These kind of lists crop up all the time so it’s about time one appeared here. This isn’t a list of the most metal non-metal artists though (Robert Johnson selling his soul and dying howling would take that), nor is it a list of songs with deep or heavy subjects. This is a list of songs that would transfer to easily to metal if you played sections/the whole thing as written but with heavier instruments.
Perturbator – Perturbator’s Theme
A friend of mine tipped me off to Perturbator a while ago and my taste in music took a dip into the world of synthwave. The reason I picked this song is because it was the first I heard from Perturbator, but to be honest you could really put any of his songs on the list. Perhaps it’s because James Kent has a background in black metal, but you could easily translate this to big meaty chords with either a keyboard or lead guitar lick over the top.
The Beatles – I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
I know, I know. Every time some bugger with room to fill writes one of these lists, The Beatles are always shoehorned in. Well bollocks to you for complaining, it’s here now. It’s a toss up between the obvious Helter Skelter and this. It has to be She’s So Heavy though, that doomy drawn out closing passage was part of the varied foundation for doom driven riffs. If you kicked the gain up on the guitar a bit or played about with tunings you could either have a solid classic Sabbath riff or the outro to an Opeth song.
Gustav Holst – Mars: The Bringer of War
Just as you have to shoehorn in The Beatles, here’s the mandatory classical section of the list. Mars has to be here though, it would be a crime for it not to be. The song is responsible for one of the biggest metal riffs, it’s opened countless shows and is just all together mighty. That saying, this list is for songs that would transfer well to metal, and with Am I Evil?, we already have that.
The Charlie Daniels Band – The Devil Went Down To Georgia
A song about Satan battling someone for his soul, is that not enough? If it’s not, the fiddle solos should be enough for you folk metal fans out there. Plus the section at around 1:33 is a hairs breath away from a Black Sabbath riff.
Aqua – Dr Jones
And as I write that, the chorus of a hundred close page commands rings out over the internet. For those remaining though, just listen to the song. Add a heavier guitar and it’s a god damn power metal song. There’s a gallop, bouncy chorus and keys. Stick Kiske in there (and Joakim Broden for the low parts) and you’re in Helloween territory.
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