I am in love with Pink Floyd, and there’s a good chance you are too. Let’s listen to a few heavy metal covers of classic Pink Floyd songs, and discuss some of the things that make Pink Floyd one of the best bands…
Between the Buried and Me – “Us and Them”
BTBAM, a band known for throwing every element at the wall to see what sticks (case in point, “Swim to the Moon” features a gym-whistle) does a good job of keeping this song simple. Although the guitars are a little too crunchy, they leave well enough alone with the saxophone and keyboard sections. All in all, it’s a pretty faithful rendition of the song. Having said that, there’s absolutely no reason to listen to this over the original. 3/5.
Shadows Fall – “Welcome to the Machine”
Don’t worry, “Welcome to the Machine” has not been ruined here, regardless of how you feel about Shadows Fall! Instantly you’ll notice the addition of drums, and take it from this die-hard Pink Floyd Fan: it works. Nothing fancy was added, just a simple drum beat that somehow doesn’t detract from the original. What also works: that additional vocal harmony added over each “Welcome” in the chorus, in fact it’s quite beautiful. Shadows Fall made the right move not to interfere with the gorgeous acoustic guitar riffing in the background, so good on them. 4/5.
Voivod – “Astronomy Domine”
This is straight-up Voidvod playing their version of the classic song, all ingredients being filtered through their brand of spacey thrash metal. If I didn’t know this song was a cover, I never would have guessed. I think that by interpreting the song as they saw fit, taking tasteful liberties whilst being respectful all the way, Voivod have succeeded in making a great cover. 5/5.
Foo Fighters – “Have a Cigar”
When Floyd wanted to rock, they accomplished said task with aplomb. Take “One of These Days” or “Have a Cigar”, for example, here covered by the saviors of rock and roll the Foo Fighters. Just like everything Dave Grohl touches in this world, it’s absolutely impeccable. In fact, I’m willing to venture that this version is BETTER than the original. I wish Dave Grohl and Co. would cover more bands! 10/5.
1349 – “Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun”
A modern band that I adore covering a classic band that I adore, for their one-off noise/ambient album Revelations of the Black Flame. 666.
Crippled Black Phoenix – “Echoes Pt. 1”
If Crippled Black Phoenix is new to you, please refrain from researching; as I will be introducing them soon enough… For now, enjoy their rendition of Echoes Pt. 1. What you should notice is their attempt at reproducing the song with as little tinkering as possible (aside from adding a few samples here and there). It’s impressive how well the band pulls off this performance, matching things like tempo and guitar tone, to the original. But I can also appreciate how the vocals were approached: male and female together in harmony instead of two males (Gilmour and Wright). This fine example of a cover song really highlights one special attribute about the works of Pink Floyd: their long songs were the exact length that they had to be. The band excelled in meticulously creating long, epic works of art without resorting to adding filler. Oh, and I would rate this cover an easy 5/5.
Are there any great heavy metal covers of Pink Floyd songs that I’ve omitted? (Spare me the Kittie and Korn links, I left those out for a reason.) Do any of these covers caress your feels? Does Pink Floyd suck? Sound off in the comments!