Metal/rock covers of pop songs seem to be a really popular trend lately. Just search for it on youtube and you’ll find lots of hardcore bands covering the cheesiest of songs. While some people may find it annoying, I think it’s a lot of fun. These bands can let loose and have fun with these. Sometimes as you’ll find below, they even manage to make the song sound better.
- Behind the Wheel- Pain
This cover of the Depeche Mode classic stays pretty true to the original, but this version has more of a hard edge. With hard, aggressive guitars and slightly harsh vocals, this song is given a hard rock makeover. It’s a great twist to an 80’s classic. It’s also refreshing to see a metal band covering a Depeche Mode song that is NOT “Enjoy the Silence.”
- Toxic- Blowsight
This little known Swedish band puts a metal spin on this sexy Britney Spears song. Distorted guitars replace the screeching pop melody. There’s even a sweet guitar solo during the bridge. This band really makes the song heavy, especially with their rough vocals and gives it even more attitude. They even put their own spin on it with additional lyrics. A Static Lullaby did a solid cover of this song too, but this one gets you moving more and A Static Lullaby stayed more true to the original song.
- Ghostbusters- Xentrix
A lot of metal bands have covered this popular song, but Xentrix does it best. They really make the song their own by making it hard and giving it an edge. The guitars play the recognizable riff while the lyrics are screamed out including the laughable “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.” The pace is also much faster than the original giving it kind of a punk rock feeling. This is probably the best cover of the Ghostbusters theme song yet.
- Speed Demon- Xerath
Metal bands love Michael Jackson as we’ll see later in this list. I’ve heard tons of “Beat It” covers most of which were really good, but this has to be one of my favorites. Xerath picked the obscure “Speed Demon” to show their love for Michael Jackson and they give this song even more attitude. Seriously, this version is intense. The guitars are insane and the vocals are really harsh. It’s quite shocking to hear such a rough take on this Jackson classic, especially considering how light Jackson’s voice was. Any Jackson fan will appreciate this.
- Devil Woman- Cradle of Filth
At first, I didn’t know this was cover and when you listen to the original and compare it with this version it’s like night and day. The original is very pop friendly with cheesy 70’s music. It’s something you would hear on soft rock radio. But the Cradle of Filth version makes the song sound as if it’s coming from the depths of Hell, complete with growling vocals, crunching guitars and lots of screaming. They really did a great job putting a metal spin on this song.
- Party All the Time- Children of Bodom
To this day people roll their eyes, laugh, or unfortunately, dance when this song by Eddie Murphy comes on. The fact that he actually believed he could have a successful singing career is hilarious. This is probably one of the most laughed at songs in music, which makes it puzzling why Finnish metal band Children of Bodom would want to cover it. Whatever the reason they actually do the impossible: they make the song good. Kick ass guitars, screaming vocals mixed in with an attempt at singing turns this 80’s train wreck into a bitching metal tune.
- White Wedding- The Murderdolls
This is another well-loved song that is constantly covered by rock and metal bands, but this one takes the cake. The Murderdolls, which features Slipknot’s Joey Jordison, turns this haunting 80’s classic into a horror-punk nightmare. The vocals are shouted out, rather than sung and while the original had some great guitar work, this version has intense guitars taking over this track. This classic is made intense and demonized by this band.
- Get Down Make Love- Nine Inch Nails
NIN takes this sensual Queen song and turns it into a dirty industrial rock track. It includes the classic NIN sound of mechanical sounding music playing against synth rhythms. Trent Reznor screeches, screams, and sings the lyrics of the song. Another thing that makes the cover awesome is the fact that the original version plays at the end of the song though it’s being played backwards. If you listen closely you will find it.
- Smooth Criminal- Alien Ant Farm
This is probably the most well known and the most loved Michael Jackson cover. It may have been the band’s only hit, but it’s one that’s well worth it. AAF stayed pretty true to the original, but gave the MJ classic a slap in the face. The guitar riff that plays the classic melody is killer and super intense. The vocals are great also. It’s really cool how the band makes sure they sing every part of the song, including the random “hoos” and “Ows” Jackson loved to throw in. Add the video full of Jackson references and you have an awesome tribute to one of the greatest artists of all time.
- Sweet Dreams- Marilyn Manson
Who didn’t see this coming? The original version by the Eurythmics was already a great song, but Marilyn Manson really made the song intense, some sort of Hellish nightmare (this becomes even more true when you see the video for the song). Not only did they manage to make the song uber creepy, they showed just how dark the song really is. The sleek, sexy guitar and Manson’s hardcore vocals turns this 80’s classic into a legendary, nightmare infused hard rock song.
Deftones covering the Sade classic “Ordinary love”
Is there an awesome cover that I left off the list? Let me know in the comments!