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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God Forbid – IV: Constitution of Treason

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God Forbid’s fourth full-length album IV: Constitution of Treason was released on September 20, 2005 by Century Media and peaked at #118 on the Billboard 200 music chart. Three music videos were made to support the album and many fans still point to this album as being their favorite within the GF discography. In 2008, a DVD titled Beneath the Scars of Glory and Progression was released that featured a live concert filmed in their home state of New Jersey full of songs from the Constitution album cycle as well as a documentary chronicling the history of the band to that point. The vinyl release for this album was a German/European limited edition picture disc released by Bastardized Recordings.

Personally, I love this album. It isn’t my favorite album the band released (Earthsblood holds that slot) but it is definitely up there with the best they have to offer. Filled to the brim with “classic” metalcore sounds and riffs, this album holds it’s own with any of the more established releases from that time period. It’s a concept album that doesn’t sound like a concept album and the story is about a future society that destroys itself, builds back up again, and then destroys itself again because it couldn’t learn from it’s own history. Written during the Bush political era, perhaps this album could be more relevant now than when it was released.

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God Forbid – Gone Forever

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God Forbid released their third full-length album Gone Forever in February of 2004. This was their second album (of four) for Century Media. God Forbid used a mix of Thrash, traditional Heavy Metal and Metalcore styles to bring their voice to the masses. Although the band never reached the heights of some of their contemporaries such as Chimaira, Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage and Lamb of God, but they plowed through the world of heavy metal all the same and left their own distinct mark in their wake.

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Vinyl Wednesday: As I Lay Dying – Awakened

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Vinyl Wednesday comes back at you without much commentary this week. The choice for this week: As I Lay Dying’s 2012 album “Awakened”. Artwork was handled by metastazis and Tiffanie Uldry. It’s got a real killer Art Nouveau look to it all. I very much dig this. Naners and I are both huge fans of Alphonse Mucha and the whole artistic movement so this is definitely an album I wanted in my collection.

As I said before, this week won’t have much commentary so hit the jump and dig deep into the images. Check out all the killer illustrations and amazing typography within this beast.

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