An album cover is everything. It's often times the first impression we get of a new record, gazing over what the significance of the artwork means and its relation to the new music contained within. A powerful visual can help connect thematic dots or invoke certain moods, driving the ethos behind the music further home.

Here, our aim isn't to analyze each piece of album art and assign a ranked number to it — besides, we're not art critics, just appreciators of the aesthetic quality a stunning cover can bring. No, we've merely collected some of our favorite designs that have caught our collective eyes throughout 2017. The extreme metal underground if often flush with captivating artwork and this year held true with some lesser championed acts like Nightbringer and Vintersorg making the cut. Meanwhile, veterans like The Black Dahlia Murder and Immolation continue to grace us with some era defining pieces.

You can expect to see shards of metal's visual hallmarks (death, skulls, ghastly figures, monstrous creatures, space, etc.) all represented in the list below, so scroll through the gallery of 25 Totally Sick Metal Album Covers From 2017.

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