by the way, i didn't mean anything i wrote as a rank on the design. i really love the face anfd the flames, etc. stinkbait himslef is the one who called it 'fake metal'. i was just sharing some thoughts and experience i've had with trying to fake things. it's tough!
it's extremely difficult to "fake" metal design work. it was the single most difficult thing to find artists to do at all when i worked at the rocket. it didn't help that netal was unhip back then. every time a talent showed up, the first question i had was, "what kind of music do you like?" if they mentioned even one metal band, i'd assign them an illustration for an article on a metal band. they always sucked.
unless you are of the metalhead culture, the worked looked fake. it was like asking a non-punk to do punk design (safety pins and gafitti would pop up), or straights to do psychedelia (flowers and peace signs would be their only mesh point) or art students to do raggae iamgery (dreads and dope was all they could ever think of).
basically, i learned that you really can't fake a culture. it's phoney.