Roxie’s the closest thing we’ve got to a metal gym leader
Illustration: Unknown Artist

It’s Monday, which means it’s time for another Metal Monday post where I bring together my two favorite things, metal music and video games. Last week we took a look at some metal covers of Zelda songs, so today we’re gonna do the same for another of my favorite games when it comes to music, Pokemon!

Here are five of my favorite metal covers of Pokemon songs!

Team Rocket Hideout (Red/Blue/Yellow) covered by FamilyJules

The Team Rocket Hideout music is an iconic piece of the soundtrack for the original generation of Pokemon games. The chaotic, evil sounding theme fits perfectly with the hectic nature of get launched all around the hideout on those spin tiles. FamilyJules has done a lot of amazing Pokemon covers, so it’s hard to nail down just one favorite, but his cover of the Rocket Hideout theme is definitely near the top. His cover perfectly captures the chaotic nature of the theme and is heavy as balls. Plus a few cool bits to keep things interesting such as a soft jazzy part for the short slow section of the song and a tapping guitar solo.

Lavender Town / Pokemon Tower (Red/Blue/Yellow) covered by ToxicxEternity

The Lavender Town theme is easily one of the most iconic town themes across the entire Pokemon series, and there are so many amazing covers of it by so many people, including a few on this list. The reason that ToxicxEternity’s take on the track is my favorite is because he really makes it his own, creating a really unique, progressive arrangement that takes some artistic liberties. The main melody doesn’t even kick in until almost a minute and half in after the track’s signature haunting opening notes and an insanely groovy rhythm riff. The lead playing on this track, which has a classic melodic death metal vibe to it that is perfect for Lavender Town. The last minute or so of the track transitions into a chugging take on the Pokemon Tower theme before the fade out.

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Route 113 (Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald) covered by RichaadEB

The Route 113 theme from the third generation Pokemon games is an underrated gem in the Pokemon soundtrack, and one that rarely gets covered. This one was one of the earliest covers Rich recorded for his channel, but he later rerecorded it with his vastly upgraded production, allowing the arrangement to shine. This cover is a really need proggy take on this theme with lots of crunchy rhythm riffs and great melodic lead playing. It’s just pure ear candy in my opinion.

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Battle! Vs. Giratina (Platinum) covered by LittleVMills

When the third version of the fourth generation Pokemon games was released, Giratina got its own battle theme instead of the generic legendary music, and it was a hell of a theme. It was chaotic and crazy just like the Distortion World. This epic cover from LittleVMills is absolutely nuts. He perfectly captures that chaos through all kinds of cool guitar effects and some killer riffing. There’s also a little reference to Champion Cynthia’s battle theme (which he also has an excellent cover of) thrown in for good measure.

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Battle! Vs. The Three Regis (Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald) covered by SixteenInMono

The third generation Pokemon games have some really great legendary battle themes, and the the theme for the legendary trio of Regirock, Regice, and Registeel is one of the best. This insanely heavy and djenty progressive metal cover by SixteenInMono, who makes excellent video game covers and originals, is an amazing take on the theme and absolutely one of my favorite Pokemon covers of all time. It’s also for sure the heaviest Pokemon cover I’ve ever heard. Heavier than Regigigas itself! There’s just so many layers of sound, awesome djenty riffs, haunting lead guitar playing, and an overwhelming desire to headbang. The track also ends with a sick guest solo played by RichaadEB and a cool reference to the Lavender Town theme. And I can’t neglect to mention the fantastic quality of the production and mixing on this track.

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DisturbedShadow is a fan of video games and heavy metal music. You can can find more of his writing here and you can follow him on Twitter @DisturbedShad0w.