Fire Work With Me
Metastazis Art Retrospective

Metastazis is a well-known name in the metal art community. The French graphic design studio has done work for some of the best known and most loved names in the underground, including Watain, Morbid Angel, Tombs, Paradise Lost, Behemoth, King Dude, Mutilation Rites, Sunn O))) and many, many more. The artist behind the studio, Valnoir, is uncompromising in his approach to his art, accepting no modification or criticism of his work from his clients, stating in his studio motto that:

METASTAZIS IS ALWAYS RIGHT, BECAUSE OUR PROCESS AS A WHOLE IS LOGICAL, BECAUSE ALL OF OUR DECISIONS ARE JUSTIFIABLE IN ACCORDANCE WITH OUR OWN CRITERIA, AND BECAUSE WE OBSERVE A COHERENCE WITHIN OUR WORK…

COME FOR SOMETHING WHOLE, SOMETHING YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE, SOMETHING YOU WILL EITHER ACCEPT OR REJECT IN ITS ENTIRETY.

And while this may seem to some to be an extreme, even arrogant, approach to designing album artwork and posters, even a brief look at his new book, Fire Work With Me, a collection of his work spanning 15 years of dedication to the underground music community, will show that his vision is indeed coherent and powerful. Valnoir creates imagery that speaks to the depth of sound contained within its fibrous walls, the promise of pain and catharsis that the listener seeks therein.

 

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Flipping through the pages of Fire Work With Me, which was released yesterday via Timeless, it’s easy to get lost in the striking imagery that graces its pages. From clean, symmetrical patterning to detailed illustration to digital manipulation of photography, Metastazis is constantly exploring new visual territory with each project. Some highlights in the book are the detailing of his use of alternative home made inks in screen printing, such as his own blood, human bone dust and master tape spools. Another intriguing project was the cover he did for Glaciation’s 1994, where he sewed battle jacket patches into a human body – a visual representation of how deeply one can identify with music. When asked whether these works were meant to shock, Valnoir says: “‘Shocking’ is definitely not part of my strategy, since I work in a niche that is, sadly, more shocked by homosexuality than by necrophilia.” Instead, he says, the use of such materials is about making sure that “all the elements involved in the conception of a piece [are] related to the message/concept/universe of the given piece.”

 

Watain poster, printed with human blood
Watain poster, printed with human blood

 

Fire Work With Me also explores some of his more intriguing collaborations and exhibitions. Working with Norwegian artist Morten Traavik, he traveled to North Korea to design artwork and shoot a video for a local accordian band covering A-Ha’s “Take On Me.” He is participating in a two-week art academy spearheaded by Traavik called DMZ Academy this June and for 2017, and also helped to organize a show for Laibach in Pyongyang, making them the first western band to play a show in North Korea.

 

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All in all, Valnoir has already rattled quite a few cages in his short time on this planet. Fire Work With Me is a fascinating visual retrospective of the last 15 years of his often dark and disturbing design work, and is a book that any collector of underground metal artwork would be proud to own. You can pick it up from Timeless HERE, and flip through a few of its 276 pages below.

 

 

 

 

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The Author

Meghan

Meghan

Meghan MacRae grew up in Vancouver, Canada, but spent many years living in the remote woods. Living in the shadow of grizzly bears, cougars and the other predators of the wilderness taught her about the dark side of nature, and taught her to accept her place in nature's order as their prey. She is co-founder of CVLT Nation.

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Agustin Segundo LobosPierre CaillouAika ArmanouchRyan AshmoreSean Spinelli-Skakel Recent comment authors
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Ryan Ashmore
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Aika Armanouch
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Pierre Caillou

Pierre Caillou
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Pfffff je voulais trop faire ça

Sean Spinelli-Skakel
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Cole Sutton Quincy Venter Scott Martine

Kenneth Steven James Ash
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Dylan Petula

Ryan Danley
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What an overachiever.

Laura Stephenson
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Agustin Segundo Lobos

Agustin Segundo Lobos
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Fuckin eh bozo

Grace Morton
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Zach Bucci

ughh
Guest
ughh

Remember the part in Until the light takes us where the edgy “artist” oogles over that idiot frost and calls him a dark angel <3 <3? and the moment Fenriz realizes that they all have become chic cartoons and wont even shake his hand? Yeah, this is the part.

Myles Gosmire
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Cannon Harlan

Israel Irvine
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So stupid. Lol

Justin Dodd
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Does that make him feel cool?

Arthur Valente Arciniega
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René Lopez

René Lopez
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Wtf! Lol

Arthur Valente Arciniega
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René Lopez it’s in the bone!

Rhea Bird-Dog
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AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Chris Wood

Chris Wood
Guest

SO MUCH EDGE IT EXISTS ONLY IN TWO DIMENSIONS

Tara Vanflower
Guest

Pain hurts, m’kay? Did I just lose points in some mythical cool kid contest by saying that? Ha!

Tara Vanflower
Guest

Gross

Steve Miller
Guest

And stupid.

Christian Creek
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kwlt lvl 900000000

Artie Fufkin
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Mike

Mike Hatch
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That’s so fuckin metal dude xD

Fred Groves
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Michelle Doyle
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lol Mega Lithic Katie CurleyLeigh Ak v fvcking cvlt

James Sunderland
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Mehhhh

Joshua Our
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Lynnatta Lightning

Willeke Ekelliw
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Alexia Gideon ook endgame

Alexia Makris
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Holy shit

Gideon Ferrero
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DIT dus, maar dan met poepwcpapier.

Alexia Makris
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Roadburn outfit in tha pocket

Matt Carroll
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Ashley skin isn’t just for buttons.

Ashley Seaton
Guest

LOOOOOL

Koen Ceuppens
Guest

Fuck Varg Vikernes, why would you let someone sow a neonazi onto your back, keep thinking please? So many good other bands to do support. fuck this shit!

Valnoir Artfield Lautrec
Guest

yawn

Koen Ceuppens
Guest

clever

Brian Dempsey
Guest

Irrespective of any so called neo nazi views Varg has made some excellent Black Metal albums , to censor is to play the mass market media game.

Koen Ceuppens
Guest

Brian Dempsey his albums are outstanding, I don’t censor, I just hate it seeing him glorified

Valnoir Artfield Lautrec
Guest

Koen Ceuppens No less clever than your stupid attack toward my work. Get a brain.

Koen Ceuppens
Guest

I like the concept, not the patch and the person depicted, but I guess that was the subject’s choice, so it’s his choice I’m “attacking”. Not your work. As an artwork I like it and being educated in arts myself, I shall very seldomly attack a piece of art on itself. It’s the choice of the person depicted. That’s all. And if it was your choice to take that specific patch then I think you made a lousy choice, but as an artwork this is quite strong. So don’t get me wrong here.

Will Collins
Guest

Valnoir, way to miss the point. if you want to sew patches on to people, great, whatever – doesn’t mean all patches were created equal. Varg was a great musician – fact; Varg’s an asshole – fact. it’s not about you

Arcadia Tamarind
Guest

Fairly metal. Fairly bald.

Derek Charles Blunt
Guest

That Glaciation album is a fucking excellent album.