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: Instagram Photos

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Nothing long today. Just some photos of vinyl that I’ve taken and posted to Instagram over the years. I believe most of these are from December of 2015 until today. Loads of other vinyl photos I’ve taken are stored somewhere else right now so these were the ones I chose. As you can see there are lots of Metal releases. I love me some Heavy Metal… and Bone Thugs. Can’t forget the Bone Thugs.

If you want to keep up with my comings and goings with vinyl, motorcycle journeys, graphic design, photography and general life shit; follow me on Instagram @eblanken.

Vinyl Wednesday: Aerosmith – Get A Grip

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Aerosmith’s 1993 album Get A Grip needs no introduction. This album was beyond huge during the early-mid 90’s. Spawning three of the biggest, most iconic singles of their whole career in “Cryin'”, “Amazing” and “Crazy”, this album totally rocks from front to back and sold over 7 million copies. They also released four more singles from this album (“Livin’ On The Edge”, “Eat The Rich”, “Fever” and “Shut Up And Dance”), all of which are way more fun to listen to than the previous, more popular tracks. At least I suppose I like them better mostly because they weren’t beat into the ground like the other songs. Lots of summer days at the public pool were spent listening to Aerosmith songs onthe radio. Whatever the case, this album is just too damned good to ignore. The real nutty thing is that this is their ELEVENTH ALBUM. Who has an album this good that late into a career? Not many bands, that’s who. Also really crazy is that this album was never pressed and released in the US on the vinyl format. I’m not sure why but since it was selling so many copies with the CD and cassette formats maybe they figured that was enough.

Nancy was a real peach and happened to get me this album as a gift. She had to get on Discogs and order one from Greece. I had been looking for this album forever in Chicago and I never even realized there wasn’t a US pressing until I finally got my own copy. As far as I can tell there isn’t anything that would make this stand out as a European pressing other than the run-out info in the dead wax area and maybe the record label. Check out all the bitchin’ artwork below!

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Vinyl Wednesday: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony – E. 1999 Eternal

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One of my favorite albums of all time gets represented today for Vinyl Wednesday. While I may be mostly known as a guy who listens to metal/rock I actually listened to this album yesterday as I walked to/from the grocery store. This album has an almost permanent status in my rotation and when I found this release at a local record shop I scooped it up without hesitation.

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Vinyl Wednesday: Korn – Follow The Leader

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted any Vinyl Wednesday but two recent purchases made me feel that I had to bring it back. I was finally able to find some of my favorite albums of all time and I felt the need to give some love to them here. The first one I’ll talk about is Korn’s 1998 album Follow The Leader.

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