YouTuber Denis Pauna Covers All of Metallica’s ‘Kill ‘Em All’ in the Style of ZZ Top
Who needs AI (artificial intelligence) when YouTuber Denis Pauna is out there committing himself to covering the entirety of Metallica's Kill 'Em All in the style of that little ol' band from Texas, ZZ Top?!
Earlier this year, you may have heard Pauna's cover of "Seek and Destroy," but he really upped himself by tackling the metal legends' debut album from top to bottom, sharing this fun spin on the classic in celebration of its recent 40th anniversary.
Pauna is an incredibly skilled musician who has a clear grasp on the DNA of the artists he chooses to cover, whether it's a brilliant take on Rick Astley's troll-worthy hit "Never Gonna Give You Up" in the style of Type O Negative or reimagining King Diamond writing Pantera's "Cowboys From Hell," all with a genuinely authentic feel to them.
The real challenge in presenting Kill 'Em All in this fashion is that perhaps not every track off the groundbreaking thrash record naturally lends itself to the bluesy southern rock ZZ Top made their name on. Pauna swaps galloping chugs for swinging grooves and what's most consistent and winds up unifying this all is his vocal grit, which is a fair impersonation of Top's Billy Gibbons and the late Dusty Hill. Of course, James Hetfield's own gritty vocal character is not far removed from ZZ Top, so that helps too.
Start listening to the full album cover in the video further down the page.
In 2017, Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was a guest on Talk Is Jericho, the podcast hosted by Fozzy frontman/WWE superstar Chris Jericho, and recollected what music the band listened to while on the tour bus.
As many know, late bassist Cliff Burton's tastes weren't as rooted in hard rock and heavy metal like his bandmates and ZZ Top were among his favorites.
"So Cliff—he loved the energy, he loved the aggression, but I don’t think he was a big fan of like, Iron Maiden. I remember early on when we started traveling on the tour bus, I'd put on some Maiden or something — he didn't get out of his seat to start banging up and down," said Ulrich.
"I'd play some Maiden, some Diamond Head," he continued, "And then he'd put on [ZZ Top's] Rio Grande Mud or Degüello or some Yes album I'd never heard of, and I was like, 'Huh?' He'd sit there and fly the flag for Jethro Tull or… one band he loved was The Police, he'd always play the Police."
Follow Denis Pauna on YouTube here.