The UK's Number One ROCK & METAL Music Magazine: Reviews, Interviews and Features - We Have It All!

News (Click to read, scroll down - and enjoy!)

Rodney Matthews

Featuring iconic album-sleeve designs from the worlds of progressive rock, classic rock & heavy metal by world-renowned science-fiction & fantasy artist Rodney Matthews, famed for over 50 years of epic and instantly recognisable album cover work for bands including Nazareth, Magnum, Diamond Head, Asia, Praying Mantis and Tygers of Pan Tang, these nine fully endorsed 500 piece jigsaw puzzles lovingly recreate some of the most beloved creations of Matthews‘ imagination manufactured to gatefold LP size.

'Arena' ASIA

Matthews‘ second commission for the British prog rock supergroup Asia. Keyboardist Geoff Downes gave Matthews a fairly good idea of what was required for their sixth studio album – a confrontational scene of positive versus negative, or good versus evil.  The lion is reminiscent of CS Lewis‘ Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia and the six-winged lion from the Revelation. The cobra threatens while the lion bides his time.
'Time Tells No Lies' PRAYING MANTIS
Commissioned for the debut album of British heavy metal band Praying Mantis. This job gave Matthews free rein to satisfy his appetite for using insects as a starting point for fantasy creature design. The wizard‘s steed is made up of slightly exaggerated versions of the scorpion fly and the grasshopper, much enlarged of course. The mantis needed little embellishment as Matthews feels it is a fantastical creature in itself.
Commissioned for the tenth studio album by British heavy metal rock band Praying Mantis. Matthews decided it was time to update the mantis character, bringing it into a new millennium, in the form of a man-made machine. The fiery landscape is of Revelation proportions, consuming all in its path, and the wizard directing the mantis horde might well be heard to bellow, “Go destroy!”
'Lonesome Crow' SCORPIONS
Commissioned for the alternative release of the debut studio album by German rock band Scorpions. A single crow survives in this post-apocalyptic scene, as well of course does the scorpion, which is reputed to be among the most radiation resistant creatures on Earth.
'The Time Piece' AVANTASIA
Commissioned for Avantasia, the German supergroup metal opera project created by Tobias Sammet, for his concept opus ’The Mystery of Time‘. Sammet himself contributed to the album design, stating that he required a medieval town scene, featuring a mislaid timepiece in the snow and a time machine visible in the distance. The style of the small goblins is reminiscent of the British book illustrator Arthur Rackham, whose work is greatly admired by both Matthews and Sammet.
'Aqua' ASIA
Matthews‘ first commission for the British prog rock supergroup Asia. Their manager approached him requesting artwork suggestions for their fourth studio album, which had no title at the time. Following Asia tradition, it would have to be a single word, beginning and ending with the letter ’a‘. Matthews rummaged through his dictionary and came up with ’Aqua‘.  He incorporated two elements requested by the band, ’water‘ and ’space‘, into several sketches and presented the results to keyboardist Geoff Downes and vocalist and bassist John Payne. They chose this one. The implication of the piece is that God‘s creation remains while Man‘s aspirations fall into ruin.
'Time To Turn' ELOY
Commissioned for the alternative release of the eleventh studio album by German progressive rock band Eloy. Ion, the central character in this concept album, is depicted on his quest for spiritual freedom. The painting generally represents the flavour of the music, rather than illuminating any particular set of circumstances.
'The Heavy Metal Hero' DIAMOND HEAD
One of Matthews‘ most popular and enduring images. Inspired by his father‘s working model of The Flying Scotsman, the now iconic train was originally designed as a poster. The image has been licensed by Silmarils as cover art for their video game Transarctica; by Ride, as one of ten Matthews designs to appear on their snowboards; and notably by British heavy metal rock band Diamond Head for their compilation album ’Am I Evil?‘. More recently, the image inspired a track for Matthews‘ own prog rock album ’Trinity‘.


PTO Logo