Cannibal Corpse’s Paul Mazurkiewicz Talks Extreme Metal Market + Album Art
During Cannibal Corpse's tour with Obituary, Cryptopsy and Abysmal Dawn, we had the chance to sit down with drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz and discuss the a bit of the band's history. The death metal veterans are renowned for their controversial and over-the-top album artwork, which Mazurkiewicz reflects on as well as the shift in the increasing demand for extreme music.
When death metal was in its early stages, it was a niche genre with an all-too visible ceiling. Over a quarter century later, the market for extreme metal has expanded tremendously with numerous acts breaking through into the relative mainstream. Mazurkiewicz compares the two eras, noting how metal bucks the trend of the digital age where fans still seek out a physical copy where they can absorb the artwork and scan through the lyrics.
Vincent Locke is the sole artist behind Cannibal Corpse's often violent and gore-filled artwork from album covers to singles to shirts and more. The brutal imagery has led to censorship all over the world, giving the band a reputation, good or bad depending on who you ask! We asked Mazurkiewicz if he felt these album covers have helped Cannibal Corpse's sales more than other bands, to which he insists the imagery is really just done for the fans as it fits within the context of the genre and the band's lyrics. He also raises the point that the artwork works better to detract outsiders rather than invite them in.
The imagery has been toned down in recent years, to which the drummer responds that Cannibal Corpse have a history of bouncing back and forth between rampant violence and more subtle grotesqueries and sometimes not at all as was the case for The Bleeding and Kill. When asked if lightening up on the brutality was intentional, Mazurkiewicz reveals that the focus of the artwork boils down to whether the imagery is dark or not, like on their latest, A Skeletal Domain.
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