Codex Metallum

Metal fans of all breeds will want to check out Maxwell and Alt 236’s Codex Metalllum, a brand-new release by Octopus Publishing.

Maxwell is a metal journalist, YouTuber and former Hellfest TV presenter, while Alt236 is a well-known French YouTuber with upwards of 500k views.

This beautiful hard-bound book sports a leather-effect case with foil finishes and black-on-black embossing, which would make a great gift for the holidays.

Within Codex Metallum’s 192 pages are dozens of visual themes, from hallucinations to inverted crosses straight through to metal album designs containing war, politics and conflict.

Codex Metallum

Illustrations by Rammstein collaborators Førtifem suitably combine the easily-digestible one-pagers, allowing the reader to skip around and flip through the pages at random — the perfect coffee table book!

Each theme covers the bands that incorporated those specific elements into their album art. After all, many designers have seen the light with regard to commercialism in their creations. Album covers remain one of the few places where graphic artists can express themselves freely, even down to their at-times subversive use of typography.

Some bands have gone so far as to include abstractionism on their album cover, withholding their name and thus opening the music fan’s mind to exploration and curiosity.

Codex Metallum

Photography also plays an obvious role in album cover design. Take for example Minor Threat’s Filler, showing tired, shabbily-dressed body slumped with his head on his knees, perhaps recovering from a drinking binge. This visual concept is ideally paired with the album’s music, oscillating from punk to hardcore.

On other occasions, live concert photography helps capture the group mid-performance to reveal the intensity of the moment — and the release of energy.

So if you’ve ever wondered why some of your fave metal albums include torture, vampires, zombies, the Grim Reaper and other classic motifs, Codex Metallum will both enlighten and entertain. Visit Octopus Publishing online for these and other fine music-related reads.

Hardcover; CAD $43.99/USD $39.99

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