Three ex-Megadeth members once started a Metallica cover band together

Photos of Nick Menza, James LoMenzo and Chris Poland
(Image credit: Nick Menza: Mick Hutson (Redferns) / James LoMenzo: Emma McIntyre (Getty Images for SiriusXM) / Chris Poland: Ross Marino (Getty))

Metallica vs Megadeth is arguably the most infamous heavy metal feud of all time. When The Four Horsemen kicked guitarist Dave Mustaine to the curb and sent him on a four-day bus journey from New York back home to San Francisco, it ignited a generation-long rivalry. But certain parties have defected over the years.

Case in point: in 2014, three former Megadeth musicians – drummer Nick Menza, guitarist Chris Poland and then-ex-bass player James LoMenzo – united in a Metallica cover band that never quite kicked off. Menza and LoMenzo released a cover of Kill ’Em All cut Motorbreath, before also, following Menza’s 2016 death, unveiling a take on Creeping Death and a rendition of Megadeth’s Wake Up Dead recorded with Poland. Davor Garasic of Croatian thrashers Sufosia provided vocals, but nothing followed the initial 2014 sessions.

It’s a shame because the three covers (pasted below) are all good. Creeping Death has some excellently realised force to it, the guitar chords and snare drums crashing through the mix like a bulldozer through your living room. Similarly, Motorbreath is rabid speed metal that, despite Garasic’s vocals obviously not being able to challenge James Hetfield’s, benefits from a drum fill that flaunts Menza’s much-missed talents. And Wake Up Dead, although merely a demo, is as excellent as you’d expect from three men who’ve previously played it night in, night out.

According to the official Nick Menza YouTube channel, this covers project predated when Menza joined Poland’s jazz band, Ohm. The triumvirate of Menza, Poland and LoMenzo, along with Garasic, had received offers to tour Europe and South America as a tribute band to Metallica and Megadeth called Metallideth. However, for thus-far undisclosed reasons, the shows never happened.

Instead, Menza joined Ohm with Poland – the drummer was performing with the band onstage when he abruptly died on May 21, 2016, aged 51. LoMenzo has since returned to Megadeth, replacing bassist Dave Ellefson when he was dismissed following a sex scandal in 2021. Sufosia, sadly, don’t seem to be doing much nowadays, leaving their most popular work as a 2009 cover of Hangar 18 once endorsed by Ellefson. Still, at least we have three recordings from the most kickass thrash metal supergroup that never was.

Matt Mills

Louder’s resident Cult Of Luna obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.