2019 Award Nominations: Best Cover Song ft. A&P Reacts

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Welcome to the 2019 Musicalypse Award Nominations! It is our second year after having changed our Award system over to the staff vote, and to shake things up, this year we’ve invited A&P Reacts to join us in the nominating and voting for the best of 2019. We don’t always have enough nominations to include this category, but luckily 2019 had enough to offer us. As such, here are the choices for the Best Cover Song of 2019!

This is the final category so stay tuned for our Staff Picks on December 25th, and the the winners of the awards at the turn of the year: December 31st at midnight!

This year our nominations will be in their own separate playlists! You can follow them on Spotify:

Bear:
1. Everfrost – “Die Young” originally by Kesha
2. Oceanhoarse – “Duality” originally by Slipknot
3. Apocalyptica – “Fields of Verdun” originally by Sabaton

One thing and one thing only: Everfrost‘s cover of Kesha‘s song, “Die Young.” The original was always conflicting for me, because it’s catchy as hell but also really awful morally and Kesha always seemed to be a brainless party drone, so I couldn’t bring myself to like her or the song properly. The fact that these guys covered that one song that I so wanted to like but couldn’t, coupled with them just generally being awesome makes this actively one of my favorite songs of this year.

I want to give a shoutout to Oceanhoarse for their version of Slipknot’s “Duality.” Not only does it do really good justice to the original, but it has their own flare to it that sounds specifically like them. It’s just a really solid cover.

I almost forgot about the cover Apocalyptica did of Sabaton‘s “Fields of Verdun,” so thanks Laureline for reminding me! Besides just being a really good cover, the other great thing about this track is that it was a cover of a song that had just come out not long before. Apocalyptica opened and guested on Sabatons The Great Tour, so all of this was likely pre-arranged in preparation for touring together. Whatever the reason may have been, the combination of Apocalyptica and Sabaton is great and Apocalyptica’s arguably more mature style makes the Sabaton sound into something new and – for the non-Sabaton-lovers out there – perhaps a bit more palatable.

Honorary mention(s): “Maniac” covered by Avantasia

Vincent:
1. Bear McCreary ft. Serj Tankian – “Godzilla” originally by Fu Manchu
2. Marilyn Manson – “The End” originally by The Doors*
3. Everfrost – “Die Young” originally by Kesha

I feel like I’ve always loved “Godzilla” by Fu Manchu, which came out in 1997. That main riff is just iconic, while the song is overall goofy and fun. Though you may have your own opinions about the summer blockbuster, Godzilla – King of the Monsters, it did give us this wonderful cover in the end credits. It has all the lightheartedness of the original with a much bigger production. The orchestral elements serve to elevate it, whilst the Japanese chants bring it to a whole new level. As for Serj Tankian, honestly, I almost feel like they could’ve thrown almost any singer on this project and I would’ve liked it regardless. I’ve never really clicked with Serj Tankian as a singer but his delivery fits the tone of “Godzilla” like a glove. All these strange elements somehow came together to make the best cover song of the year.

I feel a bit weird nominating something that just came out* but when something is good, it’s good! I’ve always said the best thing about Marilyn Manson are the covers. I love his style and his voice but I usually find his songs lacking. In “The End,” originally by The Doors, he really gets to let his creative juices flow. Like the original, it’s weird, it’s jammy, and it’s kind of creepy. “The End” builds a perfect atmosphere for itself. All the effects, the chilling line reads, the screams, they may seem random but they all build on the mood. It’s absolutely true to the spirit of the original but presented through the lens of Marilyn Manson. I feel delightfully uncomfortable listening to this. It’s nigh-perfect.

*[ed: this cover was released as a single some time ago, but appears to have been rescinded. Due to the confusion and the fact that the song can no longer be found online, this cover is disqualified from the 2019 voting; however, provided it is re-released, it will be available for nomination again in 2020.]

Everfrost is the best thing to happen to power metal since Kiuas [2000-2013]. I got to see them play “Die Young” live in 2018 but with the release of their new album, Winterider, we finally got to hear it as a polished piece. I had to Google the original at first, which was done by a modern pop artist called Kesha (the lady who did “Tic-Toc”). This band feels like they can do anything and it’ll still work somehow. The sound is big and well-produced. This would make for a pretty great party song too.

Simo:
1. Everfrost – “Die Young” originally by Kesha
2. DragonForce – “My Heart Will Go On” originally by Celine Dion
3. Beast in Black – “No Easy Way Out” originally by Robert Tepper

Some people won’t do covers anymore, some people tack covers on the end of their album, but Everfrost went ahead and worked theirs into the album’s story. This version of a generic pop drinking song by Kesha gives the superficial original a facelift and some feeling. It’s a must-hear party song for metal people and the compositional style of Benji Connelly goes really well with the melody of the original.

When I heard that DragonForce had covered “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion, I was sure that I would like it. Oh, how I was wrong. This song is so bad, tasteless, and tacky that it somehow managed to earn my vote for all of these reasons. With Marc Hudson on vocals, the intriguing beginning of the song quickly morphs into a monstrosity that belongs on a Pop Goes Punk album or a compilation in the bargain bin of a second-hand CD store. And yet, I couldn’t stop listening…

It’s hard to say if Beast in Black‘s cover of “No Easy Way Out” (originally by Robert Tepper and known from the film Rocky IV) is great because they did an awesome job or if it’s great because the original was great and that’s hard to fuck up. One way or the other… it is great.

Honorary metion(s): “Maniac” by Avantasia

Laureline:
1. Fleshgod Apocalypse – “Reise, Reise” originally by Rammstein
2. Apocalyptica – “Fields of Verdun” originally by Sabaton
3. Beast in Black – “No Easy Way Out” originally by Robert Tepper

[ed: Laureline was pressed for time and excused from the text part of the nominations]

Honorary mention(s): “Die Young” by Everfrost

Phantom:
1. Everfrost – “Die Young” originally by Kesha

… [the covers were hummed by the walls]

A&P Reacts:
1. Eleine – “Mein Herz Brennt” originally by Rammstein
Great cover of Rammstein. Adding female vocals to this song added a twist that leaves you wondering what has just happened.

2. Yannis Papadopoulos – “Ghost Love Score” originally by Nightwish
Yannis Papadoloulos‘ vocal cover of this Nightwish classic will be one of the best covers ever made, never mind 2019. His performance is one of those that you will one day tell your grandkids about.

3. Witherfall – “A Tale That Wasn’t Right” originally by Helloween
This Helloween cover is a perfect way to honor the original. Keeping it close to where the song came from while making it sound like a Witherfall song. A perfect way to deliver a cover, more so when you look at a classic from Helloween.

Yannis Papadopoulos’ cover of “Ghost Love Score” was not officially released on Spotify, but can be seen on YouTube:

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