Well, I guess you can, but you might miss out on a misguided gem.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m particularly
shallow ruthless when sifting through albums/bands to give a chance. The slightest reason not to listen to something will see me skip to the next potential candidate without really looking back. The appeal of an album cover is probably the prime criterion I utilise when I’m scanning through releases to investigate. Coupled with the band/album name, I think it determines whether or not I stab play on an album.
Now this isn’t something I’ve only recently elucidated; I’ve openly acknowledged this aspect of my tastes for some time. So when Jack Bauer posted the album art for the upcoming The Zenith Passage release (pictured below) this week on the TovH FB group, to a mixed reaction (at best), I tried to think of an album that I covet which has sub-par cover art. This was even more of a struggle than I first imagined, reinforcing my previous point that I’m probably guilty of only listening to things which I’ve found aesthetically pleasing.
However, looking back through my collection I noticed some covers which are objectively pretty crappy, for which I found myself making excuses, like “That was just the 80’s” or “The band was just starting out” etc. So when I tried to pick out some examples of bad covers that contained excellent music, I strived to exclude anything really old or things such as garage demos which were clearly created on a drunken weekend.
The most apt example of this I could muster is The Chasm‘s 2004 album The Spell Of Retribution. Let’s face it, that cover is terribad. Actually, with the exception of 2009’s Farseeing The Paranormal Abysm, most of their covers are pretty crude and not at all indicative of the intricately crafted death metal found within. While I couldn’t locate a YouTube rip of the entire album, I did find a playlist of a few of the tracks someone had created which I will embed below. Don’t let the kinda snoozy galloping intro track deter you; an exceptional and often frenetic display of winding death metal awaits you. Just ignore that damn cover art.
So today, use the comments section below to stand up for an album you love that is completely misrepresented by its cover.