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

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Fri, Aug 5, 2011 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge Exhumed
  • Exhumed
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

click to enlarge Regurgitate_Sickening_Bliss.jpg
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

click to enlarge Dismember_Indecent_and_Obscene.jpg
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

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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

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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

click to enlarge Cannibal_Corpse_Tomb_of_the_Mutilated_Scott_Ian_version.JPG
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.

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