Not only was Kvelertak‘s 2011 self-titled debut a critically lauded and widely successful album (as far as extreme underground music can be, anyway), the artwork emblazoning the cover is somewhat iconic. Baroness‘ John Dyer Baizley outdid himself with Kvelertak, so it’s no surprise that the band would reach out to him again to create the cover art for their much anticipated sophomore followup Meir.
I was initially hoping the band would return to Baizley for this album, but now I’m not so sure. Obviously Baizley has a very specific style, but it may be running its course. A surreal collage of naked women, flora, fauna, and/or bones is essentially every Baizley piece, and it won’t be long before the these albums start looking indistinguishable from one another; a cover is supposed to stand out, not look the same as everything else. I hate to say it because I loved his past work, but I think Baizley needs to come up with some new ideas. But then again, Baizley has been in recovery from a rough accident for a while now, so he might have been limited in what he could do while his injuries healed. Perhaps he didn’t create this work of art specifically for Kvelertak, but the band wanted something from him anyway and was sold a piece that he had sitting around? It just seems too derivative and phoned in to to be an original work meant specifically for this album. Either that or I’m just sitting here sticking my foot in my mouth.
Whatever the case, the above image isn’t what we’ll see in the final released form of the album. Expect some cropping or moving some of the stuff around to make the artwork more appropriate for the size and dimensions of a typical square album cover. Hopefully whatever they do to it from here will give it a bit more of its own personality. Regardless of what’s on the cover though, the new Kvelertak album Meir jams. Expect a review of it soon (yes!) and get stoked for March 26th.