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R.I.P. H.R. Giger: His 10 Best Album Covers (NSFW)

R.I.P. H.R. Giger: His 10 Best Album Covers (NSFW)

The world has lost one of its most original voices. H.R. Giger, the surrealist painter and sculptor who designed some of the silver screen's most disturbing monsters, such as the Xenomorph in Alien, died this week at age 74 from injuries related to a fall. He leaves behind him a powerful legacy of images that fused man, monster and machine into a style of art that has influenced countless others.

He was also responsible for a pretty amazing amount of album cover art over the course of his life. Today we look at the ten best.

R.I.P. H.R. Giger: His 10 Best Album Covers (NSFW)

Triptykon Eparistera Daimones (2010)

When you cobble your band out of members of Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and Apollyon Sun you're going to need a hell of a hardcore image for your debut album. Eparistera Daimones chose Giger's painting "Vlad Tepes" for that purpose, an appropriate image for an album that takes its name from the writings of Aleister Crowley.

R.I.P. H.R. Giger: His 10 Best Album Covers (NSFW)

Carcass Heartwork (1993)

In addition to his famous paintings, Giger was also a talented sculptor who actually studied industrial design before going into art. Carcass used a photo of Giger's sculpture "Life Support 1993" for the cover, and the official video for the title track also featured a life-sized recreation of it.

R.I.P. H.R. Giger: His 10 Best Album Covers (NSFW)

Celtic Frost To Mega Therion (1985

Celtic Frost has a long history of using and being inspired by Giger. His painting "Satan I" graced their second album, which, if it didn't exactly invent death metal, certainly guided it towards its eventual destiny.

R.I.P. H.R. Giger: His 10 Best Album Covers (NSFW)

Debbie Harry KooKoo (1981)

Giger created the cover for Debbie Harry's first solo album upon request, and though the different variations of the final image that he submitted disturbed her a little Harry decided to use the one you see above. Legend has it the album's title came about from her reaction to Giger's strange art.

R.I.P. H.R. Giger: His 10 Best Album Covers (NSFW)

Triptykon Melana Chasmata (2014) Thomas Fischer and Triptykon again, with his third and presumably final collaboration with Giger.

R.I.P. H.R. Giger: His 10 Best Album Covers (NSFW)

Danzig Danzig III: How the Gods Kill (1992)

How the God's Kill is arguably the best thing Danzig ever did, and the cover he chose for his magnum opus was a slightly modified version of Giger's famous "Meister und Margeritha." The difference? Giger changed a penis into a dagger bearing the Danzig symbol, making this the only time censorship actually made things more metal.

Story continues on next page.

 

R.I.P. H.R. Giger: His 10 Best Album Covers (NSFW)

Steve Stevens Atomic Playboys (1989)

It's a fairly typical Giger painting, but it's also one of the few times that Giger actually went out of his way to relate his album cover subjects to music. Despite all the melding of flesh and steel that was the hallmark of his work, there are surprisingly few instrument motifs outside of Steve Stevens' debut solo record.

R.I.P. H.R. Giger: His 10 Best Album Covers (NSFW)

Magma Attahk (1978)

If there is anyone on this list that can out-weird Giger it's Christian Vander and the work he did with Magma. Attahk was the band's first album after a short-lived break-up, and took them in a really new and interesting direction that incorporated more funk and gospel. In keeping with the out-thereness of the band and their new path, Giger also stepped outside the box to explore some avenues that were rather atypical of his later work.

R.I.P. H.R. Giger: His 10 Best Album Covers (NSFW)

Dead Kennedys Frankenchrist (1985)

The actual cover of Frankenchrist is a harmless photo of a Shriner parade, but the insert contained a poster of Giger's "Penis Landscape". The move to include the work actually landed the band in court on an obscenity charge, and while they were not convicted the trial virtually bankrupted the Alternative Tentacles record label.

R.I.P. H.R. Giger: His 10 Best Album Covers (NSFW)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer Brain Salad Surgery (1973)

When ELP debuted Giger's work on their fourth album, most people stateside had never even heard of the artist, and the cover was truly shocking; the record packaging opened in halves to reveal the woman behind the skull painting. Giger's reworking of the band's logo became standard usage for the band, but Giger once wrote that he had never received any money for contributing art to the album. Maybe they'll send flowers to the master's funeral.

Jef has a new story, a tale of headless strippers and The Rolling Stones, available now in Broken Mirrors, Fractured Minds. You can also connect with him on Facebook.

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