager, Eric Greif.

Album reissues have become quite common in today's Metal scene. One of the best examples of such trend are the deluxe editions of Chuck Schuldiner's musical legacy. Painstakingly put together by former manager, Eric Greif and a dedicated team at Relapse Records, these editions pay homage to the life and works of Death's and Control Denied’s late mastermind and include plenty of new information, unreleased recordings, revamped mixes and superb packaging.

A while back, …And Justice For Art interviewed Eric Greif about the making of these reissues. Greif, who is in charge of Schuldiner's legacy through Perseverance Holdings LTD, explains how these new versions of albums like Death's "Human," Control Denied's "The Sound Of Perseverance" among others, offer a new look into the creative world of one Metal's greatest musicians.

Chuck Schuldiner










The visual and sonic quality of these re-issues reveal that you and Relapse Records spent a lot of effort, time and money to make this happen. Is it financially viable to put to a project like this together?

Eric Greif: Yes, it works financially for all concerned. However, I don't get as alarmed about the rise of downloading and file-swapping as others have because I see how many people have been buying the DEATH reissues. Fans want to hold something in their hands, to look at all the extra goodies, and that is just not the same with grabbing a file of album cover art. We strive to make the product as great as it can be, so that everyone says they really got what they paid for and that it was a killer fan experience.

Was the budget crucial to make these new editions successful?  

Eric Greif: I suppose so. With Relapse Records and us (Perseverance Holdings LTD), we have spared no expense in the quest to give fans the ultimate product, so I've yet to read a single negative comment about the product itself (other than from the tiny minority who object to any reissue or tinkering with the past). However, if you have no money to invest in a release, certainly it will look & sound like shit. That has never been the case with any product I've been associated with as that would go against my own ethos about making fans happy.
In the case of the Death's, Control Denied's and even Mantas' re-issues, people praise the quality and level of detail and amount of material included. In some cases, there are even new mixes and the design and overall look of each album is phenomenal. That proves that you and the other people involved have taken very seriously these projects. 

Eric Greif: This is my life. I have been associated personally with DEATH for 25 years. My job is to preserve and grow the legacy for new generations, and that is exactly what is happening. I want it to be the best that it can be, both in terms of sound and look. I am very gratified that it is perceived as being great, and I know that Relapse feels exactly the same as I do about quality being of paramount concern. As for remixing, I felt that the two albums that required this were Human and Individual Thought Patterns, and this we took a stab at, and I feel they both work. The support from fans has been overwhelming and encouraging.

With so much archival material to choose from… Was it difficult to choose what to include and what not in these special editions?

Eric Greif: In our case, Relapse's production manager, Drew Juergens, and I have the final say in working out what ends up on each album. We usually have more than enough material and begin to sift through the contents and come to a consensus about what the whole package will look like in terms of material. So far there haven't been any major problems or disagreements—they have come together in karmic fashion.

From the very first album of these re-issue series (Control Denied's The Fragile Art Of Existence in 2010), you included a generous amount of liner notes discussing many aspects these recordings and Chuck's life. This brings new context to old time fans and opens the doors to Chuck's world for newcomers.  

Eric Greif: Everyone deserves the best package that is reasonably possible to put out there. I think the booklet for the Spiritual Healing reissue, for example, is 28 pages of vivid color, with four separate liner notes, all the lyrics, an updated credits & thanks list, and literally tons of photos nobody has ever seen before. With a standard reissue having a bonus disc, and with the reissue the same price as a normal CD, it is also incredible value for money. Everyone wins, but especially the thousands of new fans who were barely children at the time DEATH came to an end with Chuck's passing in 2001. For them it is all a fresh experience, and the enhanced packaging and audio only makes the impact of what they are holding in their hands that much more vital.

In your opinion... Who benefits the most from these reissues, new or old generations?

Eric: I think everyone benefits and appreciates what they are getting for their money, young & old, DEATH old school diehard or novice newbie—it makes no difference. Our goal when planning is to try and please everyone, with the best layout and contents that are possible at that very moment. This grows the brand.

Do you think reissues and special editions like these, are a way to preserve the music for new generations and a vehicle to enhance the importance of physical albums?

Eric Greif: I think for a short while people were just taking music from the net and that they lost the vibe of discovering a new album, holding it and listening to it as an 'event'. Sales dipped drastically, but have now made a comeback of sorts. I know people surely are buying our product, and it is because we give them something that they want to possess. To have, to hold, to worship.

In the new book ...AND JUSTICE FOR ART: STORIES ABOUT HEAVY METAL ALBUM COVERS you provide many details about Death/Control Denied's album covers. You also reveal that your favorite Death album cover is the new version of "The Sound of Perseverance" designed by Travis Smith. Can you tell us why? 

Eric Greif: Travis had told me how personally important and fulfilling it would be to him to revamp the cover from its original form in 1998, and when he unveiled the reissue art, I was speechless. It was utterly fantastic and was a realization of what he'd originally attempted years previously, when he was a younger artist and didn't quite feel right about what he had created and knew he could better it. He did, and I adore it.



The new book ...AND JUSTICE FOR ART: STORIES ABOUT HEAVY METAL ALBUM COVERS includes chapters about the making of some of Death/Control Denied's album artworks and extensive interviews with Eric Greif and artist, Travis Smith. It's exclusively available here.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Second Edition of "...AND JUSTICE FOR ART" Finally Released!


We recently unleashed the second edition of "...And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers - Volume 2." This new print is limited to only 300 copies via our official store.

"This new book features 252 color pages and more than 400 images. It provides firsthand information about hundreds of graphics, which are presented in extremely high quality," author, Ramon Oscuro Martos, comments. "Although this is a direct continuation of the first volume published in 2015, it's also a true standalone book. You don't to read or see the first book to enjoy or understand the new one. Readers will be able to discover images and stories that haven't been published until now. This volume is the product of three years of intense work and insightful research. Working on it was an amazing experience."

"And Justice For Art - Volume 2" reveals all the particulars behind the making of now-legendary album art including Slayer's Hell Awaits, Judas Priest's Screaming For Vengeance, Morbid Angel's Altars Of Madness, Metallica's Death Magnetic, Black Sabbath's Heaven And Hell, Queensr├┐che's Operation: Mindcrime, Emperor's In The Nightside Eclipse, Death's The Sound Of Perseverance, Type Of Negative's Bloody Kisses, Carcass' Surgical Steel, Amorphis' Tales From The Thousand Lakes, Soulfly's Archangel, Behemoth's The Satanist, Opeth's Sorceress, and many others.

For wholesae orders, feel free to contact us via andjusticeforart@gmail.com

Here are some personalities from the Metal world with their copies of the book, including Max Cavalera (Soulfly) and Oystein Brun (Borknagar).

Monday, August 5, 2019

DEVOURMENT's GOD KILLING


American death metallers, Devourment will soon unleash their fifth full-length, "Obscene Majesty" on August 16th, 2019.

The album cover art was designed by Khaos Diktator Design. Exclusively for And Justice For Art, drummer, Brad Fincher, explains: "We wanted something very different than we'd ever done for previous Devourment album covers. We felt a maturation and evolution in our sound without losing any of the darkness and extreme brutality. We wanted the same from the art. We found Khaos Diktator and he had this incredible Classical Renaissance influence filtered through a surrealist, modernist prism. Most of his work features dark themes that we felt had a gravity to them and I love how he plays with color and shadow. We were instant fans. We gave him some lyrics and general ideas and he created the album cover art which we were blown away by. We think it's the perfect visual idealization of the music. It's extreme, heavy, dark, but has a subdued complexity to it that can be interpreted many ways. We're not being literal with the artwork or are we?"

To describe the cover, Khaos Diktator uses the following Nietzsche phrase: “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him... Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

"Obscene Majesty" will be released via Relapse Records.
Pre-order the album at:ffm.to/devourmentom

The original artwork.


Wednesday, March 27, 2019

POSSESSED's HELLISH CATHEDRAL



Death Metal forefathers, Possessed​, enlisted Polish master artist, Zbigniew M. Bielak​ (ABSU, WATAIN, GORGUTS) for the creation of the cover of their upcoming new album, "Revelations Of Oblivion."
According to the band, the cover concept was to create "a piece that brought back the notion of true fear that was once associated with the idea of evil." Bielak crafted an extremely detailed vision that re-purposes an iconic Christian archetype (the Gothic cathedral) and mingles it with elements of obvious obscure/occult nature (the Pazuzu statue, a devilish figure, an overall dark aura, etc).
"Revelations Of Oblivion" will be available on May 10th, 2019 via Nuclear Blast​. Listen to the first single, "No More Room In Hell" here

Sunday, March 24, 2019

WIN AN "AND JUSTICE FOR ART" T-SHIRT!

We're inviting all the proud owners of "And Justice For Art - Voume 2" to write and post online a mini-review of the book. Three lucky winners will be rewarded with a FREE t-shirt (M, L or XL sizes available) featuring the book's cover art created by artist, Costin Chioreanu

The rules are SUPER EASY!

1) Write a review of the book of just one or two paragraphs. Besides your personal opinions, you need to include (mandatory) the complete title of the book (And Justice For Art: Stories About Heavy Metal Album Covers - Volume 2), the link the to the book's official store (https://andjusticeforart.bigcartel.com/product/and-justice-for-art-stories-about-heavy-metal-album-covers-volume-2) and the graphic of the book featured at the end of this article.

2) Post/Share your review in one or more of your social media accounts (especially Facebook, Instagram, Blogger, Youtube, a website, etc.). 

3) Send us a message ONLY to andjusticeforart@gmail.com with your name and the links to your review.

THAT's IT!!! 

The three lucky winners will be selected randomly on April 15th, 2019. Winners will be announced via Facebook and email.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at: andjusticeforart@gmail.com

GOOD LUCK!!!

Make sure to include this graphic together with your review. 



Friday, March 22, 2019

NOCTURNUS AD REVISITS THE KEY


Legendary Floridian Death Metal collective, Nocturnus AD (a.k.a Nocturnus) are about to unleash their eagerly awaited album, "Paradox."

Drummer, Mike Browning, and his colleagues hired the talents of Indonesian artist, Timbul Cahyono of bvllmetalart for the creating of the detailed, Sci-Fi-oriented album cover. The original panoramic graphic seems to be a direct continuation of the artwork created by artist, Dan Seagrave for Nocturnus' classic debut, "The Key" (1990).

"This album is successor to The Key (1990) and so the artwork," Cahyono explains, exclusively for And Justice For Art. "The concept is based on 4 songs from the new album that continue with The Key story. This album cover is one long painting for front and back cover. The story of this sci-fi scenery is The Key character is putting the lightning bolt symbol into a part of machinery to open a portal into the secret room full of ancient alien machinery with Lovecraft type creatures coming through the portal and traveling through time and space."

The artist hopes that "when people listen the album and look at the album cover, their minds travel through time and space too. Mike thinks the artwork is fit perfectly with the music and the story."

The original artwork was painted with acrylic and color pencils on 185 grams watercolor paper. Its dimensions are 12 x 24 inch."

"Paradox" will be released via Profound LoreRecords on May 24th, 2019.