It was a great year for metal, and a great year for album cover art. Blut Aus Nord, Cormorant, Vektor, Disma, and dozens of other bands dropped albums with interesting, quality visuals. Unfortunately, the ballgame has to end and somebody has to make the outs. They can't all be winners, and so here are the best of the worst pieces of album art of the year, along with some high-brow art criticism to help the offenders improve for next year.

Aggressive - Predator's Arrival

The raptor symbolizes Europeans arriving in the 'New World' to conquer and plunder, a totally legitimate sentiment about genocide. But was it really necessary to use a raptor? This is silly, ham-handed and overbearing in the extreme. The album title with the conquistador ship in the background would've been poignant and arresting. Or maybe the arriving predator is a super-evolved dinosaur with a time machine and I'm reading too much into this, who fucking knows. This album cover sucks either way.


Cemetery Rapist - The Smut Circus

This is vile, atrocious and disgusting beyond words. What kind of diseased mind thinks this up? I mean seriously, a redhead? Ugh.


Twisted Tower Dire - Make It Dark

"What's your character's name?"


"Dude! You totally stole that from Thundercats. And that's not a cheetah! The Player's Handbook explicitly prohibits that sort of animal companion at this level!"

"It's not a cheetah...uh, it's a snow leopard! And she can have any animal she wants. She's a druid! Don't be such a rules lawyer!"

"Whatever, just pass the Cheetos and the dice bag. I need a d12."


White Wizzard - Flying Tigers

This piece of shit offends the history nerd in me. When Iron Maiden wrote songs about history, it was thoughtful, respectful and cool. The real Flying Tigers were bad-ass quasi-mercenaries. How Pappy Chenault and his boys relate to a skeleton with a billy-goat beard and horns is beyond me.


Abacinate - Genesis

Reptile-demon dude just impaled a lot of people, and now he's gonna play his flute for us. I wish I could projectile vomit letters.


Mastodon - The Hunter

$400 will buy you a couple thousand Lego pieces. Spend a few hours with those Lego pieces and you'll have a 4-foot-long model of the Super Star Destroyer from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Mastodon had $400, an ounce of pot and some Duplo, and so this is what they got.


Cunt Carnage - World Cock (EP)

When Gotham City needs The Batman, they use the Bat-Signal. When Gotham City needs Ironman . . .


Debauchery - Germany's Next Death Metal

Angela Gossow's hot, we know. Was this necessary? And also, what happened to Germany's previous death metal? It just had to be better. This cover exemplifies everything I don't want people to think about heavy metal. It's a mindless depiction of gore and big tits. Beavis and Butthead would approve, but I don't.


Pegazus - In Metal We Trust

Sometime after Elliott hit puberty, E.T. returned and used his wrinkly testicle alien powers to turn Elliott's bicycle into a bitchin' sweet equine-themed chopper. I'm on an unofficial crusade to bring more power metal coverage to this site. Shit like this is not helping me. Fuck you very much, Pegazus. Do better next time.


Unurakum - Chernejuwij Chernyi Cherneet


I've now weighed in and skewered the worst offenders I could find in 35 minutes of painstaking research. Who'd I miss? Tell us what the worst and best cover art of the year is. I'll visit the winner's house to drink your milk and eat your cookies. Whole milk and real butter only, none of that vegetable oil margarine bullshit. I'll also do a family portrait, Unurakum style, free of charge, cause hey, it's Christmas!

Thanks to Grim Kim and Mike 'The Editor' Nelson for respectively suggesting Mastodon and Pegazus.

— Richard Street-Jammer

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