As a reviewer and fan of Metal, one of the little pleasures is watching other fans create something special and be successful. In this instance I’m referring to the hard work of Alex Milazzo and his organization Heavy Metal Artwork.
Back in 2016 Milazzo founded his company and published their first magazine, which I happened to review. Since then HMA has been building and growing into this very successful empire of metallic art. They now have a dozen books Metal art coffee table books and the magazine continues as well as some additional products they carry.
I’m a little behind in reviewing this book but I got it for my birthday so it is better late than never.
LUCIFERO like all their products is top-notch. Quality is one of the main goals in their philosophy. LUCOFERO is a huge, 250+ page hard-bound, coffee table book that comes with a dust jacket and a few art cards as well. It is printed on high-end glossy paper in glorious technicolour. This also comes signed, limited edition, hand-numbered and a gold seal of authenticity. This is a nice touch but I doubt anyone would try to bootleg this book, but you never know! The only downside is the price, especially as a Canadian customer paying extra for taxes, exchange rate and shipping, but the price point is not unreasonable for a high-end, collectors-market, art-book. LUCIFERO looks, feels and smells great! Maybe next time they can add a little scent of brimstone or something.
LUCIFERO is more than just pretty (or ugly) pictures of the devil through a metallic lens. This is an exercise and exploration into the visual representation of Satan through history. The first several sections provide us with excerpts or sections from famous writings on the nature of the devil. We get quotes and passages from John Milton, William Blake, Dante Alighier, Joost van den Vondel and any number of passages from The Holy Bible. They are several famous illustrations, especially the work of Gustave Dore, that you might recognize as having been used on various Heavy Metal album covers by bands like Iced Earth and countless Black Metal bands. These are all public domain images and words.
Then we get into the meat of the book, which is hundreds of representations of the devil (Satan, Lucifer etc) by contemporary artists. Many of these artists have had their work used as Metal album covers, not surprisingly in the more extreme sub-genres. Dozens of artists from all over the world contributed. I also noticed that no Canadian artists are represented which might tie into the stereotype that Canadians are polite and nice and therefore none of us would want to draw a picture of Satan!
Describing art is hard. Really hard. It is something you have to see for yourself. I could true to explain or say which were my favourites but it would be an exercise in futility. The only was to enjoy this is to see it yourself. I have spent ages enjoying the book and every time I go back I see something new. You might surmise LUCIFERO is not really intended for children or more sensitive viewers.
I strongly encourage you to visit the Heavy Music Artwork website and browse their fine selection of materials. Every self respecting Metalhead can add a touch of class to their library by owning LUCIFERO.