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Behind The Artworks: Forged In Black - Ten Years At The Forge (2020)

Just as with music, it’s the darker side of art that has always appealed to me. Themes of death, aggression and physical and existential struggle inspire both imagery and music in my mind. While my background is primarily in colour realism, which is more subtle and nuanced, I am also very drawn to exaggerated, bold and vivid imagery like found in Japanese and new school tattooing culture.

For this 10 year compilation album there was an initial idea of taking themes from each of the releases to create a scene that would be rammed full of nods and references to our past. After sketching out several different arrangements, the huge scale and complexity of the project and ambiguous focus point made me rethink. Instead of trying to blend many minutely detailed elements that could come across to be ambient and scenic, I decided to focus on something more simple and striking, something that would grab attention and have more room for texture and detail for more sustained interest.

The snake represents our latest release, ‘Descent of the Serpent’ and has the metal bonus of being a snake. Aggressive and striking by nature, I decided to give it a big ass spiky spine and an almost stone like, cracked texture as a nod to the Mayan pyramid referenced in the song.

The anvil was an obvious choice, being both a reference to our name and the artwork on our first album - the two together representing our journey from first to latest album and the snake wrapping around our foundations but raised higher.

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