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The Seventh Serpent (Book Review)
Released: 2004, Indie
Rating a coffee table / art book is virtually solely dependent on the individuals taste in art. If you like the artist, you might buy the collection, if not of course, you wouldn’t bother. As long as the book itself is put together in a moderately competent fashion it’s hard to give a low rating to a nice collection of art. Either you like it or you don’t.
Well, I do like Kris Verwimp’s art. Enough so that I contacted him directly through his web-site and bought one of the few remaining copies of this limited run. THE SEVENTH SERPENT is his first collection of art and it’s great! The over-sized soft cover has over 120 pieces of Kris’ creations from over the years. There are also some comments from Kris on the various projects he has worked on, some sketches a bio and so on. It’s not all encompassing, it is a sampling of his best work in the years spanning to 1994-2004. Limited to 400 numbered copies maybe he will deliver a larger scale, updated version.
Some younger music fans may not appreciate the value of cover art. If you download an album you may not spend the time to look at the liner notes and learn who did the artwork. As an older guy the presentation of the cover art could be an important part of the bands identity. Eddie anyone? It’s wonderful to see the big bold artwork presented here. Some of the album cover we see are only a part of a larger piece of art and it is cool to see some of the large-scale pictures as they were created and without band logos and record company info on them. Each artwork is labeled as to which band and album the artwork appeared on, for easy reference.
If you are a fan of darker, more extreme metal you will recognize his work. Even if you don’t known his name you will instantly recognize his ethereal and haunting style laced with subtle evil imagery. If you own albums by Enslaved, Mannegarm, Melechesh, Suidakra, Thyrfing, Enthroned, or dozens of other bands in similar styles, you are already familiar with his work. He started back in 1994 or so when he was commissioned to do the artwork for an Ancient Rites album. Osmose liked what they saw and soon his work was gracing the cover of now classic albums by Marduk and Absu. He also did the artwork for the first album released by Metal-Rules.com, namely Viperine-THE PREDATOR AWAKENS. There are some quotes from the musicians themselves commenting on how much they liked his work on their album covers.
Verwimp is one of metal’s more recognizable cover artists and THE SEVENTH SERPENT is one of the art books I return to again and again. Hard to find in your local store but well worth owning.