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Even in the digital music age, eye-striking cover art is still incredibly valued in the heavy metal genre. But the line between ridiculously awesome and awesomely ridiculous often gets walked very precariously. We present to you this year's metal album covers that crossed that line.

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Credit: 20 Buck Spin

Credit: 20 Buck Spin

10. Foreseen
Helsinki Savagery

There’s so much going on here, yet all we can focus on is the stray pack of smokes that lies amidst the pile of skulls.

Credit: Eclipse Records

Credit: Eclipse Records

9. A Breach of Silence
The Darkest Road

Everyone involved with this album cover: “The vulture here looks SICK, bro!” Everyone else: “This vulture looks clinically sick. It’s going to die very soon.”

Credit: Spinefarm Records

Credit: Spinefarm Records

8. Krokodil
Nachash

A potentially gory scene of a crocodile having something to do with the disembowelment of a trapeze artist loses punch with this presentation. It may belong in an art gallery, but not on a metal album cover.

Credit: Massacre Records

Credit: Massacre Records

7. Helldorados
Lessons in Decay

A band has rubbed a designer the wrong way when he draws the hot metal chick with a look that says, “Pay me now so I can get the eff away from these creeps.”

Credit: Massacre Records

Credit: Massacre Records

6. The Prophecy 23
Untrue Like a Boss

This is what you get when your band settles for artwork that has been passed over by Prophecies 1 through 22.

Credit: Solar Flare Records

Credit: Solar Flare Records

5. American Heritage
Prolapse

At least the designer knows the correct usage of the word “literally.”

Credit: Frontiers Records

Credit: Frontiers Records

4. Allen/Lande
The Great Divide

Someone took Bebop and Rocksteady from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, replaced Bebop with a second Rocksteady, and sucked away all the fun.

Credit: Forever Plagued Records

Credit: Forever Plagued Records

3. Funereus
Return of the Old Goat

2014 will forever be remembered as the year that the short-lived Krusty the Clown character “Disgruntled Goat” made his return on a black metal album cover.

Credit: Disiplin Media

Credit: Disiplin Media

2. Hombre Malo
Persistent Murmur of Words of Wrath

A night in the forest has gone awry when a bunch of vultures are presented with fresh meat for the picking, but instead stand around looking confused and annoyed.

1. Riot
Unleash the Fire

Riot’s seal-headed mascot Johnny has been in some insane scenarios throughout the band’s thirty-year career. But never before have we feared the real possibility of falling under his rule.


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