Hive Five: Horrific Album Covers for Halloween (NSFW)

Many lament that the prominence of digital music has cost people the experience of tangibly holding an album in their hands, looking at the artwork and feeling a physical connection to the record. But there are some album covers that are so gross, disturbing or otherwise unpleasant that the idea of them just popping up on iTunes without any visual identifier is actually kind of okay. To kick start your Halloween weekend, here are five of the grossest/disturbing album covers ever made.

1. Regurgitate, Carnivorous Erection

It’d have been fairly easy to populate this entire list strictly with albums from the Pennsylvania metal and grindcore label Relapse Records, but let’s just allow the 2001 release from the label’s Regurgitate to offer a fully representative sample: Yes, that’s a woman fellating an HR Giger-style penis, with the little thing biting her tongue off. Maybe it’s a bit on-the-nose for an album called Carnivorous Erection, but you probably didn’t buy it expecting subtlety, did you?

2. Chumbawumba, Anarchy

Childbirth is a beautiful thing, of course, but there’s a time and a place for everything, and the sixth album from the anarcho-punkers in Chumbawumba is probably not the ideal setting for an image of a baby being extracted from a vagina.

3. Mayhem, Dawn of the Black Hearts

No, that’s not just a photograph of any victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head on the cover of Mayhem’s Dawn of the Black Hearts: that’s the a photograph of the band’s lead singer after his body was discovered. The picture was taken by the Norwegian black metal band’s guitarist upon discovering the body of vocalist “Dead,” who we’re guessing by his chosen stage name, would probably have been totally cool with its use.

4. The Beatles, Yesterday and Today

Okay, by the standards of Carnivorous Erection, The infamous “Butcher Cover” limited pressing of the Fab Four’s Yesterday and Today is not particularly gross. But context is everything, and this is the mop-topped Beatles of 1966 posing with baby doll parts and raw meat, not even the post-India, far-out Beatles. For the boundaries it pushed at the time, it may as well have been a fellated-penis biting back.

 

5. Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy

A crude painting of Kanye, holding a beer bottle (or maybe it’s Sprite? Hard to tell!), grinning sinisterly, and nailing his Phoenix. What’s not to love about this? Lots, according to Def Jam, who insisted that Yeezy substitute the album for something a little less creepy to go on store shelves – though ‘Ye got his way by including that cover, along with four others from the same painter (George Condo), in every copy of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Yeezy taught you well, indeed.