As the digital realm begins to dumb down the aesthetics of music presentation, The Metal Minute proudly begins a new feature dedicated to the visual aspect of heavy metal.
Before iTunes and Rhapsody, album covers were just as important to record sales as the product itself. Unfortunately there was a time when the adage "Don't judge a book by its cover" went to such extremes you were potentially buying crap under the guise of eye-popping art.
Nonetheless, imagery is part of the deal if you're a music lover. A good album cover helps sell. A great album cover establishes the connection between artist and listener, solidifying the bond of experience versus merely providing mere air filler.
It's only fitting we begin this tour of a Metal Louvre with the late Ronnie James Dio. This, following Ozzy's Diary of a Madman and Iron Maiden's Killers was my indoctrination into heavy music. I soon won't forget that fateful summer day in 1983 when my eyes couldn't believe what I saw on Holy Diver, much less what it heard within the first few seconds of "Stand Up and Shout." Talk about an experience.
I'd like to dedicate Holy Diver to Pastor Fred Phillips and the Woodsboro Baptists. This is all you see in a beautiful man whom you chose not to know deeper, so let the chains fly where they will. Or as Ronnie sang an album later, the chains are on...