Released: 2016, Heavy Metal Artwork
It is a pretty brave and ambitious move to launch a new print publication when conventional wisdom says the print media is dying. Most Metal magazines failed in the past decade only leaving a few, although there are still a few underground fanzines. Alex Milazzo from England felt that there was a market for magazines and has published the first issue of Heavy Metal Artwork.
The magazine itself is an odd-size, I expected a traditional or even oversized magazine but it seems small. However, it is not small is length running over 100 pages. The production quality is top shelf printed on high quality cardstock. It is certainly more hefty than your traditional magazine, it’s more like a book. It is surprisingly free of advertising, less than 10 I believe, and all the ads are actually relevant to the material and content. The layout, colour and design are subdued and not at all garish like some magazines that have to compete for attention of consumers in the rack in the shop. I would say HMA is elegant and understated.
HEAVY METAL ARTWORK is more of a lifestyle and art magazine than your conventional magazines. There are no CD reviews or gossip columns or any of that, just interviews and articles giving it a more academic feel. The main thrust as could be surmised by the title is the art that adorns Metal albums. There are interviews with artists such as Mark Wilkinson (Iron Maiden) Marcelo Vasco (Slayer) and many, many more. They are some band interviews but those are largely focused on the art and imagery of those bands. In my opinion alone, I wasn’t too thrilled with the artists being interviewed, many of them I’m not really a fan of their art, many of them fall in that kind of modern, trendy artist style such as Z. Bielak (Ghost) and J. Baizley (Baroness) but lots of people like those guys, so it is subjective. Looking at the preview of next issue, (already in the works) the artists spot-lighted are far more to my taste. My only other minor complaint is that is pretty steep price, but that is more of an unfortunate by-product of the exchange rate difference between the Canadian Dollar of the British Pound and the high cost of shipping anything, anywhere these days. The price is certainly worth it, based on the quality in both production, content and presentation.
Most magazines have a sense of being temporary and topical. Once read and digested they quickly become obsolete or outdated. HEAVY METAL ARTWORK transcends that notion with a sense of being a collectible in itself. I expect that HMA will continue on with great success. I probably won’t review every issue that comes out but I will suggest that any fans of the art of Metal purchase this premier issue and subscribe to Heavy Metal Artwork. Watch for my interview with founder Alex Milazzo here at Metal-Rules.com.