Exhibit 1: Human Waste
I love this album. When it came out, the brutality was completely unmatched. But the cover... I've studied it every day for the past 18 years and I'm still not sure I understand it. It's like a Heironymous Bosch or Francis Bacon painting, full of nearly infinite amounts of symbolism and intricate detail. What exactly is happening? Why is this demon with antlers using a circular saw on a bloody arm bone? Where is all the blood coming from? Actually it's not really a saw, it's just a saw blade on a stick. I am hoping that if I meditate on it long enough, it will make sense one day.
Exhibit 2: Effigy of the Forgotten front cover
One of Dan Seagrave's finest moments. What an incredible piece of work. Who else could have depicted a killer robot rampaging through a sci-fi garbage dump in such a compelling way? There are some nice little details, too: the robot skull on the end of the arm on top of the killer robot, the dragon egg in the bottom center, and the screaming mouth over on the right. Nothing could better suit this blasting masterpiece.
Exhibit 3: Effigy of the Forgotten photo shoot
Suffocation isn't just a band, they're a carefully orchestrated image campaign. Every piece of clothing they wear, every hair, every move they make- it's all part of their tightly controlled brand. You can see some examples of this in the inlay photos for the Effigy of the Forgotten booklet: Josh is wearing a Ripping Corpse shirt to match Terrence's Ripping corpse hat; Mike Smith (far right) brings to mind a young Rick James; Terrence looks right off the runways of Milan with his trendy acid wash cargo jeans. But Frank's outfit (center) is what really sets it off.
I'm guessing they hired a hotshot management consultancy like McKinsey or something to advise them on the right moves for this shoot. I imagine that it went something like this: "Frank, here's the outfit we put together for you for the Effigy shoot. We went with royal blue sweat pants and a Trump Plaza t-shirt." "OK, cool. That will make me look really businesslike and balance out Mike's Atheist belly shirt."