Friday, October 15, 2010

Comic Art and Death Metal

About a month ago I was randomly browsing the comic art on eBay, which is something I almost never do (normally I just go with keyword searches like, um, "firestorm" heh). Very lucky that I did, as an hour or so earlier artist Vincent Locke (Sandman, among many many others) had listed one of his works. The "buy now" was $50 more than the reserve price, but I pounced as soon as I saw it.

The artwork in question is the final preliminary cover sketch to the album "Live Cannibalism" by Cannibal Corpse (The cover itself was ultimately done in watercolour paints). A bit of history for the uninitiated to come, but first of all the art in question:

Final version:

So you're probably thinking "geez, that's a bit gory". Well, yes. Cannibal Corpse have always delt with rather horrific subject matter (it's called "Brutal Death Metal" for a reason you know). Vince Locke has provided album art for the band since the beginning. Several of the albums have been very controversial, both in part to the lyrics, and the album covers. This has attracted attention from US politicians, church groups etc (all the typical groups that you would expect to get offended really). Even here in New Zealand the early albums were apparently banned for a while, although the two independant record stores in my city had their albums readily available so it wasn't much of a ban to be honest. By Cannibal Corpse standards the cover is rather restrained I think- certainly it's not as blatantly in-your-face as the likes of Tomb Of The Mutilated (do NOT google that cover if you are easily offended. And yes, I realise just by me saying that your curiosity pretty much leaves you with no choice but to have a look :p).

As for the actual significance of this to me- I've always been in to heavy metal, but it was primarily the more mainstream acts like Def Leppard, Living Colour, Skid Row etc in the late 80's/ early 90's. After finishing high school I went to university to study classical music. One of the guys there started introducing me to the underground metal scene. His favourite band was Cannibal Corpse, so they naturally wound up being one of the first Death Metal groups I heard (this was around about 1994). I've been hooked on extreme metal ever since, and Corpse have remained a favourite to this day. So it's pretty cool to pick up artwork from a band that I like and that helped me start down the musical path I'm on. Plus, y'know, Vincent Locke isn't half bad either ;)

No comments: