THRALL, Away from the Haunts of Man (2010, Total Holocaust)
As an entry in the increasingly crowded “skull full of snakes” subgenre of Big Dumb Skulls, this Thrall cover is one of the finer specimens, although I really do think these bands and artists have a funny idea of skull physiognomy. I guess they think that the eye sockets open into the interior of the skull with no diminution of diameter, but in fact it’s a rather small hole in the back of the sockets. Just big enough for the optic nerve, actually. Not many long snakes would be able to squeeze through a tiny opening like that. But, this Thrall skull is fairly busted-up, and the snake(s) fairly skinny, so I suppose we could generously assume there are some fissures in the backs of the sockets as well, although anything that would cause that kind of cracking is probably just going to break the skull into pieces. Also, I find it unlikely that any snake, just in the course of day-to-day wriggling, would ever literally tie itself into a knot (see the lower right). What I’m saying is, I find some elements of this heavy metal album cover to be far-fetched.
One man black metal from Australia. At least it’s not from France, I guess. I’m reminded a little of American bands like Weakling and Woe, but as I’ve said many times before, my black metal knowledge is incomplete. I’ve heard worse, and I’ve heard better than Thrall. I will say that the vocals, or at least the way they’re recorded and mixed, are especially annoying here. I think it’s possible that Tom Void (the aforementioned one man) sang through a cardboard tube into his webcam mic or something. Kvlt.
— Friar Johnsen