TPM Top Cover Art of 2019


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In 2019, I continued to notice the importance of great artwork.  Not only does artwork catch my own eye first, but I know it can garner interest from all corners of the progressive community.  Care in the art usually translates to care in the music.  So, read on to see my top 10 favorite covers of 2019.

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10. Omnerod – “Arteries”

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This cover mesmerized me as soon as I saw it.  The huge bridge spanning its way into the gritty-looking heart feels like a symbol for much that is going on in this album, and I think it is one of the coolest covers of the year.

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9. Frank Wyatt & Friends – “Zeitgeist”

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One of my favorite covers ever is the art for Oblivion Sun’s “The High Places”.  The exquisite detail, the playful and unique swirling techniques, and the gorgeous color palette have always transfixed me.  The artwork from Frank Wyatt’s (of Oblivion Sun) new album looks very similar, and I don’t mind saying I’d buy a print of this.

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8. LEAH – “Ancient Winter”

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I love the colors on this Christmas album from LEAH.  Notice how the town is warm in the midst of the cold night air.  There’s just something that draws me to this artwork, and I think it has that effect on others, too.

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7. Etrange – “Etrange”

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I’m a bit of a sucker for spacey artwork, and Etrange’s debut album had some beautiful art in that vein, in the booklet as well as on the front cover.  I find it imaginative and memorable.

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6. Iapetus – “The Body Cosmic”

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Speaking of spacey artwork, I’m also a sucker for the beauty of space mixed with metaphysical human symbolism.  Iapetus’ latest album has some of most striking, meaningful album art I’ve ever seen.

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5. Andy Gillion – “Neverafter”

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I love a good fairy tale, and Andy Gillion’s new album tells a good one.  I love the darkness and mystery that soaks every bit of the cover art.

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4. Courtney Swain – “Between Blood and Ocean”

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Courtney Swain (of Bent Knee) released a solo album in 2019, and the artwork for it slowly but surely has captured my heart.  It was created by Japanese artist Chisato Tanakam; if you weren’t aware, Courtney does have some Japanese heritage, and so the cover has even more meaning in that way.  I love the obvious care yet brilliant imperfection that went into each brush stroke.

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3. Klone – “Le Grand Voyage”

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This is probably the artwork I received the most comments on in 2019.  There’s something celestial and glorious in the art on Klone’s new album, but it also reminds me of some of the 90s fantasy art I would see in comics back in the day.  It balances both nostalgia and wonder perfectly.

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2. Devin Townsend – “Empath”

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Technically, this is cheating, I know.  Devin Townsend’s official artwork is basically just a white cover, but this alternative cover has captured both whimsy and imagination.  I honestly have the second image as my PC background at work since it is big enough to span both my monitors.  I get lots of comments about that.

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***1. Evergrey – “The Atlantic”***

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Evergrey’s “The Atlantic” is an album full of emotion, mourning, and possibly even hope.  The artwork, on both the original and the special edition, seems to capture the sorrow, danger, and fear of the unknown that can be heard in the music. I love the Alice in Wonderland vibe of the giant raven house with the keyhole.  Notice, if you will, that the first cover shows the sailor leaving that house of mystery and nostalgia, and that the second cover shows the sailor shipwrecked, pondering the house from a distance.  “The Atlantic” boasts possibly the most meaningful artwork I’ve ever seen on an album cover, and so that is why it is my favorite of 2019.

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