Megadeth should have been wrapping up their massive North American tour with Lamb of God, Trivium and In Flames earlier this month. We say should have because, well, the ol' Covid-19 pandemic of 2020 derailed the concert biz and put all music tours on hold, which is completely understandable. Still, not banging our collective heads on what otherwise would have been one of the sickest tour stops of the year is still kind of a bummer. Especially given that Megadeth ringleader Dave Mustaine successfully defeated cancer [beating cancer is his business…and business is good!] earlier this year and just recently published an in-depth tell all book about his landmark thrash metal opus, Rust In Peace: The Inside Story of the Megadeth Masterpiece. By all accounts, 2020 should be a banner year in the annals of Megadeth lore. So what do you do when you're jonesing for a new Vic Rattlehead fix in the year 2020? You jump down the YouTube rabbit hole of crazy Megadeth covers, obviously! Check out this compilation of modern extreme metal bands, as well as uber talented randos, all paying homage to the mighty Megadeth.
"SYMPHONY OF DESTRUCTION" covered by ARCH ENEMY
First up we've got the melodic death metal titans in Arch Enemy giving Megadeth's 1992 classic, "Symphony of Destruction" an even heavier 21st century makeover. Arch Enemy ringleader Michael Amott is a self proclaimed Megadeth fanatic, so it makes sense that he'd pay tribute to his beloved "riff master" someway, somehow. This cover can be found on Arch Enemy's 2018 album, Covered In Blood [or the 2004 Dead Eyes See No Future EP if you wanna get super nerdy about it] and it's gotta be said, listening to former Arch Enemy screamer Angela Gossow's unique take on, Mustaine's already unique vocal styling, is something we cannot get enough of.
Juxtapose this ultra heavy Swedish tribute, with Finland's Steve 'n' Seagulls unorthodox 2016 bluegrass rendition of the same song, HERE.
"WAKE UP DEAD" covered by WORLD UNDER BLOOD
World Under Blood was a short lived metal super group, boasting former members of CKY, Sleep Terror, Decrepit Birth and Divine Heresy among their ranks. On their one and only full length record, 2011's melodic death metal tinged Tactical, the band managed to squeeze in a roided up version of the Megadeth thrashterpiece, "Wake Up Dead." The World Under Blood lads managed to put a modern spin on one of the best 80's fence ripping anthems ever created, so kudos to them!
Here's a recent, 2020 quarantine/live stream collaborative cover of the same song, featuring renowned rockers from Shadows Fall, Exodus and Overkill, right HERE.
"GO TO HELL" covered by THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER
As previously reported here on Metal Injection, The Black Dahlia Murder were hoping to get their cover of Megadeth's "Go To Hell" on the soundtrack of this years bodacious new Bill & Ted Face The Music movie, which would have ruled since Megadeth's original version was featured on the soundtrack of 1991's Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey. Unfortunately, that didn't quite workout as The Black Dahlia Murder had hoped. They did however, release their own brutalized rendition of the track online for our listening delight. This makes total sense, as BDM frontman Trevor Strnad is another avid Megadeth disciple who's gone on record about drawing photos of Dave Mustaine's face as a kid and earning the nickname of "Megadeth" in school after wearing nothing but Vic Rattlehead associated attire everyday. Here's Strnad rocking a vintage Megadeth shirt, taken from The Black Dahlia Murder's Majesty home video.
"PEACE SELLS" covered by CRAZY WEDDING BAND
Would you want some Megadeth played at your dream wedding? Nay, would you personally play some Megadeth yourself at said wedding? That's exactly what ex-Ironaut drummer Ivan Najor did on his big day in 2019, jamming out a special, newlywed edition of Megadeth's iconic sociopolitical, MTV News theme song/rager, "Peace Sells." I don't think Mustaine ever imagined the successful legacy he'd carve out for himself when he initially formed Megadeth [legend *cough* VH1's Behind The Music*cough* has it Dave only wanted sonic revenge against his, 'previous band'], maybe deep down he hoped for stadium level gigs, selling millions of albums, and influencing generations of guitar fiends, that seems within the realm of possibility. It must be completely mind-boggling for this red headed thrash kingpin to have his music given the wedding band treatment. That's a whole different level of cultural relevance right there.
Speaking of mind-boggling/never in a million years would have dreamed this shit up: Try to imagine how a 25 year old Dave Mustaine recording "Peace Sells" would react to the video below.
That sometime in the 21st century, futuristic computer technology will make the actual President of The United States of America sing along to your music. If someone told 1986 Mustaine any of these bizarro future outcomes, he'd probably tell them THEY have a drug problem.
"HOLY WARS…THE PUNISHMENT DUE" covered by SILENT KNIGHT
The Australian power metal heroes in Silent Knight have crafted one of the raddest metal tributes of all time with their 2017 homage to "Holy Wars…The Punishment Due" [off their The Angel Reborn EP]. These guys channel the Rust In Peace era magic of 90's Megadeth at their absolute zenith, and introduce enough hint of modern, 21st century oomph to make this track even more extreme than it already was!
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, here's Rx Bandits raw as hell, punk/ska version of "Holy Wars" because anyone/everyone who plays music respects the hell out of this jam, HERE.
RUST IN PEACE piano medley by VANESA JALIFE
Megadeth have always been a musicians band. Shredding is their business…you get where this is going. Here's another example of the universal awesomeness that is music; with German pianist Vanesa Jalife giving Rust In Peace a stunning classical makeover. Peep her YouTube channel if you dig metal/piano crossovers like this, Jalife does some killer renditions of Suffocation, Morbid Angel, The Black Dahlia Murder and more!
"TORNADO OF SOULS" jazz/funk edition covered by METAPHUMP
Everyone's favorite air guitar anthem from Rust In Peace gets a jaw dropping jazz fusion/funk remix courtesy of French saxophonist Léonard Piacentino and his allies in Metaphump [from Metal to Phunk!]. Some of the ol' metal faithful might not dig the rapping, but there's no denying the magic in that horn section. Super curious what David Ellefson thinks of these grooving bass lines? This truly is just a great song no matter how it's played.
"DYSTOPIA" guitar cover by INSANE 11 YEAR OLD
Ol' Dirty Bastard once famously said, "Wu-Tang is for the children!" Well, so too is Megadeth because 11 year Australian guitar phenom Jayden Tatasciore absolutely shreds the hell out of the title track to Megadeth's brilliant 2016 album, Dystopia. The cool thing is, as insanely talented and kind of scary good as young Jayden might be, he's not an outlier. Kids are shredding Megadeth tunes online all the livelong day! In fact, here's a clip of Dave Mustaine himself hanging out with the lil' rattleheads from the School of Rock.
"KILLING IS MY BUSINESS…AND BUSINESS IS GOOD" cover by SAMBOS JAMBOS
We're going to wrap things up with this timeless Megadeth guitar/percussion cover of "Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good" by Sambos Jambos aka Sam Westphalen. This might be one of the oldest viral Megadeth covers on the interwebz, but damn if it still doesn't remain awesome after all these years. Kinda like Megadeth's debut album itself really.
What do you think of these Megadeth covers? Would you have a Megadeth cover band play your wedding? Happy belated 59th birthday to Dave Mustaine, and happy 30th anniversary to Peace Sells… But Who's Buying?