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🎵 IT184: Invocation
✏️ Noah Cutter Meihoff
🗓 27.10.22

Noah is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer based in Statesboro, Georgia, United States.

Hi Noah. Can you tell us a little bit about your tape and your song selections?

My tape focuses on the concept of invocation in every sense of the word. Whether it be summoning deities in ritual magic or invoking one’s higher self to execute their will, it is nevertheless exhilarating and cloaked in mystery. The urge to reach beyond the veil of what we perceive as conventional reality and harness an unknown power is so unpredictable, but therein lies the magic.

What we reach for can be as seductive as Type O Negative’s “Be My Druidess”, but what will be the results? Will we bask triumphantly in life’s great experience as Andrew WK’s banger invokes our lady “Babalon”, or be obliterated in the process with Folterkammer’s operatic descent “Das Zeugnis”? This tape, while fearful at times, aims to tempt you into the beyond and submit yourself fully to its great delights. Maybe.

What direction did you take with your cover art, and what was your process?

The piece itself is titled Shadow of Thoth Cast Thy Celestial Zkeleton. It depicts an invocation of the Egyptian god Thoth through a form of self sacrifice.

The subject is pierced by the cosmic forces in the form of a unicursal hexagram. From the flesh erupts the ibis shadow of Thoth, spreading his wings and re-entering the body to spiritually resurrect them. With Thoth often representing wisdom and writing, this could be attributed to the creative process by letting go of one’s ego and submitting to the higher self. Every creative act is thus an invocation.

This piece, like most of mine, is an acrylic monoprint overdrawn with colored pencil. I start by painting over my tight drawing on glass and printing it to the page in multiple passes. I’m then left with tons of unpredicted textures that I can discover something new with and exploit by drawing over. This has become my regular process, because even though I plan out every work carefully, I’ll find the soul within it as it reveals itself to me. While yeah, I do this stuff for work, I feel changed somehow after every piece.

Thoth also represents the tarot in Thelema, and similarly this process is very much a form of divination too. I spelled skeleton with a Z because it sounds cool, or incredibly stupid! I don’t take myself very seriously.

What are your fave album covers, records with a great music and artwork combo, or musical projects with a visual component?

Oh man, there’s just too many. Being an illustrator I am always going to lean towards the illustrated, but what I love most is world building and overall visual language. I find those artists that add the extra layer so memorable. 

Of course a classic example would be King Diamond, who always makes you feel like you’re being told a ghost story at a campfire with his concept albums like Them, Abigail, and The Eye being my personal favorite. Ghost has a great concept too, that there’s this evil church behind the whole thing and a new pope fronts every album.  Not to forget the unparalleled Zbigniew M. Bielak’s artwork. They commit to it, and I really applaud them for it. 

Abigail – King Diamond
1990, Roadrunner Records
Artwork: Thomas Holm, Thorbjorn Jörgenson

Prequelle – Ghost
2018, Loma Vista
Artwork: Zbigniew Bielak

And then you have these very dissonant artists who have a mystique that can’t be matched, such as Portal or Imperial Triumphant. You’re transported to their world, whether it be a Lovecraftian nightmare or NYC dystopia. The music is incredible, but having that distinct world really bolsters the experience. Visual language is key, and these are the masters.


Imperial Triumphant

What did you listen to growing up?

I’ve been a lifelong metalhead for as long as I can remember.  Not exactly a long story, I basically heard Sabbath and that was it for me. Mostly death and black metal have led the way, but I’m open to most stuff. That goes for pretty much any genre though. If I hear it and I like it, what more do I need to know? I just want to jam.

And what’s on heavy rotation for you at the moment?

My two favorite albums of the year have to be Impera by Ghost and Spirit of Ecstasy by Imperial Triumphant, so those have been on constantly. I’m also extremely excited for Worm’s Bluenothing which is out this week. I’ve had their single “Shadowside Kingdom” on repeat and hours will go by without noticing. I love it when music can put me in a trance like that.

Speaking of singles, The Foundations of Decay has really sent me spinning into a My Chemical Romance revival which is not something I ever expected. I hadn’t listened to them since I was like 13, but ever since that new single came out I’ve had The Black Parade and Three Cheers on every day. It’s criminal we haven’t gotten a screen adaptation of The Black Parade yet, because I am a sucker for rock operas. Oh also the new Bog Body album, pure filth.

What’s happening in your creative world at the moment?

I recently checked a big one off the bucket list by having the opportunity to work for my all time favorite band Ghost, including their latest single reissue cover for Mary on a Cross. I’ve loved that song since it came out and it’s so awesome to see it live a second life while reaching a massive audience. Everything they do is so awe-inspiring, so it’s a real honor to be involved. On the other hand there’s a ton of stuff yet to be revealed that I made with some other incredible folks I have mad respect for. There’s just so many wickedly talented people out there, I can only hope that my contributions do their great work justice.

Where can we find you?

@ncmeihoff on Instagram, where I am most active.  My portfolio website is ncmeihoff.com.

Cheers Noah 👋🏽