Alright, so last week Metallica surprised the world be releasing a new song and announcing its album Hardwired… To Self-Destruct for this November. If this is news to you somehow, go ahead and check out the song and pre-order options here. You might notice, whether you clicked on the link or you're still here and saw the header image, that the artwork for Metallica's album features four meshed-together faces, which looks a little bit like Crowbar's Odd Fellows Rest artwork. At least, as much as four meshed-together faces of four different people with a whole different color scheme can look like four other meshed-together faces of four different people with a whole different color scheme.
What made me personally realize this? A post from Crowbar's own Kirk Windstein saying that the band is definitely aware of Crowbar, but probably didn't jack the artwork.
Now that that post is out there, I've been seeing plenty of other news sources saying "fans are saying" and the like… but really, how many fans are actually saying that? Are we just taking one Facebook post and blowing it out of proportion? I think so.
For example, I went on Metallica's Facebook page and loaded up the first 1,000 comments on their banner, which is of the artwork. I did a search for the word Crowbar and got 12 results, and I did a search for Odd Fellows Rest, which yielded 1 additional result without the word Crowbar in it. The first 500 comments on the song gave me 0 results for the artwork. There was also 1 comment in the first 1,000 on the song about the artwork being a ripoff too.
So there. There's your "fans" that we're all making a big deal out of. 14 results of 2,000, or 0.7% of a sample size. Some artwork is going to inherently, vaguely look like other work because it's the same general style, but I really think this turning into a story across media outlets is a little ridiculous.