Black Metal Visuals Please
August 23, 2006 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Black Metal Movie & Art Recommendations?

For the past year or so, I've been really into (among other things, fortunately) black metal, death metal, false vocal chord singing, and the accompanying Norse mythology/Black Forest aesthetics.

While music recommendations are always a plus, I'm looking now for film & art recommendations--basically some strong visuals that go beyond (but at the same starting point as) black metal album covers. Some of your suggestions may fall on the cheesy or ridiculous side of things, but don't be shy, it's an unavoidable hazard with this. If it helps, I think Frank Frazetta is *awesome*, but I'm hoping to go a little more pagan or satanic, er, stylistically that is ;-) Odd Nerdrum's images seems connected to this in a way subdued way, though clearly he's not doing the satan thing... Does that confuse things? Thanks so much for whatever you've got!
posted by ibeji to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Hieronymus Bosch? H.R. Giger?
posted by gwint at 12:43 PM on August 23, 2006

Art recs:
Chris Moyen is probably the most obvious rec for this sort of thing... he's done more famous metal covers than anyone else I can think of. His work is what I think of when I envision THE essential death metal style.

Ed Repka is another important metal cover artist. Death and Megadeth both owe a lot to him.

HR Giger's stuff is a bit more industrial/inorganic than what you might be looking for, but he's worth checking out just the same.

Much of Albrecht Dürer's stuff has been borrowed by black metal bands. Abigor's Channeling the Quintessence of Satan has his Knight, Death and the Devil as the cover. Similar depictions of Satan from that period are also worth looking into -- check out woodcuts and engravings from the 14th and 15th century.

The Paradise Lost illustrations of Gustav Doré are essential... likewise William Blake's art, especially The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed in Sun. I don't think much of the Church of Satan, but they have a decent art list here with similar suggestions.

For more pagan art, you can't go wrong with M.E. Winge. His paintings of the Norse gods are inspiring, especially Thor's Battle Against the Giants. Peter Nicolai Arbo is equally great -- a detail from his Åsgårdsreien ought to be familiar to you as the cover of Bathory's classic album, Blood Fire Death!

Rosaleen Norton is an excellent pagan/satanic artist. Destroyer 666 used some of her art as t-shirts and album covers.

If you like Frazetta, you should check out Michael Whelan. Not black metal per se, but a lot of his stuff is pretty wicked looking, and such classic bands as Sepultura and Cirith Ungol used some of his art as album covers.

There's a book called Heavy Metal Thunder that features a lot of different metal cover art.

Very few movies have this sort of vibe, outside of horror. Check out Hammer Horror, the works of the old Italian horror directors like Argento and Bava, the Hellraiser films, etc. I'd also recommend City of Lost Children and Dark City, though you won't find much of Satanic or pagan substance in those films... just the visual style. The old Doom video games (though not the newer ones, really, stick with Doom 1 and 2) have a great Satanic vibe, though.

If you can comment on which of the above artists you like, I can try to find some others that might suit your tastes. Maybe you could list some of the bands you're especially into? Cheers! \m/
posted by vorfeed at 1:34 PM on August 23, 2006

Zdzislaw Beksinski
posted by GeekAnimator at 1:35 PM on August 23, 2006

You're probably familiar with Burzum's albums by now. Theodore Kittelsen's work is used extensively as cover art and inlay art.

Chris Moyen has dominated the extreme metal artwork scene for many years now. His work is very fascinating.
posted by hellhammer at 1:37 PM on August 23, 2006

Response by poster: Great suggestions from everyone; Beksinki reminds me of many Symbolist artists who hadn't even occurred to me until now.

vorfeed, thank you for the huge post, including film suggestions: so few movies, you're right. Hammer Horror sounds promising; Barker & Argento may be too modern, though I enjoy them...

For the art, Giger is well-executed and compelling but always lacked something, seems empty? No offense to Giger lovers. Albrecht Dürer is an interesting angle as I've always loved him but never thought of him in this context. Doré definitely, Blake approaching it. Arbo too soft (the Bathory image is the only one I like by him). Moyen, Norton, Repka are like the early period of what I hope to find, if that make sense... Winge is really, really excellent.

hellhammer, Kittelsen's landscapes & trolls are great...

Good ideas & links here. Thanks for the new leads!
posted by ibeji at 4:11 PM on August 23, 2006

Begotten perhaps?
posted by bobo123 at 4:59 PM on August 23, 2006

Check out Peter Beste's gallery of Black Metal photos. He's photographed some great visuals of Carpathian Forest, 1349 and Gorgoroth.
posted by punkrockrat at 7:40 PM on August 23, 2006

Response by poster: Begotten, right! Forgot all about it, still haven't seen it, but now will...

Peter Beste is excellent, thank you thank you

Now I plan my trip to Norway... ;-)
posted by ibeji at 6:44 AM on August 24, 2006

« Older Getting rid of a bad client   |   moviefilter: what's this movie? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.