Top 10 Metallica Album Covers

Metallica Album Covers

Photo” I, Flowkey [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

The list of Top 10 Metallica Album Covers shows the band’s various studio, live, and EP covers. Metallica’s first vinyl record was released in 1983, entitled Kill Em All. Fans may want to note that this was about a year before the CD format began infiltrating record stores.  Their follow-up album to Kill Me All, Ride the Lightning, was released a year later in 1984. Since those early years in the 1980’s Metallica has released eight more studio albums.

In between studio albums, the band Metallica has released an assortment of EPs, live albums, cover albums, and compilations. We have included some of these releases in our Top 10 Metallica Album Covers List.  Throughout the band’s career, Metallica has also released 37 music singles. The band has won eight Grammys and is considered by critics and fans to be one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Their sound has developed a genre of metal music that has inspired countless bands since the days of the 1980s. We have always loved the covers of Metallica albums. That’s why we chose to write an article depicting our favorite covers. We hope you enjoy the list, and let us know what covers are your favorites.

# 10 – The $5.98 E.P. Garage Days Re-Revisited

This EP was released in 1987. We love the sticker on the cover that defined Metallica’s long-time stand against organizations that looked to take advantage of fans through price gouging. It’s amazing how young the band looks on this cover. Not many bands stay together for thirty years.

# 9 – Load

The Metallica album Load was issued in 1996. The follow-up album to Load entitled Re-Load, published in 1997 featured a similar cover regarding graphic design. Fans tend to love album covers that feature designs in which one can find many different images displayed within an air of ambiguous art.

# 8 –  S&M (Live Album)


How can you not love this cover? The S&M live album in which Metallica performed with Michael Kamen and the San Francisco Orchestra was released in 1999. Listening to Metallica perform with a full orchestra is a knock-em-dead experience.

# 7 –  Death Magnetic

Metallica’s Death Magnetic was issued in 2008. Death Magnetic was Metallica’s first album to feature bassist Robert Trujillo. This is a pretty spine-chilling cover for various reasons. It’s brilliant, artistic, and perfectly designed to match the album title. It is one of the scariest Metallica Album Covers in their catalog.

# 6 –  Metallica (Black Album)

You have to bend the album cover a particular way to see the graphic design of the snake and Metallica logo. Otherwise, the album cover appears black and is known to fans as the Black Album. The album was released in 1991 and titled Metallica (not the Black Album)

# 5 – Kill ‘Em All

Can you think of a better cover or title for a Metal album?  The interesting cover is open for interpretation. The album was released in 1983 and is the cover that introduced the world to Metallica.

# 4 – Ride the Lightning

This one would have made a great Heavy Metal Magazine Cover or logo. Metallica”s Ride The Lightning Album was issued in 1984. This one is simply one of the most popular Metallica Album Covers in their catalog and just bleeds the band’s persona.

# 3 –  Master of Puppets


If we had to choose the scariest Metallica Album cover of the band’s career, Master Of Puppets would land very close to the top. Even the name is a bit scary. Come on, puppets are scary or at least creepy. You know that.

# 2 – Hardwired…to Self-Destruct

Although we choose Master of Puppets as the scariest Metallica Album Cover, their new album sure comes close. What great design and originality, perfectly adapted to the title. Isn’t that what album covers are supposed to depict? Metallica’s Hardwired…to Self-Destruct was released in stores in November 2016. The album is also one of the best records of the band’s career.

# 1 –  …And Justice For All

Metallica has always been a band at the forefront of fighting unjust issues on many levels. The cover of their …And Justice For All album was a perfect representation of the band’s social, economic, and political beliefs. At least, that is the way fans and critics interpreted the cover. The depth of the meaning of the cover, along with its brilliant design, makes this one our choice for the number one spot on our Top 10 Metallica Album Covers list.

Top 10 Metallica Album Covers article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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