My copy of Lord of the Logos arrived just after the monstrous snow storm hit. While the snow drifted six feet up my stairs, some mysterious messenger braved the winter-choked wasteland to deliver it to my doorstep. Actually it was probably just Hugo, my FedEx guy. I hurriedly sat down in front of the crackling fire and opened the leatherette-bound book that faintly radiated an aura of menace.
Lord of the Logos: Designing the Metal Underground is a collection of the works of Christophe Szpajde. Szpajde painstakingly creates logos for extreme and underground metal bands. The pages of this sinister tome are crammed with thousands of band logos, all of them distinctive, strangely compelling and with an astonishing level of detail. A tangle of Fraktur characters dissolve into streaks of gory pointillism. Gothic letters burst into spirals of thorns. Fluid lines metamorphosing into bat wings or chains, adorned with swords, wolf heads, and lots and lots of upside-down crucifixes and pentagrams, like a hellish crossover of Stanley Mouse and Ghastly Graham Ingels. In others, there is an art nouveau influence in the fluid curves and arcs that blossom within the work that lends a stylistic elegance to these grim illuminations. Others show an architectural influence, with letters forming structures of symmetric patterns like some art deco pagoda in the uptown district of Mordor.
The logos I find most striking are the ones that display the most influence from the natural world — logos adorned with skeletal trees and bright full moons. Color photographs of spooky landscapes and foggy forests are spread sporadically throughout the book, breaking up the endless harsh black and white, and offering an intriguing contrast.
The lack of any kind of accompanying text or artist annotation seems helps the book retain a mysterious and otherworldly feel. With its strange and creepy sigils crammed into its endless pages, it reminds me of some forbidden book from Lovecraft’s Miskatonic University Library.
If you’re a metal fan with a bare coffee table or a diabolic necromancer looking to pep up the old philatory, buy Lord of the Logos now. Its official release is next month, but you can order it now from the publisher.