Travis Smith (artist)

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Smith's artwork for Nightmare was considered one of "hard rock's greatest album covers" for 2010 by Revolver.[1]

Travis Smith (born February 26, 1970) is an American graphic artist best known for designing heavy metal album art. He has been called "renowned" by Alternative Press[2] and "unquestionably one of the most talented graphic artists in metal today" by Chronicles of Chaos.[3] Smith has done work for many established rock and metal bands, including Death, Devin Townsend, Katatonia, Nevermore, Opeth, Anathema, CKY, Soilwork, King Diamond, Novembre, Avenged Sevenfold, Strapping Young Lad, Persefone and Riverside.


Travis Smith was born on February 26, 1970 just outside San Diego, California. Growing up, Smith had no formal art education aside from a semester in high school. He got his start designing album covers for his friend's band, progressive metal group Psychotic Waltz. As of 2005, Smith has worked with nearly 100 bands. He currently resides in San Diego.[4] When asked what his favorite artwork is at the time, Smith has responded: "Devin Townsend's Terria, Opeth's Blackwater Park, and Katatonia's Last Fair Deal Gone Down."[5]


Smith's work base primarily consists of album art for metal bands. Smith is known for a "dark and introspective" style[4] that is largely photography-based, digitally composed with various other media.[6] For example, in creating his art for Avenged Sevenfold's Nightmare (2010), Smith "did a few actual painted textures with acrylics and watercolor, scanned them, and blended them with the whole picture. For some specific parts, like the skull and the girl," Smith "would digitally paint over photos and blend them into their originals."[1]

List of works[edit]

Year Album Artist Credit(s)[7][8]
1998 Elements of Anger Sadus Artwork
Eyesore Skinlab Artwork, cover typeset
Firestarter (Century Black compilation) Various artists Artwork, design
Identity Four (Century Media compilation) Various artists Artwork
Something Wicked This Way Comes Iced Earth Artwork
The Sound of Perseverance Death Artwork
1999 Adagio Solitude Aeturnus Artwork, design
Alive in Athens Iced Earth Artwork
Demons and Wizards Demons and Wizards Artwork, design, layout design, logo
Disembody: The New Flesh Skinlab Artwork, design
Dreaming Neon Black Nevermore Design, photography, illustrations
The Fragile Art of Existence Control Denied Design
Necroshine Overkill Artwork
Still Life Opeth Photography, booklet design
Tonight's Decision Katatonia Design, layout design, illustrations
2000 Black Emotions Beseech Cover art
Bloodletting Overkill Design, illustrations, layout concept
Dead Heart in a Dead World Nevermore Design, illustrations, layout coordinator
Identity 6 (Century Media compilation) Various artists Artwork
Kings of the World CJSS Cover art
Lightbringer Power Symphony Illustrations
Manifestation Malevolent Creation Design, illustrations
Only Law Is Survival Hate Plow Cover art
Thane to the Throne Jag Panzer Cover art
2001 Blackwater Park Opeth Design, cover design
Dark Genesis Iced Earth Artwork, design, layout design
Death's Design Diabolical Masquerade Art direction, design
Horror Show Iced Earth Layout design, illustrations
Identity 7: Deadly Sins (Century Media compilation) Various artists Artwork
Into the Deepest Wounds Withered Earth Layout design
Last Fair Deal Gone Down Katatonia Design, photography
Mechanized Warfare Jag Panzer Artwork
Novembrine Waltz Novembre Cover art, Art direction, Layout design, Illustrations
Praying, Hoping, Nothing December Artwork, art direction, design, cover art concept, layout design
Profoundemonium Trail of Tears Layout design, cover design
Rapture Dragonlord Art direction, design, layout design, illustrations
Resonance Anathema Sleeve art
Tonight's Music Katatonia Photography and design
Sweet Home Transylvania The Bronx Casket Co. Images, image design
Terria Devin Townsend Design, layout design, illustrations
The Towers of Avarice Zero Hour Arranger, producer, design, layout design, illustrations
Winds Blow Higher Sleepless Design, cover art
2002 Abigail II: The Revenge King Diamond Artwork
Conceived in Fire Living Sacrifice Artwork
Deadsoul Tribe Deadsoul Tribe Design, layout design, illustrations
Deliverance Opeth Design, photography, execution
Despise the Sun Suffocation Artwork, cover art concept
Envenomed II Malevolent Creation Cover art
Forgiving Eden A Triggering Myth Design, illustrations
Karma in Black The Defaced Cover art
Natural Born Chaos Soilwork Artwork, layout design
No Reply Daylight Dies Photography, layout design
Reflections of the I Winds Design, layout design
Resonance 2 Anathema Sleeve art
Resurrection Through Carnage Bloodbath Digital editing, design
Souls Highway Beseech Cover art
This Is My Blood Soul Embraced Paintings
To Welcome the Fade Novembers Doom Artwork
Tribute to the Gods Iced Earth Artwork, design, layout design
Trinity Prototype Artwork, package design, layout design
The Will to Kill Malevolent Creation Artwork
Words as Carriers Matt Zane Artwork, layout design
Wrecking Everything Overkill Design
2003 Accelerated Evolution The Devin Townsend Band Graphic design, layout design
Damnation Opeth Cover design, booklet design
Emergent Gordian Knot Visuals
Enemies of Reality Nevermore Artwork, layout design
Exit Through Fear Society 1 Artwork
Fall, I Will Follow Lacrimas Profundere Photography, layout design
The Glorious Burden Iced Earth Layout design
Identity Eight (Century Media compilation) Various artists Artwork
Keepers of Jericho: A Tribute to Helloween, Pt. II Various artists Cover art
Killbox 13 Overkill Design, layout design
Labyrinth Labyrinth Artwork
Metamorphosis Zero Hour Illustrations
A Murder of Crows Deadsoul Tribe Design, layout design, illustrations
The Puppet Master King Diamond Artwork
Redemption Redemption Artwork, layout design
Summoning Twelfth Gate Artwork, logo
Strapping Young Lad Strapping Young Lad Visuals
Viva Emptiness Katatonia Art direction, design
Where Lovers Mourn Draconian Layout design, cover art
2004 Acceleration Age of Silence Artwork, graphic design, photography, layout design
Delores Lesion Lilitu Art direction, design, photography, illustration concept
Feel. Melt. Release. Escape. Anti-Depressive Delivery Illustrations
Glow Unjust Logo
Gone Forever God Forbid Concept, illustrations, logo
The Imaginary Direction of Time Winds Graphic design, images
In an Outrage Chastain Cover art
diEversity Entwine Cover art and design
Insect Song Beyond the Embrace Artwork
The January Tree Deadsoul Tribe Layout design, cover photo
A Natural Disaster Anathema Producer
Of Malice and the Magnum Heart Misery Signals Illustrations
Out of Myself Riverside Design, layout design, illustrations
Temporary Psychotic State Subterranean Masquerade Layout design, illustrations
Twice Second Symphorce Artwork
2005 Alien Strapping Young Lad Art consultant
Arcane Rain Fell Draconian Layout design, cover art
The Black Sessions Katatonia Design, layout design
Ghost Reveries Opeth Art direction, layout design, illustrations
Immersed Sinai Beach Artwork
ReliXIV Overkill Layout design, cover art
Torn Between Dimensions At War with Self Layout design, illustrations
2006 Eclipse Amorphis Artwork
The Great Cold Distance Katatonia Art Direction, Design
Materia Novembre Cover art, art direction, Layout design, Illustrations
Opeth Collecter's Edition Slipcase Opeth Design, photography, cover design, images, booklet design, execution
Alone Solitude Aeturnus Cover art
The New Black Strapping Young Lad Artwork and photography
2007 The Blue Novembre Cover art, art direction, Layout design, Illustrations
Live Consternation Katatonia Artwork[9]
Ziltoid the Omniscient Devin Townsend Artwork
Viides Luku – Hävitetty Moonsorrow Artwork, Layout
Silent Waters Amorphis Artwork
2008 Cynic Paradise Pain Cover art
Godspeed on the Devil's Thunder Cradle of Filth Design producer
The Wacken Carnage Bloodbath Artwork, art direction, design
Watershed Opeth Cover design
2009 Addicted Devin Townsend Project Artwork
Anno Domini High Definition Riverside Design, layout design, illustrations
Bloodstained Endurance Trail of Tears Artwork
Carver City CKY Artwork[10]
Skyforger Amorphis Artwork
The Cold Flotsam and Jetsam Cover art[11]
Night Is the New Day Katatonia Artwork[12]
Snowfall on Judgment Day Redemption Artwork[13]
2010 Monolith In Mourning Artwork
Curse of the Red River Barren Earth Design, cover art
Everything Remains as It Never Was Eluveitie Artwork, cover photo, back cover photo
The Evolution of Chaos Heathen Artwork, package design, layout
Ironbound Overkill Cover design, layout
The Obsidian Conspiracy Nevermore Cover art[14]
Omen Soulfly Layout
Monuments Northern Oak Cover design
Nightmare Avenged Sevenfold Cover design, tray card art
A Thin Shell October Tide Artwork and layout
2011 Heritage Opeth Cover illustration
The Beginning of Times Amorphis Illustrations
Bloodbath over Bloodstock Bloodbath Illustrations and layout
The Sound of Perseverance (reissue) Death Illustration
Night Is the New Day (reissue) Katatonia Illustration
Last Fair Deal Gone Down (reissue) Katatonia Illustration
2012 Dead End Kings Katatonia Artwork and design
Throes of Absoluton 7 Horns 7 Eyes Artwork
2013 The Complete Works Strapping Young Lad Cover art and design
Whole SOiL Cover art and design
Shrine of New Generation Slaves Riverside Artwork
Mythos Soul Embraced Artwork
Ghost Thief Living Sacrifice Artwork
2014 Casualties of Cool Casualties of Cool Artwork
Pale Communion Opeth Artwork and design
2016 Sorceress Opeth Artwork
Selves We Cannot Forgive Black Crown Initiate Artwork
2017 Aathma Persefone Artwork
2018 Garden of the Titans Opeth Artwork
Shadow Work Warrel Dane Artwork
2019 In Cauda Venenum Opeth Artwork


  1. ^ a b Bennett, J. (November–December 2010). "Avenged Sevenfold's Nightmare: Guitarist Zacky Vengeance and artist Travis Smith live a dark dream." Revolver. p. 106.
  2. ^ Heisel, Scott (March 31, 2006). "All That Remains announce title, release date for new LP." Alternative Press.
  3. ^ Azevedo, Pedro (January 14, 2002). "Chaotic canvas of creation." Chronicles of Chaos.
  4. ^ a b Glenday, Duncan (March 31, 2005). "Cover art and cover artists" (Part 1 of 3). Sea of Tranquility.
  5. ^ "Sea of Tranquility - Last Fair Deal Gone Down review".
  6. ^ Glenday, Duncan (June 1, 2005). "Cover art and cover artists" (Part 3 of 3). Sea of Tranquility.
  7. ^ "Travis Smith – Credits", "Travis Smith – Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved May 31, 2010.
  8. ^ "Travis Smith – Credits", "Travis Smith – Credits". Allmusic. Retrieved May 31, 2010.
  9. ^ "Katatonia: Spanish Dates Announced" (July 17, 2009). Retrieved July 19, 2009.
  10. ^ Cleveland, Karen (Summer 2009). "A Guided Tour of Carver City." Urban Male Magazine: 64–65. Retrieved July 18, 2009.
  11. ^ "Flotsam and Jetsam: European Dates Announced" (June 26, 2009). Retrieved July 19, 2009.
  12. ^ "KATATONIA: New Album Pushed Back To November" (August 18, 2009). Retrieved August 19, 2009.
  13. ^ "Redemption: Snowfall On Judgment Day Video Teaser Available" (June 29, 2009). Retrieved July 19, 2009.
  14. ^ "NEVERMORE: 'The Obsidian Conspiracy' Artwork Unveiled". Archived from the original on 2010-05-01.

Additional references[edit]

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