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SmallPoxie
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Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:56 pm
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Location: Chile
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:01 pm 
 

Most people who listen to Goregrind can relate, but there are other metal subgenres that used real pictures of dead or injured people for album covers.
A famous example is Pissgrave: All of their albums use dead people for artwork.
Most of the time, bands use this kind of artwork to shock people or to represent their music. Or, they just use it to be "Edgy".
What is your opinion? Are these kind of artworks necessary?

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Pitiless Wanderer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:10 pm 
 

No. And there was a black metal band that released back in '17 or '18 (maybe earlier) and the cover was a dead child - a girl, like 6 years old. I think she'd been found murdered in the woods somewhere. Just despicable if you ask me.

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nightbreaker33
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Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 11:20 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:15 pm 
 

I think they are baboonish but for the extreme metal genre they are very common. If you are fan of a band and want to support them and wear it at their shows ok and with friends ok. Also the Mayhem CD with the corpse of dead, whoever decided to use that, is sick in the brain. I'm not a fan of corpse cover arts in albums.


Last edited by nightbreaker33 on Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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last_eulogy
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Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2003 4:17 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:23 pm 
 

Not cool at all. The main reason I say that is the person is unable to give rights for their image to be used. I would venture to say they do not want an image of themselves used if they are in the state of dead. Secondly, it's a dead person. Kind of one of those where do you draw the line? I think that's it.
..And a 6 year old. Sick fucks to say the least.
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Razakel
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:27 pm 
 

I think Mortuary Drape using pictures of real skeletons is whatever, but photographs of actual suicides and stuff like that is just something else. Even though I think Pissgrave's music is awesome, I just can't look at those images.

I was also turned off by that Mortician-worshipping Fluids band when I realized that all their samples are the sounds of real people being tortured. Can't get behind that shit at all.

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hallowed78
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:32 pm 
 

I'm OK with it. It seems most people would like their metal turned into a lounge music equivalent. Quality art needs to shock sometimes, as it was throughout the history.

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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:50 pm 
 

Awful and disrespectful. You have to be seriously deranged to think this kind of shocking images are cool to display on your album. A big red flag, I won't listen and I won't support anyone dumb enough to use a cover like the ones mentioned.

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narsilianshard
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 3:52 pm 
 

All of these bands can fuck all the way off. I've seen some "artwork" so horrific that the images are permanently burned into my memory. It's not edgy or funny, it's potentially trauma-inducing, especially for folks who suffer from PTSD. I understand that gore and depravity are a massive part of the metal aesthetic, but shit like this is exploitative and unforgivable. I refuse to support Season of Mist after they approved that image for Numenorean, and I reported the first Pissgrave album to Facebook and thankfully got it removed.
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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:02 pm 
 

I don't really care either way. If a band really thinks that a dead person is the best visual representation of their music, it doesn't do any harm to the dead person to do so. There are arguments to be made about its impact on the family members of the deceased, but their odds of becoming aware of a goregrind/black metal album using their loved one as cover art are quite low, so I don't know if there's any tangible negative impact to those most directly affected. I think people's innate disgust with it mostly stems from their biological aversion to death. Using dead people as cover art mostly causes such a visceral negative reaction because it violates the part of people's brains that says that death should be kept private so that we don't have to think about it and can go on about our daily lives.

EDIT: Of course there are lazy and tasteless ways to go about it, like just slapping a picture from the BestGore front page on the cover of your bedroom goregrind, but I think the position that there is absolutely zero authentic, legitimate artistic expression that can be conveyed with a dead body is pretty funny. Maybe makes you think that our aversion to death might be a social taboo that is worth inspecting, hmm...
nightbreaker33 wrote:
Also the Burzum CD with the corpse of dead

:| :lol:

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:12 pm 
 

It's certainly pretty strange to go and seek that out for your album, but eh if they truly don't give a fuck at all about anyone's reaction, which I doubt a lot of these underground bands do, it's whatever to me I guess. It will appeal to a very niche fanbase and that's all they care about I suppose. It doesn't affect me much and I don't really care to go look at it, but I don't think they have any delusions.
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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:15 pm 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
I don't really care either way. If a band really thinks that a dead person is the best visual representation of their music, it doesn't do any harm to the dead person to do so. There are arguments to be made about its impact on the family members of the deceased, but their odds of becoming aware of a goregrind/black metal album using their loved one as cover art are quite low, so I don't know if there's any tangible negative impact to those most directly affected. I think people's innate disgust with it mostly stems from their biological aversion to death. Using dead people as cover art mostly causes such a visceral negative reaction because it violates the part of people's brains that says that death should be kept private so that we don't have to think about it and can go on about our daily lives.

EDIT: Of course there are lazy and tasteless ways to go about it, like just slapping a picture from the BestGore front page on the cover of your bedroom goregrind, but I think the position that there is absolutely zero authentic, legitimate artistic expression that can be conveyed with a dead body is pretty funny. Maybe makes you think that our aversion to death might be a social taboo that is worth inspecting, hmm...
nightbreaker33 wrote:
Also the Burzum CD with the corpse of dead

:| :lol:

Wait, are you actually saying it's OK to do anything with with a corpse just because the dead couldn't care less? This is some of the most disrespectful stuff I've read in a while. Do I really need to ask where you draw the line on what can be done to a corpse because "there isn't any tangible negative impact to those most directly affected"?

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PDS
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:22 pm 
 

Pitiless Wanderer wrote:
No. And there was a black metal band that released back in '17 or '18 (maybe earlier) and the cover was a dead child - a girl, like 6 years old. I think she'd been found murdered in the woods somewhere. Just despicable if you ask me.


You're probably thinking of Numenorean's Home. This one I'm fine with. Yes, it's a dead child, but like, that happened in 1970. Not the 1970's, 1970. That's history now.. Does this lessen the impact in any way? Of course not, it's like the pre-autopsy of a dead child, there's a reaction more visceral than seeing a regular dead body (though I highly suspect Numenorean took the choosing of their album cover with allt more care and fore-thought than most death metal bands. BIG maybe.)

There's a lot of room for whataboutitsms due to death/black metal's fascination with the morbid. Like, it might be just me but you don't see people really complaining about the cover of Acid Bath's When the Kite String Pops despite the horrific things that John Wayne Gacy as done. Though really, the capitalization of death and tragedy goes beyond just album covers and the like.
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jimbies
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:26 pm 
 

Yeah, it's stupid. If you need that to draw attention to your band, that's sad. I am totally fine with drawings/paintings of it, but to use an actual autopsy or crime scene photo, that's a no from me dawg.

The only way I'd be even remotely okay is if it were a member of the project's family member or something, but even then, I don't know. Like unless someone left in their will "I want my body on the cover of a shitty brutal death metal album"....

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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:32 pm 
 

Gravetemplar wrote:
Wait, are you actually saying it's OK to do anything with with a corpse just because the dead couldn't care less? This is some of the most disrespectful stuff I've read in a while. Do I really need to ask where you draw the line on what can be done to a corpse because "there isn't any tangible negative impact to those most directly affected"?

I didn't say it's okay to do whatever you want to dead people, and I disagree with your implication that there's no grey area here. I think I'd draw my personal line at physically interfering with a corpse. If you burn a dead body, the dead person also isn't hurt by that, but it's an act of violence against a non-consenting body. Saying that that is wrong seems more in line with our general morals, since physically harming somebody is more grievous of a wrong than going against their wishes in general. But taking a photograph of a dead person that you didn't directly harm, or using a photo that somebody else took? Yeah, I dunno, doesn't seem nearly as bad. I guess if somebody explicitly said "don't take photos of me after I die" then you'd be on less sure footing to do so, but either way a dead person can't be affected by it or experience any negative consequences through the actions of living people. They're hurt infinitely less by that than if you took a photo of a living person without their consent.

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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:58 pm 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
Gravetemplar wrote:
Wait, are you actually saying it's OK to do anything with with a corpse just because the dead couldn't care less? This is some of the most disrespectful stuff I've read in a while. Do I really need to ask where you draw the line on what can be done to a corpse because "there isn't any tangible negative impact to those most directly affected"?

I didn't say it's okay to do whatever you want to dead people, and I disagree with your implication that there's no grey area here. I think I'd draw my personal line at physically interfering with a corpse. If you burn a dead body, the dead person also isn't hurt by that, but it's an act of violence against a non-consenting body. Saying that that is wrong seems more in line with our general morals, since physically harming somebody is more grievous of a wrong than going against their wishes in general. But taking a photograph of a dead person that you didn't directly harm, or using a photo that somebody else took? Yeah, I dunno, doesn't seem nearly as bad. I guess if somebody explicitly said "don't take photos of me after I die" then you'd be on less sure footing to do so, but either way a dead person can't be affected by it or experience any negative consequences through the actions of living people. They're hurt infinitely less by that than if you took a photo of a living person without their consent.

Dead people also have a right of privacy. Just because you're dead that doesn't mean you no longer have any rights and people can just take photos of you and use them for whatever they want.

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Speed Metal Terror
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:07 pm 
 

My favorite one is the cover for Wake Up and Smell the… Carcass.
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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:09 pm 
 

Gravetemplar wrote:
Dead people also have a right of privacy. Just because you're dead that doesn't mean you no longer have any rights and people can just take photos of you and use them for whatever they want.

Do you object to obituaries in the newspaper? How about funerals with hundreds of attendees? We don't respect dead people's privacy at all. You're just disgusted by images of dead people, because when you look at them, it reminds you that you are also going to die one day and you don't like that. If they're your family or friends, it's different because you may miss them, but I don't think that's applicable in this case for reasons I already explained.

I don't agree with declaring that something is wrong on the mere basis of innate disgust; there has to be some reason that takes into account our sentience and morals, or else you can justify things like homophobia or racism because you're disgusted.

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PDS
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:09 pm 
 

Gravetemplar wrote:
Dead people also have a right of privacy.


On the US federal level? They don't.
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I dunno, I'm a guitarist and it always feels like playing a giant cock. Not just that but live music should hit you in the genitals. It might not if you don't use good amplifiers and your modelling shit goes straight out of the PA. But good music hits you HARD in the GENITALS.

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CrippledLucifer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:14 pm 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
I don't really care either way. If a band really thinks that a dead person is the best visual representation of their music, it doesn't do any harm to the dead person to do so. There are arguments to be made about its impact on the family members of the deceased, but their odds of becoming aware of a goregrind/black metal album using their loved one as cover art are quite low, so I don't know if there's any tangible negative impact to those most directly affected.


For what it's worth, there's an interview floating around the web where Pelle Ohlin's brother talks about how his family is still coming to terms with his suicide being turned into a running joke and a cheap shock among some fans and how he dreads the posiblity of having to explain to his kids that the dead guy in that picture is actually their uncle. Also when I visited Stockholm last summer, where Dead lived (and I guess his family live still?) I saw stickers of that picture pasted around traffic signs and street lights around the city center. You can make of that what you will.
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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:21 pm 
 

CrippledLucifer wrote:
MutantClannfear wrote:
I don't really care either way. If a band really thinks that a dead person is the best visual representation of their music, it doesn't do any harm to the dead person to do so. There are arguments to be made about its impact on the family members of the deceased, but their odds of becoming aware of a goregrind/black metal album using their loved one as cover art are quite low, so I don't know if there's any tangible negative impact to those most directly affected.


For what it's worth, there's an interview floating around the web where Pelle Ohlin's brother talks about how his family is still coming to terms with his suicide being turned into a running joke and a cheap shock among some fans and how he dreads the posiblity of having to explain to his kids that the dead guy in that picture is his uncle. Also when I visited Stockholm last summer, where Dead lived (and I guess his family live still?) I saw stickers of that picture pasted around traffic signs and street lights. You can make of that what you will.

I would admittedly say that Dawn of the Black Hearts is an exception to the general rule in that it was clearly wrong. While being a bootleg and the band therefore not being fully morally culpable, it was irresponsible that the image be turned into an album cover because Dead's suicide had just recently happened (it wasn't generations before the release, as with the cover of Home) and the band were obviously closely tied to the community where it occurred, so news of it was bound to get back to the deceased's loved ones. I doubt anybody is taking pictures of that guy on the most recent Pissgrave and pasting them all around his hometown because Pissgrave are (presumably) intensely culturally detached from the place where that occurred.

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doomicus
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:25 pm 
 

I actually really love the aesthetic of bog bodies, mummies, and skeletal remains as album covers. The type of stuff you'd find in history books. The shock gore and guts car accident / murder / suicide variety isn't my thing, and especially if that said dead person has living relatives and or family it's a rather abhorrent act to display.
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Gravetemplar
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:34 pm 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
Gravetemplar wrote:
Dead people also have a right of privacy. Just because you're dead that doesn't mean you no longer have any rights and people can just take photos of you and use them for whatever they want.

Do you object to obituaries in the newspaper? How about funerals with hundreds of attendees? We don't respect dead people's privacy at all. You're just disgusted by images of dead people, because when you look at them, it reminds you that you are also going to die one day and you don't like that. If they're your family or friends, it's different because you may miss them, but I don't think that's applicable in this case for reasons I already explained.

I don't agree with declaring that something is wrong on the mere basis of innate disgust; there has to be some reason that takes into account our sentience and morals, or else you can justify things like homophobia or racism because you're disgusted.

I'm sorry but this is "whataboutism" at it's best. Are you really comparing funeral services to stealing someones photo for your shitty brutal death metal band? I'm sorry but there's no way those two are the same. Also, a lot of times obituaries and funerals are prepared in advance. At least it's common in first world countries to plan where you're getting buried, how, etc.

PDS wrote:
Gravetemplar wrote:
Dead people also have a right of privacy.


On the US federal level? They don't.

The US isn't the blueprint for everything. I wouldn't use the laws of one of the most unjust and unequal justice systems in the world as an example for anything. Also, this isn't really about laws. It's about taking a stance against the "capitalization of death and tragedy" as someone posted above. Taking photos of dead people without their consent and using them on your album is morally wrong no matter what the law says about it.


Last edited by Gravetemplar on Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HeavenDuff
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Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:38 pm 
 

Gravetemplar wrote:
MutantClannfear wrote:
I don't really care either way. If a band really thinks that a dead person is the best visual representation of their music, it doesn't do any harm to the dead person to do so. There are arguments to be made about its impact on the family members of the deceased, but their odds of becoming aware of a goregrind/black metal album using their loved one as cover art are quite low, so I don't know if there's any tangible negative impact to those most directly affected. I think people's innate disgust with it mostly stems from their biological aversion to death. Using dead people as cover art mostly causes such a visceral negative reaction because it violates the part of people's brains that says that death should be kept private so that we don't have to think about it and can go on about our daily lives.

EDIT: Of course there are lazy and tasteless ways to go about it, like just slapping a picture from the BestGore front page on the cover of your bedroom goregrind, but I think the position that there is absolutely zero authentic, legitimate artistic expression that can be conveyed with a dead body is pretty funny. Maybe makes you think that our aversion to death might be a social taboo that is worth inspecting, hmm...
nightbreaker33 wrote:
Also the Burzum CD with the corpse of dead

:| :lol:

Wait, are you actually saying it's OK to do anything with with a corpse just because the dead couldn't care less? This is some of the most disrespectful stuff I've read in a while. Do I really need to ask where you draw the line on what can be done to a corpse because "there isn't any tangible negative impact to those most directly affected"?


Yeah, I'm with you on this one. Not to make a slippery slope fallacy, but that kind of logic could be used to argue that necrophilia isn't morally reprehensible because the dead person won't notice, and unless you tell the familly members, they will never know, so it doesn't hurt anyone. It's extremely disrespectful and truly despicable to use a dead body for entertainment purposes. Just... despicable.

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Lyrici17
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:43 pm 
 

Razakel wrote:
I was also turned off by that Mortician-worshipping Fluids band when I realized that all their samples are the sounds of real people being tortured. Can't get behind that shit at all.


Yes, this was the exact same thing that happened with me (and I'm generally super into bands using samples). I just couldn't continue listening.
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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:57 pm 
 

Gravetemplar wrote:
I'm sorry but this is "whataboutism" at it's best. Are you really comparing funeral services to stealing someones photo for your shitty brutal death metal band? I'm sorry but there's no way those two are the same. Also, a lot of times obituaries and funerals are prepared in advance. At least it's common in first world countries to plan where you're getting buried, how, etc.

People love to try to dismiss literally any comparison between any two things as "strawman" this or "whataboutism" that, or whatever logical term is the flavor du jour, because they can't think of any legitimate grounds to dismiss it. It's not "whataboutism" at all, but repeatedly saying "Are you seriously daring to say that this ISN'T true" without explaining why your position is any more correct is actually its own logical fallacy. Now give me an actual argument instead of getting outraged over and over: where is the significant difference in privacy for a dead person between an obituary and a mortuary photograph? Which one tells you more personal information about somebody?

P.S. "62.5 percent of consumers felt it was very important to communicate their funeral plans and wishes to family members prior to their own death, yet only 21.4 percent had done so." So 78.6% of funerals in the United States are immoral by your standards, because the dead person can't consent to how much of their privacy is being forfeited.

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Dudeguy Jones
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:04 pm 
 

Trying to play devil's advocate (and frankly, not having an easy time of it) I ask myself, "where/how could such an image be 'ok'?"

Yeah, I got nothing. Its not really cool. Maybe if its some ancient shit. Maybe even some public domain images of past war atrocities or.. like doomicus says, bog bodies. Even then, its pretty tasteless shit. Have fun with it if its your thing. It certainly doesn't seem like a hill worth dying on, though.

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CrippledLucifer
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:08 pm 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
Now give me an actual argument instead of getting outraged over and over: where is the significant difference in privacy for a dead person between an obituary and a mortuary photograph? Which one tells you more personal information about somebody?

An obituary is A) rooted in tradition, hence understood and implicitly agreed upon by the dead person B) written and/or paid for by family or people close to the dead person, sometimes on the basis of the wishes of said person. Comparing this to pasting a photo of a dead body on your death metal demo is laughably wrong.
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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:35 pm 
 

It may be true that things like funerals and obituaries are accepted implicitly upon your birth, but it seems wrong to use that as a basis to claim they do not contradict a notion of a "right to privacy" after death, since privacy is ultimately solely within the control of the self, and any relinquishment of it that is not fully and expressly consensual, even a socially contractual relinquishment conducted by our friends or family, is an act of divulging beyond what we have stated it is okay to express, i.e. our "privacy". If the strongest argument that can be brought against the usage of a photograph is that it is not currently in this range of acceptable "violations" of the right to privacy, then the position against it is not on firm moral ground. Why does this disgust us so?

I don't know why everyone is so focused on "shitty BDM demos", by the way. That's the biggest straw man in play here. You're obviously hoping in vain that people's mental associations with the music being shitty will make your arguments about the morality of death stronger.

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cultofkraken
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:41 pm 
 

CrippledLucifer wrote:
MutantClannfear wrote:
Now give me an actual argument instead of getting outraged over and over: where is the significant difference in privacy for a dead person between an obituary and a mortuary photograph? Which one tells you more personal information about somebody?

An obituary is A) rooted in tradition, hence understood and implicitly agreed upon by the dead person B) written and/or paid for by family or people close to the dead person, sometimes on the basis of the wishes of said person. Comparing this to pasting a photo of a dead body on your death metal demo is laughably wrong.


You bring up a good point about tradition. What would you say about the Victorian tradition of taking photos of the dead as if they’re still alive? Would that be in poor taste to use even though it was culturally acceptable and made for public consumption?

This topic is interesting. I think a lot of people here would benefit from watching Caitlin Doughty’s YouTube page Ask a Mortician. She has some really excellent insight into the cultural anthropology of the dead, funerals and rituals. Well worth a watch.
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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:03 pm 
 

To reinforce further that the aversion to these covers is rooted in a vague sense of "disrespect against the dead" which ultimately comes back to biological disgust in most cases, consider the following:

  • Are realistic horror movies morally reprehensible? Is any horror movie that takes influence from an actual serial killer trivializing or commodifying death? What about the movie about the murderous experiments in Unit 731, Men Behind the Sun? Are these scenes of realistic simulated death only okay because we cannot trace exactly whom they occurred to based on the movie? What makes any random photograph of a real but unidentifiable dead person any less acceptable?
  • Is a drawing of a real dead person acceptable? How accurate can the drawing be until it's not okay? How much inspiration can be taken from a dead person in a fictional work until that inspiration is no longer "respectful"? Is showing a person being wheeled away in a body bag, while knowing who that person is, just as bad as a picture of them lying dead in plain sight?
  • Is The Passion of the Christ, depicting the graphic murder of Jesus, acceptable? This is not a question about whether it's too hard to watch because of the violence - is the idea of a film showing Jesus's death morally wrong? If so, why? Is it acceptable because we have been exposed to the idea of Jesus dying enough that we are desensitized to it? Shouldn't the hardline moral stance of "not using anybody's death for entertainment" condemn the capitalization of Jesus's suffering (in the literal, mortal sense) that this movie exploits?
  • Do you think the depiction of a dead body "devalues" a person or ashames them somehow? Why?

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Osore
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:55 am
Posts: 341
Location: Serbia
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:08 pm 
 

I knew the moral hysteria would follow. Not all people share the same moral values, get over it. If someone thinks it's cool to underline his dark music with photographs of dead people and isn't upset, you should try to realise that you are two different people with two different minds. Memento mori photographs show how taboos change over time. Imagine visiting a cannibalistic tribe and trying to explain to them your morals are superior. You better do it before you get served.

There's sometimes a thin line between the art and offense. Often it's both, and I believe the art should cross boundaries. If metal still makes you uncomfortable, then it serves to one of its purposes/intentions. Shock and disguist might be the emotions your goregrind band wants to provoke in you, and when it happens, you resist. It's like a horror film/documentary/performance/conceptual art. Whether it's done with a style or as an amateur pastiche is another question.

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Amerigo
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:30 pm
Posts: 364
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:14 pm 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
It may be true that things like funerals and obituaries are accepted implicitly upon your birth, but it seems wrong to use that as a basis to claim they do not contradict a notion of a "right to privacy" after death, since privacy is ultimately solely within the control of the self, and any relinquishment of it that is not fully and expressly consensual, even a socially contractual relinquishment conducted by our friends or family, is an act of divulging beyond what we have stated it is okay to express, i.e. our "privacy". If the strongest argument that can be brought against the usage of a photograph is that it is not currently in this range of acceptable "violations" of the right to privacy, then the position against it is not on firm moral ground. Why does this disgust us so?

I don't know why everyone is so focused on "shitty BDM demos", by the way. That's the biggest straw man in play here. You're obviously hoping in vain that people's mental associations with the music being shitty will make your arguments about the morality of death stronger.

I believe that what people are trying to say when they bring up consent is this. The deceased never consented to have their image slapped on an album and sold for profit by some random band. I think if there was explicit consent gathered ahead of time from the person depicted, people wouldn't be nearly as mad about it. I mean what if some band somehow got a nude photograph of you and put you on their album and sold thousands of copies, profiting directly from a private photograph that they do not own. What if that happened after you were dead? It'd be pretty unethical by most moral compasses regardless of when it happens. And it's not because people are afraid of the naked body that people would be pretty pissed off about it.
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true_death
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:47 pm
Posts: 2072
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:21 pm 
 

It depends for me. I had never heard of Numenorean before, not exactly my kind of metal...but I think that cover is kind of cool. Definitely disturbing but it's poignant and memorable, for sure. Same for Devourment's Molesting the Decapitated (which I'm assuming is real?) and of course Carcass' first two. On the other hand, I think Pissgrave's approach is pretty stupid. It doesn't bother me per se but I do think it's a bit tactless and childish "hey look at me" bullshit without any artistic value.
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Osore
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:55 am
Posts: 341
Location: Serbia
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:26 pm 
 

Oh, if anyone wants to use post-mortem photos of my corpse in the form of art or any other way, I consent. I don't care what's going to happen with my dead body. Classic funeral would be too boring. :-P I have some better ideas, like "capsula mundi", which is egg-shaped capsule for a body in which a tree is planted, or having photographs of my rotting corpse thrown into a bog and editted or painted for the cover of my book. That would be amazing.

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MutantClannfear
Blank Czech

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 3457
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:27 pm 
 

Amerigo wrote:
I believe that what people are trying to say when they bring up consent is this. The deceased never consented to have their image slapped on an album and sold for profit by some random band. I think if there was explicit consent gathered ahead of time from the person depicted, people wouldn't be nearly as mad about it. I mean what if some band somehow got a nude photograph of you and put you on their album and sold thousands of copies, profiting directly from a private photograph that they do not own. What if that happened after you were dead? It'd be pretty unethical by most moral compasses regardless of when it happens. And it's not because people are afraid of the naked body that people would be pretty pissed off about it.

I legitimately don't care what people do to my body after I'm dead as long as I'm not aware of it. It's why I finally decided to become an organ donor a few years ago, because as much as I fear death, when I die I will have no use for my body and I don't care what other people do to it. If people's position really comes down to something like consent for their bodies after death, that's fine, but they simultaneously accept arbitrary non-consensual things being done to dead bodies for "tradition". I'm trying to get people to realize that the reason for these hypocritical stances is probably at least a little bit because they are appalled by the sight of a dead body, which is not a valid reason to assign a moral stance to them. You can be grossed out by dead bodies without acting like showing a person in a state of death is like showing them in a state of nudity.

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Oxenkiller
Veteran

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 3:42 am
Posts: 2657
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:34 pm 
 

I have no real issue with it, generally speaking, although in many cases you CAN judge an album by it's cover, and in most cases, those bands that use dead people on the cover...are bands I probably wouldn't want to listen to.

I do see the argument here against using actual photos of real dead bodies, vs. merely a gore-themed artwork. I've never really thought too deeply about it before though. I just figured, these bands are all about gore, and they want to shock people, so... take it or leave it, and in most cases I just leave it.

The one instance where I DID actually think it was really NOT okay, was with the "Dawn of the Black Hearts" Live LP/semi-bootleg with the police photo of the band's lead singer lying dead with half his head gone. I am actually really surprised the rest of the band was okay with that LP being released with that cover. If it was my band, and my former deceased band mate on an album cover like that, I'd want to personally confiscate each and every copy of said album and burn them. Imagine how the rest of Metallica would feel if there was a bootleg LP out there with a photo of a bus lying on top of Cliff Burton- they'd be fucking pissed as hell!

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Pitiless Wanderer
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:34 pm
Posts: 1020
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:52 pm 
 

hallowed78 wrote:
I'm OK with it. It seems most people would like their metal turned into a lounge music equivalent. Quality art needs to shock sometimes, as it was throughout the history.


Putting a dead little girl on an album cover isn't art, bro. It's just stupid.

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Pitiless Wanderer
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:34 pm
Posts: 1020
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:55 pm 
 

PDS wrote:
Pitiless Wanderer wrote:
No. And there was a black metal band that released back in '17 or '18 (maybe earlier) and the cover was a dead child - a girl, like 6 years old. I think she'd been found murdered in the woods somewhere. Just despicable if you ask me.


You're probably thinking of Numenorean's Home. This one I'm fine with. Yes, it's a dead child, but like, that happened in 1970. Not the 1970's, 1970. That's history now.. Does this lessen the impact in any way? Of course not, it's like the pre-autopsy of a dead child, there's a reaction more visceral than seeing a regular dead body (though I highly suspect Numenorean took the choosing of their album cover with allt more care and fore-thought than most death metal bands. BIG maybe.)

There's a lot of room for whataboutitsms due to death/black metal's fascination with the morbid. Like, it might be just me but you don't see people really complaining about the cover of Acid Bath's When the Kite String Pops despite the horrific things that John Wayne Gacy as done. Though really, the capitalization of death and tragedy goes beyond just album covers and the like.


Yes, that's the one - Numenorean. 1970, 1980, 2020....doesn't matter. It's still distasteful and disrespectful.

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Amerigo
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 11:30 pm
Posts: 364
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:02 pm 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
I legitimately don't care what people do to my body after I'm dead as long as I'm not aware of it. It's why I finally decided to become an organ donor a few years ago, because as much as I fear death, when I die I will have no use for my body and I don't care what other people do to it. If people's position really comes down to something like consent for their bodies after death, that's fine, but they simultaneously accept arbitrary non-consensual things being done to dead bodies for "tradition". I'm trying to get people to realize that the reason for these hypocritical stances is probably at least a little bit because they are appalled by the sight of a dead body, which is not a valid reason to assign a moral stance to them. You can be grossed out by dead bodies without acting like showing a person in a state of death is like showing them in a state of nudity.

I don't think it's so hugely different in this specific case. There is moral panic around nudity and issues of consent are often conflated with irrational discomfort with the human body. More of an issue in America, admittedly.

But regardless, I think it's perfectly legitimate to bring up people's discomfort with cadavers and fucked up traditional practices after death. But it seems a little weird to claim that it doesn't matter if a band uses a deceased person's picture to make money just because they're dead. I mean look even if you legitimately believe in the whole Épater la bourgeoisie ideology and a photograph of a dead body is art, then why is it okay for a band to take someone else's art and make money off it? We don't believe it's acceptable to use someone's painting as an album cover after they died, why would it be okay to use a photo of their dead body?
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Bread Congregation
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:50 pm
Posts: 29
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:05 pm 
 

Lot of talk about obituaries and funerals and such. My family owned funeral homes, so I have firsthand experience here. A couple notes on that whole thing:

1. Obituaries and funeral services are not mandatory. Obituaries—and I'm talking about the boilerplate "so-and-so died at the age of 75, survived by…" types—are put together with the family's involvement and okay'd by them. They don't just appear without some kind of approval. The difference is that obituaries of public figures (using Carl Reiner as a recent example) because that person existed in a public space and those are more op-ed style memorials than straight obituaries.

2. Not all funerals are open to the public or announced to the public. Beyond that, many families opt to not even have funeral services anymore. So, really, those are still private affairs dictated by the wishes of the family.

Now, onto the topic at hand: I don't care whether a band uses a real photo of a dead person, but I also don't think it adds much. When it comes to art, I feel like an artist needs to be able to articulate why they are making certain decisions. When someone just says "it's brutal and fucked up" about their cover art or, hell, even their lyrics, I don't find much worth in that. All art has context, and if you aren't thinking of it beyond, "It's metal and it's supposed to be fucked up," then I think it's fair to dismiss the work on the merits that it's not really doing much beyond existing within genre norms. Maybe those images speak more to different people, but I think using those things needs to have at least some modicum of an explanation, because if you aren't down to discuss why you did something, well, you can't be upset when people outright dismiss it either.

And on another personal level, the only image that really bothered me was the cover of the last Pissgrave album. I could look at it, sure, but what it said to me was that the band was using this dead person for shock value and little more. Releasing an album with that cover in the midst of a time when Black people are being brutalized, it offered no commentary on the nature of Black death in the context of the grand American experiment. And I'll freely admit, it didn't need to do that either, but I wanted something out of art at that evoked that in that particular moment but what I got was just, "heh, heh…gross, huh?"

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