The Art of the Mastodon (Part I): Paul Romano

So, for you few Mastodon fans out there this will most expectantly be rudimentary and for those who are not fans, expect to be intrigued. Mastodon are; with every release, fast becoming one of the biggest names in heavy metal. Like it or not their fill based, complex riffage is cutting to the core of those that are compelled by heaviness. Composure and finesse drives them effortlessly toward the highest echelons of heavy music today and without bumming them too much here’s a little post about their artwork thus far – just to mark the release of the cover for their newest effort, ‘The Hunter’.

As you may know all of Mastodon’s artwork to date has been created by the prolific Paul Romano (above), who has also produced work for Trivium, Hate Eternal, Godflesh, The Acacia Stain and had a long spell working with Relapse Records.

Romano is a fine artist and designer living and working in Philadelphia and studied at the University of the Arts and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

His work is very distinct and done almost entirely on canvas. His style can be identified by his use of vivid colours, innovative logo design and strong and definitive line drawing. Romano has had a lot to do with Mastodon’s mysticism and imagery over the years and directly relates his artwork to the band’s lyrical content and musical theme. Troy Sanders (Bass, Vocals) has said, on Romano, that ‘we give him all the faith and trust in the world with anything that he touches artistically relating to Mastodon’.

To Romano’s great credit he has worked hard over the years to promote the direct relationship between the artwork and the music and has helped Mastodon create a very unique image as a band. In the vein of Tool, Pink Floyd and Neurosis, to name a few, Mastodon are intent on providing not just killer tunes but a whole complete package of cutting edge creativity.

Here are the front CD (standard edition) covers of the band’s first four albums. Check Romano’s website (www.workhardened.com) for inner sleeves, vinyl and special editions etc.

The albums can be described as an elemental quartet, with each album thematically and artistically representing one of the four elements. They go Fire, Water, Earth and Wind chronologically.

Remission (2002):

Leviathan (2004):

Blood Mountain (2006):

Crack The Skye (2009):

Thursday’s post will be a short and interesting piece about the new Artist – AJ Fosik who has been commissioned for ‘The Hunter’.

GE

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One thought on “The Art of the Mastodon (Part I): Paul Romano

  1. […] feature artwork by artists other than frontman John Baizley, it includes pieces by none other than Paul Romano and Aaron Horkey. Released to mixed reviews, July 2012 on Relapse […]

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