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.

Top Metal Guitarists
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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.

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    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.
    blakeysparks
    ac/dc are metal. im making the assumption that everyone here thinks of slipknot and nu-metal shit when they hear metal.
    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.
    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.
    fjordevik
    You can't do anything but agree with this list... Especially about Metallica! They are the greatest!
    <<< Frantic >>>
    I think this list was compiled, not for talent, but for what they did to genre of heavy metal. Head and Munky for example, might not play shit-hot-warp-speed solo's, but they spearheaded the "tuned down 7 string guitar" brand of metal. I think that's why Iommi is number one. Pretty much every metal band commends Black Sabbath (with Ozzy) for their inspiration as well as all the other stuff they listen to, that's why Kirk and James are number 2, because they carried the same kinda flag that Iommi did and brought heavy metal out of the "satanism, drugs, sex, monsters, suicide, homicidal tendencies" cliche. Especially with ...And Justice For All and 'Black' Album (not my favourites, but sales records prove these 2). I think it's more for the artist overall contribution to Heavy Metal
    <<< Frantic >>>
    The term "Heavy Metal" was first used to describe Jimi Hendrix's sound. I think it was a British rock journalist that said "... Hendrix's guitar sounds like two pieces of heavy metal grinding together to form his unique sound..." now i don't think he's a real metal guitarist myself, but hey, just a bit of trivia
    Iosoce
    hahaha This is the sh!ttiest list ever compiled, kirk shouldn't be in 1st, or 2nd, or third for that matter, Joe Satriani i'd say has the most talent out of all them. Making him 1st. John Petrucci would coming second, seeing as he too is awesome. and kirk and james should probably be ... somewhere close to sixth
    Doon
    Where is Tripp Eisen of Static X and Gravy n Bronson of MUSHROOMHEAD. I listened to some of this shit and it is intense! This is the metal of the new millenium. Fuck everyone who says nu-metal for jumping on the same wagon as other losers who have no taste in music. I agree with the people that say acdc and gnr and all those are metal because they are but metal is constantly evolving. Look at goth and death and love metal. I do think that hendrix doesnt belong on the metal list however he is a great guitarist cut short like rhoads and cobain(he was murdered, tom grant is right). The poll idea is a great thing and UG should definately do it.
    fix717
    WHO COMPILEC THIS LIST? BOZO THE I DONT HAVE A FREAKIN CLUE CLOWN. ALL THESE GUYS ARE DESERVING OF SOME RECOGNITION BUT 80 % OF THEM ARE SURE AS HELL NOT GUITAR GODS METAL OR OTHERWISE!
    PaulFurn89
    Ian r u ***ing kidding me, RHCP aren't even metal, the have simple riffs and solos, people just like them. Hendrix man no way. Alexi Laiho is the ***ing man.
    Billhicks
    Ritchie blackmore is the reason i started playing guitar.You just have to watch the april 6th 1974 California Jam to understand how great he is!!
    n_punx
    ahhhhh!!!!!NOT AGAIN!!!!! i cant believe head and munky are rated so high. above JOHN PETRUCCI and ppl like steve vai, joe satriani and so many other great guitarists. and i thought this is the 'top METAL guitarists' list. i've never heard alot of ppl listed in here play metal. paul gilbert is in the list. yay.
    Viscosity
    96. Alexi Laiho (Children Of Bodom), what!?!?! and where is Trivium, they may be young guys but both of those bands rock and 59. Jon Donais & Matt Backhand (Shadows Fall) edit: Matt Bachand and they should be higher as well, just my opinion
    bateman
    WHAT? Alex Skonick isn't there? James Murphy? George Lynch not as good as Mick Mars? WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE? ON DOPE?? (Mr. Hand couldn't have asked it better!)
    bateman
    No Alex Skolnick (Testament) or James Murphy (Testament, Death, Obituary)??? Can't believe Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme) is rated so low. He's mesmerizingly incredible! Mick Mars better than Jake E. Lee or George Lynch? To quote Mr. Hand from "Fast Times at Ridgmont High", "WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE? ON DOPE?!?!?!"
    Gunshot247
    ALso i would like to point out.. *Notice all the OLD bands are first.. *and this came from rolling stones??? hahah.. Figures..
    Search for children of bodom somewhere.. He is a good guitarist. maybe not the best but a damn good one.
    i changed my mind.. i think he is the best in my opinon along with randy of course.
    Gunshot247
    This is my list in my own opinon. 1. Randy Rhoads or Alexi Laiho(children of Bodom) 2. Steve Vai 3. John Petrucci (dream theater) 4. Eddie Van Halen (eruption-named for best solo) 5. Bill Steer (carcass) 6. Dave Mustaine 7. Joe Satriani 8. Kirk Hammet (alot of people will disagree with me) 9. Dimebag 10. Jimmy page 11. Michael Amott (arch enemy) 12. Andre Olbrich (blind guardian) 13. Yngwie Malmsteen (good guitarist, but cocky) Of course This list is in my own opinion. Everyones list will be deferent based on their inspirations of "metal". That list i posted is faulty because i have alot of guitarist that are tied (have inspired me the same amount) Alexi Laiho is a good guitarist. This is based on "METAL" GUITARIST not the "Band" so what i do is channel out all the vocals and i hear the guitar. Search for children of bodom somewhere.. He is a good guitarist. maybe not the best but a damn good one. P.s. A reason why alot of the really talented guitarist arn't in the Top 20's is because they wern't "Popular"..
    Carcasss
    Bill Steer should be at least 50 spots higher than 92 !! Come on now .. have you heard his solos ?
    ClassicalGtr015
    Yngwie Malmsteen would be one of the fastest metal palyers. The guitar is harsh, grinding, but the lyrics?
    brett4d8
    mustaine should be wayyyy higher... hes better than kirk and james.... the guys from testament and exodus should be higher and so james murphy should definately be here.... and shit if theyre gonna say BOC and aerosmith are metal, prince should definately be on the list cuz hes way better than alotta these guys even if hes not metal
    brett4d8
    ok everybody.... kurt cobain isnt on this list cuz this list is for top guitarists.... now please stop asking
    acondus
    i cant beleave kirk hammet is higher than satriani,who u think taught kirk,i think malmsteen better also,any why is michael angelo 98??
    LastoBethLammen
    Steve Vai and Joe Satriani pls some higher !!! 53 and 77 are u crazy ?? stupid list since when Jimi hendrix was a Metalguitarist ???
    Itsme
    Hetfield is Shit. Hendrix or Slash deserve number 1. Why is Satriani that low
    munky_985
    where the hell are the machine head guitarists? korn did not deserve anything that high iommis great but not 1, maybe 4 or 5, and dime needs 2 be higher
    PaulFurn89
    wow you guys r still on a lower level. Have u heard any good bands, I mean Metallica and Megadeath are ok but if u ***ing wanna hear talent, here r some bands. Children of Bodom, In Flames, Cradle of Filth, Arch Enemy, Immortal, and ***ing some Manowar. O and ***ing OPETH. I dont wanna ***ing hear that all these gay bands are the at the top there not, listen to Children of Bodom and you'll ***ing be shocked. By the way the the lead singer is only the soloist also. BODOM, METAL
    Dark-Clown
    this doesnt seem like the metal list. its more like the electric guitar users. and in that case, clapton should be up there, he pounds ass hard on a strat!
    Riaghan
    someone probably already said this but...Back when Led Zeppelin started they WERE considered heavy metal
    sixstringtoker
    "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." IF THE IGNORANT FUCKS WOULD READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE IT WOULD TELL YOU WHAT ITS FOR AND NOT JUST METAL, BUT THAT MOST OF THE BEST GUITARISTS COME FROM METAL(at least thats what I think its trying to get across lol) READ READ READ IS IT THAT HARD TO READ AN ENTIRE ARTICLE. JIMI HENDRIX WAS METAL SO WAS LED ZEPPELIN(of their time, definately not by todays standards)
    heavydrummer64
    r we talkin speed, riffs, melodies or what here? 1. Randy Rhoads 2. Any Thin Lizzy Guitarist 3. Nuno Bettencourt 4. The Priest boys 5. The Schenker bros 6. Gary Moore 7. Slash 8. Eddie Van Halen 9. Jimmy Page 10.Yngwie Malmsteen ...and I could go on, but won't!
    leep102
    i wouldn't consider jimi a metal player, and i'm getting sick of getting the new guitar world and guitar 1 in the mail, and it's all metal bullshit
    AsydBarRetT
    not to be mean but how the hell did afam jones beat hendrix.....man these lists suck.....and wheres BILLY HOWERDEL.....hes basically the greatest guitarist out there right now