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...And Justice For Art Presents Look-Alike Album Covers #4: Covers Inspired By Movie Posters.

Photo of Meshuggah

Band Photo: Meshuggah (?)

Facebook community And Justice For Art and Metal Underground keep exploring the world of look-alike album covers. This time we're focusing on three artworks that are inspired (or keep a reasonable resemblance) with well-known movie posters. Were the bands and visual artists aware of this at the moment of creating the artworks or is it just a coincidence? Let's find out what they have to say... There will be more of these in future "And Justice For Art" episodes. Stay alert!


The first one is the artwork for Meshuggah's "Alive." In 2010, the infamous Swedish genre-bending band, decided to pay homage on the cover of their live CD/DVD to one of the most revered SciFi/Horror movies in history.

Drummer Tomas Haake took inspiration from the now iconic poster for the first "Alien" film and designed a cover that visually and conceptually praises the virtues of the original image, which features the Alien egg opening upside down and the unforgettable tagline "In Space, No One Can Hear You Scream."

In Meshuggah's case, Hakke changed the egg for the head of vocalist, Jens Kidman, and added the phrase "In Space No One Can Hear You Unless You Scream." This gives the whole effort, an humorous punch which is enhanced by the positioning of the lettering—pretty much identical to the original poster.

No doubt, the overall effect is quite satisfactory, especially because it comes from a band whose intricate music sometimes seems to come from outer space!


In early 2014, vintage Hard Rock/Metallers, Bloody Hammers revealed the artwork for their third album "Under Satan's Sun." Since the very beginning, they admitted that the creepy graphic adorning the recording's cover sleeve was a conscious rework of an old horror movie poster.

"This is just me piecing things together from classic adverts," the band's mastermind, Anders Manga, reveals. "If you dig around in vintage horror movie adverts, novels, etc, from 50+ years ago, you can find some cool forgotten stuff."

The original image was the poster for a 1957 movie, directed by the mythical American filmmaker, Roger Corman. Its title is "The Undead," and deals with hypnotism, re-incarnation and other supernatural subjects.

Aesthetically, this poster basically follows the same visual tendency of that era (50s-60s), mixing the macabre with sensuality and using a vibrant color palette to great effect. Eventually, the image was also used as the cover for DVD and Home Video editions of the movie.

In the case of Bloody Hammer's cover, Anders Manga added high contrast to accentuate dark and colored areas and changed the woman at the center for a creepier feminine figure—probably taken from another old poster. Besides that, and the inclusion of the also old fashioned-looking typography and extra textures, it's pretty much the same image.

Was there a special reason that prompted the members of Bloody Hammers to select this graphic as "Under Satan's Sun" cover art? "I like making what's old new again," confesses Manga... Apparently, that's enough said.


A couple of months ago, Hungarian progressive/dark metallers Dreamgrave released their debut LP "Presentiment." The cover art for this promising recording is a creation by Budapest-based artist, Norbert Fekete. It features an tiny human figure at the entrance of a gigantic maze.

As monumental and psychologically-affecting as this image is, some fans couldn't help notice its resemblance with the poster for "The Maze Runner." This young-adult/fantasy film (based on the James Dashner novel of the same name) came out around the same time of "Presentiment." For better or worst, this made the similarities between the movie poster and the album cover even more noticeable.

However, the band explains that this is just a mere coincidence. "The cover art was not inspired by this movie poster," they assure. "We contacted Norbert Fekete with the task to create an artwork for 'Presentiment.' After listening to our songs he came up with the idea of a labyrinth—visualizing the idea behind our album that no matter where you go or what you do you will end up hitting a wall somewhere. This also leaves you with a quite small chance of escaping—as you would have with a labyrinth. The running man in the foreground and the storm clouds with the dim lights on the upper-right corner were our ideas, the latter ones representing the two extremes on our album, songs like "Ethereal Eternity/Black Spiral" and songs like "It's Ubiqitous."

These metaphorical overtones in the cloudy formations, plus the pristine look of the Dreamgrave's labyrinth (the one on the movie poster is eroded and full of vegetation), and its overall earthy color palette also create certain differentiation between artworks.

Going further, the band clarify that "we had not seen this movie poster prior to our cover and we doubt that the story has much in common with our concept. Also, we would like to add that the concept of a maze is not our invention. So, drawing the conclusion that we stole this idea is like saying 'You played an A note on that song, you must have stolen it from Beethoven!'"

Definitely, they seem to have a point...

Oscuro's avatar

Ramon Martos Garcia proudly writes for Metal Underground.com, PureGrainAudio.com and other metal/rock related websites. He's the owner of an indie record label and runs a site about Metal album covers, And Justice for Art.

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