Whether it is out of respect for a band that influenced them or just for a bit of fun, metal bands do seem to enjoy throwing out a cover song. Some of them turn out to be really successful to the point of it becoming part of their live show and catalogue to the point where they are remembered for it more than the original artist but some of them, other than being a gimmick, are pretty awful. I think the awful ones may have to wait for another list but for now, here are my ten favourite cover songs. I give my word that the picture above was to illustrate pop/rock crossover and there is no”she who can not be named” covering Pantera tracks tainting this article.
Let me know if you would have anything different.
Number 10 – Cannibal Corpse – No Remorse (Metallica)
Very much taking an already wonderfully heavy song and making it grittier, darker and even heavier, Cannibal Corpse take this Metallica track and make it their own.
Number 9 – Amon Amarth – Ariels (System of a Down)
I have never been a huge System of a Down fan but Ariels was always one song I quite liked. As you would expect Amon Amarth really add some agression to the track turning it into a melodic death metal number that more than does the original justice.
Number 8 – Children of Bodom – Talk Dirty to Me (Poison)
Children of Bodom do like a cover. So much so that they released a double album of them called Skeletons in the Closet. They cover a wide range of music from Britney Spears to Billy Idol to Iron Maiden but and while some of them don’t really work, a lot of them are great fun and Talk Dirty To Me is one of the stand out efforts.
Number 7 – Machine Head – Message in a Bottle (The Police)
“The Head” have a couple of covers in existence but generally stay in their genre with Black Sabbath or Metallica covers but back in The Burning Red days they put together this brilliant cover of The Police track that really works well and feels like a metal song.
Number 6 – Fear Factory – Cars (Gary Numan)
Maybe only number 6 on the list but this song is brilliant. The industrial sounds of the original song are perfectly suited to Fear Factory and they even had Gary Numan singing with them on the cover. If you have never heard this, you must. It is really very good.
Number 5 – Mushroom Head – Crazy (Seal)
Back in time for this one to the early days of Mushroom Head who, in my opinion, have taken a pretty forgettable Seal track and worked wonders with it to make it sound like a track perfectly suited to their sound. It is truly very well done and is a song I play a lot, even these days. Great effort.
Number 4 – Metallica – Last Caress/Green Hell (The Misfits)
Metallica have, like Children of Bodom, got a multitude of covers to choose from and also have a double album of them in Garage Inc which contains a huge array of really good covers that could just as easily have made this list. Covers of Whiskey in the Jar, Astronomy, Die My Darling, Stone Cold Crazy and many more are really well done tracks but their take on The Misfits two songs that they always combine into one is the stand out track and is a crowd pleaser even at their live shows.
Number 3 – Turisas – Rasputin (Boney M)
Yes, you read that correctly. Turisas cover a Boney M track but believe me it works and listening to it makes you feel like you are listening to a Turisas song, not a cover. It works well, is great fun at live shows and has a fun video. It is hugely popular among their fans and for good reason. Watching a crowd of painted warriors go nuts to this with fake battle armour on is a sight to behold.
Number 2 – Gojira – Escape (Metallica)
I am a huge Gojira fan and it is their unique sound that takes this excellent Metallica song and turns it into a Gojira song. It is a cover but is done in Gojira’s style rather than straight replication. It works fantastically and there is nothing quite like hearing one of your favourite songs played by one of your other favourite bands. Excellent job.
Number 1 – Pantera – Planet Caravan (Black Sabbath)
This song is beautiful. The original is an amazing tune and Pantera more then do it justice. I am sure I listen to it almost daily. Phil Anselmo sings beautifully on it and Dime Bag (RIP) really owns the guitar rythyms. A masterpiece of a track.
So that is my ten – what would you have?