Well this is a new one, and a great one at that. In this Tumblr era of clever and creative reinterpretations of metal album covers, from animated to absurdly funny, Rafael Melandi has come along and trounced them all with a new series of illustrations that take classic metal album art and re-imagine them through a decidedly 1950s jazz era lens. It’s as if Reid Miles or S. Neil Fujita were hired instead of Larry Carroll or Derek Riggs, and the results are astounding. And in some cases, even better than the original artwork, blasphemous as that may sound.
A creative director at an advertising firm in Sao Paolo, Brazil, and an avid metal fan, Melandi tells Decibel, "I'm a big fan of jazz, and, as a designer, I'm fascinated by the Blue Note-era style and aesthetics – from album covers to concert posters. I find that those jazz records covers have the same force and intensity as metal albums do – not needing to represent them with shocking images like blood, gore and 'scary' illustrations like metal. It's powerful and strong using only simple elements.
"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."
Color us impressed. Very, very impressed. Check out a few examples of Melandi’s work below, and you can find the complete series here.