The idea to write about cover songs came to me while I listened to a mediocre but serviceable thrash cover of “Eleanor Rigby” by the now-defunct Realm. Even when covers aren’t great, they’re usually at least interesting. Hearing a familiar song in an unfamiliar style can be pretty cool, especially for a music nerd like myself. However, lots of metal bands decide that no matter how a song sounds, it can be improved with the awe-inspiring power of metal (or in some cases, MORE metal), and this simply is not the case. Here’s a list of ten metal cover songs that the world probably could have done without.
First of all, the fact that Moonsorrow removed Cliff’s bass intro from the song is unforgivable. Second of all, I can not get over how lifeless this cover is. Come on, Moonsorrow, you’re a folk metal band from Finland — why’d you decide to leave your fiddles and accordions at home when you recorded this one?
I’m a huge Megadeth fan, and willing to overlook most of the missteps they’ve made throughout their career, but this one is just baffling. “I Ain’t Superstitious” is a badass blues song originally written by Willie Dixon, and Megadeth sucked all the soul right out of it. Who wants to hear blues sped up and screeched out by a bunch of white dudes? Not me.
The original version of this song is pretty bad, but Children Of Bodom just had to metal-ize it for our listening “pleasure.” I almost can’t knock it, because the band clearly had fun making it, but ugh. There are better ways to kill 3 1/2 minutes than listening to a dumb joke.
Metallica’s version of “The Prince” actually pisses me off. Seriously, how on earth did they go from their amazing “Am I Evil?” cover to this? They took the song, made the overall sound harsher (more metal???), and then James Hetfield made the vocals all…Hetfield-y. Blech. The end result is a butchered, boring pile of crap.
Generally speaking, no one should try to cover any song that had Dio on vocals — period. (Otyg and Killswitch Engage, you¨re lucky there wasn’t any room left on this list for you.) “I” is no exception. Heri Joensen is a fine vocalist, but Týr’s cover does no justice to this magnificent song. I gotta say though, his “I’m a WHOOORE!” caterwaul is really funny.
Oh Death, such an influential, awesome, ground-breaking band…it really hurts me to put them on this list at all. That said, it hurts me even more to listen to their horrible cover of “Painkiller.” Chuck, may he rest in peace, pronounces nearly all the words wrong (granted, he was from Long Island, but no English dialect sounds like that) and makes an already extremely high-pitched song nearly an octave higher. I suppose bleeding from the ears is pretty metal though.
Sweet Jesus, where do I even begin? As if the heavy Finnish accents didn’t make it amusing enough, the air of overwhelming seriousness pushes it over the edge into hilarity. I can’t stop cringing long enough to listen to it the whole way through. Watch the official video for added effect — it’s truly beyond description.
Now I hate literally everything about Lady Gaga, from her completely ripped-off songs to her completely ripped-off persona, but I wouldn’t wish a cover as bad as “Alejandro” on my worst musical enemy. Helia take an already insufferable song and pile on more garbage. Did the world really need TWO versions of this? (Google tells me that there are at least two additional covers of “Alejandro” floating around on the internet. Kill me.)
I’m about to lose some serious metal cred here, but when I first heard “Supernaut,” I was unaware that it was a cover. It was simply Turisas’s absolute worst song on Turisas’s absolute worst album, and I didn’t think twice about it until a friend linked the Black Sabbath version on his Facebook page. Like Metallica, Turisas have covered other songs brilliantly (come on, who doesn’t enjoy “Rasputin?”) but really missed the mark on this one. The inexplicable Ghostbusters breakdown in the middle is the cherry on top of this shit sundae.
Take one of the most annoying pop songs of the 21st century, put a weird rap metal beat under it, and what do you get? This. I can’t begin to describe how bad this is. Just have a listen for yourself, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Also, just to cap off my list, I’d like to give an honorable mention to Kidz Bop Kids’s cover of “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” which definitely would have made the #1 spot if I’d made this list about covers of metal songs rather than metal covers of songs.
Have any of you folks out there heard metal cover songs that are worse than the ones in my list? If so, I am deeply sorry. Feel free to work out your trauma by commenting below — comment therapy is free of charge!