10 times metal musicians covered their own songs in other bands

Photos of Ozzy Osbourne, Bruce Dickinson, Jason Newsted and Corey Taylor performing live
(Image credit: Ozzy Osbourne: Scott Legato/FilmMagic | Bruce Dickinson: Paul Bergen/Redferns | Jason Newsted: Will Ireland/Classic Rock/Future via Getty Images | Corey Taylor: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

A great cover is an art form in and of itself, needing to both stand on its own two feet while being reverent towards the original. That rule flies out the window, however, when it comes to an artist covering their own stuff. Throughout the lengthy history of metal, band breakups and lineup changes have been all over the show, so it’s not a rare phenomenon whatsoever – and, here, Hammer’s celebrating the best times heavy metal stars recreated their classics to a tee with different musicians around them.

Metal Hammer line break

Ozzy Osbourne – Iron Man / Paranoid (Black Sabbath)

After his firing from Black Sabbath in 1979, Ozzy Osbourne launched a solo career that went on to spawn some mammoth tunes. Over the years, he’s been known to belt out a few Sabbath classics at his shows – like that time both Iron Man and Paranoid graced a setlist. Wow.

Newsted – My Friend Of Misery (Metallica)

When Jason Newsted brought his solo band back to the stage in 2023, he used the opportunity to play one of his greatest Metallica compositions, My Friend Of Misery, in its original form. Stripped back to an evocative bass solo, it was a spectacle that we hope won’t be a one-night-only airing.

Bruce Dickinson – Powerslave (Iron Maiden)

During his ’90s solo stint, Bruce Dickinson unsurprisingly performed a few Iron Maiden classics onstage – however, they probably aren’t the ones you’d expect. Instead of Run To The Hills or The Number Of The Beast, the Air-Raid Siren blared out Powerslave and Flight Of Icarus. He still nailed it, mind.

Corey Taylor – Before I Forget (Slipknot)

Although he was touring to promote his latest solo album CMF2, Corey Taylor found time to dig into his Slipknot catalogue during his 2023 UK run. His solo band may have been down two percussionists compared to The Nine, but they still rampaged through an incendiary-sounding Before I Forget.

Prophets Of Rage – Killing In The Name (Rage Against The Machine)

Consisting of the majority of Rage Against The Machine plus members of Cypress Hill and Public Enemy, Prophets Of Rage took music from all three artists and “Rage-ified” it. Naturally, that included the storming Killing In the Name – one live version even got UK punk favourite Frank Carter on guest vocals, too. 

Heaven And Hell – The Mob Rules (Black Sabbath)

It’s not exactly surprising, is it? Heaven And Hell was effectively Black Sabbath in all but name, reuniting the band’s Mob Rules-era lineup for one last hurrah – so of course they were gonna bust out some bangers. Mob Rules’ title track was, naturally, a must on all of their setlists.

K.K.’s Priest – Breaking The Law (Judas Priest)

K.K. Downing didn’t depart Judas Priest on the best terms, but that’s not stopped him from pulling out their hits with K.K.’s Priest. During their live debut at K.K.’s own Steel Mill in Wolverhampton, a slew of Priest songs made the cut, including a raucous Breaking The Law.

VV – Join Me In Death (Him)

Finnish “love metal” legends Him were put to rest in 2017, but that’s not stopped Ville Valo keeping the legacy alive by including a number of songs in his own solo sets. On his latest US tour under the VV moniker, he made sure to include the haunting Join Me In Death.

Cavalera Conspiracy – Roots Bloody Roots (Sepultura)

Whether or not you agree with the purists about the current Sepultura lineup, there’s no doubting that the Cavalera era wrote some of their most celebrated work. When they reunited as Cavalera Conspiracy, Max and Iggor used the opportunity to give everyone some history lessons, charging through classics like Roots Bloody Roots.

Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons – Overkill (Motörhead)

While Lemmy might not be here to snarl into the mic any more, Motörhead bandmate Phil Campbell is keeping the legacy alive with his band, the Bastard Sons. The quartet have originals, but let’s be honest: it’s all-time classics like Overkill that fans are turning up to hear the most.

Will Marshall

Will's been a metal obsessive ever since hearing Trivium’s Ascendancy way back in 2005, and it's been downhill ever since. Since joining the Metal Hammer team in 2021, he’s penned features with the likes of rising stars Lake Malice, Scowl and Drain, and symphonic legends Epica. He’s also had bylines in Stereoboard, covering everything from Avenged Sevenfold to Charli XCX.

With contributions from