Final Six: The Six Best/Worst Album Covers of 2010
Chris "Twelve-Dollar Tall Boy" Krovatin is the author of two young adult novels, Heavy Metal & You and Venomous. He is currently working on multiple new writing projects, as well as new material with his local New York metal band Flaming Tusk. He is a freelance writer for Revolver and generally comes off as a good-natured pain in everyone's collective ass.
My original plan was to do the six best and shittiest metal albums of 2010, but I already had my 10 best down, and if music’s shitty, I just don’t listen to it. Album covers, though, that’s another matter. I’ll probably ignore your shitty album if I suspect I’ll hate it, but I’ll always take the time to check out your retarded album cover. All that takes is a click of a link, not listening to 40 minutes of your shitty metalcore band. So here to ring in the New Year is my list of the Six Best and Worst Album Covers Of 2010.
But before that, let me share my Top 10 albums. High on Fire was easily my No. 1 Album of the Year, because Snakes for the Divine was a really impressive collection of awesome metal songs, and the production wasn’t that overdone. Then, in no particular order: Sigh, because it sounded like Hell’s marching band; Triptykon, because it was a goth-metal hangover; Wormrot, because death metal never sounded so frantic; Howl, because it shredded; Black Breath, because Heavy Breathing makes me wonder what the fuck every other thrash band is doing; Graf Orlock, because epic grind is hard to find; Holy Grail, because it sounds just like a battle; Autopsy, because fuck, man; and Mendozza, a Canadian stoner/doom band whose latest album, Cabra Noche, is a nasty little underground gem and is as interesting, if not more so, than the new Electric Wizard. There. That’s my 10 for 2010. Sorry, Enslaved and Those Poor Bastards, but Autopsy and Graf Orlock knocked you off.
So without further ado...
The Six Best Album Covers of 2010
1) Landmine Marathon, Sovereign Descent: How the fuck to describe what’s going on here…a rock formation is giving birth to zombie molds? In sorta-Japan? Look, I’m not getting it right, but trust me, it’s awesome.
2) Cough, Ritual Abuse: This Richmond doom quartet put out one of the gnarliest records of the year, and the cover—a nude woman shying away from falling daggers in a red-hued wasteland—perfectly conveys their abysmal sound.
3) Howl, Full Of Hell: The Grim Reaper has the furnace of Hell in his belly, and when he cries out in furious wrath, it escape from his mouth. Behind him, the eyeball harvest comes in. Wait until you hear the album.
4) Ghost, Opus Eponymous: Welcome to the Acid Pope’s castle. The attic is full of vampires. The basement is full of Mercyful Fate tapes. Inside, we will dine on human flesh and hail the name of Satan. In the Seventies. Something like that.
5) Black Anvil, Triumvirate: This Brooklyn black-metal troupe’s long-awaited new album has a cover exploding with morbidity. How to describe it? Two skulls meeting in a rupturing flower of darkness? Doesn’t do it justice. Really, just check it out. Badass.
6) 1349, Demonoir: If you’re going to put a skull on your album, and you're not Overkill, it had better be really fucking cool. Good job, boys.
The Six Worst Album Covers of 2010
1) Korn, Korn III: Remember Who You Are: Oh, please. First off, we get it, child molestation is awful, you’re so dark. Second, if this is a call-back, it’s a poor one. The wash-out and looming shadow on your debut had a weird over-exposed menace. This is overdone, too poised, too planned. I don’t buy it. Good job shitting on your legacy.
2) Nevermore, The Obsidian Conspiracy: A demon kid licks the air, while her weird pale-faced alien friend stares on. The Washington Monument looms in the apocalyptic background. This crappily-Photoshopped album sleeve makes me want to do anything but check out the new Nevermore.
3) Malevolent Creation, Invidious Dominion: And there’s, like, a creature. With…many arms! On some embers. He’s an evil creature, with his face like the dude from Vader’s Revelations. Just…it’s a death-metal album. Go with that.
4) Iron Maiden, The Final Frontier: First thing’s first, where the fuck is Derek Riggs? Second, is that Eddie’s skeleton in the spacesuit being attacked by the Jolly Green Jerkoff there? Third, where the fuck is Derek Riggs?
5) Downspirit, Point Of Origin: I’ve never even heard this band, ever, but regardless, what an awful cover. A burning werewolf runs out of an Old West town, clutching his acoustic guitar? Jesus.
6) Bring Me The Horizon, There Is a Hell, Believe Me I’ve Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let’s Keep It a Secret: Let’s just say it’s as stupid and pointless as the title.