Worst Album Covers

50 of the worst album covers ever

Avert your eyes, because these visual atrocities are some of the worst album covers you’ll ever see…

Before the virtual grab bag of the internet, bands would have to rely on their covers to catch the eye of any potential fans. How many people have you heard saying they discovered their favourite bands by simply picking up an album simply because it looked cool? 

Some bands weren’t so careful about presenting their hard work in the studio. Here, then, are 50 creative misfires so heinous you may never want to look at an album again. 

Scorpions – Animal Magnetism

Women and Doberman Pinschers both appreciate a man in a pair of slacks. If anything else comes to mind while gazing at this image, then you’re beyond help. 

1 Scorpions

Black Flag – What The…

What better way to piss all over the visual legacy of your band’s back catalogue by smashing this out in 10 minutes using MS Paint? 

2 Black Flag What The

Enochian – Night Monumental Evil

This band come from Ostrava in the Czech Republic. We’ve never been, so we’re guessing there’s fuck all to do there. 

3 Enochian

Alice Cooper – Raise Your Fist And Yell

There’s a good reason Alice Cooper is screaming and that’s because you’ve got fast broadband and the flat all to yourself. 

4 Alice Cooper Raise Your First

Blazemth – Fatherland

This Barcelona band cancelled a long-planned trip to Games Workshop to do draw this. That’s true sacrifice. 

5 Blazemth Fatherland

Jack Starr’s Burning Starr – No Turning Back!

That’s exactly what Jack said to himself once he’d dropped the artwork off at the printers. 

6  Jack Starr

Keydragon – Drink From The Waters Of War

It’s like someone explained a key scene from Game Of Thrones to their child and asked them to draw it in a darkened room. 

7 Keydragon

Metal Church – Hanging In The Balance

If there was a brief for this staggering illustration, it was clearly misinterpreted. 

8 Metal Church

Denet – Terrestrial Dying

It’s always nice to see a person’s soul escape an appalling album sleeve and enter the next realm. 

10 Denet

Overkill – Under The Influence

Navigating the New York subway is hard enough without Avenged Sevenfolds mascot trying to blast you with its eye lasers. 

11 Overkill

Iron Maiden – Dance Of Death

Remember when Ally McBeal used to have hallucinations of a poorly animated dancing baby? Here it is at some sort of mask party hosted by Eddie. 

12 Iron Maiden

Wolf – Wolf

Is it a wolf or a mandrill? Why does it have vulture heads for fingers? No wonder it looks upset.

13 Wolf

Riot – Fire Down Under

When it comes to band mascots, Iron Maiden have Eddie. Megadeth have Vic Rattlehead. Motörhead had Snaggletooth. And Riot, for reasons known only to themselves, had a naked man with a dandelion seal head. It’s memorable, if nothing else. 

14 Riot Fire

Dethkorpz – Metal Tit

Set in an apocalyptic future, Dethkorpz must do anything to survive in a wasteland dominated by lemon-shaped chimneys spewing out toxic pollution. Best fire up the boob tank, then. 

15 Dethkorpz

Alcatraz – No Parole From Rock 'N' Roll

The crime? Just bad design.

16 Alcatraz

Mortiis – The Stargate

I’m off to the shops. Does anyone want anything? No? Okay, bye then.”

17 Mortiis

Abruptum – Evil Genius

In every GCSE art class there was always one person who’d spend ages on a band logo, then half-arsed the actual painting before the bell rang for lunch. It was you, wasn’t it? 

18 Abruptum

Accept – Balls To The Wall

If this moody shot was supposed to convey the erotic tension of a man in his undies masturbating a doorknob, then they’ve absolutely nailed it. 

17 Accept Photo U1

Anthrax – Fistful Of Metal

The cover was all wrong, but we didn’t have the budget to do anything else,” says Scott Ian. No shit.

19 Anthrax

Iron Angel – Hellish Crossfire

Hellish Crossfire feature the four types of people you’ll see waiting for a taxi in any provincial town at closing time. 

20 Iron Angel

Bad Religion – Stranger Than Fiction

If you’re the most intellectual punk band on the planet, why not use a photo which suggests your singer has just had an epic nap and doesn’t give a shiny shit. 

21 Bad Religion Stranger

Black Sabbath – Born Again

I didn’t have any participation in the album cover,” remembers drummer Bill Ward. When I saw it, I hated it.” Can’t think why. 

22 Black Sabbath Born Again 22Jpg

Black Sabbath – Paranoid

Motorcycle couriers in London have a quick temper, don’t they? 

23 Black Sabbath Photo U5

Frenzal Rhomb – Dick Sandwich

It’s the sort of sandwich that Heston Blumenthal would probably describe as innovative”. We’ll pass, thank you. 

24 Dick Sandwich 57723772582D2

Earth Crisis – Firestorm

A firestorm to purify the bane that society drowns in? This flame wouldn’t even trouble a lettuce leaf. 

25 Earth Crisis Fire

Exodus – Bonded By Blood

We bet this pair are a right handful at nursery school. Mind you, that evil baby is ripped.

26 Exodus Bondedbyblood Lg

Fates Warning – Night On Bröcken

Management: Lads, I found a weird painting in a charity shop. We could use that as our album cover.” 

Band: Can we not use something a bit cooler? We want to make a statement with our debut album.” 

Management: What’s cooler than a cape?” 

27 Fates Warning Photo U1

Adema – Topple The Giants

You can’t explore any English Heritage site without being attacked by some tiny, nu-metal also-rans. 

28 Adema

Battleaxe – Burn This Town

I need your clothes, furry boots, your motorcycle and your badly drawn axe. 

29 Battleaxe

Adrian – One Step Into The Uncertain

Yo, Adrian, you did it! And our main question is: why?


Rush – Hemispheres

A suited gentleman goes for a stroll and is confronted by a nude man standing on a brain. This is the sort of thing people had to deal with in Toronto during the 1970s and yet they’re still polite. 

31 Rush

Maniac Butcher – Lučan – Antikrist

Haters will say this image is Photoshopped. Because it is. 

32 Maniac Butcher

Immortal – Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism

The most diabolical thing about this album cover is the fact the person breathing fire has tucked their shirt in, like a total dad. 

Immortal Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticism Full Cover

Messiah – Extreme Cold Weather

Am I going to be famous?” roared the polar bear. Sort of. 

34 Messiah Extreme Cold Weather

NOFX – Heavy Petting Zoo

This sheep must have a bellyache after eating too much grass. Luckily, this kind farmer is on hand to give it a soothing massage. Anyone who thinks he’s up to no good with this gentle creature should get their mind out of the gutter. 

35 Nofx Heavy Petting Zoo

Pantera – Metal Magic

First thing’s first: why is this cat-human hybrid wearing a belt? 

36 Pantera Photo U1

Type O Negative – The Origin Of The Feces

Ever wondered what Pete Steeles bumhole would have looked like? Wonder no more!

37 Type O

Riot – Narita

Here’s Riot’s dandelion-headed seal man again. This time, he’s squatting over a pile of human skulls while a plane looms in the background. We’re getting… a metaphor for war or something?! 

38 Riot Photo U1

Scorpions – Lovedrive

This album art perfectly captures the thin line between eroticism and the inconvenience of a handful of chewed bubblegum. That’s got to be it, right? 

39 Scorpions Love Drive

Slayer – Show No Mercy

Who knew that the Devil would cut such a dash in leather underpants? Utterly chilling… if you’re five years old. 

40 Slayer Show No Mercy E1568761061149

Stryper – Isaiah 53:5

You’ve been waiting for the AA to arrive on a dark, cold night. Due to a clerical error, this lot roll up, disguised as military bees. 

41 Stryper Isaiah

Ted Nugent – Scream Dream

There’s a simple reason why Ted’s panicking about his hands turning into Gibson Byrdlands; he wouldn’t be able to shoot anymore elk in the neck. 

42 Ted Nugent Scream Dream

Torment – Bestial Sex

We’ve read the lyrics to this song and it’s not about freeing a cow from a wire fence, unfortunately. 

43 Torment

Boned – Up At The Crack

He should get that looked at, to be honest. 

44 Boned Up At The Crack

Vanlade – Iron Age

This strapping young man is so preoccupied with checking his testicles for lumps, he’s only gone and forgotten his sword. Lucky his mermaid wife has come to the rescue. 

45 Vanlade Iron Age

Mad – Taboo Of The Western World

What taboo is this? Floating roast parsnips in space? 

46 Mad

Gamma Ray – Sigh No More

This must be a concept album about a skeleton who’s been stood up at his desert wedding. His best man is relieved not to have to make his speech and can get on with some serious boozing. 

47 Gamma Ray

Post Mortem – Message From The Dead

The message reads: Why?’

48 Post Mortem

Exciter – Unveiling The Wicked

These Canadian speed metallers stressed the importance of avoiding the use of cheap peel-off face masks with this 1986 album. 

49 Exciter

Metal Massacre VI – Various Artists

Gruesome scenes from your cousin’s GCSE art portfolio. Is everything alright at home? 

50 Metal Massacre
Posted on January 22nd 2021, 2:10p.m.
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