The cover of the album, produced in five different colored versions (yellow, blue, green, orange and purple), features a dinosaur logo. Originally, Sweet wanted to use the logo of the Japanese delivery company Yamato Transport on the cover, but was denied permission; Sweet has described the dinosaur design as a "consolation prize".
Initial responses to the record were mixed, with Rolling Stone writing that it had "inspiring moments; the problem is finding them.".AllMusic agreed that the album is "all over the place", yet noted that "it takes a bit of time for all of it to make sense, but after a few listens, it falls together." 
The title of the album is based on the arcade game, Altered Beast. Sweet has declared the title meant "whatever is inside you that someday might explode, and maybe you don't know it's there", which he found similar to the game, where "you have to find these little power-up things, and when you eat them you become the Altered Beast, this other creature that's really powerful and violent".