For many decades it's felt like covering an Iron Maiden track or two has been a rite of passage for many a young and budding musician. After 16 studio albums, 100 million album sales, 50 years of activity and 2000 live shows, the legacy left in the wake of Maiden is beyond the comparison of most of their peers, with thousands paying respects to one of the most influential bands of all time though covers. Here's just some of our favorites.
Lower Than Atlantis - 'The Number Of The Beast'
This cover of the 1982 classic was released during a pivotal point of Lower Than Atlantis's career, with the track successfully bridging the attitudes and styles present within the early and most recent work of the group. Featuring the spunky post-hardcore swaggering obnoxiousness associated with the group's youth and it's adjusted tongue in cheek composure of their current stance, it's a rowdy and youthful twist on one of Maiden's quintessential tracks and a song that terrified and angered social conservatives and grandmothers back in the day.
HECK - 'The Trooper'
The thought of allowing Heck to even touch anything related to Maiden is enough to give most uptight metal elitists heart palpitations. However, shortly before their disbandment the dearly missed hell raisers covered one of heavy metal's most signature offerings. Beginning with a tastefully mournful tone before ripping into the loose kinetic energy the group was renowned for, it's a fresh and wild take on one of Maiden's most celebrated tracks.
Muncie Girls - 'The Wicker Man'
Despite being the only cover of a Maiden track released following the turn of the century present on this list, the fashion in which Muncie Girls breathe new life into this classic is delightful. Simultentiously remaining loyal to the tone and instrumentation of the source material whilst adding their personal warmth and charm to it, such a track presents the fantastic Devon indie rockers in a new light.
Annal Nathrakh - 'Powerslave'
There's no surprise that Iron Maiden had a highly influential effect on the development of the global extreme metal scene. However, Annal Nathrakh's take on this 1984 classic may be the most intense re-imagining of a Maiden track the world of extreme metal has to offer. With it's blistering intensity, nightmarish vocals and down tuned shredding, it sounds less like a typical cover and more like what Maiden would sound like performing in the amidst of a nuclear holocaust.
Machine Head - 'Hallowed Be Thy Name'
For many Machine Head fans this cover sits among the finest of tracks the Oakland punishers have released. Originally released on the deluxe version of their celebrated albumThe Blackening, this cover places additional emphasis on the blanketing dread of the original source, with Robb Flyn's iconic vocals wavering and fluttering. Whilst covering their respective heroes may be a daunting task for some, Machine Head do this classic the justice it deserves and then some.
Creeper - 'The Evil That Men Do'
When covering tracks, many artists choose to remain as loyal as possible to the source material both sonically and atmospherically. However, the horror punk heartthrobs in Creeper not only shine a new light on this fan favorite but breathe fresh air into the ever deepening pool of Iron Maiden covers. Somber, revered and tentative, this stripped back key driven rendition see's Creeper at their most soulful.
Opeth - 'Remember Tomorrow'
It's no secret that Opeth are their own biggest critics. Shortly after releasing this cover, the band dismissed it saying on the judgement that it never did the source material the justice it deserved. Of course, such a claim is simply an example of Opeth's lofty standards, with this classic cover being adored by fans of both Opeth and Maiden alike. With it's clean and tender picking breaking down into galloping riffage, it's remained a dotted and loved cover for many years.
Gallows - 'Wrathchild'
Admittedly, heavy metal and hardcore punk have always remained at polar opposites of the alternative music spectrum. Despite this, Gallows' take on 'Wrathchild' just proves that these two genres can co-exist peacefully. Recorded prior to Frank Carter's departure from the band, this is a spunky, youthful and intoxicated take on one of metal's finest cuts, with the gritty charm of Gallows coating the track like sugar. Aggressive and obnoxious, it stands as a testament to two highly influential acts.