Most Atmospheric Metal Album Covers

Atmospheric cover - a cover having or producing an emotional atmosphere, creating a distinctive mood, typically of mystery, romance or nostalgia. Also covers with muted tones, softened or indistinct outlines (covers that look hazy).

Atmospheric conditions such as rain, snow or fog are often used to create this special feeling, especially a mysterious or romantic feeling. Also darkness, shadows, twilight, clouds.

In art, an atmospheric perspective, aka aerial perspective, is an effect used to create the illusion of depth (when far away objects take on the colors of atmospheric haze).

In metal there's no much room for romance so we are looking mainly for covers with sad, mysterious or nostalgic feelings. For example, kids and toys on a cover evoke nostalgic memories. Images of ancient or medieval times can also be nostalgic.

The Top Ten

1 Damnation - Opeth

Click on the images to zoom them - Metal_Treasure

2 Alice In Hell - Annihilator

Twilight, bedtime, the moon, clouds, toys, a mysterious silhouette at the door and a girl holding a candle - she can't fall asleep because she's afraid of the boogeyman...
This cover depicts the story from the song Alison Hell. - Metal_Treasure

3 Somewhere Far Beyond - Blind Guardian

Mystery, twilight, nostalgia. - Metal_Treasure

4 Blackwater Park - Opeth
5 Spirit - Eluveitie
6 Under the Sign of Hell - Gorgoroth
7 Morningrise - Opeth
8 Demons & Wizards - Demons & Wizards

The cover depicts the story from the song Fiddler on the Green, where 2 kids die in a car accident. One of the saddest songs ever.
On this cover there are two cute kids sitting in a graveyard, and the mysterious Reaper is there, too... as well as the mysterious moon. - Metal_Treasure

9 Hvis Lyset Tar Oss - Burzum
10 Slania - Eluveitie

The Contenders

11 Never, Neverland - Annihilator

Another very atmospheric album cover by Annihilator - Alice from the previous album is probably dead on this cover... A toy is next to her. The moon looks like a woman, probably her mother who ignored Alice's requests for help. Moon often symbolizes the mother (sun - the father).
Besides, dark colors, moonlight, water - all these elements are very atmospheric. - Metal_Treasure

12 Tonight's Decision - Katatonia
13 Wintersun - Wintersun
14 The Return - Bathory
15 Dead Winter Dead - Savatage
16 Dark Medieval Times - Satyricon

Black metal essential. - IronSabbathPriest

17 Live - Blind Guardian
18 Mirror of Souls - Theocracy
19 Paradise Lost - Symphony X
20 Wishmaster - Nightwish
21 Images and Words - Dream Theater
22 This Godless Endeavor - Nevermore
23 At the Edge of Time - Blind Guardian
24 Edge of Thorns - Savatage
25 Frozen in Time - Obituary

I see a frozen dragon on this cover - dragon's head, wings and tail, placed in a very atmospheric background. - Metal_Treasure

26 Abigail - King Diamond
27 Poets & Madmen - Savatage
28 Infinite - Stratovarius
29 Panzerfaust - Darkthrone
30 Awake - Dream Theater
31 Angels Fall First - Nightwish
32 Nightfall in Middle-Earth - Blind Guardian
33 Fiction - Dark Tranquillity
34 Colored Sands - Gorguts
35 Train of Thought - Dream Theater
36 No More Color - Coroner
37 Deliverance - Opeth
38 R.I.P. - Coroner
39 Obscura - Gorguts
40 The Gathering Wilderness - Primordial
41 Still Life - Opeth
42 The Odyssey - Symphony X
43 Once - Nightwish
44 Back to Times of Splendor - Disillusion
45 The Sound of Perseverance - Death
46 Unholy Cult - Immolation
47 Black Clouds & Silver Linings - Dream Theater
48 A Dramatic Turn of Events - Dream Theater
49 Ghost Reveries - Opeth
50 The Mantle - Agalloch
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