Dio/Killswitch Engage – “Holy Diver”

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In 2015 I started a project which had me designing jackets and other artwork for 7″ records that had none. In my collection was the Dio/Killswitch Engage “Holy Diver” single from the Side By Side series. This was released for Record Store Day 2013 on “oxblood red” vinyl and it was limited to 2,800 pressings. If you know anything about Classic Rock/Heavy Metal then you already know about “Holy Diver” and all of the unholy awesomeness that it holds. Killswitch Engage covered the song in 2006, originally appearing on a Kerrang! compilation album but it was also later released on the special edition of KsE’s 2006 album As Daylight Dies. The original is amazing, the cover is good in its own right but the artwork for this release was severely lacking. That’s where I came in.

I really wanted to do some cool artwork for this release but for the longest time I was totally stumped on what to create. I had visions of a modern re-imagining of the iconic cover image but it just wasn’t ever good enough when I put the ideas to the computer. In the end I decided it was best not to mess with what is already great and a super detailed die cut was settled upon. In all reality this was the best decision I could have made. It stands out from the rest of my project, looks amazing and adds a level of bitchin’ looks that was missing from the release. The only real decisions I had to make was how to treat the tracklisting, liner notes and logos. I decided on a small flap on the back side so that I wouldn’t take away from the die cut image and also because it just doesn’t require anything larger. Keep it simple, stupid. The only design I really had trouble coming up with for this part was the 45RPM graphic. I went with a design that gives a nod back to the 80s roots of the song with a modern treatment.

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Vinyl Wednesday: AC/DC – “Rock N Roll Train”

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AC/DC is back on my mind recently. Naners and I were supposed to see them in Cleveland at the Q arena a couple weeks back but they have postponed the remaining 10 dates of their US tour and we are waiting to see what happens before we decide to keep the tickets or not. The rumors are that Axl Rose may end up being the replacement for the 10 dates and that is NOT something I want to see. So, in the spirit of wanting to hear some Brian Johnson-fronted tunes, I give you the 7″ single for the 2008 song “Rock N Roll Train” from the album Black Ice.

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Vinyl Wednesday: Korn – Here To Stay

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Another Wednesday, another record to display. This week’s winner is a 7″ single from Korn entitled “Here To Stay” that was released in 2002. A Hot Topic exclusive pressing of only 5,000 on transparent blue vinyl that I’m sure had no problem selling out as Korn were the biggest thing going in the Nu-Metal scene.

I picked this record because it’s the second record I ever purchased and I was feeling a bit nostalgic. The first record I bought was Back In Black (post about that here) and then came this record a few years later. I think I had a turntable at this time but something was wrong with the wiring and I couldn’t get sound to the speakers. Then, this sat on the shelf for years until I was able to properly give it a spin. I believe it’s a little warped now (from not really knowing how to care for vinyl back in my younger years) and it skips once or twice on the A-Side. No big deal to me. The imagery is taken from the “Here To Stay” music video along with the typeface from the Untouchables album design. Simple and cool. Add in a nice, electric-blue color to the vinyl and you’ve got yourself a winner. Check it out!

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Vinyl Wednesday: Don’t Burn The Witch… Heavy Speed Compilation

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Last week I completely missed the posting on account of a craziness with life happenings. I was gone every day until it was time to come home and sleep. Not a fun week at all. I’m back to a somewhat normal schedule now so posting can resume.

This is a bit of a weird choice. There’s not any design aspects I really want to get deep into with this release so I’ll just tell you why I bought it. Naners and I were at The Exchange in Elyria and I was just kind of browsing the vinyl selection looking for any true gems. Now, I had NO money to spend because I still wasn’t gainfully employed at the time but that never stops me. Anyway, Nancy ended up finding and buying an excellent copy of Pantera’s Power Metal album and I was just finishing up looking through the 7″ and 10″ records when I found this. She found the gem on our trip and I suppose I got a polished rock.

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Vinyl Wednesday: Terror – Legion of Gore

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TERROR!!!

This is a pretty cool pick for Vinyl Wednesday. Terror, the Cleveland-based death/thrash metal band (not the LA-based hardcore band) comes out with a total rager at the end of 2015. Legion of Gore is a whopping 2 songs but they are totally killer. Re-recorded versions of demos that are 27 years old. Tell me, how can you beat that? I picked this up after seeing a post online from the fella who did backing vocals and I decided to give it a shot. I had heard of them but never listened to any of their tunes. I am now sad it’s taken me so long.

The artwork on the front cover is a painting by Antichrist Kramer entitled “Sanguimantic Heir To The Walachian Throne”. Yeah. How’s that for some weird shit? There is a pretty cool type treatment on the back jacket to check out too.

The vinyl is listed as Red & Black marble but it’s really a “merge” pressing. Not sure why the mix up.

Anyway, give it a look-see and then go out a buy your copy as quick as possible.

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