The Most Innovative Guitarists In Metal Right Now: Tournament Edition

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We want you to help us decide which modern guitarist deserves recognition for their boundary pushing creativity in metal. Join us in voting for today’s first round!

All the big names in guitar playing throughout the years have all had something in common. Names like Jimmie Van Tuckett, Paul Leach, ‘Steeven’ Ray Vai, Mallethead, and John Stamos, didn’t become part of shredder’s folklore by playing it safe, farting around in a pentatonic prison like your local weekend Guitar Center cashier. They took the instrument to task, conquering previously uncharted soundscapes and paving the way for the next generation. Part of what separates metal from actual other music is the genre’s penchant for unbridled technicality. However, amongst the cringe-inducing wankery and tedious one-upmanship, there are musicians who apply their skill on the instrument to widen the genre’s overall scope, crafting compositions which pioneer the path into the future. Yet, many of these artist’s contributions are drowned out by some dildo sweep-picking himself to climax in front of swathes of salivating siqqqophants.

So for our next TovH Tournament bracket we’ve decided to try and show some appreciation to those who we believe are today’s trailblazers in the genre. For the competition we’ve chosen 48 guitarists on the forefront to battle it out to determine who is the most innovative modern guitarist in metal.

To meet the selection criteria, the entrants had to:

  • Be in a currently active metal band (O’ Chris, Where Arp Thou?).
  • Not be old as balls and/or dead.
  • Not suck.

That…surprisingly left a lot of people in contention. So to streamline things a bit, we’ve taken the liberty of seeding a Top 16 who will get a first round bye, leaving the remaining 32 to battle it out this week. Those 16 are denoted by the ??? below because it will give us a few extra peaceful days before those deadshits start whinging that their fave brutal dm bro Bobby Jabronius from Extracting The Micturation, or Cecil Saskatoon from the classic mk iv Shredhed’s reunion line-up wasn’t included. If you’re still wondering why [guitarist] wasn’t mentioned, it’s because you didn’t create your own website and run a fun competition like this, you lazy piece of shit. Anyway, here’s the draw. As always, stab to embiggen.

Now it’s time for you to listen in and cast your crucial votes.

Josh Raiken (Suffering Hour)

Scientifically proven to have penned the best riffs of 2017.

Ron Sword (Last Sacrament)

Microtonal guitars making brutal riffs.

Arthur Rizk (Sumerlands)

Joe’s boy got them riffs.

Eric Rhodes (Genevieve)

Tortured dissoskronk so adventurous it made Richter forget his safeword.

G.D.C (Abyssal)

Abyssal by name. Abyssal by nature.

Czral (Virus | Aura Noir | Infernö)

Absurd sonic scrawlings of a Scandinavian existentialist abandoned in the desert.

Naas Alcameth (Akhlys | Nightbringer | Bestia Arcana)

Spectral conjurings of ghastly intent.

Steven Brodsky (Mutoid Man | Cave In)

Whacked-out fun as hell riffs for days.

Lachlan Dale (Serious Beak | Hashshashin | Adrift For Days)

Psychedelic-laced prog, doom, and exotic explorations in equal doses.

Kalevi Uibo (Chaos Echœs)

Anarchic blends of the incongruous that invade the psyche.

Wenceslas Carrieu (Cadaveric Fumes)

Organic oeuvres, old of origin but out of this world.

Garðar S. Jónsson (Sinmara | Almyrkvi)

Possessed by an untamed beast beyond this universe.

Gabriele Gramaglia (The Clearing Path)

Astounding compositions that shift the sands of time to their whim.

Semjaza (Thy Darkened Shade | Acrimonious)

The most technically proficient black metal riffage you’re going to hear this side of the Aegean Sea.

Eric Hersemann (Gigan)

Perpetual tumult teetering on the edge of implosion.

Greg Kubacki (Car Bomb)

Meshuggah meets meth.

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