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January 22, 2017

27 Awful Heavy Metal Album Covers From the 1980s and 1990s

The whole point of album art is to create something that reflects what is inside and to have a finished package on all fronts that proves the band delivers and can be creative on all fronts. A stunning album cover will make you want to buy the album without even ever having heard the band before.

Heavy metal is generally thought of as rock's totally hardcore cousin, and heavy metal album art is supposed to reflect the band's extreme fist pumping and headbanging nature. But sometimes in the quest to prove how hardcore you are you just end up making yourself look like a high-caliber tool. Even bands like Iron Maiden, who usually get the album art so right, can fall from grace when they ditch the hand drawn art to make the leap into the digital age.

All of these metal album covers are completely awful, but the music within doesn't always reflect that. Yes, there are some good albums in here. Some of these albums are as bad as they look, but you'll have to find out which ones on your own.

1. Pantera, 'Metal Magic'

After one look at this, we're fortunate Pantera, or should we say Glamtera, abandoned their spandex and Aquanet and became the Cowboys From Hell.

2. 'Artillery, 'Terror Squad'

Did someone forget to color the rest of this in? We'd hate to see the ideas that lost in favor of this.

3. Abruptum, 'Evil Genius'

Black metal is supposed to be evil and menacing. Hopefully, Abruptum look a bit better in person than as cartoons.

4. Dethkorps, 'Metal Tit'

A picture is worth a thousand words. Not this one.

5. Battleaxe, 'Burn This Town'

'Burn This Town'? More like burn this album cover. Hey, at least he has a sweet axe.

6. Griffin, 'Protectors of the Lair'

This one requires a bit of attention. Did you see it? Yup, that pair of glowing eyes in the crevice!

7. Manowar, 'Into Glory Ride'

The defenders of true steel wisely switched to drawing of hulking men with bulging muscles after 'Into Glory Ride.' Can you guess why?

8. Atrophy, 'Violent By Nature'

'Violent By Nature' is a great thrash album. We just wish the album cover was great, too.

9. Mactatus, 'The Complex Bewitchment'

This IS a complex bewitchment! Too bad the album art here isn't a little more complex.

10. M.A.D., 'Taboo of the Western World'

'Taboo of the Western World?' M.A.D.'s album cover is the taboo of all that is heavy.

11. Messiah, 'Extreme Cold Weather'

Messiah are as blunt as possible here with their description of the weather. Someone get this album a sweater and bundle it up so we don't have to see this cover.

12. Metal Duck, 'Auto Ducko Destructo Mondo'

If your band name is Metal Duck, then this album cover isn't so bad. The crime? Naming your band Metal Duck.

13. Mortiis, 'The Stargate'

Mortiis put on his best levitation act on 'The Stargate.' His next album featured him walking a tightrope. We're kidding.

14. Gamma Ray, 'Sigh No More'

Hopefully, Gamma Ray weren't saying 'Sigh No More' in regards to this awful cover. Sigh.

15. Rogue Male, 'First Visit'

Well, at least there was no second visit.

16. Ragnarok, 'Nattferd'

"How much further up this hill?" 'Shut up and keep marching!'

17. Raven, 'The Pack is Back'

Raven deemed themselves athletic rock and they dressed the part. Go get some leather, boys.

18. Maniac Butcher, 'Lučan-Antikrist'

Maniac Butcher is the only proper way to describe whoever is responsible for calling this art.

19. Black Sabbath, 'Born Again'

Bill Ward said Ian Gillan told the press he puked when he first saw this. We did, too.

20. Satan Jokers, 'Les Fils du Métal'

While this looks awful, they probably had a lot of fun on this photoshoot.

21. Therion, 'Theli'

No, your computer didn't just boot some CD-Rom from 1997, this is just Therion's album cover.

22. Torment, 'Bestial Sex'

Yup, that looks like torment. This guy is proof why "you never know where someone's hand has been" is in the every day vernacular.

23. Xenomorph, 'Acardiacus'

Something got messed up in the morphing process. If we ever find aliens, hopefully they don't look like this.

24. Abril, 'Testamento'

This is a great album cover until you see the kid standing there naked with a guitar.

25. Arcane, 'Ambiguity'

Was Arcane's art budget seven lollipops and the kid wanted 10 so this was his way of getting even?

26. Digger, 'Stronger Than Ever'

After releasing one album, Digger changed their name to Grave Digger. It was probably to disassociate themselves from this.

27. Exciter, 'Unveiling the Wicked'

Exciter took all the excitement out of this album with that art.

(via Loudwire)



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