Covered: Metallica's Master Of Puppets


On March 3, 1986, the metal world was forever changed with the release of Metallica’s third studio album, ‘Master Of Puppets’. To mark the occasion, here’s eight bands who’ve paid tribute in their own different ways…

**Metallica, circa 1986 and the ‘Master Of Puppets’ artwork, painted by the late Don Brautigam **Photo credit: Krasner/Trebitz/Redferns

**‘Battery’ – Machine Head **Frontman Robb Flynn grew up in the Oakland area and was firmly ensconced in the Bay Area thrash scene, first joining Forbidden Evil and later playing guitar alongside future ‘Head bandmate Phil Demmel in Vio-Lence. So it would make sense then, that Machine Head would pay tribute to the scene’s leaders with such precision and bouyant enthusiasm. Find It: The Blackening: Special Edition (Roadrunner, 2008)

**‘Master Of Puppets’ – Apocalyptica **These classically trained cellists cut their teeth in a Metallica tribute band. Their debut album, Plays Metallica By Four Cellos, was embraced by the metal world to such a degree that the Finns will release their ninth album in April. Find It: Plays Metallica By Four Cellos (Mercury/Universal, 1996)

**‘The Thing That Should Not Be’ – Primus **Recorded as part of a covers EP which featured tributes to XTC, Stanley Clarke and The Police, the Californian prog trio deliver a crushing take on Master Of Puppets’ most doom-laden moment. At Kirk Hammett’s encouragement, Claypool auditioned for the bassist slot following the death of Cliff Burton in the autumn of 1986. He was not successful because, according to Hetfield, he was “too good” and “should do his own thing”. That’s a polite way of saying, “Seinfeld bass lines will never be welcome in Metallica’s world”. What’s the deal with that? Find It: Rhinoplasty (Interscope/Prawn Song, 1998)

**‘Welcome Home (Sanitarium)’ – Crane/Dee/Ian/Levin/Marshall **This cover version was recorded by Ugly Kid Joe’s frontman Whitfield Crane, Motörhead sticksman Mikkey Dee, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, King Crimson bassist Tony Levin and Metal Church guitarist John Marshall. Before joining Metal Church, Marshall was Kirk Hammett’s guitar tech and also filled in as rhythm guitarist for James Hetfield who’d broken his arm while skateboarding in 1986. The towering six-stringer’s services were called upon again in 1992 after the Montreal pyrotechnic accident which left the frontman with severe burns. Find It: Metallic Assault: A Tribute to Metallica (Big Eye Music, 2001)

‘Disposable Heroes’ – Chimaira The now-defunct Cleveland groove metallers’ take on Metallica’s anti-war ditty gives the original a run for its money, in terms of aggression and precise riffing. During the eight-minute barrage of riffs, drummer Kevin Talley comfortably matches Lars Ulrich’s gruelling drum patterns providing a violent clatter underneath Mark Hunter’s throat-lacerating vocals. Find It: Chimaira: Digital Special Edition (Roadrunner, 2009)

**‘Leper Messiah’ – Dream Theater **The Long Island prog quintet often will perform their favourite albums in their entirety as encores, the big show-offs. Over the years, they’ve covered Iron Maiden’s The Number Of The Beast, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, Deep Purple’s Made In Japan and Metallica’s third studio album. Check out this recording which was released as part of their Official Bootleg series. Find It: Official Bootleg: Master of Puppets (Ytsejam Records, 2004)

**‘Orion’ – Rodrigo y Gabriela **This Mexican duo first their self-titled album in 2006 and included this hypnotic, flamenco-driven cover in homage to one of their main influences. In recent years, current Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo occasionally joins the pair on stage. Find It: Rodrigo y Gabriela (ATO Records, 2006)

‘Damage, Inc.’ – Flotsam & Jetsam They may have bid farewell to their bassist Jason Newsted in 1986 when he joined the Metallica fold, but that didn’t stop the Phoenix thrashers from recording this gutsy cover almost two decades later. Find It: Metallic Attack: The Ultimate Tribute (Big Deal, 2004)