Monday, August 6, 2012

When drawing goes wrong pt3. Photoshop abortions.

During the previous two installments, here and here, it gradually became apparent that even amongst the bad album artwork that plagues the Internet and peoples music collections there are even worse examples of dreadful artistic vision and crap delivery. Previous posts concentrated on art that was in the most part actually drawn/painted/dribbled out by someone. They might not have had much of a idea about anatomy or have ever seen a women naked but they at least possess, in the loosest sense, charm.
Tonight's post deals with those most heinous of culprits when it comes to bad album artwork. The Photoshop abortions. Your technology can't save you.

To kicks things off, IllCon follower SoulReaper recommended this blinding piece of ham fisted photo shopping nonsense. Dismal Euphony....dismal euphotoshoppy. Sorry.

This was always one of the first things that came into my head whenever anyone mentioned bad photo-shopping. You have all manner of tools at your disposal  yet you can't even get the lower jaw of a skull right!

Not content with making it look like some pre-1997 PC game art they just go and use the most basic, default font.

You'll never get anything started slacking off like that Mr Speckmann.

Another example of not only being dreadful ( I mean look at it!) but knocked even more for having a bog standard font. Plus, a dreadful album title.

I can wager that if this image, an angel being defeated and having its life force sucked out by a demon inside a church, had been hand drawn and coloured I would probably have thought it pretty cool. Sadly someone got to it with Photoshop first.

If ever a single image summed up the plight of the regular IllCon follower then this album cover is it.

I like Benediction. I don't like this artwork. 

I still haven't been able to work out if this band are a joke or not. I could only get about 20 seconds into this video. This artwork and album title certainly suggest its all a joke.

The soft-porn/1997 "adult" PC game vibe was perfectly nailed on these two covers by everyone's favourite band we all claim not to like.

German engineering perfection. No.

Another example of quality band let down by PS1 quality artwork. it doesn't really fit.

You send something off to the printers, you send it at the right resolution don't you. I have been aware of this one for ages but I never knew the actual band name, I still don't.

Not often do tasteless album title/artwork concepts combine with bad Photoshop. But when they do the results are pretty special.

I can spot a circular saw, cyborg eyes, pink hair, robotic boobs and what looks like parts of a motorcycle. its not a magic eye image either.

Its like the cheap version of a Minotaur. A bemused armadillo. Doesn't really chase you round the maze. Just sits there looking confused.

Hypocrisy have quite a few probable entries lurking in that back catalogue of theirs. Funnily enough nearly most of it has been reissued in recent years with different artwork. I'd like to think that's because they looked back in horror at the below image.

To top it off is the one that got mentioned the most in past correspondence. Iron Maiden have done many great things for metal but this artwork certainly wasn't one of them. In my research I came across a story about how this was originally a mock up of the concept. The band saw it and decided to use it. Maybe save a bit of money. It may be true it may not be, it does sound like something you would say after many years of reflection and you slowly come to the realisation of how lame your album art is. I always like to think that Iron Maiden don't really need to go near computer technology. keep the two separate. Ed Hunter was bad enough.

Once again I will leave it up to you guys to let me know if there are any that deserve inclusion? In all fairness I spent quite a bit of time trawling the Nuclear Blast, Spinefarm and Roadrunner back catalogues and its almost another full post on some of the lame art those guys have hidden away.


Helm said...

Holy shit that thing is not low resolution, it's pixel art. Someone used some demoscene artwork for their brutal death metal record. Remarkable.

Sid Sings (1979) said...

That Iron Maiden one is one massive 'what could've been' because it's a Dave Pratchett and if he was allowed to finish it it probably would have been as good as any of the stuff he does for Cathedral. No wonder he didn't want his name on it. But I feel that this version is more representative of the album which can be taken as you will.

But it pales in comparison to the "masterpieces" that Derek Riggs was responsible for when he gets his hands on a 3D graphics program. You should do a Derek Riggs 3D graphics special as part 4.

Anonymous said...

I like the Soilent cover. If Goatwhore would stop touring maybe we could get a new one. Fucking Falgoust.

Anonymous said...

Good post. Been looking forward to this for some time. I think you are way to kind with Iron Maiden and their rubbish cover. It could be my feeling about the whole ordeal about “Dance of Death”. Its only redeeming quality are the title track and Paschendale. Iron Maiden are giants, they should have done better than this.

I'm not sure it you differentiated between Photoshop and CGI covers. I mean, just Google for Epica albums. Photoshop or not, they are all terrible. In fact, the whole Goth metal genre is terrible from start to end. Their covers, their promo videos, their performances. Youtube is full of comedy gold on that scenes behalf. Please tear them up for us all to laugh at.

5h33p said...

"I have been aware of this one for ages but I never knew the actual band name, I still don't."
thankfully we have google 'search by image' feature. It's Altar / Cartilage split named Ex Oblivione / The Fragile Concept of Affection.
I don't really get the lack of self-reflection in some bands. I mean - did Satellite look at the finished artwork and say to themselves "Look, isn't that the very best artwork out there" or what?

Nothing Left Inside said...

Here's me looking like a chump and not checking google search by image. I spent a silly amount of time trawling the Nuclear Blast and Spinefarm back catalogues and there is a crazy amount of dreadful gothic art available. They would each deserve they're own post.

Patrick said...

just checking Dismal Euphony's catalog produced some real shitgems. and yet their first demo had such a great xerox black metal look to it.

purplerainingblood said...

The short thing in the lower left hand corner of the Maiden album looks like a demonic version of the dancing baby GIF from the 90s.

Nothing Left Inside said...

I think Maiden missed a trick with that. They could have tied it in with the whole Ally McVeal/dancing baby thing. Whole new audience.

purplerainingblood said...

Shoulda been a hologram cover.

SoulReaper said...

That "Hellspawn" comp is the WORST! Earache's techno days were dark indeed.

I can think of a few more that are worth a laugh:

Terror 2000's Faster Disaster, a third-rate Soilwork side project

Oxiplegatz's Fairytales, weirdo Swedish stuff (the album is better than the cover implies)

Thirdmoon's Bloodforsaken, possibly the worst blood n' boobs cover in Napalm Records history

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