Tuesday, October 31, 2017

GROSS ANATOMY (part 21)


Happy Halloween, boils and ghouls! Your costume looks horrific, so I have a real nasty GROSS ANATOMY treat for you today! The timing for this one couldn't be better since Decibel Magazine just included Chris Reifert of Autopsy in their Top 10 Drummer Vocalist list published yesterday. I don't need a magazine to tell me things I've known for a few decades myself, but it sure is cool to see an underground hero like Reifert formally recognized in this way. Congrats, Chris! When Autopsy recently asked me to do the cover for their 2017 EP Puncturing the Grotesque, they had some truly sickening ideas for illustrating the lyrical themes of their latest nightmare vision of mankind's descent into total self-loathing depravity and brutality. Here's how it went...





I started with pencil and worked at it until a loose narrative scene took shape on the illustration board. The guys wanted a blood orgy featuring post-apocalyptic mutant corpses at war. Not quite traditional zombies, not quite human cannibals. Something other. Once I had a fittingly ghastly composition worked out I jumped in with my trusty ballpoint pens!



Early on while we were discussing ideas and song titles, I envisioned nauseating primary colors even before I had a firm grasp on what the imagery would eventually become. That's rather unusual for me, because I generally prefer the rich grey tones that I've established some infamy for over the years in my staunch refusal to "progress" toward color. But this one definitely called for color. And color is what I gave it...






Come on in, the water's great! Most of what you see here is watercolor and ballpoint pen, but the skull in the background is color pencil with a splattering of watercolor spewed all over it for sloppy good measure. In hindsight, this is my chromatic vomit-soaked FUCK YOU to modern "death metal" bands that use moody chiaroscuro filtered images of trees on their albums. That sorta junk is usually code for boring riffs. This is DEATH METAL, not a fuckin' car commercial!!!!!


Once the drawing/painting was done, I wasted no time handing this beast off to my partner in design crime A.K. Wilson who adjusted the colors ever so slightly for print perfection, and dropped the classic Autopsy logo up top and Chris Reifert's unmistakable handwritten album title along the bottom. If you think this drawing is a crude distasteful caveman cartoon now, you should've seen what it looked like before Wilson had her way with it! Hahaha. Puncturing the Grotesque is due out on December 15th from the always reliable Peaceville Records. You know what to do. Now get out there and carve a pumpkin (or whatever you can get your hands on) and eat some candy (or whatever you can get your mouth on)! Happy Halloween. Until next time...

"...get sicker!!!!"

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