Monday, April 5, 2010

Metal Mens' Members

The world of metal will never have a shortage of terrible album covers. It’s been written up on Metal Inquisition many times in the past, and it’s honestly an institution as precious as life itself to make fun of them.

Rather than just shotgun blast some of the downright hilarious covers out there, I wanted to address those particular pieces of album artwork that really added an extra “x-factor” of “WTF?!” via sexual innuendo, homo-erotic latency, and just plain bad “quality control” with regard to a band’s message.


For starters: Impaled Nazarene, despite having been around since the early 90s, have always been mediocre at best (let’s just be honest). While I can’t blame their artwork for their towing of the line for many years, I’m sure it hasn’t helped - I mean, take a look at 2003’s ‘All That You Fear’. From the first time I ever saw this album art I wondered, “Why would an extreme metal band disgrace the pentagram on the cover with a bunch of severed penises strewn about on it?” I honestly thought it was their attempt at going all “next level” with regard to blasphemy by having rotting penises on their album cover. I thought this for years. Until one day, I actually saw this record up close and took a real good look at it; turns out those are maggots/larvae on the front. Okay, so they’re not penises like I thought, but if the maggots on your album art look JUST like penises that I go literally years without a second thought, is it my bad eyesight at fault or your shitty album art at fault here? I know I can’t be the only one that at least did a double take.


Following right along in a similar example is Kaamos, good ‘ol Swedish death metal with some of that Sunlight Studios sound that I enjoy. However, with their album ‘Lucifer Rising’ I was perplexed to see an otherwise pretty bad-ass looking devil shoving some severed dicks in his mouth. I mean, I knew the devil didn’t give a fuck, but this was surprising. Truthfully, this one isn’t as bad as Impaled Nazarene’s, and I discovered shortly after that it was actually naked bodies he was shoving in his mouth, but for the first few times I saw this cover it made me think of the devil getting down with Saddam Hussein from the South Park movie.


This next one requires some imagination, but it’s great for two reasons: 1) It bags on a Christian band (which is like the consolation prize in my book), and 2) It’s based on a true story. So, take a look at this album art from the band Zao. This is a good example how quality control can save your ass and a load (pun to follow shortly) of embarrassment. The ORIGINAL cover for this album (here's where you use your imagination) had a lot more of the white drips from the top of the head and off the Zao logo (you can see a couple white drips around the ‘Z’ and the ‘A’). So increase the amount of white drips, but also make the tie this character is wearing about one-and-a-half to twice as big as you see here and you have… that’s right, a dick that just blew its load all over this person’s face (as a bonus: is this person on the cover male or female?). Naturally, with a lot of album art, this went through revisions till the official version you see here, but still, imagine what could have been…


Gorgoroth – ‘Ad Majorem Sathanas Gloriam’ I can’t be the first person to look at this cover retro-actively with a profound sense of homo-eroticism, can I? It’s like everyone’s reaction when Rob Halford came out, and there was that sense of “ah-ha!” due to all of the writing on the wall (leather/bondage outfits, lyrics, etc.). I love this record, and at the time (as with I think the majority of fans out there) didn’t know Gaahl was gay – I don’t care if he’s gay or straight and I’ll probably follow his other projects he’s in, but in my third grade style of humor when I see this album cover now, with the two men on the front, I think two things: 1) Foreshadowing (like with Halford), and 2) That looks like a monster hickey is being given.

Alright, let’s do a quick lightning round, since I don’t want to take up too much of your time:


Blood Bath – ‘The Fathomless Mastery’ I’m sure the album title plays into the explanation of the scenario on this album cover, but I don’t know what it’s referencing, and let’s just play with open cards here: your album art features 98% naked, old, emaciated men, wearing just loincloths and writhing around each other.


Darkane – ‘Layers of Lies’ You might see a sci-fi themed album cover juxtaposing the abstract relationship of man, the universe and multi-dimensionality. I see a man, wearing leopard print tights, bound with rope, having the universe take a piss in his mouth.


Belphegor – ‘Bondage Goat Zombie’ Here’s a good example of how “less is more” for metal album covers. There gets to be so many layers it’s distracting, you lose your focus/message and in addition to confusing your fans, it just doesn’t look good. Case in point: I shouldn’t have to try and reason with myself if this album art is gross because it’s a male or female goat wearing thigh-high stockings and a garter belt, it’s just gross either way.

In case I get a good helping of flack, let me just say, as I mentioned above, I enjoy these bands, and yes, I'm sure there's a "you see what you want to see" type of joke/comment to follow... But, in any event, can you think of any others to add to the above list?


47 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Ok, let me try that again:

    Hate to be the douche and point it out but it's 'Belphegor', not 'Belphagor' unless you're trying to be funny.

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  3. Glad to see a new author in Metal Inquisition. Welcome and good luck. About the topic, I NEED a new release of the last Burzum album with that "gay-friendly" white artwork.

    http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g43/vasconiapagana/denhviteguden.jpg

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  4. Re: Impaled Nazarene... I assumed they were bloody tampons. I'm still trying to examine this photo and see that they're not, but it's clear as day to me.

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  5. Daru: Thanks for the catch, trying to get the post done in time = typos sometimes.

    T: I've posted on MI before, just been a while. And your idea about Burzum's intended artwork is golden (kicking myself for not thinking of that)!

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  6. Regarding the ZAO cover: I was working w/ the band when that cover was done and originally the tie was a full on flesh colored pink cock. And like the poster mentioned, there was a lot more spooge on the face etc. There was a bit of haggling done to get it toned down to what it is now.

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  7. The Europe conver that looks like an anus

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  8. I had reviewed that ZAO disc way back, and had a small jpg of the reputed original cover

    http://urotsukidojispad.com/cdreviewszao.html

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  9. Urotsukidoji: Amazing find! And honestly, I think the earlier version you found, while still hilarious, spared some of the extra jizz from the original... maybe it will be a thing of myth...?

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  10. Triptykon - Eparistera Daimones

    It looks like there's a bunch of machines fucking.

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  11. My first reaction to the Impaled Nazarene cover was 'what the fuck's with the bloody tampons??'

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  12. That Gorgoroth cover was pretty telling, of course I never guessed anything was up until Gaahl came out.

    My copy of that album came with what appears to be a blood-drenched guitar pick. I don't know what to make of it but I don't touch the thing.

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  13. The sad thing is I didn't even notice the maggots on that Impaled Nazarene cover until you pointed them out...and now thanks to previous comments, I also see bloody tampons.

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  14. Centinex (SWE) - Subconscious Lobotomy (1992)
    http://tinyurl.com/yzr47xu

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  15. Ah, I missed that you wanted albums with suggestive homo-erotic imagery. Nevertheless, that Centinex cover is still fucking terrible.

    Another addition: Type O Negative - "Origin of the Feces" (original cover). I'm sure Lucho, being the big fan of Peter Steele's nakedness, has that CD in his collection.


    Why no Manowar, though? Too easy?

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  16. making fun of manowar covers for being gay would be like making fun of gay porn for being gay

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  17. Yea, I've always thought of them as PG-13 softcore gay porn set to a medieval theme with a sprinkle of 'leather bar' thrown in for good measure...

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  18. HATEBREED FUCKING SUCK BALLS!

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  19. This is the best post in a looong time. This is the MI that I love. Thank you.

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  20. Yeah, my immediate reaction was also tampons.

    Which, admittedly, is pretty brutal.

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  21. HATEBREED SUCK FUCKING BALLS!!

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  22. Impaled Nazarene: Never heard of them but love the name, I can just imagine the band meeting when they came up with it ‘Something like we like totally crucified Jesus’ ass, only classier man’. Are they maggots? Jessica is right they look like used tampons to me. In fact that album cover could just be a photograph of the floor in the ladies toilets of Camden Underworld circa 1991.

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  23. That Gorogoroth album uses William-Adolphe Bouguereau's "Dante and Virgil in Hell" on the cover. That painting might have two naked dudes on it, but it's far from gay. The one guy is tearing the others neck open with his teeth for chrissakes! And dig that winged demon in the background!

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  24. Man, yo didn't even mention Maniac Butcher's "Barbarians". To this day it still has me pissing in my pants laughing ! Such a fucking classic !

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  25. MR. B - Just re-iterating my point that although I'm sure there's brutality afoot on the Gorgoroth album cover, in HINDSIGHT it's kinda funny giving Gaahl's recent coming out.

    Seb - That Maniac Butcher cover is pretty hilarious. Like a poor man's Manowar meets black metal.

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  26. especially given his coming out and that whole "collecting-blood-in-a-cup" thing. He must be into hate fucks :/

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  27. Accept 's ball top the wall
    .
    http://persimusic.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/accept-balls-to-the-wall.jpg

    I juste hope the guy is holding a microphone in his hand.

    Their objective overulle well les funny just gay hands in bondage.

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  28. Have you ever noticed that dismembered kid with cock and balls out on the Carcass "Reek of putrefaction" front-cover?

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  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  30. Wow!
    You know you guys have made it when there is some lowlife spamming your comments section with links to porn websites!
    Check out the comment prior to this one... Hes posted it on all the most recent MI posts!
    Fucking losers?

    Spam? On a blog? Unreal!

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  31. Cool to see a new post!

    Here's some more shitty covers:
    Exodus - "Force of Habit"
    Judas Priest - "Demolition"
    Metal Church - "Hanging in the Balance"

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  32. Brilliant post, I loled!

    "I mean, I knew the devil didn’t give a fuck, but this was surprising"

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  33. Sirs, perhaps a post about Peter Steele should be in the offing?

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  34. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  35. Wow, didn't understand Darley message until I saw the news in the wacken site that he died (first I thought that "Peter Steele is dead" was a new project!)

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  36. Sadly the news is true that the manhood mountain of gloom has shuffled off this mortal coil. I don’t envy the task ahead for the coffin bearers. RIP big fella.

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  37. While on the topic of Type O Negative, there was the original cover of "Origin of the Feces"

    http://www.netexpress.net/~zombie/ton/feces.jpg

    RIP Pete!

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  38. and the cover of "steel o dick" :

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_iZLFt9q6Op4/SWlCDOahCnI/AAAAAAAAAGs/FtX4kFEemow/s1600-h/Type+O+Negative+-+Steel+O+Dick+-+Front.jpg

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  39. The fucking casio digital watch ruined it for me then and ruins it for me now

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  40. would Manowar - Anthology fit the list?

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