The 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists



Let’s be honest, shall we? Heavy metal has never received
the respect that it deserves from the rockcrit community. Time has begrudgingly
recognized influential bands like Black Sabbath and Metallica, but the overall contribution
of the metal genre to rock music has been routinely snubbed…or worse,
ignored…by the music press (save for hesher zines like Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles).


Nowhere has the influence of metal on rock music been more
pervasive than in the way that the guitar is played. Metal guitarists have pushed
the boundaries of the instrument, creating new techniques and advancing the
guitar’s potential. British music journalist Joel McIver has always had an ear
turned towards heavy metal, and it’s a testament to his musical knowledge that
he has written authoritative books on both soul diva Erykah Badu and thrash-metal titans Slayer.


McIver’s latest tome is a profusely-illustrated guide to the
genre’s best axe-manglers, and a hell of a fun read for anybody interested in
either heavy metal or guitars. In an entertaining style that is equal parts
fanboy enthusiasm and rockcrit perspective, McIver provides background
information for each fretburner, explains why they’re important enough to be one of 100, and offers suggestions for their
best performances. Some entries also detail the musician’s gear or specific
technique, and McIver frequently quotes from interviews that he’s done with the


McIver offers a few surprising choices among his 100,
especially his pick for ‘numero uno’ (no, I’m not telling). He covers every
shade of metal from thrash to doom to death to every type of extremity under
the sun, providing as much consideration to obscure stringbenders like Ron
Jarzombek (Blotted Science) and Dave Suzuki (Vital Remains) as he does to metal
legends like Slayer’s Kerry King or Metallica’s James Hetfield.


Whether you’re a fan of classic metal like Sabbath, Iron
Maiden, and Judas Priest or relative newcomers like Dragonforce and Trivium,
this has them all! REV. KEITH A. GORDON     


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