Swiss artist H.R. Giger passed away a few days ago, and even if you weren’t aware of his art, his stamp on pop culture was immense: Most famously, he developed the monstrous villain in the Alien (and Alien vs. Predator) films, and his beastly humanoid art has inspired countless imitators, tattoos, and admirers. And rightfully so.
Less celebrated than his Alien xenomorph character, though, is Giger’s work in the musical sphere. He had many supporters in the music community—and specifically, many in the metal sphere—and his work can be found all over the musical world. Here were some of our favourite Giger creations. R.I.P., HR.
Atrocity – Hallucinations
German death metal mainstays Atrocity used a tripped-out Giger painting as the cover for their debut, Hallucinations.
Carcass – Heartwork
Heartwork remains one of Carcass’ vital albums, and the stripped-down Giger artwork that adorns its cover still graces the band’s merch to this day.
Danzig – Danzig III: How the Gods Kills
Is there a better fit for Giger’s artwork than early-’90s Glenn Danzig? We think not.
Dead Kennedys – Frankenchrist
You’ll be hard-pressed to find Giger’s Landscape #XX, pictured above, adorning the Dead Kennedys’ 1985 album, Frankenchrist. But the painting, lovingly called Penis Landscape, was the original cover for the album, and it drove a controversy that nearly sunk Alternative Tentacles.
Debbie Harry – Koo Koo
Blondie singer Debbie Harry deployed Giger for her 1981 album, Koo Koo. And it’s a reminder that, even at his most placid, Giger is disturbing: The needles running through Harry’s face were so quietly unsettling, they were banned from London’s subway system.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery
Less disturbing than Koo Koo was Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s proggy Brain Salad Surgery, whose cover exhibited another side of Giger: It showcased the blend of mechanical and human in his art.
The HR Giger Ibanez guitars
Speaking of blending the mechanical and the human, Ibanez issued a series of guitars featuring Giger’s Bomben I laser etched onto their body. Bonus: The tuning knobs were badass skulls.
Magma – Attahk
Of course, not every Giger creation was unsettling. Some were just bizarre, like Giger’s work for French prog act Magma.
Celtic Frost – To Mega Therion
Swiss metal act Celtic Frost were a natural fit for Giger—and below, our pals at Banger TV talked to the band about hooking up with him. Check the video below.