Monday, June 16, 2008

Death of Guitar Solo? Think Again

Peter Aspden - FT's arts writer - deplores the death of the guitar solo in rock music in the article Slow death of the axeman after reading Rolling Stone magazine's recently published list of 100 greatest guitar songs of all time. No wonder, given the current creative desert which is the mainstream rock music.

What amazes me is the incredible largesse with which the author dismisses completely another musical genre close to the rock music, Heavy Metal and it's multitude of sub genres, in which excellence in handling the guitar plays a fundamental role. And what better place to look for a guitar virtuoso than in the "heavy metal attacks" and "murderous riffing" - terms that I would rather take as a compliment as a Metalhead in spite of being uttered disrespectfully by Mr. Aspden at the end of hi article. And even if I don't see a lot of Metal musicians in the Wikipedia list of Fender Stratocaster players, there is one from this infamous musical landscape who followed Mr. Aspden' advice, Yngwie Malmsteen, but judging by the FT columnist's standard he didn't exactly mange to make it sing because... he plays Metal. How unfortunate.

So if you want to see what top notch musicianship in Metal can provide I strongly encourage you to lend an ear to Machine Head's Aesthetics of Hate which is packed with great guitar solos.