Inspired by death metal maulers like Bolthrower and Obituary, Dallas death metal outfit Frozen Soul pays homage to the glory days of the genre with their new splatter-soaked offering, Crypt Of Ice, out now through Century Media. Clearly fans of the greats of the genre, we asked the group to dig through their death metal collections and pick out some of their favourite album artworks.

1. Bolt Thrower – Warmaster (1989, Earache Records)

Sam: “Chaotic and crushing, pummeling everything in its path. The cover art of Warmaster is everything that this album embodies- especially the title track. A Lawless battle-ready champion of war, fighting in the trenches with a blood-drenched blade, ready to swing…slaughtering all who stand in his way. An unstoppable force, and an iconic cover for an iconic album.”

2. Obituary – Slowly We Rot (1989, Roadrunner Records)

Chad: “This record really set the standard for death metal art for me, every decision we make as a band goes through a list of criteria and it has gotta cross-check with this masterpiece first, Obituary wrote the blueprint for groovy drum-based death metal, in my opinion, I wouldn’t know anything without them!”

3. Sentenced – Shadows of the Past (original cover) (1991, Century Media)

Mike: “This art is incredible, it makes you feel like you’re about to enter a dark and evil space that you won’t return from. always a great thing when the music sounds like what the cover art looks like. it helps set the tone and make everything that much more impactful.”

4. Mortician – Hacked Up For Barbecue (1996, Relapse Records)

Mike: “It’s simple in the way it presents itself, but there are tons of little details that make it that much better. really fits the vibe of the whole album with the pounding riffs and sick horror samples.”

5. Entombed – Left Hand Path (1990, Earache Records)

Chris: “This album has a really cool dark fantasy vibe to it with the evil-looking forest. The epitaph reads “Rest In Festering Slime” “Here burns the souls of a thousand generations” as you lead down the dark Left Hand Path!! Dan Seagrave has been the artist for more than a few of my favorite death metal records! Without his awesome artwork, I wouldn’t have checked out a lot of these bands at a younger age.”

6. Dismember – Like an Everflowing Stream (1991, Nuclear Blast)

Chris: Another Dan Seagrave classic! He always has a killer dark fantasy vibe. This album reminded me of the inside of some giant mountain fortress where an evil cult lives preparing to go to war!! When I first saw the cover and logo I knew I needed to check this album out!

Frozen Soul’s Top Ten Death Metal Album Covers

7. Cannibal Corpse – Butchered at Birth (1991, Metal Blade)

Sam: “Dark and brutal album art, featuring strung up and disemboweled babies, and a child being ripped out of a dead woman’s womb by two undead butcher dudes. A very literal interpretation for the cover art for being butchered at birth. Heavy, graphic, and straight to the point. This album is classic to the core and will forever be a great death metal record for years to come.”

8. Baphomet – The Dead Shall Inherit (1992, Deaf Records)

Chad: “This album is just timeless it shows all of the imperfections that make death metal what it is, not too serious and not too cheesy, real art that’s not super try hard just nasty death and I love it!”

9. Death – Symbolic (1995, Roadrunner Records)

Matt: “I owe it to Death for a lot of my favorite album art, but this one is the most interesting and psychological piece to me. René Miville’s abstract touch captures the band perfectly at the apex of their songwriting.”

10. Suffocation – Pierced from Within (1995, Roadrunner Records)

Matt: “This record delivers nothing short of what one would expect by the first glance at the cover art, done originally by Hiro Takahashi. A twisting forest of pummeling brutality from start to finish.”

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.