Top Metal Guitarists

Guitar World has picked the 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists for their upcoming March 2004 issue "It is a tribute to the great men who shit iron and piss stainless steel razor blades, and do it every time they plug into an amplifier," - states magazine.

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Guitar World has picked the 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists for their upcoming March 2004 issue, while the magazine states:

"This is not a list that ranks who can play the fastest or with the most taste, feeling or technique (although many players on our list have all of those arrows in their quiver)," the editors stress in the accompanying introduction. "It is, rather, a tribute to the great men who shit iron and piss stainless steel razor blades, and do it every time they plug into an amplifier."

Although this list has a lot of great guitarists which no doubt are "top metal guitarists" (like Kirk Hammet of Metallica, Slash of Guns N' Roses, Eddie Van Halen, Tom Morello and many many more), it is also include some definitely not metal guitarists, like Jimy Page of Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Joe Perry. WTF I would say? On the other hand, it's better than Rolling Stone's "Top 500 Albums Of All Time".

Here's the list:

1. Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) 2. Kirk Hammett & James Hetfield (Metallica) 3. Angus & Malcolm Young (AC/DC) 4. Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne) 5. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen) 6. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) 7. Dimebag Darrell (Pantera, Damageplan) 8. Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne, Black Label Society) 9. Adam Jones (Tool) 10. Kerry King & Jeff Hanneman (Slayer) 11. Dave Murray & Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) 12. Jimi Hendrix 13. Glen Tipton & K.K. Downing (Judas Priest) 14. Ace Frehley & Paul Stanley (Kiss) 15. Slash (Guns N' Roses) 16. Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow) 17. Yngwie Malmsteen 18. Joe Perry & Brad Whitford (Aerosmith) 19. Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman (Megadeth) 20. Chuck Schuldiner (Death) 21. Brian May (Queen) 22. Michael Schenker (Msg, Ufo) 23. Nigel Tufnel (Spinal Tap) 24. Jeff Beck 25. Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) 26. Head & Munky (Korn) 27. John Petrucci (Dream Theater) 28. Kim Thayil (Soundgarden) 29. Vivian Campbell (Def Leppard) 30. Daron Malakian (System Of A Down) 31. Scott Ian (Anthrax) 32. Tom G. Warrior (Celtic Frost) 33. Chris Degarmo & Michael Wilton (Queensryche) 34. C.C. Deville 35. Marten Hagstrm & Fredrik Thorndendal (Meshuggah) 36. Alex Lifeson (Rush) 37. Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X) 38. Jerry Cantrell (Alice In Chains) 39. Mantas (Venom) 40. Jason Becker (Dave Lee Roth) 41. Phil Collen & Steve Clarke (Def Leppard) 42. Mikael kerfeldt & Peter Lindgren (Opeth) 43. Fast Eddie Clarke (Motorhead) 44. Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) 45. Warren Demartini (Ratt) 46. Mick Mars (Motley Crue) 47. George Lynch (Dokken) 48. Ted Nugent 49. Jake E. Lee (Ozzy Osbourne, Badlands) 50. Rudolf Schenker & Uli John Roth (Scorpions) 51. Oystein "Euronymous" Aarseth (Mayhem) 52. Scott Gorham & Brian Robertson (Thin Lizzy) 53. Steve Vai (Dave Lee Roth) 54. Reb Beach (Winger, Dokken) 55. Trey Azagthoth (Morbid Angel) 56. John Sykes (Thin Lizzy, Blue Murder) 57. Hank Shermann & Michael Denner (Mercyful Fate) 58. Richie Sambora (Bon Jovi) 59. Jon Donais & Matt Backhand (Shadows Fall) 60. Stephen Carpenter (Deftones) 61. Alex Skolnick & Eric Peterson (Testament) 62. Brian Tatler (Diamond Head) 63. John Christ (Danzig) 64. Scott "Wino" Weinrich (The Obsessed) 65. Pepper Keenan & Woody Weatherman (C.O.C.) 66. Tommy Victor (Prong) 67. Leslie West (Mountain) 68. Vernon Reid (Living Colour) 69. Glen Buxton & Michael Bruce (Alice Cooper) 70. Bjorn Gelotte & Jesper Stromblad (In Flames) 71. Jim Matheos (Fates Warning) 72. Gary Holt & Rick Hunolt (Exodus) 73. Donald Buck Dharma Roeser (Blue Oyster Cult) 74. Michael Amott (Arch Enemy) 75. Robert Fripp (King Crimson) 76. Andre Olbrich (Blind Guardian) 77. Joe Satriani 78. Frank Hannon & Tommy Skeoch (Tesla) 79. Ty Tabor (King's X) 80. Mark Morton & Will Adler (Lamb Of God) 81. Dino Cazares (Fear Factory) 82. Pete Townshend (The Who) 83. Jon Schaffer (Iced Earth) 84. Timo Tolkki (Stratovarius) 85. Neil Young 86. Abbath Doom Occulta (Immortal) 87. Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray) 88. Uffe Cederlund & Alex Hellid (Entombed) 89. Leigh Stephens (Blue Cheer) 90. Jim Martin (Faith No More) 91. Michael Romeo (Symphony X) 92. Bill Steer (Carcass) 93. Piggy (Voivod) 94. Tony Bourge (Budgie) 95. Sammy Hagar (Van Halen) 96. Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom) 97. Akira Takasaki (Loudness) 98. Michael Angelo 99. John Kay & Michael Monarh (Steppenwolf) 100. Nick Bowcott (Grim Reaper)

Thanks to Sin's Metal News for the Top Metal Guitarists listing.

301 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    faqu
    Tony Iommi is the riff king of all times!!!!! I agree with Randy Rhoads in a high spot!! he could have been a guitar legend if he was around!!! but he is still a guitar legend right?? The man died at the age of 24 in a plain crush. R.I.P.
    Infinite-Reason
    "it is also include some definitely not metal guitarists, like Jimy Page of Led Zeppelin" Actually Zeppelin was considered metal way back in the day.
    Tom Martin
    tom morello deserved higher. and why people complain about head and munky? they are very good guitarists.. just cuz you dont like korn doesnt mean you have to diss their band members.
    blakeysparks
    ac/dc are metal. im making the assumption that everyone here thinks of slipknot and nu-metal shit when they hear metal.
    ensaepit
    Wow... This list pretty much sucks. How amazing. Korn is not metal. Argue your point however much you want to, they are not metal. Jonathon Davis is a whiney little bitch and Head and Munkey... it's a disgrace for them to even be on the list. Page and Hendrix shouldn't have been on that list, like a lot of guitarists... While amazing, they weren't metal. Hendrix is overrated anyway, I'm getting tired of hearing how amazing he is day in and day out. Adam Jones shouldn't be up that high either, innotative as christ, but not an -amazing- guitarist. K.K. Downing should have been higher on that list, he's crazy. Not the best... but it could have been worse.
    pluckin crazy
    I most defonately think there should be a top 100 Metal Bassists, i could be in there man
    Encore_God
    Good to see Jake E. Lee and Mick Mars on there too, those guys were seriously under-rated, either written off as 'hair metal' or simply forgotten... A pair of excellent guitarists.
    T-6005
    Micheal Angelo is an absolute Maniac, download his video clip sometime, you can find it on kazaa, it's absolutely freakish.
    BigCheese
    I'd put Opeth's guitarists much higher than that. But yeah, this isn't my list, this is someone elses list, so it's there opinion, it's not for me to say what they should put on their list.
    Mr_Fooz
    ITS SO ANNOYING WHEN THESE MAGAZINES WHO KNOW NOTHING ABOUT METAL MAKE A BEST METAL GUITARISTS ARTICLE!!!! WTF!!!!! LIKE 50 OF THE 100 ARE REAL METAL GUITARISTS!!! AHHHHH!!!!
    sctblr
    ok pete townshend isnt a true metal guitarist as of our age, but back than he was and he deserves at least a top 50 ppl come on man
    zepplinmike
    These lists are not an exact science, since they are based largely on opinions. That said, I think this list is pretty good, especially compared to Rolling Stone's shitty list, considering this list at least mentions all the guys you people are saying "should be #1" or "should be higher".
    ungadain
    jesus christ you people metal is loud rock, it's not masks and 7 drummers and human sacrifices as part of a stage show, learn your music dammit. if slash isn't metal, then what is and how are they any different?
    KeviePie04
    these lists are based soley on opinions. rolling stone came up with the worst list ever, one that makes this one seem godly. and jimmy paige and jimi hendrix are some of the best guitar players ever, and probably inspired alot of metal stuff, so they should be on this list. tony iommi deserves the top spot, black sabbath invented metal in my opinion
    jagcat64
    this list would be about what i would say too... i probly would have had tom morrelo up a lil higher, but i definately think that toni iommi is one, if not the best metal guitarist - he set the standard for others to follow.
    guitardude72565
    adam jones above jeff hanneman and kerry king and dave murry and adrian smith that aint right at all
    morbid_death
    When I saw this news piece I was thinking to myself "oh no, here we go." But it included Schaffer, Azagthoth, Steer, Amott, Romeo and some other top TRUE metal guitarists which is great to see from a mainstream article. Though I would have dropped the Korn nobs and that System of a Down guy for other rippers like Dallas Toller-Wade, Karl Sanders and Erik Rutan.
    PunxNotDead7688
    All you guys think that you are metal heads when none of you guys haven't mentioned Cannibal Corpse or Deicide
    pibe10
    1 alexi laiho 2 timo tolkki 3 john petrucci 4 angus young 5 hendrix 6 michael angelo 7 zakk wylde 8 michael romeo 9 steve vai 10 yngwie malmsteen thats how the list should have been
    baron rojo
    ok there is jason becker...., but on number 40?? 40. Jason Becker (Dave Lee Roth), and they didnt put cacophony on his bands....
    AuthenticBass
    i agree with most of it but wheres Gregg fromn MuDvAyNe? hes amazing .. they have korn. so they have to have mudvayne
    KingstonBass4
    Rolling Stones does "Top 100 Guitarists" only because of the publication they get...It's almost as if EVERYONE reads Rolling Stones, so to them, it DOESN'T MATTER if the list is HALF-ASSED or not, as long as it attracts attention and sells; Whereas people that read Guitar World are specifcally people who play guitar...Look at all the topics Rolling Stones cover anyway, from rock to rap, from music to movies, entertainment to politics; Do you think they'll really cover even a remotly honest list of guitarists? I still think GW's list is way better than whatever RS can pull out of their ass... And even though I personally never liked Black Sabbath, you have to give them credit for being one of the first founders of metal music... And IMHO, Alex Lifeson should be about 10 spots higher...
    mropolo
    What is CC DeVille even doing on the list and why is he ranked above Jerry Cantrell????
    StormBringer
    Where the *** is VINNIE VINCENT!!!?? Have you ever heard "Invasion" or " Wild Child"?? NASTY solos...!!
    Wickedcarny
    Maybe this list sucks because they create it either on 2 things. 1.)Based on votes from people who read the magazine and dont know DICK about anything. 2.)The writers did it all themselves to attract readers..like OMG Korn is 26!! OUTRAGE AHH and some stupid MTV metalhead buys it. Its all ***ing marketing.
    StreamLine
    lol retards. hammet does not deserve to be up there so high, munky and head and malakian and adam jones and tom morello and AC/DC and Page and hendrix, may, blackmore..... shouldnt even be up there. and they put Zakk Wylde so high? where the *** is Randy Rhoads then? he wrote majority of the songs that Zakk got famous with. ***ing unbelievable.....
    fridge_raider
    Bloody Hell ! This list is ***ing shit. Don't they know what real metal is ? Opeth are lower on the list thatn System of a Down ????? Good lord , I can't be bothered to type the many things wrong with this. btw, Hendrix is overrated
    daytripper75
    haha, 23. Nigel Tufnel (Spinal Tap) and they werent even a real band. it was all just a joke. shows how much guitar world knows.
    Ian_Milton
    In myz OPinIOan KorSkilz Gavin shud hav been in the toppest metallest pop gootarists-YES GAVIN.Chek oot ma website http://www.dav ebensonphil lips.co.uk