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Petagno, Joe
Orgasmatron-The Heavy Metal Art of Joe Petagno (Book Review)
January 2011
Released: 2004, Feral House
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

This book reminds me in many ways of Kris Verwimp’s excellent collection of art, THE SEVENTH SIGN. Joe Petagno, known for his iconic artwork of the Motorhead mascot Snaggletooth, has compiled some of his work and published it for our enjoyment.

Feral House, known for it’s independent and counter-culture publications presented this nice hard cover book in 2004. It’s just over 100 pages and the paper quality and colors are both excellent. The book has a brief Foreword by none other than Lemmy of Motorhead and an introduction by Steffan Chirazi. In an interesting twist the art is not explained or described on the page it is printed on but the last few pages there are smaller replications with a title.

Over the years Joe has done a ton of art for many, many bands, as well as posters, magazines and so on. This collection is subtitled, ‘The Heavy Metal Art of Joe Petagno’, which is just what it is. His work has appeared on many album covers, more than you might realize. Incantation, Angelcorpse, Abomination and a host of other bands in the more extreme genres have wisely chosen to have Joe’s art grace their album covers.

You could spend ages pouring over each plate. There is a lot going on in each picture, layers, characters, it seldom ‘just a painting’ of one dude, each pictures melds into other dimensions and planes. Great stuff. His style is instantly recognizable with his heavy use of the classic metal imagery and colours of red and black. It’s nice to see almost the entire Snaggletooth collection in one place.

I’m rating this book slightly lower than Verwimp’s collection or HEAVY METAL THUNDER, the compilation of album cover art, because there could have been some little extras to really complete ORGASMATRON. They could have included a list of dates when the paintings were done, a discussion of techniques, materials used, some stories, quotes, endorsements, anything to add content. As always, your personal preference or enjoyment of Joe’s style will determine how quickly you add this to your library.
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