For this week’s edition of Visions, a Metallica classic gets a major face-lift. Brought to us by Shel, a folk band from Colorado, “Enter Sandman” takes a turn I always hoped it would. Using unique acoustic elements, including that of a mandolin, Shel manages to bring all the eeriness contained in the lyrics to “Enter Sandman” to the forefront of the sound, creating an almost new song entirely.As much as I love the original (alright, in fairness, I don’t really). Starting over. As popular as Metallica’s version is around the globe, I never felt the feel of the song quite matched up with the lyrics. Or at least, the lyrics certainly lent the song to experimentation in other sonical directions. And that’s exactly what Shel does with it here. A slower, yet still shorter version of “Enter Sandman”, this is delicately carried by the whispered singing of Shel. While soothing, the song feels almost darker than we had ever experienced it prior — an added haunting feel to it, I suppose. And if you’re going to cover a classic, deconstructing a song and rebuilding it in a new form is worthy of appreciation. Tremendous work here by Shel.
The video itself is simple enough. The singer from Shel (I don’t quite know their names) stands in isolation alongside a mountain lake in winter. The hood of her coat, the face paint around her eyes, and the snow-capped mountain peaks make for an intense scene. But the most captivating, and most influential aspect of this video relative to the eeriness of the sound is the way she constantly gazes into the camera. It’s as if she is speaking these lyrics to us directly, individually. This means of addressing the audience only enhances the dark beauty of this cover.
Anyway, check it out below. It’s under three minutes, so it doesn’t take long to get through. Shel’s cover of “Enter Sandman” is a clever re-imagining of a classic metal song, performed and produced brilliantly.
“Ein Bier… bitte.”