Doom rockers Black Moth have unveiled the cover of upcoming second album Condemned To Hope, created by prog artwork icon Roger Dean.
The band’s label New Heavy Sounds are proud to have secured Dean’s collaboration, noting, “Here Roger goes over to the dark side, moving away from the more fantastical vistas that feature in much of his paintings. For Condemned To Hope he creates something truly bleak and epic.”
Asked why he chose to work with the Leeds outfit, Dean tells TeamRock: “I like to work with new bands that are at an early stage in their career. This is Black Moth’s second album. But as I had not heard it at the time, it was probably more important that I got on with their record company, and singer Harriet Bevan.”
He adds: “In over 40 years it has been extremely rare for me to have heard the music before starting – it’s just the way of the world. So talking about ideas is what does it.”
That included a long lunch in an “interesting” vegetarian restaurant in Brighton, where Dean exchanged ideas with Bevan, who wrote a list of words to provide an indication of the emotions her lyrics evoke. Her words included twisted, unhinged, disease, demons, spirit, escape, searching, death, precipice and turbulent skies.
And while the image of First World War soldiers is a familiar one, the concept didn’t come to Dean directly. “Literature and poetry played an even more powerful role,” he says. “I was most interested in following four books written from first-hand experience – Storm Of Steel (Ernst Junger), _All Quiet On The Western Front _(Erich Maria Remarque), _Memoirs Of An Infantry Officer (Siegfried Sassoon) and Good-Bye To All That _(Robert Graves).
“Separate from those four is Catching Cold by Pete Davies, about the flu epidemic that arguably killed more people in the aftermath of the war than the war itself – up to 40 million.”
He reflects: “Although Harriet’s list didn’t mention World War I, I think the imagery conjured up by her list would fit well within those five books.”
With his experience of the music industry stretching back to the 1960s, Dean knows Black Moth have their work cut out if they want to capitalise on what they’ve already achieved. “It used to be said that you need talent, some original ideas and a lot of luck,” he says. “Today you have to add a lot of perseverance and spirit to the mix. I suspect Black Moth have what it takes.”
Condemned To Hope is released via New Heavy Sounds on September 15. It will be available in CD and digital formats, and in a gatefold vinyl edition limited to 500 copies. It’s available for digital pre-order now.