Metallica have unearthed a 1990 demo for their signature song “Enter Sandman”. The rare artifact is from the upcoming expanded and remastered editions of the band’s 1991 self-titled album, aka “The Black Album,” arriving September 10th.
The instrumental demo features just James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich working out the song in its early stages, but it still sounds pretty massive even in lo-fi form. While he doesn’t appear on this particular demo, lead guitarist Kirk Hammett is the one who came up with the initial version of the song’s iconic riff, which he has said was inspired by Soundgarden’s Louder Than Love album.
For studious fans and musicians, it’s a chance to dissect one of the most significant metal songs of all time. In addition, Metallica also unleashed a live version of “Enter Sandman” from September 28th, 1991, in Russia to give us the ultimate before-and-after juxtaposition. That performance took place a little over a month following the release of “The Black Album”.
Metallica are going all out for the 30th anniversary of “The Black Album”, announcing a massive limited-edition box set featuring the album remastered on 180-gram 2-LP vinyl, a picture disc, three live LPs, 14 CDs (containing rough mixes, demos, interviews, live shows), 6 DVDs (containing outtakes, behind the scenes, official videos, live shows), a 120-page hardcover book, and much more. The reissue will also be available as a 180-gram 2-LP vinyl set, a standard CD, and a 3-CD expanded edition.
The band is also rolling out The Metallica Blacklist tribute album. It touts multiple covers of “Black Album” songs by more than 53 artists, with profits being divided between charities of each artist’s choice and Metallica’s All Within My Hands Foundation. You can hear Miley Cyrus and Elton John’s collaborative cover of “Nothing Else Matters” from the compilation here.
Pre-orders for “The Black Album” box set and other 30th anniversary formats are currently available via Metallica’s website, while the new covers compilation The Metallica Blacklist can be pre-ordered at Amazon.
Listen to both the 1990 demo of “Enter Sandman” and the 1991 live version below.