The Best Album Covers Of 2011

The Best Album Covers Of 2011

Compiled from our own choices and YOUR suggestions, we present Kerrang! Radio’s top 25 album covers of 2011. Scroll down to see who makes number one…

25. Black Dahlia Murder: ‘Ritual’
The band wanted artwork that "looked like a Necronomicon or an evil spell book" and enlisted insanely talented artist Valnoir Mortsonge to design it. He succeeded in style! 

24. Opeth: ‘Heritage’
Designed by long-term collaborator Travis Smith, who counts Devin Townsend, King Diamond, CKY and Avenged Sevenfold amongst his clientele, ‘Heritage’s sleeve is packed with symbolism. We’ll leave you to work out the meanings...


23. Foo Fighters: ‘Wasting Light’
Like a 21st Century version of Love’s classic ‘Forever Changes’ cover, ‘Wasting Light’ sees the Foos’ faces mingle against a stark black backdrop.


22. Five Finger Death Punch: ‘American Capitalist’
The Los Angeles band have the greedy, corporate monster down to a tee on their superbly designed, comic-book-parodying sleeve.


21. You Me At Six: ‘Sinners Never Sleep’
The Weybridge wonders’ image of an unknown female ‘sinner’ holding a mug shot letter board works perfectly as an album cover. Direct and to the point.


20. Burzum: ‘Fallen’
The influential Black Metallers used a section of an 1899 painting called ‘Elegy’ by French painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau for their cover. Somehow it fits succinctly with the theatrical Black Metal music the Norwegian band concocts.


19. Steel Panther: ‘Balls Out’
In keeping with their profane lyrics and clichéd tomfoolery, the tongue-in-cheek, racy artwork (not to mention the puerile album title) is Steel Panther through and through. Brilliant stuff.


18. The Dead Lay Waiting: ‘Almost Heaven’
Swindon’s finest musical export deftly combined a freaky shadowy figure, stigmata and a steamed-up shower pane to create this proper horrorshow cover.


17. Arena: ‘The Seventh Degree Of Separation’
The beguiling painting on the prog-rockers’ album cover is called ‘A Fleck Of Dirt On The Wing’ by Portuguese artist and musician João Martins. Mysterious and mesmerising.


16. Blondie: ‘Panic Of Girls’
The new wave veterans commissioned Dutch surrealist painter Chris Berens to create the artwork for their ninth studio album. The resulting abstract painting is truly sublime.


15. St Vincent: ‘Strange Mercy’
The simple yet highly effective cover art was designed by St Vincent herself (aka Annie Clark) and was photographed by her friend Tina Tyrell.


14. Deaf Havana: ‘Fools and Worthless Liars’
Depicting a kid dressed up as a dejected office worker staring directly into the camera, the grainy black & white photograph is incredibly captivating.


13. Iron & Wine: ‘ Kiss Each Other Clean’
The kaleidoscopic etching of Iron & Wine beardo Samuel Bain flanked by peacocks and a burning building made for a highly memorable sleeve.


12. Battles: ‘Gloss Drop’
A highly divisive, Marmite album cover that’s equally loved and loathed, we’re definitely with the former camp. Blob-tastic.


11. Future Of The Left: ‘Polymers Are Forever’
Presumably a comment on the futility of life, Future Of The Left’s awesome cover depicts a small human figure swimming in a giant goldfish bag. Nice.


10. White Lies: ‘Ritual’
Like the sisters from The Shining grown up, the twins that adorned White Lies’ second long-player cut an eerie image.


9. Machine Head: ‘Unto The Locust’
Along with the scrawled writing, the visually striking part insect/part human thing could be lifted straight from a horror movie.


8. Eddie Vedder: ‘Ukele Songs’
The visually engaging artwork is a photo of an underwater stonework called ‘The Lost Correspondent’ by English sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor.


7. Friendly Fires: ‘Pala’
Named after the fictional island in Aldous Huxley’s utopian novel ‘Island’, it seemed only right that ‘Pala’ was graced by an image of a vibrant tropical bird.


6. Gang Gang Dance: ‘Eye Contact’
The experimental US band used a spectacularly beautiful image taken by Polish photographer Miroslaw Swietek who specialises in close-ups of insects.


5. Blink-182: ‘Neighborhoods’
Featuring the pop-punk trio’s name written atop a SimCity-esque skyline, ‘Neighborhoods’ triumph is its minimalistic simplicity.


4. Red Hot Chili Peppers: ‘I’m With You’
Notorious British artist Damien Hurst created the ambiguous artwork that Anthony Keidis rightfully describes as “iconic”. Btw, the Flea in question has no correlation to the band’s bassist.


3. Radiohead: ‘The King of Limbs’
Created by the band’s long-term collaborator Stanley Donwood, the ethereal artwork was inspired by North European fairytales and their links to nature and enchanted forests.


2. Mastodon: ‘The Hunter’
Parting ways with Paul Romano who designed all Mastodon’s previous album covers, the band enlisted the services of wood carver AJ Fosik who created this 3D masterwork. See how it was made RIGHT HERE


1. Trivium: ‘In Waves’
Bleak, surreal and visually arresting, the stark black and white ‘In Waves’ cover is a work of dark beauty. In fact, it’s hard to think of a more powerful sleeve this year.


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