Well, I bet none of y’all had this thing coming back on your 2023 bingo cards. But yes, here we are, with the long overdue return of Cursed Imagery here at Nine Circles. It’s been entirely too long, folks. We’ve missed so much banter about so, so many albums in the last year-and-a-half-plus, and it’s high time we get back into it.
As was the case in our most recent iteration, we’ll be bringing this back as a monthly segment going forward. For as long as I can keep it going, which… as you well know, hasn’t always amounted to much over the years. BUT… in 2023, I’ve made both a verbal and financial commitment to our benevolent overlords Arch Dabo, Fenrolytic Scribe and Cliterati Underboob to get more involved with the site. And what better way to do so than to resume my favorite pastime: clowning on hilarious album artwork from around the metal world?
All that being said, January is just about done, having graced us with some tremendously bad album covers to start 2023 off, uh… right? So without further ado, let’s take a look back at some of them, shall we?
Absolom — La Era del Caos
A quick glance at Metal-Archives reveals that Absolom is from Andalusia, Spain… NOT, as I initially assumed, from the middle of the 1 AM slot of Fox Nation. (Well, not that I know of anyway.) In any case, this cover makes me think two things. Number one, judging by their logo, the guys in Absolom are probably power metal as fuck. Which is cool. Number two, judging by the [gestures broadly at everything] in this image, they’re probably the first ones around the table at Spanish Thanksgiving to share their opinions on world developments. Which, almost always, is less cool. Alas…
Chaos Eternal — The Journey, Parts 1 & 2
Swedish melodic death metal solo act Chaos Eternal put out two albums on the same day this month. Which is a pretty big deal from a creative standpoint! Good for you, my dude! But did we really need different halves of homeboy’s glum face on both of them?
Constipation — Alica
Goodness me, so much to love about this thing. First, this band’s name is literally CONSTIPATION. Secondly, their logo kinda fucks, to be honest. And third, this girl looks like a top five least likely person to have to worry about constipation. I’ve been told yoga’s good for the whole body, which presumably would include the GI tract, no? Science. Lastly, THAT DOG. I had a neighbor growing up with a dog like that, and she was a fucking terror. I never actually saw her with blood foaming around her mouth per se, but I have no doubt that she found occasions in which to have blood around her mouth. (What I’m saying is she probably killed stuff. Lots and lots of stuff.) Anyway, give it up for Constipation!
Dementia Fightclub — Senile Showdown
While I do have to wonder about the headspace of someone who chooses, uh… Dementia Fightclub… as a band name, I can’t deny that this cover made me laugh. Granny on the left definitely has a mean hook. Plus, is… is that Art the Clown officiating the proceedings?
Honeybunches of DEATH — Honeybunches of DEATH
This album reminds me of two things I enjoy in life:
- Honey Bunches of Oats cereal, which is a top ten breakfast cereal ever. Do NOT attempt to fight me on this; you will not win.
- The pink, balloon-fonted “Death Metal” t-shirt you occasionally see at places like Spencer’s or Hot Topic.
So yes, congrats to these Denver miscreants for hittin’ me right in the random ass feels.
Immortalizer — Born for Metal
Aww hell yeah, bro. Lotta middle-aged metal dads just got big ol’ chubs for this one, bro. Look at those machine guns, bro.
Also, take away those machine guns, bro, and this could definitely be a part of the Crumbling Farum Azula region of Elden Ring. Just sayin’.
Longévité — La longue marche
This has gotta be the first time I’ve ever seen this particular font used on a metal album cover, so that’s something. (The random countryside photo, unfortunately, has already been done.)
Either way, MUCH MEH! VERY FUNERAL DOOM!
Mourning Souls — Mourning Souls
I mean, just… what on earth even is this? It’s like a kid tried to make his own Sgt. Pepper’s in art class with some old magazines. Props for including a shot of pre-head-shave Devin Townsend, though, I guess.
Wicked Weird — Journey Through the Black Triangle
Oh hey! Speaking of “What on earth even is this?” check out this Wicked Weird album! This thing feels like a collage of failed sketches from South Park’s famous Imaginationland episodes. Couldn’t get a license for Manbearpig? Congratulations! Here’s Luchabullcat!
That’ll do it for this month’s edition! Check back this time next month for February’s album art
highlowlights! Until then…
Keep it heavy,