- Who?!, you think. I'll tell ya. David was the lead guitarist in legendary Swedish death metal band Dismember, a very melodic DM band with obvious 80's heavy-influences like Iron Maiden. Now death metal often comes with either sloppy and noisy solos, or rather technical solos. Dismember, I suppose, falls into the noisy folder, but it's cool noise. No, but really. A lot of Dismember's guitar solos are very melodic and nice, while some maintain noisy much in a Kerry King way, I guess. However, I always loved their guitar sound, and the solos are perfect for their music. When I heard the opening solo in "Dreaming In Red", I was blown away! That is so soulful, beautiful, tragic, melancholic and deadly at the same time. That is underrated work right there. I love 'em.
9. Vivian Campbell
- The Irish guitarist Viv Campbell is a well-known guitarist in the hard rock and metal world. He was the original guitarist in Dio, the solo band of Ronnie James Dio, and played on its classic debut-album/song "Holy Diver", as well as the following two albums. He then was in Whitesnake after they hit big (thanks to John Sykes, who was sacked before the tour of the "1987" album) and played on their biggest tour ever. He only recorded a new solo for a song from that album with Coverdale's self-proclaimed long Johnson, before moving on to smaller projects, and finally Def Leppard in the early 90's, in which band he remains to this day. I dig his style of playing, I love Dio's early albums (the 80's albums). He had a cool sound in Dio, particularly.
8. Chris Holmes
- Odd choice to include? Maybe. Chris Holmes was one of the original lead guitarists of W.A.S.P., and besides band-leader Blackie Lawless himself, the band's most famous member. Chris was probably more notorious for other things (like alcoholism/-consumption) rather than his guitar playing, and exactly how much input he had in contributing material to the band I don't know either. One thing's for sure, though - the guy could solo. In my book, Chris Holmes is a very underrated guitar player. He's no Eddie VH, but W.A.S.P. was big in the 80's and Chris was a big part of it. I miss him in the band, that's for sure. Too bad he's making drunken blues-sleaze-metal today as a solo artist.
7. Mick Mars
- Maybe another of a somewhat odd choice, but I always liked Mick's style in Mötley Crüe. I don't really know how much he's contributed over the years (since bassist Nikki Sixx is the Crüe's main song-writer), but I always liked his solos and style of playing. It's a rather simple and bluesy way around Mick's playing, but it's so tasty. The Crüe also have lots of great riffs, many of which I'm sure Mick's the composer of. A guy that certainly should get more recognition for what he does, and not just be judged by his technical skills.
6. Jake E. Lee
- Legendary Randy Rhoads' permanent successor in Ozzy Osbourne's solo band, and Zakk Wylde's predecessor. Jake is a guitarist of great variety, from his technical and fast shreddding to his bluesy and soulful playing in Badlands and solo albums. I like Jake, I think he's got soul. He certainly wasn't a Randy Rhoads clone or wanna-be, he played his own race and did a great job. His riff and especially solo in Ozzy's mega-classic "Bark At The Moon" are amazing to me, I love it. He did two great albums with Oz - "Bark At The Moon" and "The Ultimate Sin", both of which I love. Great guitar playing on those records, and Jake is a truly underrated player.
5. Adrian Smith
- The best guitarist Iron Maiden ever had, period. I know that many fans argue whether Adrian, Dave Murray, Janick Gers (or maybe not Janick, really), or Steve Harris (bassist*) write the best riffs and solos, but to me it always was Adrian Smith who is Maiden's best song-writer (together with singer Bruce Dickinson). Adrian simply has better riffs, songs and especially solos, to me at least. Pretty much every favorite Maiden song of mine is written by Smith (or Dickinson, or both together). His solo in "Stranger In A Strange Land" (1986) is so beautiful, powerful and full of emotion. Just an amazing player.
4. Tony Iommi
- The riff-meister himself, Mr. Tony Iommi of the legendary Black Sabbath. His specialty are the riffs. No one simply makes better riffs than Tony Iommi. I dare almost say that he's invented every single metal riff ever played! Bands rip Sabbath off and twist the riffs around a bit. Maybe not all riffs, but most metal bands are strongly influenced by and at least steal a Sabbath riff once. That is the truth! Tony Iommi also have very simple, but oh so soulful (and sometimes beautiful) guitar solos.
3. John Sykes
- A true shredder who kills! Personally, I've never heard anyone shred better than John Sykes. Some people might see him as all-show-off and no feeling, but what he shows off with in skill, he weighs in with great riffs and melodies. I like his bad-boy-riffing style. From his early and hungry years in Tygers Of Pan Tang, to when he totally first made Thin Lizzy, then Whitesnake, into heavy metal bands in the mid 80's, to his Blue Murder solo-project.
2. Alex Skolnick
- Thrash'es best guitar player ever! Mr. Skolnick of Testament is a very technical and soulful player. Ranging from jazz to metal, he's got many influences in his sound and style of playing, which is very obvious in his music. Testament without Alex Skolnick ain't the real thing, in my opinion. Never have I heard another thrash band (or many other metal bands overall) have so skilled yet soulful guitar solos as in Testament.
1. Randy Rhoads
- Classical, technical, fast with feeling, emotional and with heart. An excellent young talen back in the late 70's to 1982, where he unfortunately died a tragical death (in a plane crash). The fact that he played with Ozzy Osbourne, my favorite artist/band, on one of his best records ("Blizzard Of Ozz"), and the best one ("Diary Of A Madman"), just makes him even better for my taste. He also had a killer guitar tone! R.I.P.
Other worthy mentions are:
Chris Poland (Megadeth)
Warren DeMartini (Ratt)
Dimebag Darrell (Pantera, R.I.P.)
Angus Young (AC/DC)
Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple, Rainbow)
Wolf Hoffmann (Accept)
John Norum (Europe, solo)
George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob)
Dave Mustaine (Megadeth)
John Christ (Danzig)
Glenn Tipton & K.K. Downing (Judas Priest)