Evile, ‘Infected Nations’ — Album Art of the Week
I was quickly reminded of Sepultura's 'Arise' cover from nearly a decade ago, due to the heavy use of various shades of browns and tans. Perhaps not surprisingly, it was the same artist who did this cover, for Evile's 'Infected Nations' release: Michael Whelan. And the pairing of band to artist was a fortunate coincidence. As Whelan himself put it: "Their timing was pretty good, because when i heard from [Evile guitarist] Ol Drake I was feeling in the mood for some catharsis and venting..."
Whelan is probably known more for his illustrations for fantasy and sci-fi novels, like Arthur C. Clarke's space trilogy series, Isaav Asimov, and Stephen King. In terms of art for the music industry, he is no stranger to the metal scene. As a fan and professional, he has offered his talents to the likes of Obituary and Soulfly. His hyper-realism with choice touches of surreality here and there make his art a perfect match for metal bands.
Working with the album's lyrics, Whelan tendered his ideas for the visuals. "In the simplest terms, it is about the great mass of humanity struggling against enormous odds to overcome the forces that would ruin earth thru neglect, greed, ignorance or apathy. A huge figure of evil power reaches out to grasp the world and everything hangs in the balance."
Concerning doing metal album in general, Whelan considers it an enjoyable indulgence through productive collaboration: "I like doing work for bands that give me some freedom of expression and allow me to delve into darker subjects than I usually get to do. It was enjoyable working with the guys in the band, who care a lot about what they do and are very concerned about the whole CD package being a reflection of their music and themes. They had very definite ideas about where they wanted to go, but since I liked what they were seeking to portray it was fine with me to take a more collaborative approach than I usually do."