Friday Top 10: Best album covers

It’s Friday and therefore it’s time for another Top 10 list. We’ve done worst album covers in November and most brutal album covers last week, but somehow we’ve never done best album covers. So, I guess it’s about fucking time.

Before we dive right into it, I want to let you know that, despite labeling it one of my favorite album artworks, I won’t include Slayer’s ‘Christ Illusion’ for the simple reason that I want a fresh Top 10.

Feel free to make the jump now… or die trying!

Burzum – Aske

I’m not including ‘Aske’ because I support church burnings or any such illegal behavior but I view this album cover as a single picture visualizing the early Black Metal movement. It was not only a new genre but indeed, a movement.

Metallica – Kill ‘Em All

Talking about starting a genre, the classic ‘Kill ‘Em All’ cover makes the 9th spot. It’s so simple, yet powerful and much better than the original ‘Metal Up Your Ass’ cover, even though that one might be more iconic.

Bathory – Blood Fire Death

If your album is called ‘Blood Fire Death,’ it just needs a kickass cover and the original painting, called ‘Åsgårdsreien,’ by Peter Nicolai Arbo fits just perfectly. Great choice, Quorthon.

Amon Amarth – Twilight Of The Thunder God

When I’m thinking “epic”, the first thought that comes to my mind is “Amon Amarth” and the cover artwork for ‘Twilight Of The Thunder God’ perfectly puts that into an image. Fucking epic.

Bloodbath – Unblessing The Purity

If you’re regulary reading this site, you might already have noticed that Dusty Peterson is a friend of the site but that has nothing to do with the album artwork for Bloodbath’s ‘Unblessing The Purity’ making the 6th spot. I’ve had the artwork as a desktop wallpaper before I even knew who Dusty Peterson was.

Dio – Holy Diver

So what are we seeing here? A priest getting killed by a devil, Dio’s mascot or a devil getting killed by a priest? None of these two options. We’re seeing a badass album cover.

Slayer – Reign In Blood

Larry Carroll’s album artwork for ‘Reign In Blood’ was so controversial at the time of its’ creation that it made Columbia Records, who owned Def Jam — the label Slayer was on at the time — pull the plug on the release. Geffen Records then distributed it but without including it in their release schedule. We did include it on #4.

Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath

This album cover, and of course the album at hand, created what is now known as Heavy Metal. 41 years after its’ release, I still can’t answer if the figure is a lady or Ozzy Osbourne from the future (at the time… so, the future being now… oh my, how this joke failed).

Iron Maiden – Live After Death

Another album cover that I’ve had as a wallpaper on my desktop for years. Eddie rising from his grave. This is just badass and the greatest painting of the greatest metal mascot.

AC/DC – Back in Black

Didn’t expect that now, did we? This simple, and yet nice tribute to the late Bon Scott, iconic and just classic album cover has everything a good cover needs. The band’s name and the album’s name. That’s all we need and just AC/DC understood it and Metallica copied it. If you got to copy someone, copy the best.

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