Being a blog dedicated to the use of gargoyles, grotesques, statues and carvings in album art, especially that of Doom Metal (and related genres). It may also include similar archaic images such as standing stones, monoliths, or mediaeval illustrations.
To my mind Doom Metal (when done correctly) evokes a feeling a great age, spirituality and contemplation, and this is enhanced by the imagery. I have a love of churches and other old buildings, and the two things go hand in hand for me; the images of gargoyles, statues and crosses used by Doom and Doom/Death bands, especially in the early 90s, seemed to perfectly fit the music. Also, the band names like Cathedral, Church Of Misery, Chapel Of Rest, and Castle; all these added to my imagined link between the music and churches and other old buildings.
Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Stone angel statues are a staple image of doom metal covers, and are exactly the kind of thing that this blog celebrates. Here we have two different covers for the same demo by Dutch doom/death band Castle, both of which feature images of stone angels (one with a trumpet, one without). Both are in colour, which is a bold contrast to the usual black and white offerings.
With a bit of research (and lucky guesswork) I have discovered that both photos come from the Bredaseweg cemetery in the band's home town of Tilburg, Holland. The angels are among many other statues that adorn pillars along the outer fence of the cemetery, and the height seems to add to the imposing feeling of the photos.
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
Monday, 17 October 2016
Another of those simple-but-effective black & white photocopied demo covers from the early 90s, this time from US Death/Doom band November's Doom. A gravestone with an angel clinging desperately to a rough-hewn cross, location unknown.
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Polish Doom/Death band Dark Opera used this enigmatic fellow on their "Calling The Legend" cassette album. Although I'm no expert, I'm willing to place a hefty bet that the carving is South American in origin, possibly Mayan. Any info gladly appreciated.
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Swedish Death Metallers Grave give us this excellent cover, interestingly using two images we have seen used before, on the Dark Passages compilation.
Cover image: Green man from the Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England.
Back image (main): from the façade of Orvieto Cathedral, Italy, sculpted by Lorenzo Maitani.
Thursday, 26 January 2012
Ah Deicide, the band that lured me into the realms of demonic darkness all those years ago... An iconic image, whatever your feelings on the band itself. I'll research the image more fully in time, but I have a vague recollection of reading that it was a pendant or belt-buckle owned by Glen Benton.
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Finnish Doom/Death kings Unholy next, with their debut 1993 album "From The Shadows". The cover is of an Oriental-looking statue of a man, apparently holding what could be a fish? Answers on a postcard please...
Found it! It's the Las Limas Monumet 1 from the Olmec civilization of Mexico, dating from between 1000 to 600 BC. The thing in its arms is in fact a half-human, half-jaguar baby, or were-jaguar. Obvious, really...
Another Doom classic, this is Swedish band Count Raven's "High On Infinity" album. Quite a fierce-looking carving, presumably of Satan/Lucifer/random Devil. Origin as yet unknown.
The same image was used by US Black Metal act Lurker Of Chalice on their self-titled album.
A classic example of the sort of thing this blog is celebrating; early 90s Doom/Death, church-y band name, black and white photograph of sombre-looking statue, Old English calligraphy, flowing script. It doesn't get much better than this.
Origin of image unknown.
Thanks to Matt Witchclan for the scan.
Two releases from UK Industrial Doom/Death outfit Hybernoid.
The "Well of Grief" demo features a great statue of a lady (angel?) who's obviously having a very bad day. From a graveyard somewhere in North Manchester, UK.
The cover of "The Last Day Begins?" features 4 different images, carved by the band's guitarist Dave Evans. The top left image is inspired by a Celtic statue from Boa Island, Upper Lough Erne, Ireland, and the bottom right image is (presumably) inspired by the stone heads of Easter Island.
Thanks to the band member who commented below.
Monday, 16 January 2012
The image originates from the Visvanatha temple at Khajuraho in India, which is covered in erotic carvings such as this.
Another non-Doom act here, Ukrainian Black Metallers Hate Forest, though this awesome album was slower-paced and doomier than their other albums. And I love the cover so much, I couldn't not include it here.
The image is the gravestone of the Cossack military leader Ivan Sirko (c. 1610-1680), located in the village of Kapulivka in the Dnipropetrovsk Region of the Ukraine.
I have a T shirt of the first image, though it has been pointed out to me on a couple of occasions that it looks from a distance like a rolled-up condom...
Not a Doom band, Funerary Call are a Dark/Ritual ambient act from Canada. This image of a weeping stone angel is the same as the one from the inside of Revelation's "Salvation Answer" cassette inlay (which I posted in an earlier post), and is also used on the inside of the inlay for Godflesh's "Pure" CD: http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?release=73745
Still no info as to the origin.
At a casual glance I thought the image was maybe of a pair of knights, or possibly Viking warrors given the Norwegian origin. The way the edge of the picture crops the head of the figure on the left gives a false impression of a conical helmet. On closer inspection however, it could be Adam and Eve with The Tree between them (a common image), though the item in the hands looks more like a flower than an apple.
Can anyone shed any light?
UPDATE Oct 2016:
I have been in touch with the guy behind Godsend, and he told me that the picture was taken in a cemetery in his hometown of Trondheim, Norway, though he cannot remember exactly what kind of stone structure it was.
A couple of fine examples from UK doom eccentrics Sevenchurch.
The first is a particularly distraught-looking grotesque from the inside of the "Nefarious" demo, and the second is a band sticker that features a superb grotesque of a piper (the picture was also used on a T-shirt). Both are from Sevenchurch's home town of Oxford, England (the first from the bell-tower of New College, the second from Magdalen College). Here are clearer images of the full carvings:
One of the most recognised "gargoyles" in Doom (though it's not strictly speaking a true gargoyle) is Cathedral's "gargoyle logo", and it is one that I hold a great deal of affection for (Cathedral's debut album "Forest Of Equilibrium" was my initiation into the world of Doom Metal, and is still one of my top 3 albums of all time).
The band took the image from an illustration in "The Book Of Jade", a collection of decadent poetry by David Park Barnitz which also directly inspired much of the band's lyrical imagery.
Sunday, 15 January 2012
Another great release on Rise Above, the first album from US Doom-lords Revelation. The three formats of the original release feature different images beside the cover, which are listed below.
Cover image, all formats: detail from the East Frieze of the Pergamon Altar, depicting Athena battling the giant Alkyoneus.
CD back inlay: skull carving, source unknown
LP back cover: Gothic tracery, possibly the inside of a spire, source unknown
LP insert: flying buttresses, Reims Cathedral, France
Cassette inlay - tracklist panel: Maze from Reims Cathedral, France
Cassette inlay - inside: Stone angel, source unknown. This image was also used by dark ambient group Funerary Call on their 1994 demo "A Comselh De Ors", and also features inside the inlay for Godflesh's "Pure" CD. I would love to know the source of the image.
And here's another album cover from the same band; a carving of Adam and Eve from the cathedral at Orvieto in Italy.
A landmark in Doom Metal history, the first Doom Metal release on Lee Dorrian's Rise Above label (RISE 5 -- the previous 4 releases had been more grindcore/punk related).
The various formats all feature differing images besides the cover. I am currently trying to locate a CD copy to compare.
Cover image, all formats: from the façade of Orvieto Cathedral, Italy, sculpted by Lorenzo Maitani.
LP back cover: Cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral, England.
LP insert: bearded male carving/statue, source unknown.
Cassette inlay inside: Green Man from the Lady Chapel, Ely Cathedral, England.
Interestingly, both the cover image and the Green Man image were also later used on Grave's "Soulless" album