Apothecary's Awesome Album Art Anthology


I know I probably speak for a lot of people when I say that, very often, the artwork that a band chooses for a particular album can be the icing on the cake, essential to giving a visual depiction that tops off the overall aesthetic of the music. There are plenty of albums that I simply couldn't imagine listening to without staring, zoned out, to the big ball of glorious that is their cover art. Here are some such albums. In alphabetical order by band. Links to full images of the covers have been provided, as well as credits to the artists.

Created by: Apothecary | 06.11.2013



1. Aarni - Bathos
A bizarre psychedelic trip through a land of Great Old Ones and leprechauns, this album cover accentuates the vibe well with an interesting watercolor look. Complete with mushrooms, flowers, and mysterious doorways that seem to be an eerie invitation into the twisted caverns of Markus Marjomaa's mind. Creds to Tuomas Makela: http://fanart.tv/fanart/music/f7711954-04f9-43d9-ae84-8d2ee96efde2/albumcover/bathos-519260236af19.jpg
2. Absu - The Sun Of Tiphareth
An epic black metal album with lyrical themes about warriors and Mesopotamia? Well it just has to have a cover with some muscular dude holding a sword and shield and striking a pose, now doesn't it? Creds to Kris Verwimp for this piece of awesome: http://www.stfimages.com/loader/pictures/f3ba25b143b00648a8488c4362eaca9d.jpg
3. Atheist - Unquestionable Presence
Revolutionary for its time, this was one of the first death metal albums to ponder upon some more sophisticated (at times a bit sci fi) themes. Artist Justice Mitchell brought out this shift in the band's lyrical direction perfectly, depicting a child praying with two planets in the background: http://www.invisibleoranges.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/atheist-unquestionable-presence-cover.jpg
4. Bathory - Blood Fire Death
Arguably the beginning of Viking metal, and a huge transition in the band's sound, an album cover showing angry Norse gods raining down upon the unbelievers was almost obligatory for this one. Quorthon cheated here a bit, because the cover is actually a painting by the 19th century artist Peter Nicolai Arbo, entitled "The Wild Hunt Of Odin": http://www.kolonyrecords.com/store/images/detailed/0/cover13325308654f6cceb164c00.jpg
5. Blue Öyster Cult - Fire Of Unknown Origin
I'm not much of a BOC fan, but you have to admit that the concept behind this cover is quite interesting. A bunch of robed, shaman-looking people holding onto blue oyster shells. So, it seems, the artist tried to literally depict a "Blue Oyster Cult." Very creative, mad props to Greg Scott: http://www.simplysyndicated.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/BOC.jpg
6. Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta I - Fathers Of The Icy Age
A prime cut of 90s French black metal, this epic cover seems to be showing a bunch of fallen angels gathered around some palace in Hell, Pandaemonium perhaps? Indeed, the art is actually a painting by Baroque artist Francois de Nomé, entitled "Les Enfers," which literally means "The Hell" in French: http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/_/23932309/Memoria+Vetusta+I+Fathers+of+the+Icy+Age+memoriavetusta1.jpg
7. Botanist - III: Doom In Bloom
The perfect visual topping to a self-proclaimed "eco terrorist black metal" band, here we see an evil flower-looking creature ("Azalea") stretching its roots into someone's eardrum. Or, in other words, the desired effect that Roberto Martinelli likely wishes his project to have on the listener. Creds to M.S. Waldron: http://antigravitybunny.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/botanist-iii-doom-in-bloom-allies-album-cover.jpg
8. Celtic Frost - To Mega Therion
A classic First Wave black metal album, smothered in a fun, occult type of vibe. The artwork here is a painting that was made beforehand by the highly talented Swiss artist H.R. Giger, who was also behind the design for the Xenomorphs in the Alien movies, and Tom Warrior would go on to use another one of his paintings for the Triptykon debut. http://cdn.mos.musicradar.com/images/features/metal-week/50-greatest-metal-albums/to-mega-therion-630-80.jpg
9. Deathspell Omega - Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice
A fitting accentuation to the band's themes of metaphysic Satanism and anti-Christianity, here we see a dying and diseased angel clinging desperately to the world. If you know your Deathspell lyrics, this seems to go hand in hand with a line from Sola Fide II that says "The heart of a lost angel is in the Earth." As much of the band's info is hidden, I couldn't dig up who was behind this cover: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Ystz36fT4I4/UKxp2P8ELcI/AAAAAAAAFZM/WQY7vnyPfu4/s1600/Si+Monumentum+Requires,+Circumspice.jpg
10. Electric Wizard - Dopethrone
Like with Fire Of Unknown Origin, here we seem to have a cover attempting to depict the band name. It looks like a devil/wizard, who's being "electrified" by the fine cannabis sativa he's smoking out of that candle/bong-looking thing. This art was a triple effort, between Hugh Gilmour, Tim Bagshaw and Jus Oborn: http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/82580739/Dopethrone++png.png
11. Elysian Blaze - Blood Geometry
A massive 2 hour masterpiece of funeral doom, with lyrics that seem to reflect an individual's spiritual transcendence. Topped off with a beautiful cover of some sort of mystical step pyramid, hidden amongst the mountains and clouds. Creds to Matt R. Martin: http://img.cdandlp.com/2012/06/imgL/115397720.png
12. Emperor - In The Nightside Eclipse
Perhaps the most elaborate cover from the early Norwegian BM scene, this legendary album's beautiful artwork depicts, according to artist Kristian "Necrolord" Wahlin, a group of Orcs en route to Minas Morgul: http://img3.nnm.ru/2/7/9/8/2/27982ea69b0d164aa6dc6af7d3156f0e_full.jpg
13. Esoteric - The Maniacal Vale
This is one of the types of album covers that is amazingly beautiful even though it doesn't really make much sense. Seven tracks of masterful, psychedelic-laden funeral doom are here topped off by artwork of a strange face, which seems to be attached to a snake whose tail spirals ever backwards into the unknown. Certainly a good one to stare at and get lost in with the music. Creds to Kati Astraeir: http://cutetapes.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/401377e3c16a30f4ddcbec887d7938f6_full.jpg
14. The Faceless - Planetary Duality
Say what you want about these guys, but I personally find them to be one of the more talented tech death bands in a genre that today reeks of unoriginality and pretentious showmanship. Chalk full of sci fi influences, how could this album not have some type of crazy alien mothership on its cover? Creds to Par Olofsson: http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m7xha8BGRy1rzm7rbo1_1280.jpg
15. A Forest Of Stars - A Shadowplay For Yesterdays
Always known for their folk influences, this album cover brings them out for the band like never before. Looks like it's depicting a man with a fish coming out of his head and an old wizardly fellow pointing at each other... or something like that. Couldn't find the person behind this big ball of strange: http://meatmeadmetal.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/afos_asfy_coverimage1.jpg
16. Hail Spirit Noir - Pneuma
A fun as fuck blend of black metal and progressive rock, this album is both spooky and trippy in its mood shifts. The album art reflects this flawlessly: even though that little demon thing looks a bit creepy, the style of its drawing is still highly psychedelic. Artist unknown for this one, but mad respect to whoever did it: http://heavymetaltribune.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/hsn-pneuma.jpg
17. Judas Priest - Stained Class
An interesting album in their discography, this one contains a lot of fantasy/sci fi themes in its lyrics. Fittingly then, the album art shows some type of robotic, oily-looking head being pierced my multiple beams of light. Trippy shit dude. Creds to Roslaw Szaybo: http://www.metal-archives.com/images/4/3/4/434.jpg
18. Leviathan - Massive Conspiracy Against All Life
If you've ever listened to Wrest's one man project, you know its formula. That is, a sound equivalent to the bludgeoned cry of a weary soul that's been beaten and left out to dry for several ways. What better way to bring out this musical vibe than with artwork depicting some type of ugly alien creature writhing in agony? Wrest, who is also a tattoo artist, actually did the artwork for this one himself: http://detonation-distro.net/images_productos/5547.gif.jpg
19. Mastodon - Crack The Skye
A sharp departure from the band's earlier sludge sound, this is something of a concept album about a a guy who can astral project and goes back in time to Tsarist Russia (or something like that). Trippy cover art with a bear and some swirly Tsars holding balls of energy is the perfect accentuation, no? Creds to Paul Romano, who did the band's artwork for their first three albums as well: http://betweenparties.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/mastodon-crack-the-skye1.jpg
20. Melechesh - The Epigenesis
Israeli black metal for Mesopotamia nerds. Complete with a glorious cover of the inside of an Assyrian palace, topped off with statues of rulers, a Lamassu, and a Sephiroth. Mad props to John Coulthart for this one: http://www.nuclearblast.de/static/articles/171/171304.jpg/1000x1000.jpg
21. Nachtmystium - Addicts: Black Meddle, Part 2
Revolving around themes of drug use and addiction, no doubt influenced by some of Blake Judd's own personal problems, the second part of the band's Black Meddle saga is adorned with a cover of a decaying face surrounded by various drugs. Well-executed to match the overall haunting vibe of the album. Creds to Derek Lea: http://www.heavyblogisheavy.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Nachtmystium-Addicts.jpg
22. Nile - Annihilation Of The Wicked
Egyptian-themed death metal? It's nothing but sub-par unless it has an album cover that'd make Ramesses himself proud. Featuring two cobras attached to a scarab-looking thing with wings. Artist unavailable for this one: http://images.cdn.bigcartel.com/bigcartel/product_images/60242791/max_h-1000+max_w-1000/Nile-Annihilation_Of_The_Wicked.jpg
23. Nocturnus AD - The Key
A death metal concept album about a cyborg who goes back in time to kill Jesus? Gotta have some top notch artwork to bring out that theme, and Dan Seagrave delivered in spades: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-QHlP3eb_1a0/Tlzm2lpHs7I/AAAAAAAAAEo/ot0tY1TPOS8/s1600/Nocturnus%2B-%2BThe%2BKey%2B-%2BFront.jpg
24. Pensées Nocturnes - Grotesque
Grotesque, indeed. This is another one of those album covers that's somehow beautiful even though it doesn't make sense, and is actually a bit disturbing. Some lady's pulling a plow/tractor looking thing with dirt in its box that a man's head is sitting on top of. The music on this album is more aggressive than the previous album Vacuum, so maybe the cover was meant to look ugly to match this rough transition. Creds to Stephen Rothwell: http://www.metal-archives.com/images/2/6/3/5/263514.jpg
25. Progenie Terrestre Pura - U​.​M​.​A.
The debut of a spacy Italian black metal duo, this album is drenched in a fun sci fi aesthetic, perfectly topped off by its album art, which easily looks it could pass as the cover for a Robert A. Heinlein novel. Creds to Alexander Preuss: http://f0.bcbits.com/img/0001283067_20.jpg
26. The Ruins Of Beverast - Blood Vaults (The Blazing Gospel Of Heinrich Kramer)
The previous album covers for Von Meilenwald's one man project were pretty mediocre, but this one is admittedly at a much higher level. Emphasizing the dark church themes of the album, the artwork features a diseased-looking man with blue skin clutching onto a Bible in an ominous church setting. Creds to Axell Hermann: http://metalinjection.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Coverpic_complete-604x384.jpg
27. Satyricon - Dark Medieval Times
Another classic album from the early Norwegian scene, this one has a very strong medieval/neoclassical vibe to it. Appropriately, then, the album art shows a rider rearing up on his horse in front of a dark castle, in an icy land drenched in a thick sheet of snow. Couldn't find the artist for this one: http://red-liste.com/upload/albums/Dark_Medieval_Times_25149.jpg
28. Sleep - Dopesmoker
The original cover, not the new one that looks like a ripoff of Dune. What makes this album artwork so excellent is the fact that, once again, it doesn't make sense. But of course, this just goes wonderfully with the music, which doesn't either. And if you're baked off your ass listening to it, what better way to spend your time than trying to get your fried brain to discover what the fuck that thing on the cover is? Creds to Arik Roper: http://blog.defgrip.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/23kqmi1-Copy-600x673.jpg
29. Terra Tenebrosa - The Tunnels
A very eerie, mesmerizing album, reflected likewise in its album cover. A simple, yet effective photograph of The Cuckoo, wearing his trademark mask and clutching a trumpet looking device. Artist unavailable: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ndrYkMxjPss/TYM-9MHKmsI/AAAAAAAAASE/I0iBKptqSMo/s1600/Terra%2BTenebrosa%2B-%2BThe%2BTunnels.jpg
30. Vektor - Black Future
Sci fi thrash metal! Revolving around themes of space and technology, the artwork fittingly depicts a head with electrical cables emerging from a brain in a desolate, dystopian wasteland. Surprisingly, I couldn't find the artist behind this one: http://united-metal.ru/uploads/posts/2012-11/1352623951_1282115235_vektor-black-future-front.jpg
31. Wormlust - The Feral Wisdom
The debut of Icelander H.V. Lyngdal's one man project, this trippy cover reflects the psychedelic twists and turns of the music quite well. Swirly blue and yellow, with snakes, and those two spirally circles in the middle look an awful lot like the eyes of someone who took way too much LSD. As some have noted, this artwork looks a bit similar in design to that of Blut Aus Nord's The Desanctification. Artist unavailable: http://f0.bcbits.com/z/41/61/4161919883-1.jpg



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Apothecary ]



Comments page 2 / 2

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Comments: 49   Visited by: 138 users
13.11.2013 - 11:58
Angel N.
Evil Butterfly
Written by Monolithic on 13.11.2013 at 07:53

IMO the whole idea of listing artists/musicians/bands/albums could be cliché sometimes (like the idea Erik mentioned here) but I'd encourage you to do it as well.

good, you didn't mention songs.
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The Fangirl.
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13.11.2013 - 12:00
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Angel N. on 13.11.2013 at 11:58

Written by Monolithic on 13.11.2013 at 07:53

IMO the whole idea of listing artists/musicians/bands/albums could be cliché sometimes (like the idea Erik mentioned here) but I'd encourage you to do it as well.

good, you didn't mention songs.



and lists of songs as well. Any music list is cliché
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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13.11.2013 - 12:05
Monolithic
♠♠♠
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 13.11.2013 at 11:54


And that's why every single list is a cliché. Because lists in music are as cliché as can be.

Yeah, I agree to some extent but I think that sometimes it's fun to bring up something to discuss and lists could be good examples of what albums we choose based on our own qualifications, not to mention the volume of other stuff we discover.

So I'd say it's a rather useful cliché.

Written by Angel N. on 13.11.2013 at 11:58

good, you didn't mention songs.

I find songs to be a lot more easier to check out therefore I don't consider them a cliche as much as the other parameters I've mentioned.
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13.11.2013 - 13:07
Angel N.
Evil Butterfly
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 13.11.2013 at 12:00


and lists of songs as well. Any music list is cliché

mean, you're mean

Written by Monolithic on 13.11.2013 at 12:05


I find songs to be a lot more easier to check out therefore I don't consider them a cliche as much as the other parameters I've mentioned.

Ahem
----
The Fangirl.
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13.11.2013 - 13:15
Angel N.
Evil Butterfly
I love both Terra Tenebrosa and The Ruins Of Beverast album artworks
----
The Fangirl.
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13.11.2013 - 14:15
Apothecary
PsyCHEdelic
Written by Monolithic on 13.11.2013 at 12:05

Yeah, I agree to some extent but I think that sometimes it's fun to bring up something to discuss and lists could be good examples of what albums we choose based on our own qualifications, not to mention the volume of other stuff we discover.

That's why I really enjoy them myself. Lists on this site can get a little old and sometimes annoying with the same topics, but overall I usually enjoy them. I appreciate the variety too, MS lists aren't like your typical "100 Best Metal Albums" Lists where you always see Master Of Puppets or Rust In Peace at the top, people on here actually have enough of a diversity in tastes to be able to make each list a unique blend of choices in itself, and I like that.
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Written by RaduP on 14.01.2016 at 02:08

So you're not actually a bearded shaman opening his third eye through music?
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13.11.2013 - 14:19
Monolithic
♠♠♠
Written by Apothecary on 13.11.2013 at 14:15

MS lists aren't like your typical "100 Best Metal Albums" Lists where you always see Master Of Puppets or Rust In Peace at the top, people on here actually have enough of a diversity in tastes to be able to make each list a unique blend of choices in itself, and I like that.

Word.
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13.11.2013 - 23:16
Erik M.
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 13.11.2013 at 11:54

And that's why every single list is a cliché. Because lists in music are as cliché as can be.


So that means your list is also cliché. In any case I totally disagree with you... and why just lists in music? Why not also lists in movies?

If there are 50 2013-lists then that kind of list is cliché, but if there's two or three lists like this one it's definitely not cliché.

Written by Apothecary on 13.11.2013 at 14:15

That's why I really enjoy them myself. Lists on this site can get a little old and sometimes annoying with the same topics, but overall I usually enjoy them. I appreciate the variety too, MS lists aren't like your typical "100 Best Metal Albums" Lists where you always see Master Of Puppets or Rust In Peace at the top, people on here actually have enough of a diversity in tastes to be able to make each list a unique blend of choices in itself, and I like that.


Indeed. I agree some lists are cliché but saying literally all lists are cliché is just ridiculous, sorry Marcel. And yes, take a look at IMDb's lists and you'll know what cliché lists mean. Way "worse" than MS, which isn't that strange because on IMDb there are of course much more users.
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14.11.2013 - 02:33
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Erik M. on 13.11.2013 at 23:16

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 13.11.2013 at 11:54

And that's why every single list is a cliché. Because lists in music are as cliché as can be.


So that means your list is also cliché.



yes it is because there are so many decennium lists.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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16.11.2013 - 00:53
Erik M.
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 14.11.2013 at 02:33

yes it is because there are so many decennium lists.


Are you being sarcastic? Because as far as I know there are a lot of top 50 lists but not decennium lists.
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16.11.2013 - 04:44
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Erik M. on 16.11.2013 at 00:53

Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 14.11.2013 at 02:33

yes it is because there are so many decennium lists.


Are you being sarcastic? Because as far as I know there are a lot of top 50 lists but not decennium lists.



I wasn't being sarcastic. There are quite a few decennium lists areound by staff members.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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16.11.2013 - 16:43
Erik M.
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 16.11.2013 at 04:44

I wasn't being sarcastic. There are quite a few decennium lists areound by staff members.


Haha okay then. Good to know.
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03.03.2014 - 20:56
Gawain
Account deleted
This is a fantastic list, one of my favorites on the site now that I found it

one of the best tie-in album covers is from The Mantle, nothing completes that album's atmosphere better than that cover. it's just majestic.
also one of the best album covers i'd want a poster for is blackwater park, it's just so fucking awesome.

oh and check out alcest's 2nd album's cover art. it's excellent
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07.03.2014 - 22:49
Erik M.
Written by Guest on 03.03.2014 at 20:56

also one of the best album covers i'd want a poster for is blackwater park, it's just so fucking awesome.


I have a Ghost Reveries poster hanging above my bed since 2005 (when the album was released and also when I saw them live for the first time). It's the only music poster I have left, as I used to have a lot more but removed all of them at one point. I also have movie posters of my favourite movies hanging in my room currently.
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08.03.2014 - 10:41
Gawain
Account deleted
Written by Erik M. on 07.03.2014 at 22:49

Written by Guest on 03.03.2014 at 20:56

also one of the best album covers i'd want a poster for is blackwater park, it's just so fucking awesome.


I have a Ghost Reveries poster hanging above my bed since 2005 (when the album was released and also when I saw them live for the first time). It's the only music poster I have left, as I used to have a lot more but removed all of them at one point. I also have movie posters of my favourite movies hanging in my room currently.

i don't use my room for nothing except sleeping, i have 0 personal stuff in there
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12.03.2014 - 00:07
Erik M.
Written by Guest on 08.03.2014 at 10:41

i don't use my room for nothing except sleeping, i have 0 personal stuff in there


Double negative alert.
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12.03.2014 - 07:19
Gawain
Account deleted
Written by Erik M. on 12.03.2014 at 00:07

Written by Guest on 08.03.2014 at 10:41

i don't use my room for nothing except sleeping, i have 0 personal stuff in there


Double negative alert.


oh fuck my teacher!
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15.04.2017 - 13:13
solar
There really should be a way of adding links to MS. Opening every pic link is a pain. Nice choices though
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15.04.2017 - 15:09
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
What Kelly had to say on the cover of Atheist - Unquestionable Presence.

Quote:

Kelly: My least favourite. My least favourite of all of our covers.
Marcel:Who did the artwork on this one?
Kelly: His name was Justice Mitchell. We were pressed for time.. and once again I'd love to tell a great great grand story about how… Because this record has gone down in history it'd be nice if the cover… But really we had about a week and Justice Mitchell went to art school in Florida, which is where I live in Sarasota. His father was an instructor there. And it was just a play on vision really to have someone praying, which is the oxymoron of the name of the band; Atheist. And once again that was it, that's all the input we really gave him. We just wanted a girl on a hill sort of praying but we wanted the planets behind her. So it's pretty simplistic in the way it worked out. We had a little different vision of how it would turn out but at the end it's classic in its own right.
Marcel: So also totally no relation to the music?
Kelly: No. Not really.
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

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