The Black Sabbath legend topped a poll by guitar maker Gibson. It's a great list, but could you do better?
Posted on Sep 26, 2012 01:55 pm
Tony Iommi has been named the greatest heavy metal guitarist of all time.
The list by Gibson credited the Black Sabbath guitarist as a leader of the metal movement.
"Of all rock'n'roll's many styles metal is the most brutal. No matter the sub-genre, metal is held together by a reliance on loud riffing guitars and, of course, an inspiring lead guitarist", Gibson said.
"Tony's dark, distinct guitar textures in Black Sabbath helped spearhead the heavy metal movement. "Iron Man" and "Paranoid" boast some of the most memorable riffs of all time, with crushingly heavy choruses. His playing is immortalised through the generations of bands that have followed."
Iommi was followed by Metallica's Kirk Hammet and James Hetfield in joint second place, with Ozzy Osbourne's late collaborator Randy Rhoads making it to third. "While other guitarists of the era emulated Eddie Van Halen, Rhoades stepped out on his own, incorporating classic music into his passages. His untimely death in a freak airplane accident in 1982 remains one of metal's biggest heartbreaks", said Gibson.
Here's their full top 10 - though we recommend taking a look at the official UG top 10 rock guitarists, as voted for by you. Iommi only made it to 10th place there, but it had a focus on rock guitarists. We'll give you the chance to rank metal axemen in the near future.
Gibson's Greatest heavy metal guitarists:
1. Tony Iommi
2. Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield
3. Randy Rhoads
4. John Petrucci
5. Dimebag Darrell
6. Eddie Van Halen
7. Zakk Wylde
8. Adam Jones
9. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith
10. George Lynch
What do you think of the Gibson top 10? Is it good, or could you improve on it? Let us know in the comments.