6 Hard-Rocking Renditions of the National Anthem


The American National Anthem is actually a pretty metal fucking song, when you think about it. There’s an attack on a fort, “bombs bursting in air,” and a brave and ultimately triumphant defense against an invading force. Francis Scott Key’s lyrics largely derive from an earlier poem that he wrote, with the very metal title of “When the Warrior Returns.” “The Star-Spangled Banner” may not be as devil-horns-worthy a name, but the sentiment of the song still hits hard and heavy.

Sadly, most renditions of the tune–which generally lean towards the saccharine and painfully earnest–do not live up to its wartime imagery. But there have been a few that do. Occasionally, a hard-rock or metal artist gets his hands on the anthem, and does it up right. Below, watch, listen, and celebrate our great nation as Metallica, Zakk Wylde, Slash, Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine, Adam Jones of Tool, and Rob Zombie axman John 5 shred, weedle, chug, and squeal all “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.” God bless America.


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