Sometimes great albums have great cover art. Sometimes the worst art disguises the best metal. And sometimes bad art and bad music are in perfect (dis)harmony. Here are Hellbound’s picks for some of the worst album art of 2014.
Getting CDs in the mail is getting rarer and rarer these days, but every so often I still get the odd little surprise from overseas. I got an envelope from Finland one day, featuring a pretty stamp that impressed me so much that I think I even Instagrammed the thing. I hadn’t even opened it. When I did, though, what I found inside was something by black metal band Anal Blasphemy (NSFW) staring me in the face. It was a pretty tame cover by black metal standards, but the novelty of getting a piece of mail from far away was replaced by a reminder of depressing, rather than fun, extreme metal can be sometimes.
Worst goes to Switzerland’s BÖLZER for the seemingly unfinished piece atop their perfectly executed ep, SOMA.
Oh, how the ongoing scourge of illegible band logos perpetually demands dubious note. Counterproductive marketing strategy is (still) counterproductive (and, frankly, annoying).
The switch to digital promos has made it far easier for me to ignore cover art I don’t like, so I can’t confidently pick an ultimate worst of 2014. The artwork for American Heritage‘s Prolapse makes me cringe. Rites ov Perversion by Antropomorphia has the kind of cover art likely to make me avoid an album altogether. And though the cover of High Spirit‘s You Are Here isn’t a turn off it doesn’t give any sense of what lies inside or inspire me to check the record out.
I have to wonder with some covers that come out nowadays – whether it’s the band’s vision of the cover, the execution of it, or perhaps it’s just that I don’t get it… Every Time I Die has some sort of ironic pseudo-retro thing going on with their high-contrasty, dichromatic group photo, with rainbow lazers shooting out of their eyes. I’m not sure Noble Beast were hoping to illustrate their “The Dragon Reborn” song, but a cartoon dinosaur just doesn’t grab me as something I would be interested in checking out at all. The same thought applies to Witch Mountain – their cartoonish demon-angel makes me think this is an album by a young metal-core band, not someone as established as they are. Alright, Sludge. Let me get this straight. We have some kind of sacrifice happening, while I giant slug attacks a group of adventures who arrived by tall ship, while Gandalf defends a naked woman… right.