Metalheads are notorious for buying physical media. There are a lot of reasons why we do it. Maybe we want to have a physical backup for our vast digital library. Maybe we want to feel that we’re doing something for the scene. One major reason we do it, though, is to get some of that sweet, sweet album art. Sure, not all of it is good, but album packaging is often rad enough to make it worthwhile. Today, I want to see some of the cool ways that bands have made it special to buy a little more than digital.
But first, a confession. I rarely keep the album packaging. Jewel cases are just clutter, and I genuinely have no interest in appearing on an episode of Hoarders. So, my typical modus operandi is to buy a CD, take out the sleeve art and anything else that’s cool, and store the album cover and CD together in a CD binder. Some cases, however, warrant adding a bit more consideration.
I recently made a sweet bulk purchase of doom and drone music from discogs. Although I was stoked to finally get some stuff from Fleshpress, Lotus Thief, Mares of Thrace, and Menace Ruine, one of the real scores was Light Rotting Out by Wreck of the Hesperus. This murky funeral doom outfit plays an excellent blend of classic, horrific doom and bluesy sludge. Listening to Light Rotting Out is like being lost in a mud floe deep underground. Struggle all you want, the most you can do is tread water amid the immensely heavy bottom-end and crushing bellows. If you like the reverent riff phrasing of Salome and the creeping peril of Aldebaran, you’re certain to like Wreck of the Hesperus.
But I’m not just here to talk about Wreck of the Hesperus. I want to show you the rad way that this band went the extra mile to make purchasing their music special. The digipack version of Light Rotting Out from Aesthetic Death comes in a limited edition slim, tall package with a unique piece of art to capture the mood of each of the three long doom tracks. This artwork was created by The Dull Fog of Eternity and laid out by Tom Cunningham to perfectly accentuate the bleak aesthetic of the music. Below I’ve uploaded pictures of the whole package. You can likely find some higher quality images on the internet, but I had trouble locating all of the pieces via Google, so I’ve uploaded my own shots of them all.
Each of those pieces features the lyrics on the back of the insert. The combination of music, art, and lyrics present a unique way to orient yourself to each song on the album as a whole. It’s a cool approach to providing a complete work of art for fans, and I’ll definitely be keeping this digipack.
So now it’s your turn. What are some of the cool album packages you’ve gotten? Which bands have gone the extra mile? Sound off in the comments below.