Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Metal Art: Trees

Trees are usually seen as symbols of life and positive things. So you might expect them to be rare in metal, which is concerned with death and negative things. But it's surprising how many album covers prominently feature trees.

The cover to Opeth's upcoming Heritage combines the tree as a symbol of life with symbols of death and evil.

Let's explore the metalness of trees.

One obvious way to make trees more metal: hang a guy. Trees are the traditional place for hangings at least as far back as Judas, so why not?

Hanging: Illwill by Lake of Tears, Niinkuin Hirtetyn Kasvot by Atem, Gallows Gallery by Sigh, and Unislent Death by Nails.

Another solid method for making trees seem metal is to strip them of their leaves, perverting them into symbols of death.

Draconian: Arcane Rain Fell; Fiends at Feast: Shadows of Extinction; Living Sacrifice: In Memoriam; Mercyful Fate: In the Shadows
Trouble: Psalm 9; Vintersorg: Jordpuls

Finally, you can make your trees metal by making them powerful--adding energy, or referencing the mighty Yggdrasil.

The covers of Amorphis's Skyforger, Unleashed's As Yggdrasil Trembles, and Yggdrasil's Land Meiner Träume

Of course, you could always go with the default, a tree as a symbol of life, if that's appropriate to your band's message.

France's Gojira are famously all about the environment.


  1. you left out jesu, otherwise spot on.

  2. That was intentional, since I featured them extensively on my last album art post.

  3. There's also a tree on Grave's You'll Never See.. lower left corner. It's the first type, dudes hanging.