The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! has drawn a lawsuit over the album art and work that was never paid for.

According to New York-based illustrator and designer Brent Elliot White, he “created artwork and characters over time for Megadeth that has become an integral part of the band’s identity” and was contacted to do the album artwork in 2020. There was no written contract drawn up apparently and the concept phase involved hundreds of hours of back and forth between the band and the artist.

They chose a final concept for the album in 2021 and wanted White to do art for an EP release. White states that the band’s manager asked in June 2022 for renderings of the artwork for stage dressings and decorations. At that time White sent a text to Johnson about not having a contract and asking to be paid. “I know album release time is hectic but I have to mention that any send off, including album art, is contingent on compensation and contract. So we’re going to have to sort that out soon.”

The lead single for the album dropped the next day and used artwork that White created. It was featured in Rolling Stone magazine but he wasn’t credited. White is trying to argue that even without a contract, he is the owner of the copyright on the artwork.

The album was released in September of 2022 and has been a huge hit for the band. They were nominated for a Grammy award for “We’ll Be Back”, it has millions of views on YouTube, and the band is making a lot of money off merchandise.

Overall, White is suing Megadeth, Universal Music Group, and others for copyright infringement. He’s asking for damages and disgorgement of profits from the band and to stop them from using the artwork.

You can read our review of The Sick, The Dying… And The Dead! here, where we gave it a glowing review and called it one of the Top 5 Best Metal Albums of 2022.

We’ll keep you updated on this story as it develops.

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