It goes without saying, heavy metal is not complete without awesome cover art. Bands and labels recruit some of the most talented artists in the world. There is no genre of music out there that can boast better and more creative artwork....PERIOD.
I remember, back in my day when we actually had to go to a brick and mortar store to buy a record, tape, or CD (and walked uphill, barefoot in the snow) that one of the biggest deciding factors in whether I bought an album or not was the artwork. Even if I knew nothing of the band, if they had eye-grabbing cover art, there was a good chance I'd take the plunge and buy it. This method served me well, I ended up with a few shit albums, but, the majority turned out okay.
Here are a few album covers that I've enjoyed. Drop some of yours in the comments.
Metallica- ...And Justice For All
Cannibal Corpse- Butchered At Birth
Entombed- Left Hand Path
At The Gates- Slaughter Of The Soul
Megadeth- Rust In Peace
Kreator- Gods Of Violence