Without Warning — Step Beyond

The Art Corner was a series of articles by graphic artist Mattias Norén, who was part of the DPRP team and designed the layout we had at the time. In this series, Mattias reviewed the artwork of albums. The series started in January 1999 and ran for about 18 months.

The original introduction of the series is included below and will tell you what it was all about. This category no longer runs, so information about submitting an album for review has been removed, but we're keeping the archived articles as a separate series in the Features category.

Check out Mattias Norén's company website: ProgArt!

Dear visitor of The Art Corner!

Some people say that it's just the inside that counts, but I'm actually one of those men that cares much about the outside as well! :-)

The Art Corner only concentrates on the outside. What I think about the inside, the music, I'll keep for myself in this case.

Each album has been given 1 to 5 points in seven different categories.

  • Design / Composition: Is the idea and layout good?
  • Technical skill: Is the artist good at what he is doing?
  • Connection to the music: Is the artwork inspired by the music, album title and the lyrics? Does it feel good to look at the cover at the same time you listening to the music?
  • Logotype: How good is the design of the logotype?
  • Typography: How good is the typography? (cover and backcover)
  • Booklet: How good is the typography, artwork, layout and paper quality?
  • Disc: How good is the typography, artwork, layout on the disc?

Mattias Norén

Without Warning — Step Beyond (Inside Out Music - IOMCD 024, 1998)


CD Art by Tim Burger

Original Without Warning logo design by Ken Kroesser

Album photography by Tim Ebert

Creative Consultant: Diana Jabbour


category score
Design and composition
Technical skill
Connection to the music

Score: 2.5


It seams very popular nowadays to print book covers on CD covers. Recently it was Explorers Club and now it is Without Warning, a progmetal / powermetal band from New York. This idea didn't work on the Explorers Club album and it doesn't work much better here. The logo, the title and the photograph doesn't at all look like they are printed on the book. It would have been much better to use the photograph over the whole cover I think, as it is quite interesting on its own.

The booklet contains no artwork at all. Only the lyrics printed on a yellow background. I prefer this more than booklets with the lyrics printed on backgrounds with too much texture and colour changes, which sometimes makes it very difficult to read the words.

The most exciting about the art on this CD is the "WW" icon printed on the back of the booklet and also visible in the clouds on the cover. I like it a lot. But over all this is a quite boring production.