THE ART GALLERY: SubRosa - No Help for the Mighty Ones (Glyn Smyth)

"No Help for the Mighty Ones," SubRosa's second full-length released in 2011, is definitely one of the greatest sludge metal records out there. It seamlessly combines depressive rawness with atmospheric beauty into a collection of spellbinding tracks deserving the attention of those looking for artistic music. The only thing to make this album any better, however, is the intricate album artwork. It was done by Glyn Smyth, an Irish illustrator who has also made cover artwork for bands such as Wolves In The Throne Room and Unearthly Trance. The intriguing placement of symbols and figures, as well as the desolate sea in the background, all mesh together into a very provocative and visually investing cover.

Much like the music contained in this album, however, behind its visual awe lies some dark meaning. According to a couple of interviews with the band, the artwork is based off the story of Terry Jo Duperrault, who witnessed a murdering rampage that took place on the Bluebelle ship in 1961. Her family was among the victims, but upon realizing that Terry was still alive and could do him in as a witness, the killer, who happened to be the captain of the boat, committed suicide. The album cover represents the hell of a "ruined conscience" resulting from bearing witness to such an atrocity. Despite its bleak message, though, Glyn Smyth brought artwork that couldn't have fit music of SubRosa's caliber more, in both complexity and atmosphere.

Glyn Smyth's Website: http://stagandserpent.tumblr.com/