Theme Thursday-Unlikely Covers

Cover songs are a great way for a band to show tribute to their favorite artists, and move out of their comfort zone and have some fun with their music without having to compromise the integrity of their core material.  Here’s a list of some covers done by metal bands that step out of what the bands core sound and cover something that is a little different for them, some of the covers are “metalized” some hone the spirit of the original, but in the end, they’re all pretty damn good covers.  And if you dig the cover version, check out the original, more times than not it’s a great song.  If you know some more unlikely covers let us know in the comments and let us know what your favorite were. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal

Anthrax-Got the Time

Anthrax turns this Joe Jackson song into punky and thrashy goodness.  I especially love the bass work in this track.

Austrian Death Machine-Gotta Go

This is one of my all time favorite covers.  Arnold Schwarzenegger themed thrash metal band Austrian Death Machine takes the classic Agnostic Front hardcore punk song and just hits a hilarious home run with it.  If you are a fan of thrash metal and the Terminator this will have your sides splitting.

Ensiferum-Lady in Black

Here Finnish epic folk metal band Ensiferum takes Uriah Heep’s epic classic song “Lady in Black” and multiplies the epic by an uncountable measure.

Faith no More-Easy+This Guys in Love With You

Mike Patton lends his legendary voice to this impeccable cover of The Commodores classic “Easy”.  After hearing this cover I can’t ever listen to the original without adding the “euggh” that FNM adds in just before the solo.

When I think of my all time favorite vocalists Mike Patton is the first that comes to mind.  This Burt Bacharach/Herb Alpert cover really showcases how powerful and unique his voice is.

Blind Guardian-Mr. Sandman+Surfin’ USA

Never in my life would I imagine The Chordettes “Mr. Sandman” being played in metal.  Blind Guardian weaves their magic and does a truly terrifying rendition of it,  Hansi’s voice fits this song perfectly.

Add some distortion, shredding, and double bass to the Beach Boys classic “Surfin’ USA” you got yourself one hell of an awesome metal song.

Demons & Wizards-White Room

Supergroup Demons & Wizards comprised Blind Guardian’s Hansi Kursch and Iced Earth’s Jon Schaffer take the Cream’s prog blues rock classic “White Room” and metal it all up with great effects.

Helloween-Lay All Your Love On Me+White Room

If there’s one band that just grates on my nerves to no end it would be ABBA, but by some hellish magic Helloween are able to not just make ABBA listenable, but also pretty damn bad ass.

Cream’s “White Room” seems to be a pretty big pick for metal bands to cover.  Helloween do a great job with it making it stand out from the other versions of it floating around.

Tool-No Quarter

Tool takes Led Zepplin’s “No Quarter” an already trippy song and transforms it into a mind trip only like Tool could do.


Disco and metal, quite the opposites, but somehow Turisas makes the disco classic “Rasputin” by Boney M. work magic with their unique brand of epic battle folk metal.  No metal song makes me want to dance quite like this one.

FolkStone-Vanità Di Vanità

If you don’t live in Italy you most likely never heard metal band FolkStone nor the Angelo Branduardi song “Vanità Di Vanità” (“Vanity of Vanity), I’m here to change that.  FolkStone does a terrific job metalling up this Italian folk classic.

Machine Head-Message in a Bottle

Machine Head are no strangers to cover songs and their most unlikely cover they’ve done also happens to be their best.  They take The Police’s “Message in a Bottle” and just run with it and creating a cover that surpasses the quality of the original by spades, Machine Head have officially made this song their own.


Here’s another one out of left field, Slayer slaying Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”.  Pretty cool imo.

Type-O-Negetive-Summer Breeze+Cinnamon Girl

Type-O take the breezy Seals & Crofts classic and gloriously goth it all up.

and they do the same with one of Neal Young’s best songs “Cinnamon Girl”

Between The Buried and Me-Bicycle Race+Change

On this you can tell the boys of BTBAM had a blast recording one of Queen’s best songs.  Tommy Rodgers does Freddy Mercury justice with his performance even if he can’t hit those high notes he still adds tons of personality to the song.

Taking a break for lead vocalist duties Tommy Rodgers lets guitarist Paul Waggoner take the mic on this great cover of Blind Melon’s “Change”.

Shadow’s Fall-Welcome to the Machine

Shadow’s Fall take Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine” and put their spin on it making it sound like a song that was made to be metal from the beginning.

Children of Bodom-Lookin’ Out My Back Door+Just Dropped In

It’s no mystery that my favorite film character and zen guru of all time is Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski and whenever I hear this song by Creedence Clearwater Revival I can’t help put think of the Dude.  COB score bonus points for doing an excellent metal cover of this song.

..and they score even more bonus points for covering yet another song that refers to the Dude and the Kenny Rodgers original is one of my all time favorite songs.

Dillenger Escape Plan w/Mike Patton-Come to Daddy

For their 4 song EP tech metal band Dillenger Escape Plan teamed up with legendary vocalist Mike Patton, on that EP they transcribed hardcore electronic band Aphex Twin’s to traditional metal instruments and captured the terrifying experience of the original.

Amon Amarth-Aeriels

What started out as the band doing drunken karaoke led to Amon Amarth brutalizing System of a Down’s hit “Aeriels”.  I fully approve of the outcome of this drunken experiment.

Entombed-21st Century Schizoid Man

Entombed take this long classic King Crimson song and add their twist to it.  I especially like how Lars Göran Petrov’s harsh scratchy vocals work on this song.

Moonsorrow-For Whom the Bell Tolls

While both Metallica and Moonsorrow are both in the realm of metal, they are extremely different in their style. This is a terrific reworking of “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.

Deftones-No Ordinary Love+Simple Man

Of all the artists to be covered soft pop singer Sade would have been the last I would have thought be done by a metal band, here’s Deftones covering “No Ordinary Love”

Deftones do a great cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic “Simple Man” accentuating it with Chino Moreno’s ethereal vocals to put a different spin on it.

About RiffRaff

Just takin' it easy for all you sinners.

Posted on June 9, 2011, in Theme Thursday and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Dude, this was an awesome post! I have heard most of these, but still quite a few I have not so this was a real treat. I would love to see Faith No More live or some incarnation with Mike Patton on vocals. Both of those covers were great. My buddy saw FNM a while back and when they played “Easy” Mike Patton asked the crowd if they wanted to hear it again. Of course, they cheered and so they played it again. I can see FNM doing something like that.

    For a second there I was like…Where is Trivium’s Master of Puppets or Machine Head’s Hallowed Be Thy Name? Then I remembered the title “Unlikely Covers.” That is what made this post so great..the covers were not from anything that was originally metal. It let’s us all know that many of the bands we idolize get their influences from non-metal band. Them covering a song is paying respect to a particular artist.

    The Lady In Black cover was awesome, I am going to have to download that song or that album it came from. I did pick up Victory Songs BTW and it’s a great album. I will be looking for more Ensiferum as funds allow.

    Children of Bodom could probably make a career making covers; they seem to do quite a bit. And they are pretty good at it. Also, they like to have a good time with some covers…see Britney Spears.

    Moonsorrow did a great job with For Whom The Bell Tolls. I like their version of this Metallica classic.

    I like a good cover tune. Sometimes I wish bands would play more of them live, but I guess they must be bound to promote their new albums which is understandable. I am sure this post could have gone on much longer, I took a quick scroll through my digital library and came up with some I listed below. Have you heard many of these? I am not much of a fan of HIM, but that cover was pretty good. I caught HIM at download and he wasn’t that good of a live performer according to my standards. He seemed uncomfortable on stage. Wicked Game was a good cover though. Cheers man, great post!

    Have you heard:
    Black Label Society – Bridge Over Troubled Waters (Simon and Garfunkel)
    Bronx Casket Company – My Way (Frank Sinatra)
    HIM – Wicked Game (Chris Isaak)
    Life Of Agony – Don’t You Forget About Me (Simple Minds)
    Overkill – Frankenstein (The Edgar Winter Group)
    Paradise Lost – Smalltown Boy (Bonski Beat)
    Queensryche – Synchronicity II (The Police)
    Rage Against The Machine – Maggie’s Farm (Bob Dylan)
    Testament – Nobody’s Fault (Aerosmith)

    • The “Lady in Black” cover is off the “One More Magic Potion” single, if you can find it on I-tunes, it’s definitely worth your dollar.
      I was thinking about adding BLS/Zakk Wylde, but since they have those acoustic/mellow albums I figured that they were kinda disqualified. Have you heard his cover of “Heart of Gold” that a great one.
      I don’t care much for HIM, but that Wicked Game cover was good, the singer did a great job.
      That Overkill version of Frankenstein is straight up killer, I love it.
      I completely forgot about RATM, they also do Springsteens Ghost of Tom Joad.
      Ya, you’re right, this post could have gone on much longer, I had to stop myself at a certain point, maybe there will be a part 2.
      I’ve seen bands pull out covers here and there at concerts, but it’s a rarity, I saw Primus do Space Oddity from David Bowie and Dogs from Pink Floyd(Les Claypool actually released an album where he cover Animals in it’s entirety live). And I saw Dream Theater cover Master of Puppets front to back live(and play a set of their stuff, plus the entire 6 Degrees song in another set, talk about endurance!) I may have mentioned this at one point or another, but I also caught Mike Patton and his latest project Mondo Cane last year where he covers Italian pop songs from the 50’s and 60’s, he is so damn good live. I really wish FNM comes around again so I can finally see them live.
      I love cover tunes also, It’s great seeing a different angle on a song, and often times it introduces me to an artist I may have never listened to.

      • Great post, and the selection is very good, even though I only knew a handful of them. “Come to daddy” is probably the one I like the most, it perfectly captures the mood of the original.

        In the Blind Guardian selection I’d have skipped “Surfin’ U.S.A.” in favor of “Hallelujah” (Deep Purple cover), featuring an incredible solo part by André, which starts on the first measure and ends on the last one. And what about their “Dream a little dream of me”? 🙂 I’m not particularly fond of their “In a gadda da vida” version, though.

        Since you mention Dream Theater, I think it’s worth noting that they’ve done three tribute albums, also including “The number of the beast” and “Dark side of the moon”. The latter is definitely the best one IMO, it is fantastic and realized with maniacal perfection. Check out Jordan’s rig in the DVD, it’s amazing!

        About ABBA, make sure to check out Therion’s rendition of “Summernight city”, and stay away from Malmsteen’s “Gimme gimme gimme” 😉

        Yesterday I was listening to Nothingface, one of my fave albums ever and… I have to say that Voivod’s rendition of Astronomy Domine by Pink Floyd is truly stunning. The best part is how it stands in line with the rest of the album, it’s just perfect.

        An outsider is “God is God”, originally by the goa-trance group Juno Reactor (don’t be scared and check out some of their older stuff… really trippy) and covered by Laibach in their “metal phase”. Another great Laibach rendition from the same album is the title track “Jesus Christ Superstar”… guess what that is.

        And there it is, even though there’s obviously a lot of great stuff left out (to mention only a few, “Room 429” by Strapping Young Lad, Spastic Ink’s “A Wild Hare” ot The Kovenant’s “Spaceman”). Hope you find something interesting in my list 🙂

  2. I didn’t go with the more hard rock covers like “Hallelujah” “The Wizard” or “Spread Your Wings” from Blind Guardian because BG kinda falls into the same “musical genre” as them whereas The Chordettes and Beach Boys are part of a different realm.
    I have the bootleg CD of Dream Theater of covering Number of the Beast(I’d love to see that live), I dig it a lot and they do a great job, I’ve seen the Dark Side.. available, I’ll have to pick that one up eventually.
    I checked out the Therion cover, and it’s pretty damn cool, I guess ABBA works when metalized, even though I fear for the day a metal band covers “Dancing Queen”, lol.
    Believe it or not, I have Bible of Dreams from Juno Reator in my collection, it’s one of those cds I have no idea how it got there but I keep it because it’s pretty cool and something different an unique from the realm of electronic music. I have never heard of Laibach, but after checking out that cover, I’ll checking some more out.
    Thanks for dropping by and adding more interesting covers too the list! Peace!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: