Ten Terrible Rock/Metal Album Covers

Black Sabbath – Born Again


The first and Only Black Sabbath album with Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan and the ‘go to’ option for terrible album covers. Look at it, its a mess, right? The clawed red and yellow devil child sits terribly over the dodgy purple back drop. One can only imagine this monstrosity was knocked up last minute.

Pantera – Metal Magic


It was a toss up between this or the Power Metal album, both pretty horrific in their own right and summing up a point in their career that you would guess the members of the band are more than happy to forget about, but the knife wielding panther/man of Metal Magic slightly trumped the other candidate. There’s not a lot to say about this one really, just look at it. Terrible.  Lets forgive Pantera though because they went on to become one of the best metal bands of all time.

Aerosmith – Aerosmith


First of all, lets start by saying that this is one of the best debut albums of all time, no questions asked. But the half arsed band shot layered clumsily on top of the cloud backdrop just looks a bit of a mess doesn’t it.

Bring Me The Horizon – That’s The Spirit

bring me the horizon

You might think this is a strange choice as its just three words on a black backdrop, but its the uninspired, unimaginative element that scores this album a place on the list, considering all of the previous BMTH album artwork had been great, the Sheffield band decided to usher in the new era of their world dominance, with an album cover concept which has been done a million times previously.

Iron Maiden – Dance of Death

maiden shit

Another ‘go-to’ choice in the world of bad album covers, the 2003 Iron Maiden album is a solid collection of songs from the Bruce/Adrian reunion era. The cover on the other hand looks like the outcome of a drunken night spent on Photoshop. The bikini wearing child hovering slightly over the dogs back, whilst the dog steps all over a snake being perhaps the worst part of this terrible album cover.

Poison – Open Up and Say.. Aah


This one has a similar feel to the Black Sabbath album cover, its not quite as bad as that, but its still pretty bad. I guess Black Sabbath have the redeeming feature that they are are the godfathers of heavy metal, Poison on the other hand are… well, the less said about Poison the better.

Van Halen – Fair Warning 

van halen scf

The slowest selling album of the David Lee Roth era features this fuzzy, beige montage of nonsense. Two albums later the band went on to have one of the most iconic album artworks in history on the brilliant 1984, I guess they redeemed themselves with that one.

Iron Maiden – The X Factor 


Another appearance for the mighty Iron Maiden, taken from the questionable Blaze Bayley era of the band,  The X Factor features band mascot, Eddie at his worst. Never has he looked as ridiculous as he does here.

Kiss – Monster


This album makes the cut as it has so much to live up to, with pretty much all of the Kiss artwork being consistently brilliant, you would presume that an album entitled ‘Monster‘ would be a great opportunity for another bold, detailed cover from the hottest band in the world. With the likes of  Love Gun, Destroyer and Rock n roll Over to live up to the band opted for.. a standard group photo. Wow, good work guys.

Def Leppard – Adrenalize


Maybe this one just hasn’t aged well (much like their music) but its hard to imagine a time when this cover looked good, isn’t it? A cheap and nasty looking blue lightning affect, does little to sell the cheesy pop rock songs that are contained in this record.






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