Metallica is one of the most influential and successful metal bands of all time. Their songs have inspired countless artists from different genres to pay tribute to their legacy. Some of these covers are faithful to the original, while others add a new twist or flavor. But which Metallica song covers are worth listening to?
Founded in 1981 by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, Metallica emerged as a result of their shared passion for heavy metal music. They soon recruited Kirk Hammett and Cliff Burton to complete their lineup, and released their debut album Kill ‘Em All in 1983. The album was a breakthrough for the thrash metal genre, which combined the speed and aggression of punk rock with the complexity and technicality of metal.
Metallica went on to release several more albums that cemented their status as the leaders and innovators of the genre, such as Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, and …And Justice for All. Here are 10 epic Metallica song covers that you need to hear.
1. Nothing Else Matters by Apocalyptica
Apocalyptica is a Finnish cello metal band that has covered many Metallica songs over the years. Their version of Nothing Else Matters is one of their most popular and beautiful renditions. They use four cellos to create a haunting and emotional atmosphere that captures the essence of the song.
Apocalyptica’s cover of Nothing Else Matters was released in 1998 as part of their debut album Plays Metallica by Four Cellos. The album was a tribute to Metallica and featured eight instrumental covers of their songs. The album was a success and led to a collaboration between Apocalyptica and Metallica in 1999, when they performed together at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
2. Enter Sandman by Motörhead
Motörhead is a legendary British rock band that influenced many metal bands, including Metallica. Their cover of Enter Sandman is a tribute to their friends and fans. They inject their signature speed and energy into the song, making it more raw and aggressive.
Motörhead’s cover of Enter Sandman was released in 1998 as part of their album Snake Bite Love. They dedicated the album to the memory of their former drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, who passed away in 1995. The cover was also a way of thanking Metallica for their support and friendship, as Metallica had covered Motörhead’s songs in the past and invited them to tour with them in 1995. This song is one of many Metallica song covers that is unique.
3. Master of Puppets by Trivium
Trivium, the American metal band, draws heavy influence from Metallica. Their cover of Master of Puppets is a homage to their idols and mentors. They perform the song with precision and passion, matching the intensity and complexity of the original.
Trivium’s cover of Master of Puppets was released in 2006 as part of the tribute album Remastered: Master of Puppets Revisited. The album was a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Metallica’s iconic album Master of Puppets. The album featured covers of the eight songs from the original album by different metal bands, such as Bullet for My Valentine, Machine Head, and Mastodon.
4. Ride The Lightning by Halestorm
Halestorm is an American rock band that has a female lead singer, Lzzy Hale. Her powerful and versatile voice adds a new dimension to Ride The Lightning. She sings the song with intensity and conviction, while the band delivers a fast and furious performance.
Halestorm’s cover of Ride The Lightning was released in 2013 as part of their EP ReAniMate 2.0: The CoVeRs eP. The EP was a sequel to their previous EP of covers, and featured six more songs by different artists, such as AC/DC, Daft Punk, and Fleetwood Mac. The EP was a way of showcasing Halestorm’s diverse musical influences and tastes. This song is one of many Metallica song covers that is different to others.
5. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Sabaton
Sabaton is a Swedish power metal band that focuses on historical themes and battles. Their cover of For Whom the Bell Tolls is a fitting choice, as the song is based on a novel by Ernest Hemingway about the Spanish Civil War. They add their own epic and bombastic style to the song, making it more dramatic and heroic.
Sabaton’s cover of For Whom the Bell Tolls was released in 2018 as part of their compilation album The Metalizer Re-Armed. They re-released their debut album, The Metalizer, which they originally recorded in 2002 but did not release until 2007. The album also included four bonus tracks, one of which was the cover of For Whom the Bell Tolls.
6. Seek and Destroy by Testament
Testament is an American thrash metal band that is part of the “Big Four” of the genre, along with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax. Their cover of Seek and Destroy is a nod to their peers and rivals. They play the song with skill and fury, adding some extra solos and riffs.
Testament’s cover of Seek and Destroy was released in 2008 as part of their album The Formation of Damnation. The album was their first studio album in nine years and marked their return to the thrash metal scene. The album also featured a cover of Iron Maiden’s The Evil That Men Do. This song is one of many Metallica song covers that has a unique spin to it.
7. Fade to Black by Disturbed
Disturbed, the American nu metal band, showcases their distinctive vocals and rhythms. Their cover of Fade to Black is a surprising and refreshing take on the classic ballad. They add some electronic and industrial elements to the song, creating a dark and futuristic vibe.
Disturbed’s cover of Fade to Black was released in 2011 as part of their album The Lost Children. They compiled previously unreleased songs and b-sides from their previous albums into the album. The album also included a cover of Judas Priest’s Living After Midnight.
8. One by Korn
Korn is an American nu metal band that is one of the pioneers of the genre. Their cover of One is a tribute to one of their main influences, Metallica. They play the song with respect and reverence, while adding their own touch of groove and heaviness.
Korn’s cover of One was released in 2003 as part of the tribute album MTV Icon: Metallica. The album was a soundtrack of the MTV special that honored Metallica and their impact on music and culture. The album featured covers of Metallica songs by different artists, such as Limp Bizkit, Avril Lavigne, and Sum 41. This song is one of many Metallica song covers that has a distinctive sound to it.
9. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) by Bullet For My Valentine
Bullet For My Valentine is a Welsh metalcore band that has been influenced by Metallica and other thrash metal bands. Their cover of Welcome Home (Sanitarium) is a tribute to one of their favorite songs. They play the song with skill and power, while adding some modern and melodic touches.
Bullet For My Valentine’s cover of Welcome Home (Sanitarium) was released in 2006 as part of the tribute album Master of Puppets: Remastered. The album was a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Metallica’s iconic album Master of Puppets. The album featured covers of the eight songs from the original album by different metal bands, such as Trivium, Machine Head, and Mastodon.
10. Battery by Machine Head
Machine Head is an American groove metal band that has been influenced by Metallica and other thrash metal bands. Their cover of Battery is a tribute to one of their favorite albums, Master of Puppets. They play the song with skill and intensity, while adding some extra solos and riffs.
In 2007, Machine Head released their cover of Battery as part of their album The Blackening. The album achieved critical and commercial success, earning a Grammy Award nomination for Best Metal Performance. The album also featured a cover of Iron Maiden’s Hallowed Be Thy Name.
The Bottom Line
These are 10 epic Metallica song covers that you need to hear. They show how Metallica has influenced and inspired many artists from different genres and generations. They also show how Metallica has paid respect and homage to their own influences and heroes.
These covers are a testament to the enduring and universal appeal of Metallica’s music, which transcends the boundaries of time and genre. Whether you are a fan of Metallica or not, you can appreciate the diversity and creativity of these covers, and discover new ways of enjoying their songs. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below.