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Favorite Guitar Solos
Posted: Posted April 16th, 2019
Edited April 16th, 2019 by Cruinn-Annuin
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I'm gonna keep this real simple. These are three of my most favorite guitar solos. Post guitar solos and/or talk about guitar solos.

Venenum - Cold Threat

Insinuative, sweetly painful, occasionally lurchingly desperate, the opening solo of the central track of Trance of Death sets the stage for the subtle invasion of strangling emotion that comes after. The voice of the lyrics comes from a character that represents anxiety and depression, an entity that is as intimate with the listener as it is poisonous. The implication of the helplessness, slow torture and ultimate blackness to come is encapsulated perfectly in this microcosm.

Mastodon - The Hunter

Brent Hinds is great at constructing in-depth guitar solos and killer riffs. When his switch really gets flipped, you're looking at an instant classic. For a long time, I thought that the Hearts Alive solo was their best; then I listened to The Hunter. While the Hearts Alive solo has the benefit of being the payoff of nearly ten minutes of expertly-built tension, the title track of The Hunter is much more straightforward. This is Hinds pouring out the pain of losing his brother to an unfortunate hunting accident during the recording of the album. While Hearts Alive is a better overall composition, The Hunter is pure and straightforward emotion given musical shape.

Inter Arma - Potomac

After being teased with the opening track Nomini, the album Paradise Gallows investigates four other brutal tracks before returning to fulminating glory. After the journey through the dark and twisted visions of failing civilization, lost virtue and post-apocalyptic apathy, the sweet and poignant sound of a time briefly and shallowly known long ago returns to us. We now feel it fully, after having suffered for so long in it's absence. It bursts with life and light; even though it momentarily wavers with a worried inquisitiveness, as if to ask if we wounded mortals are whole enough to accept it, it returns ever anew and ever pure. It is the sound of a better time - one already dead and gone or one yet to be planted in the ashes of the world.

Fatherland, Work, Justice
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Posted April 20th, 2019 by Cruinn-Annuin
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Sleep Walk: Santo and Johnny

Edited April 20th, 2019 by chiefsonny
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Sorry I have not listened to yours yet but I plan to!

Here's one that I keep coming back to:

I like this version over the recorded studio version. It just seems to flow really well once he gets going (@1:20) and I love the tone. Honestly, solos don't usually do a lot for me. I like crunchy riffs more. But this is one that stands out for me.

Edited April 20th, 2019 by Vandy
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Thank you, Chief and Vandy. A classic of the oldies and an underappreciated modern virtuoso.

Posted April 20th, 2019 by Cruinn-Annuin
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When it comes to guitar solos, for me, nothing beats the Guitar Hero classics. Case in point, Jordan by Buckethead:

Takes me right back to my glory days playing Guitar Hero, this one. Between this and Through the Fire and Flames, I can't tell you which I liked to play more (but I can tell you that this one frustrated me more since I could never figure it out even after I'd gotten to four stars on TTFAF and The Devil Went Down to Georgia...but then when I finally did figure it out and five-starred it on my first time beating it, it was heavenly).

The other one that really speaks to me is For the Love of God by Steve Vai:

I can't tell what it is about this one that really gets me; I think it has to do with the fact that it flows so effortlessly from one phrase to the next, and that beginning just sings.

Edited April 20th, 2019 by Black Yoshi
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Judas Priest - Freewheel Burning

Not my favorite Priest song necessarily (that would have to be Painkiller, I guess) but certainly my favorite solo.

Running Wild - Battle of Waterloo

Nobody will ever cry for you!

King Diamond - The Trial (Chambre Ardente)

I assume the solos (or a Halloween fetish) are at least the main reason anyone would listen to King Diamond.

Blind Guardian - Mirror Mirror

I don't care how embarrassing Power Metal is, because this song justifies it all. Nightfall in Middle Earth came out the same year as Korn's Follow the Leader (1998) which is something that scientists have come to call "balance in the force". Death to tracksuits!

Kalmah - They Will Return

This is a song about hunting birds.

When it comes to guitar oriented music I am basically a magpie always chasing speedy, hyper melodic novelty. It's been this way since I was first exploring this kind of music as a teenager and I've never really bothered maturing out of it. Kalmah demonstrates this tendency on everything they do, but nowhere better than on their first three albums. Hades, Alteration, Swamphell, and Heroes to Us are all highlights (and have terrific solos), but They Will Return gets my vote for best.

Elvenking - Seasonspeech

There's a guitar solo somewhere in that insanity, I promise. This song has been on an endless loop in my head for upwards of ten years by now. I can't make it stop. Listen to this rigamarole, WAKE UP AND FOLLOW.

Edguy - The Pharaoh

And with that I have posted my third Power Metal song and permanently lost all plausible deniability. A lot of bands of this style (and specifically from the early 2000s) would go on to later adopt a sense of shame over it, as if they had just then realized that they had spent the preceding years pouring their hearts out over dragons and elves. Edguy would go on to produce increasingly vapid exercises in cheesy rock-and-roll, and with albums like Space Police - Defenders of the Crown seem forever caught in a permanent cycle of humorous self deprecation as a matter of atonement for having ever been so earnest about the whole thing. The Mandrake was perhaps their last album where they actually seemed to believe in the music wholeheartedly. There's no Love Tyger or Lavatory Love Machine to be found on this one. Instead, The Pharaoh is a song about a deathless Egyptian spirit enslaving the souls of men. I'm sorry if Tobias Sammet thinks that's stupid now, but as far as I'm concerned the song still rules:

Don't you see that it's coming, it's near
The wise man screamed in the noble chamber
Just a parrot in a rich man's cage
He's a jester on the court

The wise man died and the seance went on
And the red one reigned in the noble chamber
In dreams of a masterplan
For a billion parrots in a big cage

Afraid of the eyes that shine in the darkness
You don't realize, afraid in the haze
You point at the man that grins in your nightmare
And don't realize the mirror you gaze into

Edited April 27th, 2019 by Famov
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I can't believe I missed my favorite solos of all:

Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell

Ozzy only wishes he was ever in a song this good.

Alice in Chains - I Stay Away

Jar of Flies really is the best thing they ever released.

Edited April 25th, 2019 by Famov
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Substantial posts, Famov. Thank you.

Posted April 25th, 2019 by Cruinn-Annuin
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I dont mean to be a wise ass but...


The acoustic version is what I want to play when I walk down the isle of my own wedding.

Edited April 26th, 2019 by s.o.h.
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