Necrot Cover Artist Marald Van Haasteren Explains ‘Mortal’’s Cover Art

This interview with Necrot cover artist Marald Van Haasteren was originally scheduled to run in the September 2020 issue of Decibel, but was cut as we went to print. But, hey, you get to read it here!: 

“The art is based on Luca [Indrio]’s explanation of the album’s themes: mortality; seeing under the skin of men to find vulnerability to a common curse we all have of going towards our death. To inspire me, I was given the lyrics to ‘Dying Life’ and ‘Asleep Forever,’ from which ‘take my skin’ and ‘to this void we surrender’ stood out to me. As an example, Luca included a drawing by [Juan] Valverde de Amusco of an anatomical figure, flayed, holding his skin in one hand and a knife in the other.

“The process of getting an agreement on a composition took nine sketches. I held on way too long to my idea of one figure offering its skin to an allegorical image of death, cloaked in human skins. After I abandoned that idea, we finally arrived at a mutual agreed composition. Then disaster struck. In four weeks, I suffered from a retinal detachment in my right eye twice. It became quite uncertain if I would be able to do the art. We talked about alternatives, but came to the conclusion that there were none. Tensions were high for sure. Deadlines were set and tours booked; there was little to no room to give me more time. In mid-February, I got the green light from my doctors to try and draw again.

“This turned out to be a real challenge: The difference between both eyes was too great for my brain to make a coherent image. It was a kaleidoscope from hell. Making the art in this condition was the most frustrating thing I have ever done: My vision was very blurred, and I could only see 12 inches in front of me. I had to make the art in parts and compile it digitally so I could zoom in and out and have an overview.

“On a positive note, this forced my brain to adjust and block out the info from my dominant right eye and switch to the left. Looking back, I still can’t believe how I managed to complete the art. A project I was looking forward to for two years became a struggle from the first sketch. I had to overcome a severe medical injury and, finally, to top it off, a pandemic. If I wasn’t already, then I should be fully aware of our vulnerability and mortality now.”