There is probably no other style of music where the linkage between cover artwork and music is as important as it is in the heavy metal genre. In other genres, the artists generally use their own pictures for their covers, but metal bands like to create stunning artwork to represent either single songs or entire albums. The music and the artwork go hand in hand.
Acclaimed english fantasy artist Paul Gregory released his first 35-year, career-spanning state-of-the-art book named "Beyond Time And Place" last year. It includes all J.R.R. Tolkien-inspired works as well as metal album covers and more.
What is art? Art at its best is the imaginative soul of the artist. Here you will enter Paul Raymond Gregory's dream world, come in and explore at your leisure and be amazed. Paul has lived his life for heavy metal and Tolkien, and has plunged into both universes head first and spent a lifetime revelling in them. Here is the greatest interpreter of Tolkien on canvas — making him the only artist, so far, to produce "three-dimensional" paintings on a monumental scale.
As a self-taught artist, Paul's book takes a journey through the three key aspects of his career. The first exploring the sweeping landscapes of Paul's imagined Tolkien world. The next documents Paul's total absorption in the heavy metal world. As a life-long rock fan, Paul's move into album artwork had been just a matter of time. His style lends itself perfectly to the genre and he brings to it the same restless imagination which shines throughout his other work.
Since 1984, Paul has created more than thirty album covers for some of rock and metal's best-known bands, forming a body of work as impressive as any in the field. Many iconic bands of the genre have chosen him to design their album covers, and they each discuss the various projects in detail alongside the artwork. He has painted eleven sleeves for SAXON and worked for MOLLY HATCHET, URIAH HEEP, FREEDOM CALL, BLIND GUARDIAN, DIO and COMPANY OF SNAKES. Paul has also found time to create and direct the greatest independent metal show in Britain! Bloodstock heavy metal festival is visually represented with new paintings, posters and promotional material.
Across 176 lavishly illustrated pages in a hardback book housed inside a slipcase, Paul Raymond Gregory's staggering achievement as an artist over the past 35 years is revealed for the first time in print. There is also a special collector's clothbound edition, strictly limited to 500 signed copies, housed inside a slipcase, with a wallet containing a unique art print and personalised certificate of ownership to each purchaser.
The book was designed by artist Mark Wilkinson, a longtime admirer of Paul's (who has produced album covers for MARILLION, FISH, JUDAS PRIEST, IRON MAIDEN and THE DARKNESS) and the comprehensive text is by Alex Lewis, a specialist writer from the Tolkien Society and Greg Moffitt, a well-known rock journalist and author.
Says SAXON frontman Biff Byford: "Sometimes a band has a relationship with an artist that works really well, a bit like producers, and I think some of Paul's best album covers have been for us. The songs we write are perfect for him."
Adds URIAH HEEP guitarist Mick Box: "Your album is only complete when it's in the right cover. Music and artwork go hand in hand together."
For more information, visit www.paulraymondgregory.com.