Judging Albums by their covers II

4 min read

Taking advantage of bandcamp Friday, where artists keep 100% of the proceeds from sales, I once again bought a bunch of random albums based on their cover art. I explain what I expect to hear and the reality of what’s beneath the cover. Until further notice bandcamp will be continuing with this model every first Friday of the month and it’s an excellent way to support your favourite bands.

Band: ….But the Shadows Have Foes
Title: The Subject of Pain
Label: Independent
Release date: 29 September 2020
Country: USA
Format reviewed: Digital album

Expectation: Big fan of forests and this snapshot of a sunbeam penetrating a lush forest scene was the first pick for me. Not too much to go on the cover in terms of what to expect from the music, but the album name and the band name lead me to believe that it is some form of black metal despite not being in greyscale. Maybe there is a rock groove tied into some anguished screams.

Reality: I was completely surprised by the crust within. That’s probably the last thing I was expecting, although I guess the low budget cover does suggest a DIY act. As far as hardcorish-crust goes it was pretty good. An abrasive wall of post-metal harmonies, paired with a cacophony of shuddering cymbals splattered with hardcore drumming and crust vocals. I’m pretty pleased with finding this randomly. 6/10

Band: Silent Cry
Title: Goddess of Tears
Label: Independent
Release date: 17 April 2000
Country: Brazil
Format reviewed: Digital album

Expectation: Between the angel wings and the cursive font on the cover, this has to be a corset-core band. I enjoy classical sculpture and Nightwish on occasion so I figured this could be a good one to check out to get a dose of symphonic power metal.

Reality: I didn’t see the release date until after buying the album, apparently, ‘new releases’ means nothing to the bandcamp filter. I digress, the first impression is the twinkly piano intro, which breaks into ethereal vocals and long guitar solos over the course of the album. It is a lot more doomy than I originally anticipated, but about halfway through it is full on Nightwish worship with the symphonics quickly overtaking the doom aspect. It’s a well rounded sound overall, if not overly accessible. 6/10

Band: Flesh for Shredder
Title: Flowers of Flesh
Label: Independent
Release date: 24 September 2020
Country: Spain
Format reviewed: Digital album

Expectation: I’m strongly leaning towards melodic death for this one. The name is slightly obscured in the logo but not entirely unreadable, and the cover has an artistic gothic style, so it doesn’t scream full on death metal. The blood and the name hint at overall heavy music but I suspect some modern elements, perhaps tech influences.

It is a pretty solid metal album if hard to place entirely in one genre. It’s a little bit melodic and a little bit core in the guitar tone. The music stays primarily in the death realm, but the tendrils of core branch out in the rhythm of the vocals, and some of the riffs. Overall the core is superseded by classic metal guitar solos. The instrumental interludes are a nice touch, overall it remains a decent melodic death metal album with some brief elements of brutal death metal towards the end of the album. 7/10

Band: Conjureth
Title: The Levitation Manifest
Label: Independent
Release date: 02 October 2020
Country: USA
Format reviewed: Digital album

The cover is absolutely gorgeous with sharp contrast and deep colour saturation, This is my favourite cover of the batch, one that I would have as a painting in my home. The completely unreadable logo leads me to think it is brutal death metal, but the colours scream out prog or technical death metal. Old english font and the placement of the title, also point towards tech death.

Ah, pure death metal within. This is the substitute for caffeine this morning, despite it only being four tracks long, each one of those is a super charged, headbanging romp that got my heart rate up. This the second demo from the band, the other one was released earlier this year and both show that even as a young band, Conjureth have devised their own unique sound and present a unforgiving new take on death metal. 8/10

Album Art: Erskine Designs

Band: Jupiterian
Title: Protosapien
Label: Independent
Release date: 11 September 2020
Country: Brazil
Format reviewed: Digital album

This album boasts another slick hand painted cover that I would like to put on my walls. It’s eerie in its simplicity, yes still evokes a dark and forlorn foreshadow into what lies beneath. I am leaning towards death metal, maybe with a touch of doom.

The second Brazilian band in the batch does not disappoint. Considerably more doom than expected each track is a frightening march into darkness. The music really suits the cover with dissonant howling, evil gutturals fit for a descent into the abyss set alongside heavily distorted sludge guitars. 8/10

Album Art: Mariusz Lewandowski

By Annihilatrix

**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre.

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