Today The Gauntlet is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of Bathory's "Under the Sign of the Black Mark". With the album release set for May 11, 1987, frontman Quorthon needed a cover that was equally captivating. He remembered coming across a painting in a 18th century art book titled "Witches' Sabbath" by Francisco de Goya. The image features a man with a goat head surrounded by witches.
To recreate the image, Quorthon made an inquiry at the Swedish Opera House about using a rocky, mountainous set piece for the shoot. The Opera House agreed and following the end of Act II of the play 'Carmen', Quorthon led his group onto the stage for the shoot. The witches were portrayed by half-naked women while the goat-man was body builder Leif Ehrnborg.
They raced out on stage with the paper mache goat head and loincloth and got into position but photographer Gunnar Silins was unable to properly fit the women into the portrait from his position while still leaving the goat man visible. Despite not fully realizing Quorthon's complete vision, they managed to obtain an epic album cover.