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The Ten Bloodiest Metal Album Covers [Gross, but not entirely NSFW]

At Exhumed's Sunday night show absolutely nothing trendy, hip, or fashionable will be on display. Picking up where they left off after a five-year hiatus, the California deathgrind pioneers will headline at the Key Club in support of their comeback release All Guts, No Glory. That title should give you an idea of what we're talking about here.

Song names like "Your Funeral, My Feast" and "Through Cadaver Eyes" pretty much sum up Exhumed. Openers include Macabre -- who were featured recently in our post on metal songs inspired by man's inhumanity to man -- jazzy-grindcore miscreants Cephalic Carnage, and death metal relative newcomers Withered.

None of these bands sing about rocking out, hanging with their friends, or having a hell of a time. Hanging out with cadavers, and sending folks directly to hell is more like it. Many death metal and grindcore bands make no, um, bones about dabbling in the theater of the macabre, proudly displaying it on their album covers. In fact, some of them below are so intense that I've taken the liberty of censoring the nudity bits with a photo of Scott Ian of Anthrax.

10. Regurgitate - Sickening Bliss

The Ten Bloodiest Metal Album Covers [Gross, but not entirely NSFW]

On the cover of this 2006 release from Swedish goregrind band Regurgitate, a very lovely lady has been disemboweled, and in her delirium has confused her previously internal organs for a newborn baby. It was a very clever touch to frame this image against retro suburban wallpaper.

9. Dismember - Indecent & Obscene

The Ten Bloodiest Metal Album Covers [Gross, but not entirely NSFW]

You know what really sucks about having your chest torn open and having your insides exposed? Finding out that the logo for Swedish death-n-rollers Dismember ended up inside you. How did it get there? Was it the result of drunken misadventure? Did someone else put it there? Wacky trivia note: The cover for this 1993 album was inspired by the famous "Jim Morrison: An American Poet" poster.

8. Cadaver - Hallucinating Anxiety

The Ten Bloodiest Metal Album Covers [Gross, but not entirely NSFW]

As bands like Burzum and Mayhem were establishing Norway as the black metal capital of the world, Cadaver was also making it safe for no-frills death metal. The artwork for this 1990 release is as ugly as the recording sounds. The depiction of maggots eating something fleshy -- is that an eyeball? -- preps the listener for a quite uncomfortable sonic experience.

7. Blood Duster - Str8 Outta Northcote

The Ten Bloodiest Metal Album Covers [Gross, but not entirely NSFW]

When Relapse Records reissued this piece of filth in 2008, Australian grinders Blood Duster felt that the original artwork they used in 1998 didn't quite capture everyday life in Northcote -- the Melbourne suburb where members of the band then lived. We don't think we'll be visiting soon.

6. Cannibal Corpse - Tomb of the Mutilated

The Ten Bloodiest Metal Album Covers [Gross, but not entirely NSFW]

Death metal legends Cannibal Corpse has many album covers that are strong contenders for this list, but 1992's Tomb Of The Mutilated stands out for its surreal wedding of death and sexual pleasure. Germany barred the sale of this -- and prior Cannibal Corpse albums -- until 2006, in part due to the horrific nature of this album cover. Wacky trivia note: Cannibal Corpse plays "Hammer Smashed Face," a track from this album, in Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. Another wacky trivia note: Jim Carey reportedly loves himself some death metal.

 

5. Avulsed - Nullo (The Pleasure Of Self-Mutilation)

The Ten Bloodiest Metal Album Covers [Gross, but not entirely NSFW]

Spanish death-metallers Avulsed have spent the majority of their 20-year career continually upping the ante on their album covers. 2009's Nullo (The Pleasure Of Self-Mutilation) depicts a tortured soul stitching him/herself together while being buried under the corpse of a woman who has suffered some horrible fate. It wasn't enough to be disemboweled; the perpetrator had to go for the face too.

4. Mayhem - Dawn of the Black Hearts

The Ten Bloodiest Metal Album Covers [Gross, but not entirely NSFW]

The other albums depict the aftermath of fictionalized acts of violence and bloodshed -- at least I hope they're fictional. This 1995 bootleg release, however,depicts the aftermath of a real suicide. Well-versed metal fans already know the story, but if you haven't been revulsed by this list enough already, here goes: Mayhem vocalist Dead shot himself in the head. Mayhem guitarist Euronymous found his body, and took some photos. One of those photos ended up as the cover for this unauthorized release of a 1990 live performance. Pretty fucked up, right?

3. Lord Gore - The Autophagous Orgy

The Ten Bloodiest Metal Album Covers [Gross, but not entirely NSFW]

Razorback Records is a small label based in Henderson, Kentucky. They specialize in some of the sickest, dirtiest, filthiest, demented grindcore and death metal imaginable. Almost every one of their covers is eligible for this list. Most of the time, at least, they have the good sense not to let anime nerds do their album covers.

2. Exhumed - Slaughtercult

The Ten Bloodiest Metal Album Covers [Gross, but not entirely NSFW]

Ever since California deathgrind masters Exhumed released this piece of sickness in 2001 we have been trying to figure out what exactly happened to the victims depicted. Ten years later, we still can't tell what exactly happened here, but whatever it was, it was really bad.

Only click to number one if you've got a strong stomach.

 

1. Impaled - Choice Cuts

The Ten Bloodiest Metal Album Covers [Gross, but not entirely NSFW]

Most of the time, when a band releases a disc of demos and b-sides, it appeals to only the most hardcore of death metal fans. When Impaled guitarist/founder Sean McGrath and bassist Ross Sewage concocted the above scenario for the cover of their 2001 odds-n-ends collection Choice Cuts, however, they created a work that was shocking and offensive even to the most hardened death metal connoisseurs.

Many rumors have circulated about the artwork in the decade since; one had the band's label at the time, Necropolis Records, including a tamer version in the master files to get the manufacturing plant to package the record. A more outlandish one had the photo department at Walgreen's calling the cops when Ross dropped off the load of film containing this. Wacky trivia note: This photo consists of a shitload of fake blood and guts...and a fucking baby doll.


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