If I had to guess, I’d say more heavy metal albums are released than any other single genre. Of course, I’m lumping together Drone Metal, Grindcore, Sludge Metal, Stoner Metal, Black Metal, Industrial Black Metal, Space Metal, Melodic Metal, Thrash Metal, Symphonic Black Metal, Funk Metal, Rap Metal, and a bunch of other metals I can’t even think of right now. If you think I made any of those up, you definitely don’t metal. But now you can get a taste, without even listening to any metal.
That is because heavy metal album covers have their own world. Their own aesthetic. Their own complicated iconography. Get a taste of it here, starting with…
Some metal album covers look like a skilled 7th grader did them, or they’re just so corny you can’t believe an adult thought they were cool.
This is the core of the heavy metal aesthetic. Body horror. Apocalypse. Apocalyptic body horror. Gates opening to hell. Horrific monsters. Dystopian future war. Things growing into or out of people’s faces.
These are the best conventional heavy metal album covers. They’re overdone and gnarly, but in a really cool, balanced way!
You wouldn’t even guess these were heavy metal albums. I laud these albums for taking the Heavy Metal Album Cover in a new direction.