She's a classically trained, award-winning musician ... and Ukranian pianist Viktoriya Yermolyeva is also a Master of Puppets.

While Yermolyeva might not be a household name as far as most metal fans are concerned, she probably should be. Since diverting her focus from classical performances several years ago, she's compiled an impressive list of rock and metal covers, applying her prodigious piano skills to new versions of classic cuts by a long list of bands that includes the Doors, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath and Metallica.

Yermolyeva's performance of 'Master of Puppets,' which you can hear above, isn't new -- it was uploaded in 2011 -- but it perfectly encapsulates the way she brings her years of training to bear on a composition that, while certainly not easy to play, is often thought of more in terms of headbanging power than musical complexity. With the spotlight on Yermolyeva's piano, the song's stark beauty is emphasized, giving 'Puppets' a very different (but just as evocative) feeling.

If you like what you hear, there's a lot more where that came from: Yermolyeva's YouTube channel is stocked full of performance footage, and at her website, she's offering free MP3s of her many rock and metal covers (although she requests -- and certainly deserves -- donations). Heck, she even takes requests!

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