The ’80s were an amazing time for metal album covers. With Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, and other bands that weren’t the Big 4 putting out albums with artwork as iconic as the music contained beneath them, it was a golden age. In the ’50s and ’60s, there was also a golden age of album art coming from the jazz world. Blue Note album covers were clean, cool and sophisticated. Rafael Melandi, a metal fan and creative director at an advertising firm in Brazil, has combined the two and come up with his takes on classic metal albums filtered through a decidedly ’50s and ’60s aesthetic.
Decibel caught up with Melandi, who said that the jazz-era album covers had the “same force and intensity that metal albums do.”
“If Metallica or Slayer were bands from the late 50’s? How could their sound be represent by art covers at the time? Could it have the same impact and strength? That was my inspiration. Trying to bring the same power and transcendence and curiosity of those classic metal album covers with the tenacity, strength and simplicity off jazz covers. Despite the Metal aesthetics is established as it is, it could be powerful at any time and era.”
He’s done an amazing job, and looking at some of the best albums in metal via the re-imagined artwork is enough to make you appreciate both iterations of the albums’ artwork. You can view the whole gallery here.