Here are the 10 best death metal covers of '80s Metallica songs.

Metallica are synonymous with metal as a genre and a band so large that they fit within the constructs of the rock populace. However, we cannot forget their major influence on a genre that is still rooted in the underground — death metal.

Thrash metal acts such as Metallica and Slayer helped to give rise to seminal acts in Death and Cannibal Corpse, among so many others.  So, we're focusing on what many regard as the band’s heaviest material and most influential in this scene — their first four albums (Kill ‘Em All, Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets, …And Justice For All.

A phone case from the Loudwire merch store with the design I 'Horns' Metal, showing a skeleton hand making the metal horns gesture

Countless bands in other genres less extreme than this one have covered Metallica, so with much less abundance to choose from, this was a more arduous task than it may initially appear.

READ MORE: 10 Killer Death Metal Covers of Slayer Songs

We've compiled the 10 best covers that give you Metallica with a whole lot more extremity than fans are used to hearing.

See them all below.

  • Imperial Triumphant, "Motorbreath"

    This barely feels like the Metallica classic and in a good way. Bands should be able to take more liberties with songs they plan to cover instead of being stylistically the same.

    Imperial Triumphant were clearly on to something, especially with this being released in a similar fashion to their take on Rush’s “Jacob’s Ladder” as another cool B-side to tackle from another epic band.

  • Inhuman Condition, "Whiplash"

    For a more traditional take on Kill ‘Em All, we have Inhuman Condition.

    The Florida band features former members of death metal bands Massacre and genre progenitors Death. Bassist Terry Butler played on the latter band’s debut, Scream Bloody Gore, arguably the genre’s starting point and brings his bass stylings to the fray here as well.

  • Vader, "Fight Fire With Fire"

    This crushing Polish unit is up there with Behemoth for being the most recognizable extreme metal band from this eastern European country.

    The melodic leads here in conjunction with the otherworldly guitar tone make for a punishing take on the Ride The Lightning opener.

  • In Flames, "Eye of the Beholder"

    True to the style that the band eventually took on, In Flames use their sense of melody to push this …And Justice For All favorite.

    Former lead vocalist Michael Stanne sounds much more like Faith No More/Mr. Bungle’s Mike Patton against the backdrop of the Gothenburg melodic death metal that once awaited the underground with what was to come with Lunar Strain.

  • Two Minutes to Late Night, "Blackened"

    An all-star lineup that is only partially death metal!

    Carcass drummer Daniel Wilding is joined by Mastodon’s Troy Sanders on vocals, God Forbid’s Doc Coyle and Nate Garrett of Spirit Adrift (ex-Gatecreeper) on guitars as well as fat bass courtesy of the Two Minutes to Late Night talk show host Gwarsenio Hall.

    It is a heavy cover swapping fast parts for slow parts and creating a mean scene all its own.

  • Coffin Texts, "The Call of Ktulu"

    A question I had for myself ahead of this list was what would it sound like if there was a death metal cover of an instrumental track and when I found this cover of Ride The Lightning’s closing track, I knew it had to be included.

    What the song lacks in lyrics it makes up for in overall heaviness and general homage to the original masterpiece. Coffin Texts are known for their focus on Egyptian themes in death metal, but that doesn’t stop them from adding their own spin to this Lovecraft-inspired piece.

  • Cannibal Corpse, "No Remorse"

    You’ve probably noticed a trend that has developed with death metal covers off Metallica’s debut album being quite popular. It’s a raw and heavy album, which seems to make it the album of choice.

    Add in George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher’s legendary growls and you are in for an extreme treat. If the neck on this Buffalo, N.Y. band’s Baltimore-born vocalist wasn’t made of impenetrable steel he would have broken it before this cover’s end.

  • Godhate, "For Whom the Bell Tolls"

    This really feels like the perfect combination of the classic Metallica sound with death metal.

    The riffs are heavier and the vocals are obscenely heavy from a very niche Swedish unit. They released their four albums when death metal was crackling in the late 2000s and early 2010s, but sadly did not ride that tidal wave.

    The song also separates itself from others on this list due to the operatic underpinnings that litter sections of the song.

  • Krabathor, "The Four Horsemen"

    Just heavy enough to classify as a death metal cover here!

    Krabathor take the thrash metal foundation and amp up the overall heaviness with great soloing and ample bass riffs that would have made the late, great Cliff Burton blush.

    This Czech band really does a nice job of making for a very safe, but slightly more high octane version of one of Metallica’s original bangers.

  • Revocation, "Dyers Ever"

    …And Justice For All feels like the least likely of the ‘80s Metallica albums to garner death metal attention. But this closing track on their fourth album and true bookend to their ‘80s output feels like the perfect place.

    With all of the progressive metallic strides that the famous Bay Area boys had made with Justice, this absolute face-melter comes in and takes no prisoners. With the technical aplomb that Revocation possess, this should come across as the true perfect storm of prowess and potential.

More From 106.3 The Buzz