“Yes, that’s a real spider”: Sophie Lloyd’s Enter Sandman (Shred Version) adds extra fretboard flair to Metallica’s thrash classic – alongside some snakes and a tarantula named Rosie

Sophie Lloyd Metallica Enter Sandman shred cover
(Image credit: Sophie Lloyd / YouTube)

By now, you should be more than familiar with Sophie Lloyd’s shred guitar updates of classic tunes. Previous offerings have run the gauntlet from Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven to Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb and Dire Straits’ Sultans of Swing.

All of those previous tracks have offered their own playing challenges, with Lloyd offering a savvy new, instrumental take on the source material. Now, just in time for Halloween, she’s taken on Metallica’s haunting classic, Enter Sandman.

The new clip is notable for several reasons. Firstly, from a playing point of view it offers an interesting new conundrum for Lloyd, given Kirk Hammett’s lead work on the track is already fairly complex – meaning you might expect she has less room to improvise.

Fortunately, Lloyd has a few tricks up her sleeve and if anything, in her hands, the song becomes more melodic, partly because she incorporates elements of James Hetfield’s vocal top lines into her lead work.

Elsewhere, Lloyd – who usually remains silent on the vocal front – breaks the norm by delivering the spoken word section that follows the central solo. 

On the video front, too, the clip is notable for containing a few spooky, Halloween-themed production nods, in the form of a candlelit church setting, some unsettling contact lenses and a couple of guest stars, namely two snakes and a tarantula. 

“Yes, that's a real spider,” comments Lloyd on YouTube. “Her name was Rosie, and no, I couldn't see anything with those eye contacts in!”

We have to admit Rosie appears to work the fretboard particularly well during Enter Sandman’s iconic ringing intro sequence.

The compelling thing about Lloyd’s version is that, as ever, it’s not about the gimmicks. She takes core elements of the track and shaves a minute and a half off the original, packing in new ideas in the process – though remains notably faithful to Hammett’s wah-laden guitar solo.

Watch the full clip above and, for more on the guitarist’s life away from YouTube – as Machine Gun Kelly’s go-to player and creating her solo album Imposter Syndrome – check out Guitar World’s recent cover interview with Lloyd.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.