Sunday Sesh: Don’t Judge an Album By Its Cover

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.

TheZenithPassageSolipsist

Well, it’s not purple…

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.


(Image via)

 

Written by:

Published on: January 17, 2016

Filled Under: Metal, Opinion

Views: 1691

Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • Arhys
    • Arhys
    • Great album though.

      • Dave Vincent’s Perm

        It has a few great songs but the album as a whole just gets on my nerves. Definitely the low point of their earlier albums.

        • Doesn’t bother me at all.

          • Dave Vincent’s Perm

            Dave Vincent’s tough guy Glen Benton wannabe vocals, the watery production, the awful (and slightly questionable) lyrics annoy the fuck out of me. It could have been a great album if Dave had been allowed less creative control over it.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Rutan is the best thing about this album.

    • COAL ROLL

      the record cover art isn’t as yikes

  • El Jefe Ross

    The Chasm is pretty awesome.

  • El Jefe Ross

    This is hard for me. I tend to enjoy “shitty” album covers, to an extent.

    However, the album cover for Born Too Late just doesn’t fit. The album is a doom and gloom masterpiece but the bright pink gives off a very different vibe. It looks nothing like any of their other covers. I’m not considering this a “shitty” cover per se, just one that doesn’t work well with it’s album

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrdcmxxHdx0

    • Pepto Bismol Doom

      • El Jefe Ross

        Haha! And i really really like that album. I like the format of the cover, but think it would benefit from a black background or maybe even a dark red.

  • BobLoblaw

    Nocturnus !T.O.O.H! and Phlebotomized come to mind pretty quickly.

    • El Jefe Ross

      Those are, um, well, um…

      • BobLoblaw

        All really good albums?

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      I always dug the Nocturnus one.

      • BobLoblaw

        For its time I guess it isnt too bad, just struck me as kinda goofy always. I actually like a great deal of Josef Vesely’s work, but the cover for Pod Vladou Bice doesnt due the album justic like the cover for Rad A Trest. Looking at that cover its hard to know what to expect, possibly (later diagnosed) mental instability? Genius?

    • Dave Vincent’s Perm

      How can you not like a picture of a cyborg who goes back in time to kill Jesus?

      • BobLoblaw

        Tips to make make me like it.
        1. Cyborg that seems to have full use of his legs.
        2. No Giger Recliner.
        3. Glowing pentagram at the end of a fire emblazoned shaft protruding from the pelvis (again standing, showing the use of legs).
        4. Said “key” on the precipice of sliding into Mega Maid.
        5. Cyborg riding Silver Surfer esque board (because its the shit and to show the full use of legs).
        6. Switch the blue to purple.

    • Capra Hircus Hubertus

      The cover of their previous album was awesome

      • Much better. Still silly though.

        • El Jefe Ross

          It has slugs. Slugs are silly.

    • Edward/Breegrodamus™

      I love that cover!

  • 365ChaosRiddenDays
  • I like this album cover because it’s great and awful at the same time. The first song sounds like Agoraphobic Nosebleed meets Lil’ Jon. I didn’t make it much further however.

    https://potatohateexplosion.bandcamp.com/album/turn-up-do-what-thou-will

  • And then there’s this………

  • Pagliacci is Kvlt
    • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

      Booooo

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        You sir are wrong

        • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

          I bood because i think this album cover is dope.

          On my vinyl the white letters are cutout for an impressionist type insert behind it.

          • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

            I would argue that New Bermuda has the worse cover

          • El Jefe Ross

            The vinyl packaging is pretty cool, i will agree with you on that.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I didn’t know.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      Yay!

    • Arhys

      Yeah, Deafheaven is not good with album covers.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqiAPEjV094

      • EsusMoose

        Roads to Judah’s art is great. Beyond that, both of their LPs art fits the theme of the album. If anything their demo is awful https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/05/Deafheaven_-_Demo_original.jpg

        • El Jefe Ross

          Yeah, that demo art blows.

          • EsusMoose

            Arts and crafts. Not even once.

          • El Jefe Ross

            Not even.
            I like the oil painting used for New Bermuda, i think the mood fits.

          • EsusMoose

            Oh that’s how they did it, never knew how they got that look

          • El Jefe Ross

            It’s what give it the textured wet look. Oil paints are one of my favorite mediums.

            Link to the artist.

            http://www.allisonschulnik.com/

      • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

        He’s gots tha sads because someone threw a pie in his face.

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    I love The X Factor by Iron Maiden. Same with Virtual XI, Jugulator and Dance Of Death.

  • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

    Your average DM/grind cover is repellant to me.

    • If I want to see blood, puke, and shit, I’ll look in my toilet on an average Friday night.

      • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

        Zing!

  • EsusMoose

    Love the album but this david bowie looking guy makes you think you’re about to get some sweet, sweet, hip, indie spoken gàrbagé https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4nSwzQyajQ

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Moonsorrow (that’s good). This album cover (that’s bad).

    • El Jefe Ross

      Holy hell, thats a bad cover.

      • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

        But a crazy good album

        • Sir Tapir The Based

          Probably me favourite Moonsorrow album.

          • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

            Sigh….

            Mine too

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Hähähähähähähähhähähähähähähähähähähähähähähähääää

          • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

            Eh, I liked V Havitetti better. Then again, Moonsorrow doesn’t have any bad albums, so it’s a win win.
            BTW, found a pretty good Finnish film with subtitiles last night (Winter Of The Dead). Started off kinda slow, but got a lot better as it went along.

          • Sir Tapir The Based

            Zombies, eh? I’ll pass on that shit.

          • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

            Eh, I don’t watch many horror films, but it had a dark comedy element to it that made it a bit different. Couldn’t find that one film you were talking about (Joulubileet).

    • Sir Tapir The Based

      It’s not that bad.

      • CyberneticOrganism

        It just looks cheaply made

        • Sir Tapir The Based

          Just like your mom

          • CyberneticOrganism

            My only mother is Cyberdyne and she’s a SAINT

  • Capra Hircus Hubertus

    Doesn’t completely count because it’s a reissue, with the original cover being a lot better, but still.

  • Here’s an all time classic bad album cover. WTF were they thinking?(RFI)

    • Arhys

      It looks like an electronic music album.

    • El Jefe Ross

      This passed through my mind as well. Its definitely an odd choice and my least favorite of the Ozzy covers. Though 13 is pretty bad as well.

      • And here’s the classic case of not judging an album by it’s very weak cover(RFI)

        • El Jefe Ross

          Agreed. That album rips, but that cover is rather misleading. Looks more like a goofy 70s prog cover.

        • Ted Nü-Djent ™

          My Favourite Sabbath album

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      Born Again and Forbidden also had bad album covers but are great albums.

      • El Jefe Ross

        Born Again is an amazing cover and of of my favorites.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          I saw a notebook made of the album cover at my local record store. I regret not buying it.

          • El Jefe Ross

            Should have bought it.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            If it’s there next time I’ll buy it. They also had X Factor by Iron Maiden on cassette and a sealed cassette of Killers by them as well.

          • El Jefe Ross

            Pass on the X Factor, hell yes on Killers.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I like the Blaze Bayley era though. Sadly I couldn’t find Virtual XI.

    • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

      Looks like they were digging through Autograph or Yes’ garbage cans.

      • No mean feat considering this was released in 1976.

      • El Jefe Ross

        It’s art from Hipgnosis, so you’re close.

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Garbage cover. So shitty.

  • Óðinn

    Fir Bolg – Towards Ancestral Lands. Funny looking album cover, but really good Celtic Black Metal album.

    http://schwarzdornproduction.bandcamp.com/album/towards-ancestral-lands-sd44cd

    http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61htZ2IgHtL.jpg

  • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED
    • we just like to get high…

      • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

        I prefer a non flavored blunt, myself

        • If someone passes me a blunt I’ll hit off it, but I prefer a straight up joint or bowl. In fact, there are no papers in my home, just bowls.

          • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

            I diversify on occasion

    • Arhys

      The music has to be good on this thread, though this is misguided in many ways.

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        Do you have the meats? If you don’t have the meats your argument is invalid.

        • EsusMoose

          God that joke took me a couple seconds, I blame sunday

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            It’s a good one.

          • Arhys

            I don’t get it.

          • EsusMoose

            …Ar(h=b)ys

          • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

            This is no place for maths!

        • Óðinn
          • You can’t beat that meat. ^_^

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I laughed heartily at this joke.

          • Excellent. My job is done.

          • Arhys

            Oh it’s because my handle is Arhys. Well, I blame the fact that there is no Arby’s here.

        • Óðinn
          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I love Arby’s.

          • Óðinn

            #meatgameproper

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            The Meat Mountain seems like a heart attack waiting to happen.

          • Óðinn
          • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop
          • She looks like she’s about to assume her ultimate form.

          • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

            Or assume ultimate meat poops.

          • I have a butcher shop 2 blocks from my house. I can build my own killer roast beef sammiches for about 1/3 of the cost.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Arby’s isn’t that bad. The Horsey Sauce is the best.

          • I’m not saying it’s bad. I’m just saying that you can’t beat buying your own stuff from a top flight butcher. That includes rolls and sauce.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I love their Roast Beef and Cheese. I’d try the Meat Mountain they sell but it’s 10 dollars.

          • I could buy a lb of London broil and rolls for that much.It would take me all day to eat a Meat Mountain.

          • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

            Sadly, butchers are a dying breed nowadays, at least the truly competent ones, not the pimply faced teenage ginger who works the slicer at Safeway.

          • McKinnon’s has been here for 50 years. Even with the increased rents in Davis Sq, they aren’t going anywhere. Even rumors of them closing are met by panic from customers and community action.

          • El Jefe Ross

            Damn, you do live in a prime location!

          • And the rent reflects that. A nice 2 bed/bath around here goes for $2500/month. O_O

          • El Jefe Ross

            Sheeeeeit.

          • Fortunately the shithole I live in doesn’t cost nearly that much. I’ve also been living here for decades.

          • Óðinn

            Right in between a music venue and meat shop.

          • El Jefe Ross

            Exactly my point! Sounds like my kind of place.

          • Actually the club is a 5 minute bus ride away. ^_^

          • CT-12

            Ay man, thanks for the albums dude!

          • Dubs

            Hey man, thank you!

          • CT-12

            No problemo man, thanks for the great content and friendliness!

          • El Jefe Ross

            No problem! you were gifting quite a bit, thought i would return the favor.

        • Arhyswehaveasshtoninshingmeats

          To answer your question, yes.

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Yay!

    • CyberneticOrganism

      NO

    • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

      RIP, South Dakota!

    • Óðinn
    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      Riot is good shit.

      • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

        As is Riot X, the band that the surviving members formed after the singer passed away.

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    Amazon Music has almost the entire Iron Maiden discography for free on Prime.

  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    This actually fits incredibly well with who they are as a band, but…

    Spared you guys the real, NSFW version:

    http://img.rlsbb.com/images/2013/11/21/81-Vht3pfsL.jpg

    • EsusMoose

      Completely forgot about this, it’s the album that when playing I always try to hide my phone or laptop screen

      • Edward/Breegrodamus™

        See also: Lord Mantis private Spotify sessions.

    • Dubs

      I actually think this version is pretty funny.

  • Here’s an interior shot of ONCE Ballroom on Friday night.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BApf9ABRsrl/

    • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

      Except you DIDNT go see Tombs?!

      • I don’t really know them or 1349.
        I might go see Bongzilla there, but it seems Dixie is not with them at present. That could be a deal breaker.

        • Óðinn

          Tombs, 1349, and Bongzilla? Sweet.

          • Tombs/1349 was Friday. Bongzilla is in April.
            Y’all have no idea how psyched I am that there’s a club in Somerville doing this now. When I was a teen in 1980s Somerville, a club like this never would’ve stood a chance of succeeding.

          • more beer

            I saw Bongzilla at the last pot parade I went to in New York. About 2 weeks before 9/11.

          • Óðinn

            Tombs, 1349, and (eventually) Bongzilla? Sweet.

        • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

          Dixie?

          I dont expect you would like 1349 at all. Tombs you might

        • Óðinn

          ~~~

  • CyberneticOrganism
  • Lacertilian

    While looking for a header pic I came across this madness..

  • Dubs
    • CyberneticOrganism

      Buh

    • Dave Vincent’s Perm

      That looks like Morrowind

      • BobLoblaw

        That would be a compliment.

    • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

      Checking to make sure I didn’t upload some CD-Rom from 1996 after looking at that.

    • tigeraid

      Emporer Nafaryus?

  • Dubs
    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      What did I just witness?

      • Dubs

        Str8 outta northcote by Blood Duster.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.

        • Ted Nü-Djent ™

          Wait until he sees when you fold out the rest of the cover

  • CyberneticOrganism

    Have no idea if the music is any good, but this is fucking terrible.

    http://www.music-bazaar.com/album-images/vol1005/463/463418/2282803-big/Hanging-In-The-Balance-cover.jpg

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      Metal Church is good.

    • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

      Definitely not their finest hour music wise either!

    • more beer

      They should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Super Nintendo Chalmers

      That art is fantastic. You’re fucked.

  • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop
    • El Jefe Ross

      truly a horrendous cover.

    • CyberneticOrganism

      Holy shit

      • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

        Afterwards, they challenged Manowar to a baby oil wrestling match.

        • El Jefe Ross

          ManOwaR won.

          • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

            In The Dark Of The Butt

          • Óðinn

            When men lube up and wrestle, nobody wins.

          • El Jefe Ross

            ManOwaR crushes those who oppose with STEEL!

          • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop
          • El Jefe Ross

            Where did you find that picture? That’s quite hysterical.

          • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

            Under Google Image Search, under ‘Manowar funny’.

          • El Jefe Ross

            Wow. Impressive.

    • Janitor Jim Duggan

      I’m Facebook friends with the bassist. I never got the point of this album cover.

      • It was the 80s. There was no point.
        I saw this tour. I still have the Judas Priest wristband Mark tossed practically in my face.

        • El Jefe Ross

          That’s bad ass!

          • Proof. (RFI)

          • El Jefe Ross

            I never doubt you KJM!
            Is the guitar pick your’s? Or does it have a cool story as well?

          • The pick(and 3 others) and a gig bag came with the Epiphone SG when I bought it off Ebay(only $125 including shipping).

          • El Jefe Ross

            Okay, right on.
            How is the playing coming along?

          • Slowly but surely, getting out exactly what I put into it. A song pops into my head, I look up the chords, and then just try to play them properly. I’ll probably end up watching some music theory lectures via youtube, as well as learn some more picking and single note stuff so I won’t be as much of a hack.

          • El Jefe Ross

            Cool man, sounds pretty solid. I just kinda play around, I really need to learn some more songs.

        • Janitor Jim Duggan

          That was the Turbo tour right? Did you see the Operation Rock and Roll tour they did with Alice Cooper, Motorhead and Dangerous Toys? That came to the county fair across the river that got all the major acts in their primes.

          • Oh no, I saw Raven on this tour. Mark Gallagher was wearing a JP wristband. I was up front and got it tossed in my face after the set.

          • and I’ve only seen JP twice(1988, 2004).

      • El Jefe Ross

        Over the top METAL, that’s why.

  • Dave Vincent’s Perm

    • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

      It’s Dr. Strangelove!!!!!!

  • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

    These guys have a few decent songs (with a god awful singer), but these…………. THESE!!!!….

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/tCcQpEePkBA/maxresdefault.jpg

    http://heavymetaltribune.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/metalucifer-heavymetalchainsaw.jpg

    And this was Grave Digger before they became Grave Digger, during their Howard The Duck (or that robot duck from Aqua Teen Hunger Force) phase.

    http://www.metal-archives.com/images/4/6/1/4/4614.jpg?5352

  • El Jefe Ross

    Beer and Metal all in one. Real Ale Brewing’s The Sword – Ghost Eye Oatmeal Stout

    • CyberneticOrganism

      How is it?

      • El Jefe Ross

        It is a solid oatmeal stout. Not too dry like some get, but nice a creamy. Little bit of cocoa on the back end as well.

  • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED
    • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

      Lololol, i mean its just little dudes, some brown bholes and some dicks lol

    • this album is not a good.

  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    Generation 13 by Saga has awful album artwork and it’s also the single worst concept album ever. It’s a 76th rate Quadrophenia ripoff with the main character ripping off Pearl Jam’s Jeremy character but he has a split personality like The Shining. The only thing I know about the concept is that it’s based off a book about Generation X and the main character doesn’t want to grow up to be like his dad. I love a lot of prog including a lot of Saga’s albums. Not this one.

    • BobLoblaw

      Looks like he should be flip kicking a board off that bitch.

    • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

      I loooooooooooooove Saga, but that was a pretty low moment for them, no doubt!

      • Janitor Jim Duggan

        Yay, I’m not alone in loving Saga!

        • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

          My favorite one of their’s is ‘The Perfectionist’ (the live version)

          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            I love that song! I haven’t heard a live version vet.

          • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop
          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            Sadly the debut is out of print on CD. I want to buy it but it’s so hard to find on CD.

          • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

            You could probably get a Youtube Downloader and DL it from there.

  • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop
    • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

      That future scoliosis metal

      • No doubt. That’s some bad posture, right there.

      • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop

        Lol, I can’t make out the band name or even find in the article what their name is. Only thing is I know is that they’re from Bali.

  • Ted Nü-Djent ™

    Mötley Crüe’s best album has their worst cover (almost)

  • Ted Nü-Djent ™

    Obligatory

  • Ted Nü-Djent ™

    This too

  • In the villa of Ormen
    Stands a solitary candle
    in the centre of it all

  • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

    16F/-9C and they give me 10 fucking jobs to do. Mother fuckers.

    • Hammerdong Von Spookypoop
    • El Jefe Ross

      Mother fuckers indeed.

    • Sir Tapir The Based

      -9C is fucking nothing.

      • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

        I work outside, numbnuts

        • Sir Tapir The Based

          So? In Finland people are working outside in -30C weather. Stop crying.

          • BLACKBEARD UNFILTERED

            You stop crying!