Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Executioner - In the Name of Metal/Break the Silence

For both of their album covers, Executioner chose heavy metal artist extraordinaire, Michael MacKenzie. Unfortunately, it appears that MacKenzie must've been in middle school when he painted the cover for 1986's In the Name of Metal.

What a difference a year makes though. The following year it appears he may have enrolled in a high school art class in order to create the meticulous yet subtle masterpiece that appears on Break the Silence.

Seriously though, Executioner may have been the best of the forgotten speed metal bands. I really have to wonder if they might have done better had they hired a real artist to do their album art, because I've seen better stuff submitted by the readers of my kids' Highlights magazine. I guess that wasn't their only problem though. They were on that heavy metal black hole of a record label, New Renaissance.



Blogger taotechuck said...

Wow. They make Trogdor the Burninator look like high art.

June 27, 2007 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

The covers stink, but it doesn't matter because the music is so good. It's kind of weird that the cover is bad, the production is poor and since it's New Renaissance the distribution and promotion pobably wasn't that good. Yet I still think these two albums have held up well over time due to the music. The third release has a live picture for the cover. Then inside it has a group picture that lists the bass player with the wrong name. Then there is a small scrap of paper tucked in giving the correct track order because the track order on the booklet is incorrect. I bought that third cd on eBay from the drummer like six years ago.

June 27, 2007 at 6:36 AM  
Blogger dschalek said...

The NR bands that were good, or decent, such as Executioner, Blood Feast, and the mighty Medieval were totally ripped off by the absolutely garbage production values that personified that label. None of those bands were able to rise above the NR stigma, unfortunately. The covers are lousy, even the second one.

June 27, 2007 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

dschalek-Amen about New Renaissance and Medieval. I actually recently found a Blood Feast shirt I bought back in 1987.

June 27, 2007 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Chuck - It probably makes the scribblings on bathroom walls look like high art.

Mark - I agree. In the Name of Metal is one my favorite albums from that era. it sounds like they didn't do any better with the packaging on that third release.

dschalek - Medieval is another great one from New Renaissance that just got lost. That label really was the kiss of death.

June 28, 2007 at 5:43 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Yeah, there's no doubt New Renaissance was beyond low budget as far as packaging went, but they had some very cool bands like we've listed here, as well as At War, Holocross and Wehrmacht, all names only the 80s crew of metal fans would recognize.

Funny, Executioner is the first band I ever made contact with, and same with Mark. We both bought stuff from them and I had this video filled with bootleg concerts that I got from Mark Johnson, guitarist and singer for like $10 or something. The quality was mostly bad, but so very much a time capsule of 80s metal and thrash. BTW, Mark, I still have the CD of their last album sitting on my desk, sorry!

June 30, 2007 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Ray-I had wondered where it was at.

June 30, 2007 at 5:32 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

It's pretty interesting that two New Renaissance releases have shown up on this blog since it was a pretty small label. It's even more interesting that both posts were for bad album art.

June 30, 2007 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

yep, sorry, Mark, not sure how it got out of its case...I'll bring that and Dio back whenever I see you

July 2, 2007 at 10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just stumbled onto this blog, and wanted to say thanks, and glad you like the music--even though not the artwork. The mid '80's really were a great time for metal, and I'm lucky to have had a band that played a part in it. Best to all!

December 21, 2008 at 3:05 PM  

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