As 2012 draws ever closer to its end, we here at TZEEEAC are busy tinkering on our lists of the best music that came out this year. As the last time we did this, it's hard and nerve-wrecking, but hey, it's also damn fun. Still, it'll be a while before we will unveil them, so I thought I'd start things off slowly and reveal my favorite album artwork from 2012. There's no doubt that cover art plays a huge role in how an album is perceived and it always amazes me how creative bands and artists get with their covers. 2012 was no exception and we've seen some great fucking artistry at play. From the grotesque to the stunningly beautiful, there was something for every taste.
So here are my favorite album covers of 2012, in no particular order, along with my notes and comments on them. You're more than welcome to share your own favorites in the comments section or on Facebook.
First up, we have Tumbleweed Dealer's debut EP, Death Rides Southwards. It's purple and black. Is there any better color combo for a drone/doom band? I don't think so.
Horseback's latest full-length album Half-Blood is nothing short of spectacular, and the cover art is extremely fitting for their off-kilter brand of Americana-infused drone/doom/post-rock/shoegaze music. I can't really tell what's going on - except that it's some sort of ox with a wheat-tail eating a snake - but it's dark and gloomy and mysterious. And I love it.
This is probably my favorite album cover, hands down. It's unsettling on every level. What the fuck is this human-chimp hybrid? Why is it tearing apart its own face? What's this horrible looking junkyard? Why is there blood oozing from the cracks in that ominous-looking monolith? Definitely one of the most striking artworks I've ever seen.
I was chomping at the bit for Wretched's new album Son of Perdition, based on some song playthroughs on YouTube and on this awesome cover art. The music turned out to be less than memorable, but this still remains a really cool album cover. I actually hope I experience something like this: an immortal apocalyptic being raining fire and blood over my city, while people run away in terror. Maybe some day...
Pathology really hit it out of the park with this one. This looks fucking amazing. If this doesn't make you blow a load in your pants, you must be color-blind or something. I could look at this forever.
Next up, we have a piece of artwork from Muknal's self-titled EP and it perfectly reflects their music: it's cavernous, primitive, ominous and cosmic. The lack of any words or band logos lets you enjoy this piece on its own and get lost in the void of space. Pretty sweet.
I haven't really listened to BTBAM's newest album, but I can definitely appreciate the beautiful cover artwork. Totally wallpaper or poster material. Plus it syncs nicely with the band's complex, futuristic sound.
Again, I haven't even begun to sink my teeth into Ufomammut's Oro: Opus Alter, but I love the highly detailed artwork, chock full of symbolism I'll never fully comprehend. I want a shirt with this.
omg linkin park? chestor u worthles poser!! Yeah, yeah, clown on Linkin Park all you want, no one cares. Their latest album was actually pretty fucking sweet and this exploding cake robot on the cover looks really cool. Keep at it, boys.
I would hang this above the fireplace in my tastefully decorated living quarters and I would silently admire it while sitting naked in my expensive leather chair, sipping bourbon and rejecting calls from Metallica, desperately begging me to review their latest aural abomination. Rich and fat and rich.
This new album by Kowloon Walled City is a pretty standard collection of downtuned sludgy rock songs, but the album cover looks exquisite. DAT COLOR PALETTE. DAT COMPOSITION.
Last up, it's the cover art for 1974 by Portland-based doom rock act Doomsower. I think it's one of the year's most atmospheric artworks and it brings to mind memories of heading to the sea by train, drinking beer, laughing, wearing flip-flops and generally not having a care in the world. Feels good man.