10 old school album cover artists, you should know about

Hans Giger and Storm Thorgerson — 10 old school album cover artists, you should know about
Hans Giger and Storm Thorgerson

In early April, the Polish band Behemoth posted the video "Messe Noire" dedicated to Hans Giger, the Swiss designer who has created more than thirty covers of music albums. In this regard, Noizr Zine decided to make a selection of prominent artists of the last century, who have worked or still working on rockers' and metalheads' releases.

Hans Giger

The Swiss painter, sculptor and designer. Best known for his work for the movie "Alien", thanks to which he was awarded "Oscar" for "Best Visual Effects" in 1980. His cover artworks for the rockers Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Brain Salad Surgery" and Blondie's singer Debbie Harry solo album "KooKoo", which were included in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Album Covers. Giger also designed and sculpted a microphone stand for Korn's frontman Jonathan Davis.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer "Brain Salad Surgery", 1973

Debbie Harry "KooKoo", 1981

Danzig "Danzig III: How the Gods Kill", 1992

County Morgue "And Insanity Begins", 1993

Dr Death "Somewhere in Nowhere", 1999

Triptykon "Melana Chasmata", 2014

Storm Thorgerson


The British photographer, designer and filmmaker, author of most of Pink Floyd's album covers. He was the founder of the design studio Hipgnosis, which also included artists Aubrey Powell, Peter Christopherson and George Hardie. In 2013 he published a 256-page book "The Gathering Storm The Album Art of Storm Thorgerson" with the artist's matchless artworks. It is strongly recommended for review.

Scorpions "Lovedrive", 1979

Anthrax "Stomp 442", 1995

Bruce Dickinson "Skunkworks", 1996

"Back Catalogue", 1997

This photograph shows Pink Floyd's six album covers, painted on the models' backs. The project was created by Storm Thorgerson together with the artist Phyllis Cohen and the photographer Tony May.

Dream Theater "Once in a LIVEtime", 1998

Megadeth "Rude Awakening", 2002

Bob Defrin


The American art director, designer and head of art for Atlantic Records. He is also the owner of Bob Defrin Design. Many album covers for rock and metal bands were created under his art direction.

AC/DC "Back in Black", 1980

Savatage "Fight for the Rock", 1986

Metal Church "The Dark", 1986

Twisted Sister "Love Is for Suckers", 1987

Pantera "Cowboys from Hell", 1990

Overkill "Horrorscope", 1991

Pantera "Vulgar Display of Power", 1992

Alex Grey

Alex Grey

The American artist and sculptor, specializing in psychedelic art. He has worked on the album covers for Meshuggah and Tool. He also executed the computer-generated graphics for the video of Tool's single "Vicarious".

Meshuggah "Selfcaged", 1995

The album art features the centerpiece of Alex Grey's work "Deities and Demons Drinking from the Milky Pool"

Tool "Lateralus", 2001

Tool "10,000 Days", 2006

Joachim Luetke

Joachim Luetke

The artist of Swiss origin. He studied at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, where his teacher and mentor was Rudolf Hausner. Luetke designed covers for bands Arch Enemy, Dimmu Borgir, Kreator, Meshuggah, Rage and many others.

Destruction "Release from Agony", 1987

Rage "Unity", 2002

Arch Enemy "Doomsday Machine", 2005

Dimmu Borgir "In Sorte Diaboli", 2007

Meshuggah "obZen", 2008

Dimmu Borgir "Abrahadabra", 2010

Belphegor "Blood Magick Necromance", 2011

Michael Whelan


The American artist and illustrator, specialized in science fiction and fantasy cover art. Whelan has Fifteen Hugo Awards, including reward for Best Artist of the Last 50 Years. Inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Whelan has created more than 20 album covers for such metal bands as Sepultura, Soulfly, Meat Loaf, Obituary and many others.

Cirith Ungol "King of the Dead", 1984

Sacred Rite "Is Nothing Sacred", 1986

Obituary "Cause of Death", 1990

Sepultura "Chaos A.D.", 1993

Meat Loaf "Bat out of Hell II: Back into Hell", 1993

Soulfly "Dark Ages", 2005

Joe Petagno


The American artist who created album covers for bands Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nazareth, Sweet, Roy Harper, Marduk, Bal-Sagoth, Attick Demons, Illdisposed, etc. The largest number of cover artworks were designed by him for Motörhead's albums.

Motörhead "Motörhead", 1977

Avulsed "Eminence in Putrescence", 1996

Motörhead "Inferno", 2004

Satan's Host "Celebration: For the Love of Satan", 2011

Autopsy "The Headless Ritual", 2013

Murder Rape "For Evil I Spill My Blood", 2013

Derek Riggs


The British painter, best known for creating Iron Maiden's mascot Eddie. The "circle with arrows" symbol on early band's releases that many mistake for a band icon, is actually Riggs' signature.

Iron Maiden "Killers", 1981

Iron Maiden "Piece of Mind", 1983

Iron Maiden "Somewhere in Time", 1986

Iron Maiden "Brave New World", 2000

White Wizzard "High Speed GTO", 2009

Roslav Szaybo


The Polish artist, photographer and album cover designer. He is a professor of the Academy of Arts in Warsaw and one of the representatives of the Polish poster school. The author of more than 2,000 covers, mainly for classical music albums, but also for releases of Elton John, Roy Orbison, Santana, Janis Joplin, The Clash, John Williams and Judas Priest.

Judas Priest "Sin After Sin", 1977

Judas Priest "Stained Class", 1978

Judas Priest "Killing Machine", 1978

Judas Priest "British Steel", 1980

This cover features Roslav Szaybo's hand.

Dirk Rudolph

The German photographer and graphic artist, who has been working as a cover designer since 1989. In the '80s he played in a punk bands "Fenton Weills", "Die sauberen Drei" and "Tag der Milch".

Tiamat "The Astral Sleep", 1991

Kreator "Outcast", 1997

Rammstein "Mutter", 2001

Dirk Rudolph has created it together with Daniel & Geo Fuchs

Apocalyptica "Reflections", 2003

Apocalyptica "Amplified — A Decade of Reinventing the Cello", 2006

Morgoth "Cursed to Live", 2012

Tarja Turunen "Colours in the Dark", 2013

By Anastezia