Here we are at the end of 2016 and after counting down the Best Rock and Metal Albums and Songs and more, it's time to look past the music for just one moment and appreciate the artwork that represents it all.

An effective album cover can often lead to blind purchases or at least trigger someone to give a band a listen even if they've never heard the name before. It's always great to see bands go through the extra effort to find a piece of art that aligns itself with the album's lyrical themes or just the overall mood of the band itself.

Since artwork is so subjective, we've decided not to rank this year's album covers, instead selecting the overall best ones. Click through the gallery above to see the 25 Best Hard Rock + Metal Album Covers of 2016!

20 Best Metal Albums of 2016

 

20 Best Rock Albums of 2016