The album cover is once again by Melvyn Grant, and returns to the familiar comic-book style. According to Grant, he was asked to design something related to virtual reality, but was later asked to alter the artwork by adding a football game, the band then having decided to link the release with the World Cup.
The original artwork that was done by Melvyn Grant
Most of the fans didn’t like the artwork at first point, but to me this is some of the most interesting cover artworks that we have from the band since 7th Son… Mel’s style really reminds me of some of the horror and Sci-Fi books covers from the beginning of the 90’s, with amazing detail on most of the elements. We see the strange looking Plague/Death Eddie figure in the middle of the art being torn between the reality’s holocaust as he reaches with his grim hand towards the boy’s virtual reality. The burning sky above forms a brain-like image smoking out though his head. The more this album gets old, the more we like everything about it!
This was also the first album to feature the band's new alternate logo, with the extended ends of the "R", "M", and both "N's" removed. Unfortunately, this album also marks the bands effort to jump in the “digital era”. The hilariously ugly CGI video for the “The Angel and the Gambler”, which is just painful to watch nowadays is a solid proof. We also see some of the “plastic” looking Eddies on Singles and merchandise Like The “Futureal”, “The Angel and The Gambler” and Ed Huner (The game and Tour). I am not against CGI effects and images if they are done right but in the early days it just didn’t looked serious. Especially when that band is famous with the amazing artworks. All of the CGI images for that era are done by Synthetic Dimensions. (Boooooo)
Synthetic Dimensions worked with Iron Maiden, developing the computer game Ed Hunter and designed graphics and memorabilia for the band's The Ed Hunter Tour world tour.
We actually have and some better looking arts from this album era done by Derrek Riggs himself. He made two illustrations that actually ended as cover art for part 2 of The Angel And The Gambler Single. The Artwork was also used for a T-shirt and the 7 inch version of the single
Another decent art was for the inner poster of the Futureal single.. It is one of the first digital attempts by Derrek, it carries some Gamma Ray feeling (FYI Derek also did some GAMMA RAY artworks), but is still way better that the CGI cover that ended on the single
In the later years, it seems that Maiden will never learn not to use poor CGI for covers and memorabilia as it will get old literally in a year. We will see this repeating in “The Dance of Death” cover (2003) with the Poser software generated figures, Different World Single (2006) and even everything with the new game Legacy of The Beast!
Автор: Никола Петрас