Although it has declined in prominence in the digital age, good album art can inform and influence how one experiences an album, often enhancing the listening experience. Sometimes, it can also send a shiver down your spine. Here’s our top 10 scariest electronic music album covers.
Aphex Twin Richard D. James Album
Richard D. James, better known as Aphex Twin, has produced more than his fair share of weird and unnerving music, with album covers to match. But the scariest of all might be this simple self-portrait (don’t call it a selfie) that has the power to give you nightmares.
Dr. Octagon Dr. Octagonecologyst
While fundamentally a hip-hop album, this release by Kool Keith as Dr. Octagon gained acclaim when seminal trip-hop label Mo’ Wax picked it up for UK release. The cover was created by artist Pushead, better know as the singer for the metal band Septic Death and creator of album art for Metallica and Misfits.
The mask featured on SBTRKT’s debut album has been described by its designer, UK artist A Hidden Place, as a “modern version of ceremonial masks from native societies.” Considering that those ceremonies were often meant to scare off evil spirits, we’d say this one does the job nicely.
John Carpenter Halloween OST
The score to this slasher-flick classic was created by director John Carpenter, inspired by the Italo disco of Giorgio Moroder and synth-rock creepiness of Italian horror-score pioneers Goblin. Although several versions of the cover exist, the one featuring the eyeless stare of Michael Myers is without a doubt the scariest.
Prodigy Music for the Jilted Generation
Based on a screaming plaster mask found in Camden Market, artist Stuart Haygarth created this unnerving piece for the cover of the Prodigy’s classic 1994 album. It perfectly reflects the angst and anxiety that fueled the album’s creation.
Laurel Halo Chance of Rain
We’re not sure about the story behind the surreal graveyard scene depicted on the cover of experimental electronic artist Laurel Halo’s 2013 album Hyperdub. We do know that the sketch by landscape artist Arthur Chartow is mega-creepy.
Not only did UK brothers Guy and Howard Lawrence write, produce and mix their stellar debut album, the pair also created the album art. By simply doodling some eyeballs over a photo of the pair as children, they turned the image from cherubic cute to something that reminds us of the twin girls from The Exorcist.
Venetian Snares Songs About My Cat
One would expect the cover for an album titled Songs About My Cat to be something cute and furry, but not when left to Canadian breakcore/IDM/abstract producer Aaron Funk (aka Venetian Snares).
The Sabres of Paradise Haunted Dancehall
The noir razor and pulp font used on the cover of this album by acid house legend Andrew Weather (along with Gary Burns and Jagz Kooner of the band Aloof) makes us wonder where that blade has been used, and for what.
Major Lazer Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do
A Dracula skull, bats and a mummy. Thank goodness Major Lazer is here to protect us on this cover of Diplo and Switch’s debut collaboration, illustrated by UK artist Ferry Gouw.