When I was a little kid, I really liked Michael Jackson. This was around the time that Bad was released and of course after Thriller. Hey, I was like six and at the time Jackson was not considered the complete freak he turned out to be. I long ago grew out of that.
Anyway, I thought this would be a little easier. I was looking for some Michael Jackson covers by metal bands. Unfortunately there do not appear to be a lot of them. There are a ton of "Beat It" covers but not nearly as many of "Smooth Criminal" or other more rock-oriented songs.
Well this one lives up to the name of the song. This is really terrible. Arthemis is a power metal band from Italy. It's hard to explain quite what went wrong here, it just did not work at all.
GYONGYVER: "BILLIE JEAN"
I still like this song. This is from the Hungarian gothic metal band Gyongyver. There is not a lot of metal in this version but that is not completely surprising with the source material.
INACTIVE MESSIAH: "BEAT IT"
This one is pretty weird. Starting off with orchestral instrumentation and a choir leading things off and encompassing the well-known opening riff. The song then switches gears into a fairly standard melodeath style with continuing strings and choirs with the dual vocalists switching off on the lyrics.
JAMESON: "BEAT IT"
Jameson is a metalcore/groove metal band out of California. This is not really a terrible version except for some vocal missteps and being very one-note. This does not really do it for me.
NORTHERN KINGS: "THEY DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT US"
Northern Kings is a group that specializes in the oddball metal cover of pop songs. They are a supergroup made up of members of Nightwish, Sonata Arctica, and others. The music is typically symphonic power metal. This is kind of a lesser-known song by Jackson. And not one I remember well.
RAINTIME: "BEAT IT"
This is probably my favorite metal cover of a Michael Jackson song. Raintime is a melodeath band from Italy that I have not heard a lot of stuff from. What makes this stand out though is that Raintime does a pretty good job of putting their own spin on it. It sounds like something that the band would typically release. But yet it remains very clearly the Michael Jackson song.
TEN MASKED MEN: "THRILLER"
I knew I could count on Ten Masked Men to cover something else. I knew they already covered "Beat It" previously. There are really no dynamics here, the song kicks off at a high energy level and it stays there. Definitely not the slow-burning horror song that Michael Jackson recorded.
TESTOR: "SMOOTH CRIMINAL"
You would think "Smooth Criminal" would have been covered a lot. And not just by hardcore band Alien Ant Farm. This is one of only two metal covers I have been able to find of this song. And I can not find a a place to listen to the other one. Anyway, this thrash metal cover of the song is not as impressive as I had hoped. It seems like this would be a good song to be covered by a thrash metal band. Apparently not.
XERATH: "SPEED DEMON"
I have only a vague recollection of the original version of this song and this cover is not really helping me remember it much. Based on that I would suggest this is maybe not the best cover. Xerath is a progressive groove metal band with some orchestral elements that do shine through. This is just not the most representative sample of their sound.
So that's it for this. I thought I would find some more but apparently not.