Warning: Do NOT stare at the album covers in this gallery for more than 5 seconds. Seriously, the art may induce retina damage…or just cause your mind to explode trying to comprehend the insane illustrations!
Popular music -particularly metal and hip hop- has a long and storied history of outrageous artwork. Even old dudes like Meat Loaf, Rod Stewart
and Elton John rode the crazy train back in the day (as did Black Sabbath), and there are plenty of folks to carry on the tradition today. Some like RZA, Snoop Dogg‘s Doggiestyle, and Outkast have gone for comic book chic, while others went with more of a video game vibe, like Redman as Super Mario on Doc’s Da Name 2000 or Rich Homie Quan.
Metal headbangers tend to go a little more surreal, with Nazareth depicting a jockey riding a dolphin off a cliff, Pantera’s nightmarish Thundercat-like metal god, and Dio’s debut featuring the band’s mascot seemingly drowning a priest with chains. We aren’t quite sure what that means, but at least we can identify the objects on the cover, which is more than can be said for Riot‘s…we’re TOTALLY stumped on that one! Head up to the gallery above and see what you make of some of these awesomely insane illustrated album covers!