All too often I tease you with some amazing cover art from one band or another and it all culminates to me letting you down. Most of the time information about a particular artist is scarce at best, if it exists at all. You’re in luck today because this is one I do know info about.
Summoning’s album Oath Bound, the cover of which you see above, came out in 2006 and was for the most part received with great reviews. On the other hand lots of people hated it and the very nature of this band makes it one that is rarely the victim of the “meh” mentality, but instead produces strong emotions on both sides of the proverbial coin. I have enjoyed it since the moment I heard it and spent the better part of my day today listening to their discography, which prompted my interest in featuring them. This album in particular hasn’t a single weak spot in my opinion and the accompanying art both on the cover and in the gatefold are no exception.
Most of the art in the CD, most importantly for this exercise the cover art, are slightly edited or added to original paintings by Albert Bierstandt. Bierstandt made a name for himself as a German-American painter in the 1800’s illustrating sweeping landscapes of the American West. Prolific is hardly a big enough word to describe Albert Bierstandt’s scope as an artist and at the time of his death, it is speculated that he had completed almost 4,000 paintings. His paintings would go on to be described as Romantic Luminism – the paintings were often extremely detailed, glowing, realistically romantic depictions of what he saw when he joined several American traveling parties seeking to expand the west. The painting from which Summoning takes their cover is simply titled Mountain Out Of The Mist (for all the creativity this man had, he fell a little short in titling his paintings).
If you haven't listened to Oath Bound yet or it has been a while, do so with new eyes and ears and be sure you enjoy the origins of the perfectly chosen cover. If you would like to see more of Albert Bierstandt’s body of work you can do so here.