Saturday, October 6, 2012

Metal Cover Songs: Michael Jackson

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.


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.


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 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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


  1. I find that Gyongyver cover of Billie Jean strangely fascinating. The Raintime one sounds pretty good too.