Behind The Artworks: Vakaren - Infernum (2022)

The cover artwork for this album, like the two previous albums, was created by the ever-so-talented Aleksandra Zygmunt. The original idea that I approached Aleksandra with for the album cover was for a lone soldier, slain, whose body was left to wither. I was very adamant about having the rider's horse involved in some gruesome way since there was once a bond between them, now broken, suddenly. As is the case most of the time that I bring ideas to Aleksandra for artwork there is always quite a bit of room for creativity from the artist. Much of this piece is up for the viewer/listener's interpretation such as who this rider is and what they represent.

The artwork for each of the singles was, for the first time in a while, almost completely built around Aleksandra's interpretation of the songs on this album. Typically, we will share the artwork's corresponding track with her alongside some conceptual ideas for the artwork. This time the only input that the band had for her artwork were some minor tweaks that wouldn't be noticeable unless we pointed them out.

Of course, the first single released for this album was "The Personification of Time & Dust". The idea for birds surrounding these skulls that sort of slip into reality was entirely Aleksandra's idea. The piece was inspired by some artwork from her portfolio that she had presented to us. The explanation for the piece is fairly redundant given the title of the song that it is attached to. We wanted to be a little bit more "on the nose" with the artwork for this album since our last album, Ethereal, had artwork that was quite abstract.

The second single, "Abandoned Seed of Light" features the artwork of a serpent that is coiling itself, almost as if it is dying. The essence that is escaping its mouth bears the symbol for sulfur, a sigil long associated with the stench of the devil. This piece calls back to the "original sin" that is featured in the old testament. It represents evil escaping into the world from the mouth of the serpent.

The third and final single features the only artwork that was not produced by Aleksandra but instead by Prapartworks. The artwork for "Specters Of The Astral Plane" features a jawless figure staring through the darkness. The artwork ties in with the lyrical themes of the song. The lyrics focus heavily on coping with loss and philosophizing about death. It is a figure that appears as a ghastly human face with the inability to speak or see. The lack of communication and eyes remove much of the humanity from this figure.

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