Metal covers of cool songs are not an uncommon find these days. From BLIND GUARDIAN covering THE BEACH BOYS to Bruce Dickinson‘s takes on BLACK SABBATH, DEEP PURPLE, and Alice Cooper, even the best of the best have taken a swing at some of their favorite songs. However, one thing that I haven’t heard a lot of (or any of?) is a metal band covering an anime theme song. At least, that was until Finnish oriental folk metallers WHISPERED released a cover of the Silverfang theme, “Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin” way back in 2014 (dang, has it really been that long?). Now, as of earlier this year, we have a new cover of the theme of one of Silverfang sequels, Weed, entitled “Ginga Densetsu Weed,” as done by METAL DE FACTO. And hey, if we’re going to look at one of them, we may as well look at both, right?
I suppose I may as well do this in chronological order, so let’s start with WHISPERED. I am actually ashamed to admit that my geekery has not included Silverfang, so I’m not very familiar with the music, though I have heard it played a bit now and then. It has been quite generally said (in my presence, at least) that Silverfang was the better show but Weed had the better theme song. As such, it makes a lot of sense that WHISPERED would cover an iconic song from a great show that – I’m sure it’s safe to assume – had an influence on the band and some of its members. Stylishly dressing up the original melodies, the song is made metal by the shredding guitars, speedy drums, and, of course, those growls. There’s a nice little solo not-quite 2 minutes in before the song culminates in a clash of speed, power, and growls that lead to a very tight ending. Bravo, you beautiful nerds! This is awesome!
METAL DE FACTO‘s cover, unfortunately, does not have an accompanying video as it was never released as a single. It was one of three covers included on the band’s 2021 EP, “Legionnaire’s Oath,” alongside “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend” (originally by TYPE O NEGATIVE) and “Whenever, Wherever” (originally by Shakira). While each song had its own distinct flavor, this hugely bombastic track is highlighted by so many aspects (many of which are the same things I praised in WHISPERED‘s cover), but one of the best parts is how wonderfully Mikael Salo sings in Japanese. Not only does he do a beautiful job of the pronunciation (you can tell that he’s lived there and studied the language), but he has something about his voice in this track that genuinely sounds like a classic anime theme song singer. It’s a little hammy, a little over-the-top, but it’s not too much and ultimately gives the song a really authentic Japanese feel. Then we have the instruments. Oh those sweet, sweet instruments. Truly, for a week or two after I heard this the first time, I would wake up at 3:00 a.m. with this song blasting at full volume in my head. It’s really hard to get back to sleep with you hear “HASHIREEEEE, WEEDOOO” roaring away as loud as your inner mind can get.
So, fellow geeks and nerds in the metal community, if you haven’t found either of these songs yet, you may need to give them a spin and probably add them to your nerdy metal playlists! I don’t know about you, but as a geek and a metalhead, I can’t get enough of this!