kronosPlease understand this document as a call for help from a doomed man. I have for over a year now been pressed into servitude against my will by the cruel Angry Metal Guy and his unjust and uncouth Minions, Steel Druhm and Madam X. I have suffered their lashes, their scorn, and their incessant corrections to my spelling and sentence structuring issues, which manifest as vast, malignant neoplasms of unwanted and unnecessarily complex clauses and phrases that tumble over each other like a shambling cohort of necrotic pangolins in a seemingly endless stream of superfluous verbiage contained inside otherwise comprehensible, orthographically and structurally pleasing paragraphs with appropriate references to Ulcerate when such references are necessary for the reader’s comprehension of the described music, or when the author feels he has nothing better to do than remind readers that regular exposure to nihilistic, atmospheric, brutal tech-death has a lasting positive effect on the humors. All this and more have I endured, yet these despots (primarily AMG) have yet to see fit to end my pain, charging me with yet another undignified task: the classification of Spheres [Specifically, the classification and ranking of spheres on heavy metal covers during the Year of Our Angry Overlord 2014 – AMG].

The goat’s head. The pentagram. The horns. Metal’s tropes know no death – unsurprising, given their occult origins. Yet one entity remains as persistent as the others, but far less well studied. The Sphere. Its origins unclear, the sphere has come to dominate the iconography of modern metal peoples across the globe, appearing on their dress, their wall-decorations, and most prominently, in the visual tributes to their diverse and often poorly-studied musical recordings. In his unholy obsession with cultural anthropology and perverse glee at the discovery of undergraduate labor, Angry Metal Guy has sent me to scour the archives in search of modern depictions of metal’s most revered Entity. Through intensive studies and many a sleepless night, I have persevered, collecting a broad sample of depictions with the goal of elucidating the true nature of this mysterious icon-being.

10: Iron Savior // Rise of the Hero

Iron Savior_Rise of the Hero

A rather typical representation of the Sphere, lingering behind the true action of the work. Mark the incredibly original blue/orange palette and the use of a clear good world/bad world dichotomy – tropes nearly as ancient, overdone, and unlikable as power metal itself!

9: Woman is the Earth // Depths

Woman is the Earth_Depths

The unnamed reach for the promise of the Sphere, yet their hopes are all in vain, for contact with the Sphere is as impossible for the mortal as freedom for the slave, doomed to serve out his days writing reviews for immediately forgettable death metal under the heel of an Angry Tyrant.

8: Orange Goblin // Back from the Abyss

Orange Goblin_Back From The Abyss

Notice the recursion of the Sphere: one lies inside another, yet both are inaccessible and inhospitable for the living. Notice that, no matter how long you stare into this image, it will always be staring back into you.

7: Insomnium // Shadows of the Dying Sun

inso_cover32cmx32cmCMYKprintuse

This crude work depicts the Sphere’s influence on all truly metal objects. Recognize its attractive force on other tropes, which is proportional to the inverse square of the distance between them. See the black birds fly! Let them hear your rage!

6: Tombs // Savage Gold

Tombs - Savage Gold

The sphere is no stranger to the platonic solids, all of which it surpasses in both mystery and ubiquity. It cannot be contained by the powerless box which it rests in

5: Empire Auriga // Ascending the Solarthrone

Empire Auriga_Ascending the Solarthrone

In this depiction, the Sphere is shown as dual, simultaneously destroying and subsuming itself while shedding shrapnel that will in billions of years return to earth and give rise to Max Cavalera.

4: Sanctuary // The Year the Sun Died

Sanctuary_The Year the Sun Died

This work depicts the same event as the one found on the face of Ascending the Solarthrone, the destruction of the Sphere. Truly, this is one of the most profoundly important events in the entire mythology of the Sphere and is found in countless works of album art.

3: Soreption // Engineering the Void

Soreption_EngineeringtheVoid

Streams of matter race towards the sphere as it draws all tropes in towards itself…

2: Endombed A.D. // Back to the Front

Entombed A.D._Back to the Front

… the dismembered bodies from every slam cover ever made fly towards the sphere, coating it in their ineffectual grime as it approaches critical mass…

1: Origin // Omnipresent

Origin - Omnipresent

… at last, the sphere has accrued all that is brutal, ballooning into a planet-sized mass of Lovecraftian horrors. But who is it that lies within?

Let us peer into its depths.

 jornigin_1

jornigin_2

jornigin_3

jornigin_4

By God, it’s Jørn Lande! Of course! How could I have not realized that only one source in the universe is brootal and metal enough to call the sphere into its ubiquitous omnipresence! Gaze upon his Greatness and Despair!

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  • I am not sure what I just read. But I liked it.

    • Dr. A.N. Grier

      I know exactly what I just read and it’s fucking brilliant.

  • El_Cuervo

    This is, unambiguously, the best work I have read all year, and I have studied such literary visionaries as Kafka, Lorca and Milton.

    Bravo Kronos.

    • Kant touch this!

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        Pure-pure-pure-pure reason keeps me so hard, makes me say “oh my Lord, thank you for blessing me with a priori knowledge of the categories”, that’s good when you know you’re down, a super dope philosopher from Konigsberg town, judgement and practical reason and such, these are critiques, uh, you Kant touch.

  • Shouldn’t Jørn’s “Greatness” actually have been “Girth”?

    • Who ever heard of a slim and trim Jorn o’ Claus?

  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    jornhub.com

    • We actually tried to register this and were rebuffed. Terrible.

      • Because you didn’t give the Jornster his proper respect.

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        I was just fucking around but sheesh its actually a website!
        Unfortunately, It’s to impenetrably boring for me to divine a reason for it’s existence, from what I can gather it rather disappointingly has nothing to do with Jørn the fawn of satan

  • Dr. A.N. Grier

    I feel at peace knowing that within the constructive/destructive nature of the sphere lies inspiration, majesty and utter holiness. If ever caught in a dark sphere in your life, just ask yourself, “what would Jorn do?”

    • And the answer is right before your eyes: Make a Dracula rock opera!

  • Kryopsis

    Not gonna lie, compiling a ‘top 10 Metal albums of 2014 featuring spheres on the cover art’ is a damn ambitious task. Well done, Kronos. Well done.

  • Lasse Momme

    Holy first paragraph, batman. I think i need a new set of underwear.

  • DIMENSIONAL BLEEDTHROUGH

    Fuck yes. I was waiting for one of these from you guys, and this is funnier and truer than I could have hoped for.

  • BarryLeFreak

    This could easily have been another power metal album — “The List of Spheres” sounds suitably brvtal enough :D

  • André Snyde Lopes

    This article’s got balls.

    • Druhm, is that you?

      • Please, my humor is far more nuanced and well rounded.

        • You’re not above a good testical joke from time to time, Druhm, and you know it.

          • At my advanced age, I only have one good testicle and I’m very protective of it.

      • André Snyde Lopes

        Not sure whether that was an insult or a compliment…

        • It’s the highest compliment a dedicated punster could ever ask for.

  • Refined-Iron Cranium

    “…the dismembered bodies from every slam cover ever made fly towards the sphere, coating it in their ineffectual grime as it approaches critical mass…”

    That has got to be the best description of that cover I’ve ever heard.

    Also, we have found the true god. All hail the omnipotent sphere and his exalted son, Jørn. Praise be unto thee!

  • Ha! This is awesome!

  • Alped

    Is it a coincidence that this task was done by Kronos? Or shall I say Chronos, the personification of time. Time, which is represented in a circle. A circle that can mathematically become a sphere.

    No coincidence this is.

    • Kronos

      Illuminati.

      • Feeblejocks

        Death to the Pyramid, the obviously inferior platonic solid!

  • Rob

    Perhaps the sphere is the new symbol of the ever-lurking Illuminati…instead of finding the “eye” in everything, that damned sphere crops up uninvited.

  • Vega Magnus

    But do the spheres sound like Septicflesh?

  • DukeJohn

    2014: The year of the Sphere

  • Doomdeathrosh

    You sir have obtained a MSM (Masters in Spheres of Metal)! Unfortunately no plaque or certificate is available for it!

  • Feeblejocks

    Ugh, what happened? After reading the epicness that was that first paragraph, I think my sensory system overloaded with its loquacious verbiage, and I can barely remember what the rest of the article was about. Let’s see … something about spheres and some platonic solids … cover art … Jørn was involved, I’m sure … power metal … something about a living in something, and a sun, and a planet, and maybe God … was I reading a review of Masterplan’s self-titled debut, for some reason?

  • Martin Knap

    Azrath-11: Ov Tentacles And Spirals