Album Cover Artist Says Metallica Guitarist James Hetfield “Still Fuming” Over ‘Load’ And ‘Reload’ Covers

Kreepin Deth, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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While the rest of the band seemed to be okay with these covers, album cover artist Andres Serrano recently shared that James Hetfield of Metallica is “still fuming” over the Load and Reload album covers.

Load (released in 1996) and Reload (released in 1997) feature some pretty surreal visuals; the visual for Load, titled Blood And Semen III, featured cow’s blood mixed with semen; the visual for Reload, Piss And Blood XXVI, featured urine and blood. The artist behind these covers is that of Andres Serrano.

In a recent interview with Metal Hammer, Andres Serrano was asked about his work regarding these two Metallica albums. When asked how he was inspired to create these covers, Serrano shared the following:

“It was part of a series called ‘Bodily Fluids’. They were photographs intended to look like paintings, using milk, blood, piss and semen.”

Later on in the interview, Serrano is asked about how he feels the response was in regards to these covers – when it comes to the Metallica fanbase and the band themselves. While Serrano has mostly positive things to say, he ends up sharing how James Hetfield was not so much a fan (and still may not be).

“I think the images were a hit. I read a review once where the Load album was named No.1 on a list of best album covers. We know Lars and Kirk were happy with it but James was not. I think James is still fuming!”

No details were provided as to why Metallica guitarist and singer James Hetfield may not be a fan of the Load and Reload album covers. It could possibly have to do with the… fluids used to create such works. Who knows?

What are your thoughts on Serrano’s work when it comes to the Metallica album covers for Load and Reload? What are some of your favorite Metallica album covers?

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Words by: Michael Pementel