Best Metal Covers Of All Time

The final episode of our covers series rounds up the best metal covers of all time. Or are they? Join the debate and share your tips if you can do better.

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What are the best metal covers of all time? It's something many of you discussed after we posted lists of the best and worst covers of all time. We know where your heart lies, so it was worth adding a metal-specific list to round off the series. So here are the top 10 best metal cover tracks, according to the NME. This list is in no particular order, nor are they exclusively metal - but at the very least, they're born from a staple of guitars, bass and drums. The holy trinity, if you will. And with respect to the publication, UG commenters came up with much heavier suggestions than the NME have here. We'll be rounding up your recommendations for a UG exclusive post in the future, but for now, dissect and discuss the merits of this list in the comments. Shall we begin?

Killswitch Engage: "Holy Diver"

This is like a best of old and new metal, with the 'switch covering Dio, one of yesterday's greats. Great standard of metal on show, but what a ridiculous video!

Faith No More: "Easy"

The Commodores get a 90s revamp of their song, and Faith No More came closer to scoring a porn track than ever before. Alright, not quite, porn, but some kind of romantic comedy score with a dappy englishman and irresistible woman who is charmed when he trips in the rain.

Ignite: "Sunday Bloody Sunday"

U2 probably didn't expect their song about the Bloody Sunday massacre in Ireland to be covered by basketball-shirt wearing punks, but it did.

A Day To Remember: "Since U've Been Gone"

This pop punk act realised they could get a bunch of teeny bopper fans by covering Kelly Clarkson, but dare I say, the original is probably better. It's actually less cliched than this version. It's as if the decade of musical progress since the 90s didn't happen.

Trivium: "Master of Puppets"

Need I say that Metallica wrote the original? Trivium released this cover through a Kerrang cover CD, and it's pretty solid.

Alien Ant Farm: "Smooth Criminal"

This actually made it to the 'worst cover songs of all time' list last week, but many of you were furious about that. Even if it is the definition of selling out to please the label. Love it or hate it, this version of the Michael Jackson classic song is a well-known example of rock covering pop.

Gallows: "Staring At The Rude Bois"

Britain's greatest punk hopes give a gritty rendition of this song by The Ruts. Not sure why they felt the need to call in rapper Lethal Bizzle, but gotta love the aggressive vocal.

Xerath: "Speed Demon"

Another chugging Michael Jackson cover, and a pretty darn good one at that.

Dillinger Escape Plan: "Fight The Power"

This is awesome. One of Public Enemy's most politically charged songs gets a wildly kinetic update from hardcore legends Dillinger, and they even call in Chuck D ffrom the original. One of the best metal covers ever.

Biffy Clyro: "Buddy Holly"

Even pop haters love this Weezer song, and Biffy Clyro somehow found a way to make it feel utterly fresh with Pixies-inspired guitar dissonance and British post-hardcore style time signature changes and noise. Wonderful.
Some great metal covers in there, but some real duffs too. Of course, UG readers are the real pros at making the judgement on the best metal covers of all time, so post your recommendations in the comments and we'll round them up for a UG-exclusive in the future.

373 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    SkepsisMetal
    cshanna7721 wrote: okay, not a single marilyn manson cover here.. wow, way to **** up UG. i think i'll make a list of a few i like. in no particular order. 1. avenged sevenfold - walk 2. cradle of filth - Hallowed be thy name 3. atreyu - epic 4. marilyn manson - personal jesus/tainted love/i put a spell on you, and in the spirit of october this is halloween. 5. metallica - whiskey in the jar 6. bullet for my valentine - creeping death 7. the devil wears prada - still fly 8. five finger death punch - Bad company 9. scorpions - dust in the wind 10. disturbed - shout(not a fan, but not a bad cover by a longshot) those are some of my favorites, any suggestions on your UG community?
    We're doing best, not worst. Wrong section.
    SUICIDEXX666
    no here mine 10 anthrax sabbath bloody sabbath 9 children of bodom war inside my head 8 judas priest the green manalishi 7 cannibal corpse no remorse 6 metallica am i evil 5 slayer dissident aggressor 4 trivium master of puppet 3 black tide prowler (before they change) 2 metallica merceful fate 1 pantera planet caravan
    AnnihilationUK
    cshanna7721 wrote: okay, not a single marilyn manson cover here.. wow, way to **** up UG. i think i'll make a list of a few i like. in no particular order. 1. avenged sevenfold - walk 2. cradle of filth - Hallowed be thy name 3. atreyu - epic 4. marilyn manson - personal jesus/tainted love/i put a spell on you, and in the spirit of october this is halloween. 5. metallica - whiskey in the jar 6. bullet for my valentine - creeping death 7. the devil wears prada - still fly 8. five finger death punch - Bad company 9. scorpions - dust in the wind 10. disturbed - shout(not a fan, but not a bad cover by a longshot) those are some of my favorites, any suggestions on your UG community?
    Oh for the love of God...
    cshanna7721
    okay, not a single marilyn manson cover here.. wow, way to **** up UG. i think i'll make a list of a few i like. in no particular order. 1. avenged sevenfold - walk 2. cradle of filth - Hallowed be thy name 3. atreyu - epic 4. marilyn manson - personal jesus/tainted love/i put a spell on you, and in the spirit of october this is halloween. 5. metallica - whiskey in the jar 6. bullet for my valentine - creeping death 7. the devil wears prada - still fly 8. five finger death punch - Bad company 9. scorpions - dust in the wind 10. disturbed - shout(not a fan, but not a bad cover by a longshot) those are some of my favorites, any suggestions on your UG community?
    slaveskinJACKET
    As horrible as this list is, the comments section isn't much more fruitful. I half expected so see Stone Cold Crazy here. And I might not put it on a Top 10 list, but I also really like Metallica's fusion of Sabbra Cadabra and A National Acrobat. Marilyn Manson should probably be on this list somewhere -- especially since good metal covers are few and far between, and most of his are pretty good. I would have included his version of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). It's cool on its own, plus it's far superior to the original. But it what world is Easy a metal song? I realize that Faith No More are an occasional metal band, but they did a nearly 100% faithful cover -- the only differences being the lack of a second verse and the replacement of the moan/grunt before the solo with a sound of disgust. So apparently, according to NME (and UG, who choose to post this as a representation of themselves), Lionel Ritchie & The Commodores are a metal band.
    Cpt Doodles
    You put A Day To Remember on your top ten list and STILL slag them off? Get some new people in UG...
    Calhoun Tubbs
    SkepsisMetal wrote: cshanna7721 wrote: okay, not a single marilyn manson cover here.. wow, way to **** up UG. i think i'll make a list of a few i like. in no particular order. 1. avenged sevenfold - walk 2. cradle of filth - Hallowed be thy name 3. atreyu - epic 4. marilyn manson - personal jesus/tainted love/i put a spell on you, and in the spirit of october this is halloween. 5. metallica - whiskey in the jar 6. bullet for my valentine - creeping death 7. the devil wears prada - still fly 8. five finger death punch - Bad company 9. scorpions - dust in the wind 10. disturbed - shout(not a fan, but not a bad cover by a longshot) those are some of my favorites, any suggestions on your UG community? We're doing best, not worst. Wrong section.
    hahahahaha, its almost as bad as the actual list!
    Reevo
    Haha sorry but i had to laugh at AAF being classed as metal. Very good cover of Smooth Criminal but still sorry guys not metal. How about August Burns Red doing Hit me Baby One more time?
    Disturbed's Version of Land of Confusion is also worthy of this list IMO Marilyn Manson's version of Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) is pretty good too, even if the guy is a total freak. Amon Amarth did a pretty heavy cover of Aerials too, im not the biggest fan of it, but it does sound pretty wicked (Does not beat SOAD lol)
    zxxAACxxz
    DaniArrow wrote: I'm really missing Diamonds & Rust by Judas Priest!!!
    This. Also Green Manalishi.
    Slaytan666
    kLeft wrote: Pagan_Poetry wrote: kLeft wrote: The next person who says Avenged Sevenfolds cover of 'Walk' is going to get a full load of splooge to the face. Um... so are you for it or against it? /sarcasm Well I initially meant that to sound negative, but it's hard to make that sound like an insult to the regular h4rdc0r3 A7X fan..
    "Hardcore" and "A7X fan" do not belong side by side.
    rip3149
    Best metal covers (no particular order): Small Hours - Metallica covering Holocaust Land of Confusion - Disturbed covering Genesis Orion - Mastodon covering Metallica No More Mr. Nice Guy - Megadeth covering Alice Cooper Cat Scratch Fever - Pantera covering Ted Nugent Parasite - Anthrax covering Kiss Earache my Eye - Korn covering Cheech and Chong Hallowed be thy Name - Machine Head covering Iron Maiden Star Wars - Buckethead covering John Williams Welcome to the Jungle - Jim Carrey lipsyncing over GnR
    -Demigod-
    Battman1993 wrote: WHERE THE FUCK IS MACHINE HEAD'S HALLOWED BE THY NAME?!?!?!?!?!!?
    Machine Head's Hallowed Be Thy Name was embarrassing. Listen to Iced Earth's cover of Hallowed... It's the best version of that song after the original. Also the Killswitch cover of Holy Diver was absolute crap as well. I second Cavalera Conspiracy's Electric Funeral cover haha great band. Thank god Avenged Poserfold aren't on this list
    WholeLottaIzzy
    Sorry but Alien Ant Farm, metal? And Biffy Clyro? I don't like metal at all, but I know they aren't even close to metal. Sort it out, UG!
    AnnihilationUK
    Cavalera Conspiracy - Electric Funeral SOOOOO GOOD. Also, i'm happy Avenged Wankfold aren't on this.
    Jaredmkl
    dj695 wrote: Jaredmkl wrote: dj695 wrote: How is A7X's Cover of Walk or Flash of the Blade not on here. They play them true to the originals. The only difference being that A7X's guitar tone is not ****ing horrid. I agree good covers but not as good as the original. It's hard to top Iron Maiden and Pantera That it is. But you look at the comments prior to this and is all like "Avenged Poserfold" and "the solo from a7x's walk made me sick" I used to hate Avenged, but since I started studying music I really have started to see them for what they are, which is one of the truly stand out bands of this generation.
    +1 I like this. Alot of Modern metal bands are looked down upon when they're really good uptill bands Like Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria started to show up awho are all just terrible.
    Afterlife13 wrote: Where is Bullet For My Valentine - Welcome home (Sanitarium)?
    THIS! BFMV coved Welcome Home (Sanitarium) and Crazy Train and Killed them both. Also Coheed and Cambria's The Trooper cover is EPIC
    Mr Winters
    Afterlife13 : Where is Bullet For My Valentine - Welcome home (Sanitarium)?
    Rotting in hell, because that was an incredibly awful cover.
    Poglia
    Some fans will kill me, but these covers are better than the originals:
    (Fade To Black)
    (Die With Your Boots On)
    NakedInTheRain
    no COB covering hit me baby one more time? for shame. also, alien ant farm and weezer are NOT metal.
    dj695
    +1 I like this. Alot of Modern metal bands are looked down upon when they're really good uptill bands Like Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria started to show up awho are all just terrible.
    So true.
    MonsterMetalMus
    Sylosis- Strength Beyond Strength Sylosis- Symbolic both covers are absolutely perfect, very solid.
    iTOASTER
    Poglia wrote: Some fans will kill me, but these covers are better than the originals:
    (Fade To Black)
    (Die With Your Boots On)
    Are you ill?
    dj695
    Jaredmkl wrote: dj695 wrote: How is A7X's Cover of Walk or Flash of the Blade not on here. They play them true to the originals. The only difference being that A7X's guitar tone is not ****ing horrid. I agree good covers but not as good as the original. It's hard to top Iron Maiden and Pantera
    That it is. But you look at the comments prior to this and is all like "Avenged Poserfold" and "the solo from a7x's walk made me sick" I used to hate Avenged, but since I started studying music I really have started to see them for what they are, which is one of the truly stand out bands of this generation.
    Jaredmkl
    dj695 wrote: How is A7X's Cover of Walk or Flash of the Blade not on here. They play them true to the originals. The only difference being that A7X's guitar tone is not ****ing horrid.
    I agree good covers but not as good as the original. It's hard to top Iron Maiden and Pantera
    dj695
    How is A7X's Cover of Walk or Flash of the Blade not on here. They play them true to the originals. The only difference being that A7X's guitar tone is not ****ing horrid.
    Jaredmkl
    Mobby32 wrote: Killswitch engage, really?
    Yes, really Killswitch Engage. They're a metal band. They not be deathmetal or 80's metal with big hair and scooped mids, but they are modern metal band. And they did the best Dio cover I've ever heard. They really did justice to the song as they made it there own. Defiantly in the 10
    motortallica
    its just typical NME bullshit. they hate metal, they are trying to get as many metalheads to hate it and they are doing a good job. Seriously??? Biffy Clyro?
    metalforlife18
    As I Lay Dying's cover of War Ensemble was ****ing intense. So is Austrian Death Machine's cover of Hell Bent for Leather and I Turned into a Martian. Machine Head's cover of Fucking Hostile bloody brilliant too.
    Guy101
    I like this list, i must be the odd one out. The covers are fun, who cares.
    LordNightsorrow
    Mobby32 wrote: also no warning or evil woman by black sabbath. or am I evil by metallica or these boots/anarchy in the u.k by megadeth?
    Uh dood, I don't think Sabbath wrote Evil Women...I don't think it was a cover....
    Dylan_Guitar93
    theguyfromhell wrote: where is Blitzkrieg, Am I Evil, Sabbra Cadabra by METALLICA
    Whiskey In the Jar Perhaps? Besides they didn't really make it there own with those covers I feel
    kamjam7
    [quote]missmastermind wrote: Sound of Silence- Nevermore
    [/quo te] Cover!? :O Of Who!? Definitely this^ then.. Also Mushroomhead's "Crazy" anyone?
    roosterfx1
    "Not sure why they felt the need to call in rapper Lethal Bizzle" because Lethal is a rude boy...obviously
    solomonkane
    These boots megadeth, coroner- she's so heavy (beatles), anthrax- got the time personally i love zappa brothers cover of staying alive, billion great covers of 21st century schizoid man except ozzy's, voivod astronomy dominee