A caution: Unless otherwise stated, I make no claims to the quality of the prose, I’m merely an admirer of the art. My inspiration is basically books that, were I to spy them on a shelf when I was a kid, I would have felt scared, intrigued, and like my mom would be super mad at me for even looking at them.
1. The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheately
Dennis Wheatley is mostly forgotten as a novelist, although the Hammer adaptation of his novel, The Devil Rides Out, enjoys a great deal of popularity. Whatever Dennis’s skills as a novelist, his books had some great covers. Pick any at random and you’d be sure to find something that would be perfect for an occult doom metal album cover. I couldn’t decide which version I liked the most, so here’s two of my favorites.
2. Lady Sativa by Frank Lauria
I guess this novel is about a psychic detective, and not, as you’d expect from the title, about a woman who loves one of the two strains of marijuana. No Lady Indica sequel then, I guess.
3. Black Easter by James Blish
More occult metal album cover gold. Blish has written some well-regarded pieces of science fiction, and won a Hugo award for A Case of Conscience.
4. More Devil’s Kisses, edited by Linda Lovecraft
I can only assume Linda Lovecraft is a pen name. While no skulls or monsters or blood or death appears here, a hairy tongue is pretty damn revolting. What an awful surprise that would be. The Rolling Stones logo gone gross. Published by Corgi. Corgis are cute. This is not.
5. The Wood by Guy N Smith
A simple EC Comics-like zombie, clawing its way through the woods. Nice. Not sure why Living and Dead are capitalized, nor why they didn’t just say, “The dead live on.”