The cover of the 1998 album by Blue Öyster Cult, ‘Heaven Forbid.’
I know that any and every kinda blog post about album covers has been done before, including, of course, ones that choose to focus on the world of heavy metal album art. But here’s the thing—the genre really brings it when it comes to awful execution to say nothing of the bizarre concepts that somehow got to adorn the various covers you’re about to see, such as scantily clad girls with big hair, muscle-bound men with swords and/or angry animals. And I’m merely scratching the surface of what can be seen on the cover of a heavy metal album because, as I’ve come to find out, pretty much anything from vampires to fucking ostriches shooting laser beams out of their eyes goes.
While there are a plethora of obscure metal bands featured in this post from Spain to Germany, there are also a number of high-profile bands that put out records with shitty covers like the Scorpions, Blue Öyster Cult, Iron Maiden, and Pantera. As a matter of fact, there are no less than three perfectly awful Pantera album covers in this post that I’m sure alledgedly aspiring bootboy Phil Anselmo will somehow blame on too much “white wine.” (I think he means “white whine”?) Racists are so hilarious when they’re drunk, aren’t they?
Some of the images in this post are perplexingly NSFW.
The cover of the 2013 album by Adema, ‘Topple the Giants.’
Fastway ‘Bad Bad Girls’ 1990.
The cover of ‘Dirty Surfaces’ an album by German band Risk, 1990.
Dangerous Toys, 1995.
Irish metal band Ezy Meat and the cover of their 1984 album ‘Not For Whimps.’ Interesting side note—this album was produced by guitar god and cancer ass-kicker, Vivian Campbell.
Scorpions, ‘Fly the Rainbow’ 1974.
The cover of the self-titled album by Swedish band Lancer, 2013. Who knew ostriches could be so metal?
The only album from Hermosa Beach metal band Predator ‘Easy Prey,’ 1986.
Iron Maiden’s 2003 album ‘Dance of Death.’
Groton, Massachusetts metal band Druid and their 1989 album, ‘Vampire Cult.’
German band Unicorn and the cover of their 1987 album ‘The Legend Returns.’
The cover of the self-titled album from Portland, Oregon band Dr. Mastermind, 1986.
Pantera, ‘Metal Magic’ 1983.
Fairbanks, Alaska band Pandemonium and the cover of their 1988 album, ‘The Kill.’ And yes, that illustrated chick looks just like Prince. Which makes sense I guess as the band shares their name with the title of a 1990 album by Prince-adjacent band, The Time. Sure, that’s it.
English metal band Raven on the cover of their 1986 album, ‘The Pack is Back.’
British metal band Maineeaxe and the cover of their 1984 album, ‘Shout it Out.’
Pantera, ‘I Am the Night’ 1985.
Danger Danger ‘Screw It!’ 1991. Indeed.
Nashville, Tenessee band Fighter and their 1983 album, ‘No Pain No Gain.’
Madrid, Spain band Obus bringing whatever ‘it’ is on the cover of their 1986 album ‘Dejarse la piel.’
Cleveland, Ohio band Kratos and the cover of their 1986 album ‘Iron Beast.’ Microsoft Paint RULES.
Pantera, ‘Power Metal’ 1988.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania band The Tung Bandits and the cover of their self-titled 1990 album. Vocalist D.C. Cooper was one of four finalists in a competition held to find a replacement for Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford in 1991.
The cover of the 2000 compilation from the Scorpions featuring the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Because, dinosaurs.
HT: Many thanks to the awesome blog Assorted Thoughts From An Unsorted Mind that inspired this post.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Sex rained on my head’: The hair metal wit and wisdom of Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy
Bargain Bin Blasphemy puts black metal corpse paint on all your throw-away records
Bleak Sabbath: Did the mysterious occult group Jacula invent black metal in 1969?
The Scorpions: Heavy metal gods bring the funky grooves, 1978