Dear friends and all afficionados of the metal esthetic in particular, today marks the official release of the Czech edition of the exquisite artbook "Masterpieces" by the British publishing house Heavy Music Artwork, which offers the best metal artworks of 2018!
On 148 pages in total and in eight chapers, or galleries, you can see the artworks of such metal artists and illustrators as Claudio Bergamin, Christian Sloan Hall, Dan Seagrave, Daniele Valeriani, Dusty Peterson, Eliran Kantor, Ettore Aldo del Vigo, Gustavo Sazes, José Gabriel Alegría Sabogal, Marcelo Vasco, Mattias Frisk, Nicola Samori or Travis Smith, adorning of albums for example by Alien Weaponry, Alkaloid, Axel Rudi Pell, Behemoth, Chthonic, Conan, Dark Buddha Rising, Deströyer 666, Insect Ark, Judas Priest, Monstrosity, Opeth, Powerwolf, Stryper, Therion or Vitamin X.
In case of each artwork, you can also learn details about its creation, either from the author himself, or from the band for which it was made.
The Czech edition is published in A4 paperback format with fullcolor print on glossy coated paper.
MetalGate returns to the world of literature! After the trilogy of Kniha kovu, which mapped the history of the Czech metal subgenres, and the Czech translation of the biography of the Hellenic black metal legend Rotting Christ entitled Non Serviam, we are back with the Czech release of MASTERPIECES 2018 by the British publishing house HEAVY MUSIC ARTWORK. First, let us preface that this piece is not an ordinary one by a long shot, but a unique work, and though it does not document the history of any band or does not provide an encyclopedic probe into a particular metal style, it is still a mandatory read for many a metal fan. A riddle it seems? Well, read on. MASTERPIECES is all about the frontcovers of metal albums. This specific component has always been the first to captivate the attention of the potential listener, determining whether he or she will perceive the record with sight as well as hearing. Surely even you were at one point or another in a situation, wherein the album cover artwork caught your eye at the first glance, thus prompting you to give the piece a listen, even though you perhaps never heard about the band in question before. A well-made frontcover may have thus been at the beginning of the love between you and your favorite act. And such excellent artworks are precisely the core of MASTERPIECES. This artbook presents a myriad of covers, the conceptual side or artistic technique of which have a particular esthetic value, which then merits closer attention. And you can sure that there is indeed plenty to look at.
On the pages of this book, you can feast your eyes on exactly 143 stellar artworks, each one sporting beautiful details and vivid colors. Given their high resolution, these creations will quickly enchant you and you may easily lose track of time. Even more so that this is not just a catalogue of images! For the individual cover artworks are accompanied by commentaries, either by the artists themselves or by the bands in question, that give insight not only to the plot of the art piece, but also to the creation process of the given artist. There is thus fascinating information to be had about what the symbolism of the painting is, as well as where its inspiration comes from. The proverbial icing on the cake is the format of the book as such, an exquisite A4 paperback with fullcolor print on glossy coated paper. All that makes MASTERPIECES something truly special right away.
The book is divided into eight chapters, or more aptly, galleries. One by one, these showcase the best cover of 2018 (that being the “Firepower” album of the UK’s very own legendary Judas Priest), the master artist of the year, the influential artist of the year, the honorary artist of the year (meaning the one, whose talent deserves a special recognition), the highlight artist of the year and the boxset of the year. Then there is the seventh gallery, the core of the book, which features a hundred frontcover by a hundred artists for a hundred bands. The final gallery, the returning artists, then backtracks to artists from the previous issue of MASTERPIECES, namely to those, who again created excellent artworks in the year that followed.
The 143 artworks are indeed a solid sample, notable also by including bands from all over the metal spectrum. As the selection criteria revolved around the technique and/or subject matter, and not what metal style a band plays, there can thus be little surprise that the outfits featured within MASTERPIECES are a diverse bunch that includes for example the aforementioned Judas Priests, Amaranthe, Opeth, Naglfar, Therion, Bleeding Gods, Master's Hammer (yes, even the Czech scene has its representation there), Evergrey, Gorod, Axel Rudi Pell, Behemoth, Stryper, Dark Buddha Rising, At The Gates or Powerwolf. Such musical diversity then of course goes hand in hand with the visual diversity of the pieces included. Since every metal subgenre has its own specific esthetic canon, you will come across in MASTERPIECES both the traditional motifs of epic scenes, mighty heroes, violence, monsters, hellscapes or beautiful women, as well as the truly singular ones, such as in case of the album “II” by Dunbarrow, the “New Gods” by Cauldron or the “Science Fiction” by the Church of the Cosmic Skull. Of course, this is but a fraction of the original motifs to be found in the book.