When thinking about metal music, we all have a fair idea of what to expect. There are various associations that the style of music has, with its hard-hitting music and head-banging just part of the expectation when listening to a track.
While music is all about the sound that is made, there is no denying that there is also a visual aspect that can be associated with the genre. Again, we know that we can expect to see a certain type of artwork when looking at metal bands’ album covers. The visuals, though, do not stop there. They can be found through stage design, the type of music videos created, and they can also be seen in the merchandise sold.
How Artwork Plays An Important Role
Visual aspects are just as vital as the sounds that are made when creating an identity. They play a significant role in helping bands and artists to achieve a certain appearance. This is what can help them to connect with their intended audiences.
The chosen images and designs can help invoke the emotions they want their listeners to experience when they listen to the tracks they have recorded. They also want the visuals of the album artwork to give those who see it a sense and idea about what to expect in terms of the tone that can be experienced.
Artists are able to use imagery to manipulate the thoughts of those who view it. By using strong designs and drawings, they can generate intrigue that can be too difficult for people to ignore and not know what is behind them. This would likely help them generate sales while potentially acquiring new listeners.
While they can be used to try and create intrigue for an album or a certain single that may be released, the imagery used can help to create a brand image and identity for the metal band/artist. It is a solid and proven technique, with numerous bands in the genre having become synonymous with the imagery that they have used. Some bands have been able to enter other subcultures because of the designs they have, with the likes of Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Slipknot having all been popular t-shirt designs, etc.
How Artwork Can Help With Atmosphere
While artwork can help set the tone and expectation about what to expect regarding the various sound effects synonymous with the genre, they can also help build the atmosphere.
The inclusion of visuals and designs can be incorporated into stage shows and the design of the sets that are used. They can also have an influence on things such as the lighting that is used, as well as helping to enhance the overall experience. For instance, it is not uncommon for lighting effects to come into play when certain parts of a song is played or when a certain beat occurs.
The visuals can also help to create a theatrical performance that can leave a positive impression on the minds of those that attend. It can also have the same impact on those unfortunate enough to miss the concert, as they may feel they missed an experience and will be determined to get tickets for the metal band’s next show to be part of it and witness it first hand.
Artwork can also be used to highlight other causes and issues that bands may want to point out. Although there is a fine line, and they may need to be careful what they decide, the use of visuals can send a powerful message and help them to highlight certain causes/devastations to a wider audience that may not be well-known. Charitable singles may not typically be associated with metal bands, but there is every possibility that they could look to do so in the future.
Artwork and Visuals are Powerful
The next time you see a metal band’s choice of artwork and the visuals used, you will understand the reasons behind that decision. It is undeniable how important they are and why so much time and effort can go into getting them right. It is also possible to argue that metal music would be very different without the artwork and visuals used.