Metsutan 滅譚 - Songs of the Void - Album Artwork

  • Client:
    Country: Finland
    Mediums: CD artwork, T-shirt, hoodie
    Official release date: spring 2016
    Concepts: Japanese myth, 5-headed dragon and ronin, epic melodic death metal

    Album artwork for a samurai metal band Whispered from Finland. I made it based on requests from the band. The cover-artwork is based on a Japanese myth called "Enoshima Engi / 江島縁起". I worked on translating the myth into Whispered version in the artwork.

    The title "Metsutan / 滅譚" is a word coined by the band.

    The band photos by Onni Wiljami Kinnunen

  • Redhouse Records Version
    available HERE

  • Inverse Records Version

  • About Enoshima Engi and Main Artwork

    The motive of the last song of the album is based on a love story of Gozuryu (五頭龍) the dreadful five-headed dragon and Benzaiten (弁財天) the beautiful goddess of good fortune in the first 2 of the 5-volume scroll of Enoshima Engi.

    The story is set in the period from about the 8th century BC to the 7th century AD south of Kanagawa, Japan. The original story was supposedly written in Heian period (AD 794–1185), and illustrations was added in Kamakura period (AD 1185–1333).

    And the main artwork of the album Metsutan is what I merged the ancient mythological story and the elements of the band/album [samurai, sakura, epic melodic death metal] together. And I made it in traditional-like Japanese painting-style having modern composition, like the band/song's style that epic melodic death metal having traditional Japanese elements.
    (Samurai/ronin were basically the warriors in the middle - early-modern age Japan.)



  • Process of the main artwork. A sumi-e paint software called Expresii helped my painting in a stage very much.

  • Process of the inside pages of the booklet. I made them look like an inside of old Japanese scrolls.

  • Tensho-tai (ancient seal script) -style version I made of the title kanji 滅譚, that resembles modern one.

  • The design of the CD-label as a record of the songs is inspired by a style of traditional Japanese scroll/book -cover having a 'daisen'.

  • I designed the inside pages of the booklet inspired by a traditional Japanese scroll,
    also made traditional Japanese seal -esque decorations with tensho-tai versions of kanji relating to each song for the pages.

  • A text of the opening 13-lines of Enoshima Engi, melting into the lyric of the Enoshima Engi -themed song in the booklet.
    I made the text by reference to the manuscript Enoshima Shrine has.
    (The red-marked word in the left picture means "five-headed one-bodied dragon".)

  • A pattern for this album, made from mix of traditional Japanese ones.

  • Fonts selection for this album.

  • The band's official videos using the artwork


  • T-shirt and hoodie are available HERE


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  • Thank you!