10 Metal Covers That Are Better Than The Original Songs

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Let’s face it: most metal lids are pretty useless.

For one thing, many of the best metal covers are already great songs, classic tunes for which there’s little or no room for improvement. Most of these covers end up being either respectful retreads or overly difficult litters.

On the other hand, there are metal covers of bad songs. These almost always end up being tongue-in-cheek novelty trash, slightly amusing but nothing you’re going to repeat.

Then you got the bit, rightfully large blankets that actually eclipse the originals, covers that somehow sound like the originals were meant to sound all along, or that alchemically transform the originals into something completely different and revealing.

These are the covers we celebrate here. Below are 10 of our favorites.

Video of Dream Weaver

Crowbar – “Dream Weaver”

Crowbar’s main man, Kirk Windstein, is an avid lover of all types of ’70s music, from Sly and the Family Stone to the Saturday night fever soundtrack. So when his sludge-metal band covered Gary Wright’s 1975 hit “Dream Weaver,” it wasn’t a tongue-in-cheek gag, but a respectful and worthy reconstruction of a great song that was due in a way less schmaltzy delivery. Surprisingly, this heavy, labored rendition is every bit as catchy as the original, and the effect-laden flurries of guitars – not to mention Windstein’s soulful belting – flow together with startling grace.

Video of Dream Weaver

Do you believe video

Deftones – “Do You Believe?”

The Deftones are prolific cover artists, having covered songs by Depeche Mode, the Cure, Helmet, Jawbox, Sade, Skynyrd and more. Their covers are still great, but few top the canon originals. However, in the case of their rendition of 1998’s Deep Cut Cardigan “Do You Believe?”, there’s no turning back once you’ve heard the ‘Tones’ version. The original’s keyboard riff is just meant to be played on Stephen Carpenter’s guitar, and Chino’s breathy, biting vocals match the song’s cynical despair much better than Nina Persson’s singsong tones.

Do you believe video

Video of Crucified

Ghost – “Crucified”

Masters of the cover song, Ghost totally transform Army of Lover’s campy early ’90s hit “Crucified” into something completely different and way more awesome. The Swedish dance-pop band’s original takes ABBA’s glittery disco to its most glamorous and nerdy extreme. In the hands of Papa Emeritus II and the Ghouls, the song is sinister, nostalgic and, of course, oh so satanic. It’s barely recognizable – in the best possible way.

Video of Army of Lovers – Crucified (Official Music Video)

Video of Judas Priest – The Green Manalishi (with the bifold crown) (Official Audio)

Judas Priest – “Green Manalishi”

“The Green Manalishi” is actually one of Fleetwood Mac’s heaviest tracks, but Judas Priest completely obliterated the Zeppelin-lite original when they covered it in 1979. The guitar sounds are fatter , the drums hit harder, Halford’s vocals make you want to get out of your seat, and the solos destroy it all like unleashing the Tasmanian Devil in a mattress store. Unless you know otherwise, nothing in this song suggests that Priest didn’t write it herself. They really wear it like their own.

Video for The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown) (2013 Remaster)

Video of Limp Bizkit – Faith

Limp Bizkit – “Faith”

Limp Bizkit’s version of George Michael’s squealing hit “Faith” is a masterful display of trolling. It starts with Fred Durst’s heartbreaking yawn of the carefree verse, then seconds before you hit the “skip” button, it explodes into pure bare-metal mayhem, with Durst screeching the chorus over the pounding guitars and scritches of Hard DJs. Like all Bizkit songs, it’s as easy to love as it is to hate, but hey, at the end of the day, which version do you prefer to hear? It’s Bizkit.

Video of George Michael – Faith (Official Video)

Video of Mastodon – A Commotion [Official Audio]

Juggernaut – “A Hustle”

Originally released on a Record Store Day 7 inch alongside a Feist cover of Mastodon’s “Black Tongue”, the Atlanta metal titans’ version of the songwriter’s “A Commotion”- Canadian performer transforms the delicate-sounding original into a muddy monolith. Feist said it was like a “wet dream” for Mastodon to record one of his songs, but the cover evokes a feverish nightmare, one that brings the brutal lyrics of “A Commotion” (“If it rips you all apart /The grudge you still have your heart”) to living life.

Video of a commotion

Video of Goin’ Blind

Melvins – “Going Blind”

According to legend, the Melvins sent a tape of their ice-speed doom cover of KISS’ “Goin’ Blin” to Gene Simmons, and The Demon was so confused by the slowness that he bought a new tape player, thinking that sound must be broken. Simmons finally arrived, even joining Melvins on stage to perform the song when KISS took them on tour. But really, how could he not to be conquered? The 1974 original withers in the face of its massive 1993 reimagining.

Video of Goin’ Blind

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPOTES_yTJoMetallica Video: Turn the Page (Official Music Video)

Metallica – “Turn the Page”

Bob Seger’s 1973 song “Turn the Page” – about the ups and downs of life as a touring rock musician – is a true classic. Leave it up to Metallica to own it. Their garage inc. the cover adds metallic muscle to the original, with James Hetfield injecting extra grit into the vocals and Kirk Hammett’s slide guitar replacing the somewhat cheesy saxophone. This makes for an even more impactful listen, highlighted by Jonas Åkerlund’s MTV banned music video. Indeed, for 90s metalheads, this is the definitive version.

Bob Seger Video – Turning the Page

Video of Ghost Rider

Rollins Group – “Ghost Rider”

Suicide’s “Ghost Rider” is one of the weirdest and most enlightening proto-punk tracks, having been covered by dozens of bands and hailed as the foundation of late ’70s subculture. it’s more difficult to listen to than fun, while Rollins Band’s rendition is a fucking blast. Featured on Beloved Raven soundtrack, this “Ghost Rider” is almost completely unrecognizable from Suicide’s version – a bluesy, monstrously heavy rocker that eventually morphs into a scream-and-solo-laden fury. It sounds like something the comic book character Ghost Rider – a blazing-headed skeleton biker – could actually accept.

Video of Suicide – Ghost Rider (Official Audio)

Video of Summer Breeze

Type O Negative – “Summer Breeze”

Seals and Crofts’ “Summer Breeze” might be enjoyable in an idyllic picnic setting, but otherwise the 1972 hit is an overplayed holdover from the sugary soft rock of those decades. Type O Negative tuned it to a frequency that metalheads might appreciate when they put their croaky, Sabbath-like turn on it for bloody kisses. Among Type O’s many covers, this is the most emblematic of their sound signature, hiding a candied pop melody in layers of doom riffs and a goth-metal atmosphere. Unfortunately, Steele’s original plan to rewrite the lyrics into a sexy bedroom jam called “Summer Girl” was rejected by the editor of Seals and Crofts. It could have been same better.

Video of Seals & Crofts – Summer Breeze (Official Audio)

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