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SmallPoxie
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:56 pm
Posts: 197
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 5:31 pm 
 

Some metalheads really care about album covers. They want them to be as amazing as possible. But, there are bands that think minimal art is the best art. Do you think that minimalistic album covers are art or do you think that they are absolutely lazy?

This thread was inspired by Skepticism's Ordeal, some people complained of the album art being "too minimalistic". I personally think is not, I think it fits the band and their beautiful atmosphere perfectly. https://www.metal-archives.com/albums/S ... eal/520246
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MDL
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 2:12 pm
Posts: 523
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 5:46 pm 
 

I'd say that this is a case by case thing. There are some cover arts that, while artistically simple, are still very iconic and aesthetically pleasant to look at. The first example that comes to mind is the "Book of Souls" cover art. By isolating Eddie's figure on a black background, the art confers him a greater contrast and detail:
Image

This one, by Nightwish, is pretty enchanting too. The ethereal sky, that contrasts with the bucolic scenario, captures perfectly their music's essence:
Image

However, there are some simple album cover that I wouldn't label as "minimalistic". Covers like that one below are deliberatedly lazy and poorly conceived:
Image

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ChineseDownhill
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:19 am
Posts: 920
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:08 pm 
 

If your album art has a solid color background, it probably shouldn't be white or off-white. Torment by Six Feet Under made this mistake. Sepultura's Beneath the Remains did it right.

My favorite covers usually involve drawings / paintings with a decent amount of detail. I'll take just about any Dan Seagrave work over a band pic (sorry, Immortal!) or nature photography.
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doomicus
Metalhead

Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 5:58 am
Posts: 758
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:43 pm 
 

Heavily depends on the band and what they're conveying with the cover art. It's never a one size fits all deal. I enjoy both minimal and overly complex / maximal album cover art. The important thing is that it fits the aesthetics of the band and their sound.
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Slater922
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:24 pm
Posts: 920
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 7:49 pm 
 

MDL wrote:
I'd say that this is a case by case thing. There are some cover arts that, while artistically simple, are still very iconic and aesthetically pleasant to look at. The first example that comes to mind is the "Book of Souls" cover art. By isolating Eddie's figure on a black background, the art confers him a greater contrast and detail:
Spoiler: show
Image


This one, by Nightwish, is pretty enchanting too. The ethereal sky, that contrasts with the bucolic scenario, captures perfectly their music's essence:
Spoiler: show
Image


However, there are some simple album cover that I wouldn't label as "minimalistic". Covers like that one below are deliberatedly lazy and poorly conceived:
Spoiler: show
Image

Same here. When they're good, they can be excellent. When they're bad, they can be like that last image... :ugh:
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King_of_Arnor
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2020 12:35 pm
Posts: 150
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2021 9:32 pm 
 

We tend to remember minimalistic covers more since they're more iconic. In the case of the Black Album, it got its famous nickname from the cover.

Spoiler: show
Image

Spoiler: show
Image

Spoiler: show
Image

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mdmdmd
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:14 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Seattle, WA
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 12:46 am 
 

MDL wrote:
However, there are some simple album cover that I wouldn't label as "minimalistic". Covers like that one below are deliberatedly lazy and poorly conceived:
Image

haha that's gotta be a joke
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InnesI
The Goat Fucker

Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm
Posts: 1954
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 2:31 am 
 

I really like simple covers to albums. As King_of_Arnor wrote they can feel very iconic if they are done right. One such example is Cult of Lunas Salvation:

Image
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sjal
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 9:15 am
Posts: 115
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 4:38 am 
 

I've always thought that more simple/minimalistic album covers on doom metal-related albums are absolutely normal and "natural" for these subgenres of metal music, so I'm fine with them - they fit into moods and styles of music on those albums.
Like the covers on these albums, for example: they are simple and effective -
https://www.metal-archives.com/albums/F ... Woe/211890
https://www.metal-archives.com/albums/F ... nds/138431

SmallPoxie wrote:
This thread was inspired by Skepticism's Ordeal, some people complained of the album art being "too minimalistic". I personally think is not, I think it fits the band and their beautiful atmosphere perfectly. https://www.metal-archives.com/albums/S ... eal/520246

+1 :)

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Opus
Veteran

Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2002 11:06 am
Posts: 3324
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 7:39 am 
 

It doesn't matter if it's minimalistic or overloaded with detail as long as it's good. I think the cover art for Sunbather is a perfect fit. The Book of Souls cover on the other hand is just lazy in my view. It's not what Maiden is about.
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Lilac Seafoam
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Dec 06, 2020 5:14 pm
Posts: 15
PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2021 2:45 pm 
 

There's Helter Skelter on the White Album. Seems pretty at odds but Helter Skelter has always sounded black and white to me. As a symbolic rejection of the flower power psychedelic era that they mastered and "moved on from", it is the *best* minimal art cover to me.

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jimbies
Noose Springsteen

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 3385
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 9:17 am 
 

related but unrelated:

I've always thought that if Opeth ever made a "return to form" album, a great cover would just be the iconic "O" on a black background.

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Gravetemplar
Veteran

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:08 am
Posts: 2885
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 9:39 am 
 

jimbies wrote:
related but unrelated:

I've always thought that if Opeth ever made a "return to form" album, a great cover would just be the iconic "O" on a black background.

The Damnation + Deliverance compilation is basically that one in white.

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Miikja
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 5:36 pm
Posts: 186
PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:47 pm 
 

The great thing about minimalistic album covers is that it makes them instantly recognisable. And to me, a 'simple' image is usually more intriguing than a landscape full of little details. It's stronger that way. I like the art for My Dying Bride's The Angel and the Dark River (except for the letter type) and Evinta.

A tip for anyone who owns a CD copy of the The 3rd and the Mortal's Sorrow EP: that generic pretty-picture-of-the-clouds album cover loses out to the fiery '3' on the booklet's backside. I use that instead, just like on In This Room but with a crimson background.
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