Sunday, 25 July 2010

Bolt Thrower album covers

I am a massive fan of the output from Games Workshop in the late 80s and early 90s. This is partly due to nostalgia of my formative years, but also because the company was in one of its most fertile periods creatively, unfettered by the need to please shareholders and maintain its monopoly in a crowded market. It was the new kid on the block (or the new dwarf in the mêlée) and consistently produced fresh and innovative titles. I think there have been similarly innovative periods since (indeed, I think we are in one now), but my heart is rooted in this time, justifiably dubbed The Golden Age by fans.

Having scoured ebay over the years there are few corners I have not explored in Workshop’s product line from this era . I was overjoyed, therefore, to be reminded of Bolt Thrower. The British thrash metal band enjoyed some success at the end of the 80s and was intimately involved with Workshop. The musicians were keen gamers who lived in Nottingham, so cross pollination was inevitable. They used the John Sibbick cover art for Rogue Trader for their Realm of Chaos album sleeve, Workshop regular Pete Knifton did the cover of their Warmaster album, they borrowed the Workshop iconography (particularly the eight-pointed star of chaos) and had features in White Dwarf (which at the time was more of a cultural barometer than it is now, regularly reviewing novels, bands and computer games). They continued their relationship with Sibbick, who contributed subsequent cover artwork.

Below are a collection of Bolt Thrower's most Workshop-related album covers.


  1. I was thrilled when I first found their music. I still have the first album on cassette! Sadly, this is not the type of music I listen to and it went on to the shelf. Glad to know they are still going.

  2. Thanks for posting these! I have listened to a good amount of Bolt Thrower in the past but my favorite Warhammer Records band was Sabbat. Besides the groovy John Blanche art for the first album they actually had some intelligent lyrics and heavy riffs. Now if I can only find that elusive D-Rok album...

  3. The Horn'd Is the Hunter Sabbat cover is awesome, and I had completely forgotten about D-Rok. I must see if they are on Spotify...

  4. brings back memories - andy sneap sabbat guitar man has been mixing or engineering megadeath - the model for the sabbat cover is tim whoes robin hood for NCC .....