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Some of these albums are known just when you see their album cover. They are usually iconic albums (whether positively or negatively) and one can easily identify them even if they were zoomed out tons in any place.

Please contribute to this list by suggesting albums you think have iconic covers. Comments are appreciated.

Created by: Iron Nostarion | 01.10.2011



1. Morbid Angel - Altars Of Madness
Easily a cover that can be identified miles away should you have ever seen it.
2. Immortal - At The Heart Of Winter
A descriptive cover with meaning and depth, also hiding behind it Immortal's magnum de opus.
3. Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse
Another descriptive cover with more depth. Also a great black metal landmark.
4. Mayhem - De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas
Definitely iconic cover, engraved in the mind of anyone who knows stuff about black metal.
5. Metallica - Ride The Lightning
No one could ever forget this (rather simplistic) cover with the electric chair and the lightning surrounding it. Even '80s Dave Mustaine liked it, evidenced by his "No More Mr. Nice Guy" music video.
6. Metallica - St. Anger
Despite of the overwhelmingly negative opinions about this album, it remains one of the most iconic covers to signal a bad album.
7. Metallica - Metallica
Yet another Metallica cover (one more coming), but the nature of this cover has actually given a name for the album different than its original. ("The Black Album")
8. Coroner - Punishment For Decadence
Quite iconic for its own right.
9. Metallica - Master Of Puppets
The final Metallica cover to be featured here, it is one of the most well-known covers in metal history.
10. Exodus - Bonded By Blood
Very iconic cover that from the first sight, it'd be hard to get it out of your head.
11. Venom - Black Metal
Easily the definitive album for black metal, that isn't just encompassed in the sound and lyrics. The album's title as well as the cover play a great role in black metal even today.
12. Venom - Welcome To Hell
This cover, too, is another definitive, iconic cover by Venom.
13. Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power
Easily Pantera's most well-known cover, its photo of (probably) Dimebag Darrell receiving a punch in the face is one of the most well-known covers to anyone who has ever browsed a bit about them.
14. Kreator - Pleasure To Kill
This album cover cannot be easily removed out of one's head and remains as the most well-known in Kreator's gallery.
15. Slayer - Reign In Blood
You knew this one was coming. Blasphemous, unholy and totally disturbing to the mainstream - perfectly iconic.
16. Mayhem - Dawn Of The Black Hearts
Featuring a photo of Dead (Per Yngve Ohlin) dead with the shotgun, this is probably a greatly iconic and controversial album cover in metal history.
17. Motörhead - Motorhead
Defining their famous "war boar" with their debut album, Motörhead have definitely aced the cover with this one.
18. Motörhead - Ace Of Spades
As soon as you see this cover, it's gonna be stuck in your head forever. Although not THAT interesting, it's definitely very, very memorable and has a great album behind it.
19. Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden
You may not think this cover is memorable, but it's definitely iconic as it spawned us Eddie the Head.
20. Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast
A definitely iconic album, cover, band, everything. It'd be crazy to not include this on this list.
21. Iron Maiden - The Trooper
Definitely the most iconic cover Maiden have come up with (arguable), this has inspired Bruce to actually wear the uniform.
22. Iron Maiden - Powerslave
Another iconic cover from the iconic Iron Maiden. Featuring Eddie as a pharaoh is definitely priceless.
23. Blue Öyster Cult - Fire Of Unknown Origin
Way iconic for its own right.
24. Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time
Although the album was not much, the cover is definitely memorable and includes some hints for you. ;)
25. Megadeth - Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?
The pose of Vic Rattlehead in this album is definitely iconic, along with the view of the United Nations and the "FOR SALE" sign that Vic is holding.
26. Megadeth - Rust In Peace
The colors of this cover, as well as Vic's look and the important personalities behind him, definitely make this one of the most iconic album covers of all time.
27. Megadeth - The System Has Failed
Although not the most iconic or memorable, probably because of the album's quality, its scenery and inclusion of politics, as well as its powerful image, make this instantly iconic to most who view it.
28. Darkthrone - Transilvanian Hunger
This album's cover is probably the most black metal cover there is. It reflects the true imagery and ideology of black metal more than the most wintery landscape, burning churches or inverted crosses. It's certainly iconic.
29. Obituary - Cause Of Death
A death metal album that certainly has a cover that is iconic to any true metalhead.
30. Sepultura - Beneath The Remains
This album's cover is one of the most iconic covers and I can tell I can instantly recognize it even though I'm not a Sepultura fan.
31. Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales
Certainly, this EP has a cover with icons to remember.
32. Burzum - Aske
Although one can think that the whole purpose of this EP was to show off the pic, which remains an icon in black metal, one does not know that some musical creativity and prowess are also behind this controversial cover.
33. Dream Theater - Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes From A Memory
With the images forming a full face, this has probably become a t-shirt staple for Dream Theater as well as an iconic and signaling image of probably their best album.
34. Dream Theater - Images And Words
Yet another iconic album cover from those progressive metal icons.
35. Gorgoroth - Twilight Of The Idols
Another controversial cover featuring a burning church. Definitely iconic and memorable. Yet, unlike "Aske", the music behind this cover is - mostly - crap.
36. Queensrÿche - Operation: Mindcrime
With its descriptive imagery, its somewhat famous icon in the middle and the color scheme, this cover indeed deserves a spot on this list.
37. Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Anyone arguing the icon-ness and weight of this album cover despite its shitty nature must be out of their mind.
38. Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction
Perhaps one of the most iconic covers in the history of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal.
39. Mötley Crüe - Too Fast For Love
Certainly an iconic cover to the extent that it was parodied by Anal Cunt. I don't care if it's Glam. =/
40. Celtic Frost - To Mega Therion
Another iconic cover by Celtic Frost.
41. Black Sabbath - Master Of Reality
Introducing the widely popular Black Sabbath band logo.. and basically charming. I think it's iconic.
42. Death - Leprosy
This cover of the legendary Death is simply iconic by the pose of the figure on the album that screams "Death".
43. Death - Scream Bloody Gore
And after resisting to put this on here, it seems that it had stuck with me quite well. 'Ere we go, yup it is iconic.
44. Possessed - Seven Churches
As well as being labeled by some the "first death metal album", this album is also iconic by its Satanic cover and the depth that it provides despite its simplistic look.
45. Slayer - South Of Heaven
The skull, the details in it and everything featured on this album, even the Parental Advisory label, is definitely iconic.
46. Opeth - Blackwater Park
Everything about this cover screams "Opeth". You've got the landscape that fits exactly for the atmosphere provided, you've got the band logo in its purest forms and even if you don't know them, the November-ish cover will definitely get you to have some interest. Iconic.
47. Sodom - Agent Orange
As soon as you see this cover, three words will saw through your mind: "TEUTONIC THRASH METAL".
48. Judas Priest - Painkiller
Judas Priest's covers have always included title characters, but this is probably the best and the most that Priest fans can identify with, so much that it has become Priest's Eddie. The landscape, the Judas Priest mark and everything make this a totally iconic album cover.
49. Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance
The bright yellow and the screeching Hellion flying across the cover is one of the most memorable and iconic covers of all time in Judas Priest's, and generally metal's, history.
50. Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
The astounding photo of the zeppelin crashing (most likely the Hindenburg?) and the way it was presented as the cover indeed makes this album's cover an iconic one.
51. Cannibal Corpse - Butchered At Birth
..along with all the sickening covers CC have managed to make in one spot. They all probably have the same effect and the same iconic tradition, but this one stands out for me because of the hanging babies. That's really sick.
52. Morbid Angel - Domination
Another classic, iconic death metal cover that all M.A. listeners cherish and lots of death metal fans know. Although nothing THAT special, the Slime Edition tale and the general feel of the cover probably made it as iconic.
53. Morbid Angel - Covenant
Yet another iconic cover by Morbid Angel.
54. Agalloch - The Mantle
Fewer albums from the 2000s have made it here, but this one has an outstanding cover. This cover simply describes the musical feel, the landscape it sounds like and is simply so appealing that I really bought the album just because of it. Turns out it wasn't bad at all.
55. Children Of Bodom - Follow The Reaper
This album's cover is an iconic landmark and one can notice it from miles away. It can also stick in your mind from the first look and is very descriptive of the album's nature.
56. Lamb Of God - Ashes Of The Wake
Although I'm not much a listener of Lamb of God, I can tell that this album's cover is definitely iconic and memorable.
57. Iced Earth - Something Wicked This Way Comes
Definitely a landmark in power metal with its cover and its content, this album can rightfully deserve a spot in this list.
58. Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part II
I think this album's cover is so iconic, simple enough.
59. Candlemass - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
An iconic album indeed, I almost doubted this because of fear that I did not know much about the band. But there ya go. :D



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Iron Nostarion ]



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Troy Killjoy - 01.10.2011 at 21:07  
Any album by any well-known band.
Troy Killjoy - 01.10.2011 at 21:09  
In all seriousness, you should add Dawn of the Black Hearts and EDM by Candlemass.
Iron Nostarion - 01.10.2011 at 21:10  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 01.10.2011 at 21:07

Any album by any well-known band.


Possibly, but look at Metallica's "Load", "ReLoad", "Death Magnetic", didn't include them for a reason. They didn't have that iconic quality to them. That album cover that pops out in your mind at random times.

Also, I didn't forget Amon Amarth, and they're one of the most popular out there. Yet didn't find any album that gave the same effect. Nor Anthrax. "Among the Living"'s cover, which will be soon suggested I assume, was not added by me because it also didn't have that much of that feel that would let albums like ones on this list be added here.

Thanks anyway.
Iron Nostarion - 01.10.2011 at 21:12  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 01.10.2011 at 21:09

In all seriousness, you should add Dawn of the Black Hearts and EDM by Candlemass.


Dawn is already there!
As for EDM, I added that and then took it out. I'll probably add it now. xD
Milena - 01.10.2011 at 21:21  
The cover for Images & Words pretty much sticks. And a Dio cover or two could have made it in anyhow, these are just my two cents, it's your list
Marcel Hubregtse - 02.10.2011 at 00:17  
Altars Of Madness I have a funny story about. back when it was released I got it as a gift from my grandma because just by looking at the cover she was sure I would love it and she totally loved the album cover as well.
Mr. Doctor - 02.10.2011 at 01:32  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 02.10.2011 at 00:17
and she totally loved the album cover as well.

Not only did she buy to you one of the best death metal albums ever (and I can't even imagine how that album sounded when it was released)... but she had some pretty good taste in art as well
Iron Nostarion - 02.10.2011 at 17:15  
Quote:
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 02.10.2011 at 00:17

Altars Of Madness I have a funny story about. back when it was released I got it as a gift from my grandma because just by looking at the cover she was sure I would love it and she totally loved the album cover as well.


Hahahaha... I wish I had a grandma like that. xD

[quote=MoraWintersoul]
The cover for Images & Words pretty much sticks. And a Dio cover or two could have made it in anyhow, these are just my two cents, it's your list


I'll make sure I include Images & Words. That and Metropolis Pt. 2, you reminded me. Thanks!
Guib - 14.10.2011 at 07:14  
Nice Idea for a list you should add Morbid Tales by Celtic Frost, Keeper Of The Seven keys by Helloween and Scream Bloody Gore by Death...
Iron Nostarion - 14.10.2011 at 17:20  
Written by Guib on 14.10.2011 at 07:14

Nice Idea for a list you should add Morbid Tales by Celtic Frost, Keeper Of The Seven keys by Helloween and Scream Bloody Gore by Death...


I don't think the others are iconic enough (especially Scream Bloody Gore) but Morbid Tales is surely iconic. That'll go on the list.
Thanks very much for your suggestion, well appreciated!
Marcel Hubregtse - 14.10.2011 at 17:25  
Written by Iron Nostarion on 14.10.2011 at 17:20

Written by Guib on 14.10.2011 at 07:14

Nice Idea for a list you should add Morbid Tales by Celtic Frost, Keeper Of The Seven keys by Helloween and Scream Bloody Gore by Death...


I don't think the others are iconic enough (especially Scream Bloody Gore) but Morbid Tales is surely iconic. That'll go on the list.
Thanks very much for your suggestion, well appreciated!


I would say To Mega Therion is way more iconic thn Morbid Tales, especially due to the exclusive rights to use the H.R. Giger painting for the cover
Iron Nostarion - 14.10.2011 at 17:34  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 14.10.2011 at 17:25

Written by Iron Nostarion on 14.10.2011 at 17:20

Written by Guib on 14.10.2011 at 07:14

Nice Idea for a list you should add Morbid Tales by Celtic Frost, Keeper Of The Seven keys by Helloween and Scream Bloody Gore by Death...


I don't think the others are iconic enough (especially Scream Bloody Gore) but Morbid Tales is surely iconic. That'll go on the list.
Thanks very much for your suggestion, well appreciated!


I would say To Mega Therion is way more iconic thn Morbid Tales, especially due to the exclusive rights to use the H.R. Giger painting for the cover


Yep, that's iconic by all standards, Marcel. Thanks for your addition.
It's just that I don't know Celtic Frost that much to know which from which. xD But I think they influenced Black Metal in some way or another, right?
Troy Killjoy - 14.10.2011 at 19:18  
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 14.10.2011 at 17:25
especially due to the exclusive rights to use the H.R. Giger painting for the cover

Totally agreed. And of course that gives people a reason to check out more of his art, so ya...
Guib - 14.10.2011 at 20:04  
I don't get why Scream Bloody Gore isn't in your standard Iconic covers really LOL everyone knows that cover, maybe Symbolic would be for you idk man since you put Leprosy ?? lol I mean I knew Scream Bloody Gore way before leprosy lol Also you put the Keeper Part II... so why not the I lol they both had pretty much the same impact on Metal, plus I don't think the Two Minutes To Midnight single by maiden is that Iconic I mean I got almost all their albums and I never cared much for this I agree for trooper though
JD - 17.01.2012 at 19:40  
Cause Of Death, and Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka
Iron Nostarion - 19.01.2012 at 01:26  
Written by JD on 17.01.2012 at 19:40

Cause Of Death, and Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka


Cause Of Death is certainly a good tip, man. But I wouldn't add the latter. Not that much iconic.
Zaphod - 24.07.2012 at 01:59  
Written by Iron Nostarion on 01.10.2011 at 21:10

"Among the Living"'s cover, which will be soon suggested I assume, was not added by me because it also didn't have that much of that feel that would let albums like ones on this list be added here.

I think Among The Living is much more iconic than, say, Ace Of Spades, but that's just my point of view I suppose. However, I do like that you also included Motörhead.
Cynic Metalhead - 24.07.2012 at 07:53  
Written by Iron Nostarion on 01.10.2011 at 21:10

Written by Troy Killjoy on 01.10.2011 at 21:07

Any album by any well-known band.


Also, I didn't forget Amon Amarth, and they're one of the most popular out there. Yet didn't find any album that gave the same effect.


Not even of Surtur Rising?

I remember how fans were insanely drove when their Surtur's cover art was revealed. It can't be iconic atm because it's a newly released album , but, um down the line of 4-5 years I suppose fans gonna remember this album from their cover art only. And honestly, it's their one of the best cover til yet.
Koen Smits - 25.07.2012 at 19:02  
Napalm Death: Scum and From Enslavement To Obliteration
Carcass : Symphonies Of Sickness, Necroticism, Heartwork
Terrorizer: World Downfall

Iconic for sure.
S.K.Ø.M - 23.03.2013 at 09:45  
Coroner - Punishment For Decadence

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