Archive for the Deranged Doodlings Category

The Veil Of Secrecy cover art unveiled.

Posted in Deranged Doodlings, Mala Suerte, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 7, 2012 by backstabbath

From Mala Suerte/Uzala split 7".Finally, after many hours of stress and extreme scrutiny, I finally finished the artwork for our side of the upcoming Uzala/Mala Suerte split 7″ which will soon be released by Arizona based King Of The Monsters Records. Our side will feature an older song which we used to play live quite a bit called “The Veil Of Secrecy”. The track was recorded quite some time ago around February and March of 2010 and we planned to release it back then but every band we contacted about doing it with ended up passing for one reason or another. As far as I’m concerned, everything worked out for the best, because after all but forgetting about the recording and resigning it to the vaults, Uzala agreed to team up with us for this release. And I couldn’t be any more pleased with the results, especially considering the haunting quality and monstrous power of their track, “Burned”.

Once plans were made to release “The Veil Of Secrecy” as part of a split 7″  I drew up a pencil sketch for a wraparound cover of two opposing groups of praying monks perpetually leering at each other from their respective sides of the record sleeve. Once Uzala came on board I figured that they’d probably end up using their own design, especially considering the tremendous amount of in-house talent they already possessed in vocalist/guitarist, Darcy Nutt. After receiving an e-mail from Darcy with an attached rough pencil sketch of the artwork for their side, I knew I had my work cut out for me. Even at this early stage, her rendering of goat-footed Pan, god of the wild, playing his flute while surrounded by curling clouds of smoke was truly amazing and inspired. I still haven’t seen the completed drawing but I am sure my haphazard scribblings will pale in comparison to the visual elegance of her finished piece.

After being unable to properly mentally conceptualize a suitable counterpoint or companion piece to Darcy’s Pan, I somewhat reluctantly abandoned the idea of creating an image that would somehow tie in symbolically and/or symmetrically with hers. Instead, I opted to focus on trying to convey the lyrical content of our song in a manner that is fantastical and somewhat esoteric while remaining visually arresting. My initial idea was to have a central figure which appeared to be  your average run-of-the -mill politician/banker/evil/elite/scumbag type holding up either a mask with some sort of blank stare or false smile, or of the type worn at a masquerade ball, in a vain yet not altogether sincere attempt at concealing his true visage, which is ultimately betrayed by the peculiar horns protruding from atop his head. This central figure would be standing in front of a closed curtain or veil which on the insert image or reverse sleeve would be open revealing the robotic masses herded like cattle marching on a road to ruin toward their inevitable death and destruction, brought on by their “benevolent” leader/controller/master who has now removed the mask revealing his true goatish and infernal identity. After creating a thumb sketch of this initial idea and actually trying to draw a much larger version of it, I realized that the proposed image for the inner sleeve would ultimately prove to be much more visually compelling than what was planned for the front so I dropped that concept and tried to think of an idea that would incorporate some of those same themes, but in one image rather than two. In the final drawing I changed the evil corporate master/ruler  into his figuratively true identity of the grim reaper, and the road to ruin and destruction is now a stairway to the mountains of madness. Rather than trying to explain the imagery here, I’ll allow the lyrics to speak for themselves:

The Veil Of Secrecy

The road to utopia is paved                                                                                                                                   With the bones and blood of the common man

On the broken backs of the enslaved

Destiny is shaped by a hidden hand

That controls the fate of all nations

Novus Ordo Seclorum

 

Pull back the veil of secrecy

From this global conspiracy

Expose this occult mystery

On which has formed our history

 

Through manipulation and control

Of the largest corporate entities

The world’s banks and our economies

Entertainment and technology

They regulate our base necessities

Yet somehow we’re still too blind to see

 

Pull back the veil of secrecy

Of this global conspiracy

Subvert this evil treachery

To preserve all life and liberty

 

Rise against those who wish to rule you

Stand and fight those that would subdue you

Open your eyes to what transpires

Crush their system, purge it with fire

 

Down with the Rockefellers

Death to the Bilderbergers

Destroy the Rothschild’s rule

And end the Federal Reserve

 

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Deranged Doodlings: Universevil

Posted in Deranged Doodlings with tags , , , , , on February 25, 2012 by backstabbath

When Maligno bassist, Marco Gil, asked me to do the cover artwork for their second LP, Universevil, I was certainly thrilled, as I’ve never taken the opportunity, with the exception of the Caustic Death demo tape, to provide my own visual interpretation of another bands sonic creation. The band wanted me to create an image that reflected their Mexican heritage and they wanted something akin to 70s-era prog rock album art which would visually encapsulate their lyrical ideas and capture the overall sound and vibe of the music contained within. Marco sent me a package with some demo recordings of some of the tracks that were to be on the recording along with the lyrics to all the songs. For inspiration he also enclosed a small book of  illustrations and engravings by popular Mexican artist, Jose Guadalupe Posada, and I quickly got to work.

After listening to the CD of recordings and reading the song lyrics I began to formulate ideas for the cover image. I began by drawing a small thumbnail sketch which I usually do for most of the bigger or more elaborate pieces that I create. One of the songs on the album is called Son Of Tlalocanso I decided to make Tlaloc, the Aztec god of rain, fertility, and water, the central image and focal point of the cover. Though, after a bit of thought, since Maligno is a metal band and since I am a morbid bastard, I decided it would be cool to incorporate Mictlantecuhtli, the Aztec god of the dead and king of Mictlan, the lowest and northernmost section of the underworld, into it is well. As you can see in the final finished drawing I went ahead and split the main figure into two opposing halves, one representing fertility and the other representing death in an attempt to employ the old mystical symbolism of duality and the harmony of opposites. If you look at the upturned hand of Tlaloc on the right you can see the attached umbilical cord which leads to the floating fetus of the son of Tlalocan. On the right half, Mictlantecuhtli is crushing the head of a man in professional attire which is a reference to the song Dirty Black Suit  and it’s lyrical denunciations of  corporate greed, deceitful masters, and “bullshit bastards”. The ancient god of death has returned to reap his just rewards on the the evil conqueror that vanquished his people oh so long ago.

Now, I’m not too sure if this is what the band had in mind with the song Golden Demons  but I took the title as a metaphor for that wonderfully decadent elixir of life which I like to imbibe more often than most health professionals would probably recommend, and added the little gleeful mephistophelean reveler with upturned goblet down in the lower left-hand side of the drawing. Believe me, I’ve hung out with the Maligno boys enough times to know that they are not averse to the practice of consuming copious amounts of the sacred brew, so I feel that this choice of imagery was certainly apropos. Just opposite the golden demon you’ll notice the flaming witch of the album’s opening track The Red Witch. I was pleasantly surprised after initially viewing the video for this track to see that some ideas taken from my artwork were actually included within! For the cover’s background, two flaming suns for the song Two Sons can be seen behind the central figure, illuminating the whole joyous scene. And finally, to tie this album together with it’s predecessor, I borrowed the skull from that LP’s front cover which you can see there at the very bottom. Unfortunately, due to deadline restraints, I didn’t get to add as much detail and shading as I would have liked, but the band was more than pleased with the end result. Ultimately though, the experience of trying to visually capture the aural mood of a band which I thoroughly respect and enjoy proved to very rewarding and enjoyable and I look forward to more opportunities to do so again.

Deranged Doodlings

Posted in Deranged Doodlings with tags , , , , , , on February 12, 2012 by backstabbath

Okay, fellow freaks and mutations, in addition to my miscellaneous mental meanderings I figured I’d use this blog as a platform to showcase some of my various doodles and scribblings. I chose the above irreligious drawing as my first choice for display here simply because it was one of the few that I’ve done that would actually fit in my home scanner. This drawing was done for use on a flyer for a show that Mala Suerte played at Emo’s with Buzzov*en. I can’t really remember what I was thinking of doing at the time but as is often the case when I’m at a loss for what to draw, I consulted one of the many books in my library for inspiration. In my copy of “The Christian World” edited by Geoffrey Barraclough I came across a detail from  Lucas Cranach the Elder’s The Trinity which pictures the Father as ruler of the universe, the Son as sacrificial victim, and the Holy Ghost as a dove. I copied a lot of the basic image but obviously I had to change things around to make it a bit more profane, so I changed the Ol’ Bearded One into Death himself with skeletal hands gently massaging the shoulders of Christ. I also changed the dove into the Masonic two-headed eagle and in keeping with that theme, added the all-seeing eye, checkerboard pattern, and sun and moon symbolism. After looking at both the original painting and my bastardized desecration, I’m not sure which is more morbid.