For me, it's not so much the best and the worst of 2008 as much as the one that had me literally on the floor deliriously laughing because I'd had such a bad week as has been the theme for much of this year that to see a 7" piece of vinyl from Umoral trickle in with the insanely pornographic cover (of which I regret I'm not going to post here) of a closeup of anal sex with a large inverted cross covering most of the entrance holes. I thought, this is unbelievably blasphemous and illicit it's a freaking joke and down to my knees I went in laughter. Some people will go to such extremes to be remembered...
However, for sake of our exercise at Whole Lotta Album Covers this week, I chose what are not necessarily the best and worst album covers of the year per se, but those that made me cringe the most and appositely took me out of this world and into a fantastical realm only Marvel Comics' Thor could normally have the power to do.
First, the worst cover honor goes to Who Rides the Tiger's Transylvania Baby.
Okay, the artist is better than me, but this inisidiously disgusting slate sketch of a she-male or if you want to say a hairy sickie in drag is just plain wrong and obviously done for shock value. More at home in an underground sex art auction, I salute the balls of Who Rides the Tiger, if you'll excuse the pun, but it still rubs me the wrong way, another pun intended. Yuck.
On the flipside, Amon Amarth, who deserves to be counted as one of metal's true giants for their massive sound alone, served up yet another monster album this year with Twilight of the Thunder God
and the album's artwork lives up to the music. You can actually see Thor (or if not, a Viking bearing a compelling resemblance) in this cover doing what he'd do best in the comic books, taking on a larger-than-life sea serpent in the midst of a raging storm. I like the flaming planet in the background, which adds to the chaos and the mysticism of this heroic image. Of course, if you're a comic nerd like myself, you'll know Thor is dubbed The Thunder God. All we need in this image is Loki peering from an obtuse corner admiring his handiwork and we're complete. Ba-bam!!!