One of my buddies got me into Murder by Death about a year ago, and I have been thankful ever since. I started listening to their stuff on their third album, In Bocca Al Lupo, and was immediately impressed by their sound and passion. These are truly musicians, who know what they are doing with their instruments, and are doing what they love.

In Bocca Al Lupo Album Cover

Their fourth album, Red Of Tooth And Claw, really shows how well the band has progressed and developed. Luckily enough, I was able to catch them perform much of this album at the Trubador in Los Angeles, and they fucking kicked immense amounts of beautiful ass. I am not much of a music critic, so the best way I can describe them is that they are a mix of indie rock, indie folk rock, and Johnny Cash, sprinkled in with some amazing cello from Sarah Balliet.

Their latest fan contest shows they have not forgotten their Bloomington, Indiana roots. On November 13th, they announced that on their next release they will be using images submitted by one of their fans for the album. This next release is the second in a series of 7 different 7" Split albums; Murder by Death covers a song of another band, and that band covers a song from Murder by Death. In my opinion, this is a fucking rad contest idea. So rad, that I was compelled to bring back "rad" to explain it.

Band Photo of Murder by Death

Murder by Death will be covering Home by O'Death, while O'Death is covering Brother by Murder by Death. Brother comes off of In Bocca Al Lupo, and while it is an amazing song, Dynamite Mine is still my favorite off of that album, which William Elliott Whitmore covered for their first split album in this series.

This was what the band released about this contest, in case you want to partake:

Because so many of our fans are artists, we have decided to have a contest for artists to submit their designs for this release. The winner will get 10 copies of the Murder by Death / O'Death split with their art on it, plus all 6 other releases in the 7 series.

Art specifications are below.

  1. The design should be a 7" by 7" image that contains both band names - Murder by Death and O'Death.
  2. No limitations on colors.
  3. Image must be 300 DPI.
  4. All submissions are due by 12 noon on December 12th. Email the image to

I asked Adam Turla of Murder by Death (who plays guitar and sings) what provoked the decision to allow fans to participate in the album design. Turla responded with:

I was thinking of who to get to do the art for this release and realized that many of our fans send us art inspired by our music. It seemed like a chance for us to see a lot of that art and also a chance for artists to get their work out there. I'm excited to see what we get!

To be honest, I had not heard of O'Death prior to Murder by Death choosing them for this album, but I am already digging their sound. If you have not heard of either band, I recommend you check out their MySpace pages and give a few songs a whirl - you might find you can't explain the music much better than I can, but can agree that "awesome" comes to mind, among other things.

O'Death 2008 US Tour Poster

Oh...and I know what you might be thinking...Murder by Death takes their name from the 1976 Robert Moore film of the same name; they are just about the complete opposite of death metal.

Check out Murder by Death, O'Death, and then head over to buy something - art ain't free, yo!