Tales from the Jugular

Top Staff Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Cover Songs

By: Maximum Metal Staff
Published: Friday, November 18, 2011
Some people are purists who prefer that original compositions stay as they are, but we're open to different artistic interpretations of even the most classic songs. These are the one's that our staff currently likes the best. Jump on youtube and check some of them out then let us know what you like!

Brad Caplan
Sonata Artica - Die With Your Boots On (Iron Maiden)
Killswitch Engage - Holy Diver (Dio)
Fear Factory - I Will Follow (U2)
Dream Theater - Perfect Strangers (Deep Purple)
Shinedown - Simple Man (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
Children of Bodom - Aces High (Iron Maiden)
Coal Chamber - Shock the Monkey (Peter Gabriel)
Disturbed - Land of Confusion (Genesis)
Godsmack - Good Times Bad Times (Led Zeppelin)
Jorn - Stand Up and Shout (Dio)
Lacuna Coil - Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode)
Megadeth - Paranoid (Black Sabbath)
Metallica - Whiskey In the Jar (Thin Lizzy)
Nightwish - High Hopes (Pink Floyd)
Opeth - Would? (Alice in Chains)
Queensryche - Innuendo (Queen)
Scorpions - Drive (The Cars)
Shadows Fall - Bark at the Moon (Ozzy Osbourne)

Greg Watson
1. Iced Earth - Shooting Star
2. Shadows Fall - Welcome to the Machine
3. Dimmu Borgir - Burn In Hell
4. Killswitch Engage - Holy Diver
5. Altar - The Trooper
6. Iced Earth - Dead Babies
7. Iced Earth - The Ripper
8. Anything by Ten Masked Men
9. Arch Enemy - Kill With Power and Symphony of Destruction
10. Nevermore - Love Bites

Chris Kincaid
1: Flotsam & Jetsam - Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting
2: Disturbed - Land of Confusion
3: Hammerfall - My Sharona
4: Firewind - Maniac
5: Steel Panther - I Want It That Way
6: Twilight Guardian - La Isla Bonita
7: Gamma Ray - It's A Sin
8: Francis Soto Band - Sunglasses At Night
9: Disturbed - Shout
10: Tragedy - You Should Be Dancing

Bullet For My Valentine - No Easy Way Out (Robert Teller)
Edge Of Sanity - Blood Of My Enemies (Manowar)
Powergod - Steel The Light (Q5)
Every Mother's Nightmare - Long Haired Country Boy (Charlie Daniels Band)
Five Finger Deathpunch - Bad Company (Bad Company)

Frank H.
Top 20 Heavy Metal Cover Songs
Anthrax - Got the Time (Joe Jackson)
Bruce Dickinson - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (Black Sabbath)
Enola Gay - Heaven and Hell (Black Sabbath)
Graveworm - Fear of the Dark (Iron Maiden)
Heathen - Kill the King (Rainbow)
Holy Grail - Exciter (Judas Priest)
Judas Priest - Diamonds and Rust (live) (Joan Baez)
Jag Panzer - Children of the Sea (Black Sabbath)
Killswitch Engage - Holy Diver (Dio)
Korn - Another Brick in the Wall (Pink Floyd)
Megadeth - Anarchy in the U.K. (Sex Pistols)
Metallica - Stone Cold Crazy (Queen)
October 31 - Power and the Glory (Saxon)
Overkill - Sonic Reducer (Dead Boys)
Powergod - Tor with the Hammer (TNT)
Queensryche - Gonna Get Close to You (Dalbello)
Sanctuary - White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane)
Sebastian Bach - Children of the Damned (Iron Maiden)
Steel Prophet - Neon Knights (Black Sabbath)
Yngwie Malmsteen/Ripper Owens - Mr. Crowley (Ozzy)

Top Hard Rock Cover Songs
Ace Frehley - Do Ya (ELO)
Aerosmith - Big Ten Inch Record (Bull Moose Jackson)
Aerosmith - Train Kept-A Rollin (Tiny Bradshaw, Various)
Jimi Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower (Bob Dylan)
Quiet Riot - Cum On Feel The Noize (Slade)
Van Halen - You Really Got Me
Volbeat - I Only Want to Be with You (Dusty Springfield)

Chuck Schuldiner was too much a visionary to spend his time reworking others' triumphs, but we are lucky that he took time enough for a cover of 'Painkiller' (Judas Priest). As the last track on their last studio album, 'Painkiller' is an unlikely coda to Death's defining career, but from Christy's complex percussion to Schuldiner's inimitable soloing, it is latter-day Death through and through. And while the lyrics, naturally, are fantastical hogwash, with a little imagination Chuck's soaring, ragged vibrato in the chorus becomes an unexpectedly poignant summation of his struggles, triumphs, and the battle against brain cancer that ultimately took his life. It also was enough to fool some into thinking that it was he, and not Tim Aymar, who sang on Control Denied's 'The Fragile Art of Existence', which was Chuck's final masterpiece.

At the Gates' 'Slaughter of the Soul' is one of metal's most legendary clinics in tight phrygian riffing and distills the Swedish style to its essence. On its 2002 rerelease, several bonus tracks and covers were included, among them 'Captor of Sin' (Slayer). The first 10 seconds of this song bring enough mayhem to tear down every stone of the castle 'Slaughter...' had erected. A glorious and messy eruption.

On a related note, Anaal Nathrakh's 'De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas' (Mayhem). If ever there were a vocalist who could recreate Attila Csihar's maniacal emissions, it would be V.I.T.R.I.O.L., arguably the reigning madman of metal vocalists. True to their own form and to the original, Anaal's version is bitterly caustic and relentless, but its coldness is that of a machine instead of midwinter.

Another iconic metal voice that defies imitation is King Diamond's. And another modern vocalist up to the challenge is Nils K. Rue, of Pagan's Mind. A unique virtuoso in his own right, Rue took great inspiration from the King as a youth and spent countless hours crafting a talent that was as distinct, multi-faceted, and texturally complex. On the band's 2004 re-recording of their debut 'Infinity Divine', they give us a cover of 'At the Graves' that is even longer than the original. From keening cries to heady falsettos and deliberately maudlin recitative, Rue proves himself as the King's heir. And, of course, the band utterly rocks, including squealing guitar work from Jorn Viggo Lofstad that is as soaring and sassy as anything La Rocque threw down on the original. (The band gets special bonus points for being able to pull it off live. The 2007 edition of ProgPower USA featured a two-hour plus all-star cover jam to close the festival, with Pagan's Mind as the house band for 20 of the 21 songs. Nils stole the show with spot-on renditions of the King's 'Welcome Home', Crimson Glory's 'Lady of Winter', and Queensr˙che's 'Take Hold of the Flame'. A stunning event.)

And, of course, no discussion of metal covers is complete without Vader. If Piotr hadn't spent the last few decades as the forerunning trailblazer of Polish death metal, he could have still found success as a metal's preeminent cover band. Classic backbeats are supercharged into speed metal grooves that make the originals seem sluggish by comparison ('Rapid Fire', from Judas Priest). Early thrash anthems are injected with a lethal death metal edge ('Raining Blood' or 'Silent Scream', from Slayer). Piotr's iconic snarl--virtually unchanged since Vader's origins in the 80s--is enough to make Rob Halford and Tom Araya sound languid in comparison. Even Thin Lizzy isn't safe from Vader's corrupting touch. For most metal bands, covers are never more than quaint homage to the original masters--in Vader's case, they can be improvements.

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