16 Wicked Metal Covers of Pop Songs

“It’s a Sin”

Originally by: Pet Shop Boys

Covered by: Gamma Ray

If anyone could take Pet Shop Boy’s ode to the shame gay boys and girls feel from growing up with religious indoctrination and turn it into a high flying metal anthem, it would be Gamma Ray. Widely considered one of the most “fun” power metal bands, Gamma Ray doesn’t fool around with this one. It definitely gets the gravitas it deserves.

“Love Stinks”

Originally by: J Geils Band

Covered by: Bile

Bile is a real nasty piece of work, yet their super-aggressive industrial metal style is perfect for covering “Love Stinks.” In the hands of the J Geils Band, the song is merely a kitschy, catty joke song. But when Bile takes it on, something happens. It gets darker, meaner, and full of “ha ha, I’m joking… but not really” spite.

“Maniac”

Originally by: Michael Sembello

Covered by: Firewind

Michael Sembello’s Flashdance theme probably isn’t your first pick for a metal cover, but then again, you aren’t Firewind. The Greek metal outfit was formed by guitar wizard Gus G while he was still a teenager. Over the years, they’ve had a volatile, constantly changing lineup that’s seen the band go through no less than seven lead singers. But you’d never guess that based on the band’s stellar output, full of super polished sound and sky high production quality.

“Send Me an Angel”

Originally by: Real Life

Covered by: Zeromancer

I’ll be honest, I had never heard of this song until the Zeromancer cover. Turns out it’s a pretty popular song to cover, and for good reason: it’s great! Bands like Deadstar Assembly, Thrice, Atrocity, The Quakes, and even Pet Shop Boys have given it a go. I like just about every version, but there’s something about Zeromancer’s electronica metal take that really stands out.

“Skyfall”

Originally by: Adele

Covered by: Within Temptation

Who better to cover Adele’s Oscar-winning hit than a band whose lead singer is named Sharon den Adel? That’s right: Adel does Adele. This song is a real show stopper, and would have been an amazing end credits song for the movie. It was recorded with a series of other covers in conjunction with a radio station to help promote their upcoming album. The list of absolutely stunning performances includes songs like Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive,” Bruno Mars’ “Grenade,” and Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy.”

“Whip It”

Originally by: Devo

Covered by: Powerman 5000

Everyone’s favorite Rob Zombie clone did a cover of Devo’s “Whip It,” because of course they did. Predictable? Yes. Does it work? Of course it does. If anyone was going to cover it, these guys pretty much had to.

“White Wedding”

Originally by: Billy Idol

Covered by: Deathstars

Deathstars’ gothic shtick is so dark and over the top that even Marilyn Manson would ask them to take it down a notch. But once you get past the cosplay silliness, these guys are actually a pretty bad-ass industrial metal group. It should be no surprise that this is another song popular to cover; Doro and The Murderdolls also cranked out their own version, but neither top the Deathstars’ take.

“The Wind Beneath My Wings”

Originally by: Bette Midler

Covered by: Sonata Arctica

Did I save the best for last? Probably. After all, if there ever was a “least likely to get a metal cover” song, the sappy theme from Bette Midler’s Beaches would be at the top of the list. If there’s one thing power metal bands love, it’s a good melody, so leave it to Sonata Arctica to turn “The Wind Beneath My Wings” into a rousing, energetic epic of full metal fury.

Article by contributor WatershipDownSyndrome.

14 thoughts on “16 Wicked Metal Covers of Pop Songs

  1. This list was great. I have one more that I am pretty sure doesn’t count since Rasputin is a disco song but Turisas did an amazing metal cover of it. I personally like it better then the original. If you want to check it out go to https://youtu.be/cdkBs0VCSX0

    1. I thought about adding Blind Guardian’s cover of Mr. Sandman, or Surfin’ USA, but as I already featured them in the “Soundtracks based on books” article, I wanted to branch out a little more. I could have made this list almost twice as long.

  2. Great article. You introduced me to a whole bunch of metal that I never heard of but am happy to have experienced. Thanks!

  3. I’d never thought I’d see anything metal on this site that wasn’t Chris making fun of it.

    Van Canto is one of my “favorite” “metal” “acapella (with drums?)” bands. Their cover of Metallica’s Battery is the perfect mix of terrible and terrific.

    Here’s a similar “so bad/so good” track https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8zU8paFops. I think you’ve inspired me to put together a list of my own, I’ve got a bunch of these…

  4. Marilyn Mansons covers of tainted love, and sweet dreams! Would love to include personal Jesus, but don’t know if you can really say depeche mode is pop hahah

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *