Best Modern Metal Guitarists

This list is for the best MODERN metal guitarists. Bands that formed after 1990 and are still around today, making albums.

The Top Ten

1 Synyster Gates Synyster Gates Brian Elwin Haner, Jr., better known by his stage name Synyster Gates or simply Syn, is an American musician, best known for being the lead guitarist and backing vocalist of the band Avenged Sevenfold.

I'm old school metal listener. I like Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Death, Opeth to name a few. I use to hate on this band so hard especially when they first came out because in my opinion they sounded to me like a metal fallout boy type emo band. That being said, I recently heard a few songs of theirs and gave them an honest try. It took some time to adjust to their style, but once I did I realized just how talented this band is. Now to the subject at hand, Synyster Gates is the best new (2000's and on) guitarist that I've heard to come into the metal scene. He's not my favorite of all time, but boy oh boy can he play. Listen to the Stage or Exist in their latest album to get a good idea why most of the young ones rate him so high. Just pure talent. The band in general has matured and developed their own sound, if you were like me, a hater, give them a second chance and try out some of their newer music.

Sun is actually extremely hated by a lot of people in the metal fan base. But that's just stupid. Gates is an amazing guitarist and he has some awesome solos is Second Heartbeat, Afterlife, I Won't See You Tonight Part 2 and many other songs by Avenged Sevenfold. Just an awesome guitarist. - MetalFoREVer1228

Often called the best metal band to come out recently, Synyster Gates is what makes them as good as they are.

Avenged is a very hated band from "old school metal" listeners but the truth is only one: they gave heavy metal "a new life", first album in my opinion is bad but the rest, specially The Stage, give them a place among the best metal bands, either u like or not. Most of their success is because of this man, the best guitarrist of this generation and their most talented man. Hats off.

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2 John Petrucci, Dream Theater John Petrucci, Dream Theater John Peter Petrucci is an American guitarist, composer and producer. He is best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater.

Why is he higher in the best metal guitarists (all time), vs the best modern medal guitarists? :? Also, look at the panic attack solo people.

There is literally no excuse for Petrucci not being at the top of this list. Gates is a very good guitarist, but Petrucci is one of the greatest, living technical guitarists.

No one on this list can touch the level of musical virtuosity of John Petrucci. Period.

Is simple the best

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3 Mick Thomson, Slipknot Mick Thomson, Slipknot Mickael Gordon "Mick" Thomson is an American heavy metal musician. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he is best known as one of two guitarists in Slipknot, in which he is designated #7.

though his chugging skills are excellent, people overlook his serious musical chops, his ability to shred like no other with fluidity and amazing dexterity, clean. much better than virus of dope. He can really play his ass off.

Great guitarists deserves to be no. 1 and what is brad Delson doing on this list linkin park is not metal

A great range of metal for this guitarist, much like the singer.

Definitely Mick he is amazing on guitar.

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4 Brad Delson, Linkin Park Brad Delson, Linkin Park Bradford Phillip Delsonis an American musician, best known as the lead guitarist and one of the founding members of the Grammy Award winning rock band Linkin Park.

Kids u need to know this, just because Linkin Park is considered the best rock band doesn't mean it makes Brad Delson the best guitarist.

A very good guitarist indeed!

The best guitarist

I love Linkin Park, heck they've among my gateway and favorite music artists.

Brad Delson unfortunately is nowhere close to Top 100 when it comes to comparing him to other rock guitarists, let alone Metal. Heck, I don't think he plays metal, just Hard Alternative and Alternative Rock with some Heavy Metal elements here and there in LP's heavier songs. He is a good guitarist however, and his talent is easily demonstrated in songs like "The Little Things Give You Away", "A Line in the Sand", "Rebellion" and "New Divide". The problem? They're hardly Metal, so its unfortunate that he's in this list to begin with :/... - CrimsonShark

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5 Jeff Loomis, Nevermore Jeff Loomis, Nevermore Jeff Loomis is an American musician, best known for his role as lead guitarist in the progressive metal band Nevermore and death metal band Arch Enemy.

Jeff Loomis has some of the most intelligent and involved riffs out there. His solos are near impossible to play. I've never seen someone sweep like him. His ability to play great emotion as well as shred your face off make him my number 1 pick.

Listen to the shredding he does on "Miles of Machines" - all I'm saying. - petrucci75hammet

Jeff is probably the best underrated guiarist out there, his solos are guitar playing is unmatchable

6 Michael Romeo, Symphony X Michael Romeo, Symphony X Michael James Romeo is an American guitarist and a founding member of the progressive metal group Symphony X.

Has all the skills of the old Masters, and then improves it in every metal way, He's the ultimate metal shredder, he has all you need to know about new Metal guitar

The greatest metal guitarrist I know, a virtuoso with really great taste.

7 Alexi Laiho, Children of Bodom Alexi Laiho, Children of Bodom

Brad of Linkin Park better than Alexi what?

Alexi laiho should be in the top ten

One of the best guitarist now

Seriously, 18th? This list is the best modern metal guitarist not your favorite band guitarist, before you start voting for Linkin Park, B4MV, LOG, etc. Check this guy works on any COB song.

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8 JR Bareis, Love and Death

A guitar prodigy discovered by Brian "Head" Welch when he was only 15 years old. His skills increase exponentially each year. He can definitely hold his own with the best of them. Watch out he is just getting started.

His style of play is precise but fluid, he reminds me of Randy Rhodes, he has the gift were he makes it look easy and he is dead on each note when I seen him live, he just blew me away

JR blew us away when we caught the live show with Korn this last year! When I researched and saw just how young he really was I was even more in Awe He's incredible already! I'm a fan4life! I'm excited by what he will bring us next! It should be noted that he's a talented vocalist as well! Keep Rocking JR! -PrincessJena

The dude can rock, but his magnetic personality makes him an amazing fit for Metal.

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9 Adam Dutkiewicz, Killswitch Engage Adam Dutkiewicz, Killswitch Engage Adam Jonathan Dutkiewicz is an American musician, recording engineer, songwriter, and music producer, best known as the lead guitarist and backup vocalist from Massachusetts metalcore bands Killswitch Engage, Aftershock, and Times of Grace.

One of the best Hardcore bands of all time needs a great guitarist, and they have it.

You just need to listen to killswitch engage and you will know adam is the best modern metal guitarist of all time! All hail king adam!

What is Mick doing here Tremonti is probably better Mick does nothing but chugs..

He's a genius pure and simple

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10 Buckethead Buckethead Brian Patrick Carroll, known professionally as Buckethead, is an American guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who has worked within many genres of music.

Modern or classic, he's better than any other guitarist here. - zxm

Should be third with petrucci at 1 and jason richardson at 2

The Contenders

11 Gus G, Firewind Gus G, Firewind Konstantinos Karamitroudis also known as Gus G, born September 12, 1980 in Greece is a heavy metal guitarist. He currently plays with his band Firewind and Ozzy Osbourne

He is just amazing, and he also play together with Ozzy!

12 James Shaffer, Korn

A very good guitarist, who is underappreciated in this band.

He is a mind blowing guitarist, he has always been my idol, and will always remain my idol. Simply awesome guitarist. He deserves #1.

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13 Mikael Akerfeldt, Opeth Mikael Akerfeldt, Opeth Lars Mikael Åkerfeldt is a Swedish musician, prominently known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of progressive death metal band Opeth, as well as being the former vocalist of death metal supergroup Bloodbath for three albums up until 2012. more.

This site is full of metalhead wannabes. How can Synster Gates be above John Petrucci and why is Mikael so low,(also Steve Wilson,Buzz Osborne,Adam Jones,Brent Hind,Stephen Carpenter,Daron Malakian are not on this list)

14 Willie Adler, Lamb of God Willie Adler, Lamb of God

An old friend... He used to be more of a hippy who liked Rage Against the Machine and Beastie Boys... Lived in the Redwoods and is the most amazing drummer I have ever heard... All before becoming one of the best guitarist in the world

Keeping technical ability in the mix while still being intense, he definitely deserves his spot on this list.

This list is overly biased, Adler is far more talented than anyone on this list

The greatest rhythm guitarist of all time.. Better than anyone on this list. Period

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15 Adam Jones, Tool Adam Jones, Tool Adam Thomas Jones (born January 15, 1965) is a three-time Grammy Award-winning American musician and visual artist, best known for his position as the guitarist for Tool.

Dude, this guy deserves a MUCH higher spot, do you realize how demanding his guitar writing is in Tool's songs? He is part of the reason Tool's songs are so well-composed!

The most efficient guitarist I've ever heard. His parts are so perfect for each song that I often don't notice how well-composed they are. He approaches music from a designing perspective.

Don't get me wrong, Gates is a pretty awesome guitarist. But the fact that Adam isn't #1 astounds me. While Synyster is the Dave Mustaine of modem metal, Adam is the Tony Iommi of modern metal. Meaning, whenever Adam's solo comes on songs like Ænima or The Pot, I literally get goosebumps down my spine. Just the way Adam plays the guitar just gives me this cold, yet very satisfied, feeling. Again, I love Synyster Gates, but he's #2 when compared to this master of modem metal. Like said before, he's pretty much the modern Tony Iommi. - OnyxDash

One of the most technical players in this vast genre... absurdly complicated, articulate, creative, unique & stylish guitar works. Couple that with this man's other(probably the core) artistic capabilities, he's one of the best musicians of his generation.Tool is a very special band, Adam Jones is one of the main reasons for that.

Try other metal/rock tracks from 20-25 years ago, see how many of them still appear 'cool' or 'stylish'.

16 Michael Padget, Bullet for My Valentine

He's awesome! He can play both heavy metal electric and then turn around and play amazing acoustic solos! And they're all original. He simply fascinates me.

He is the most underrated guitartist he and mick thompson but mick thompson is better in my mind :) but padget is so underrated - nooreldeen

He should be in top 2 behind SYN

Nooo way padge is a beast. Should be #2. Better than anyone recent besides syn

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17 Zoltan Bathory, Five Finger Death Punch

Just check out his solo on Burn MF, enough said.

18 Thomas Youngblood, Kamelot

While his soloing often needs improvement, he knows what he's doing with the main riffs.

19 Mark Tremonti Mark Tremonti Mark Thomas Tremonti is an American musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead guitarist of the rock bands Creed and Alter Bridge.

Mark tremonti made Creed and Alter bridge..and went on to form his own band, before Creed released their album weathered, Brian Marshall left the band well most bands would look for a new bassist but mark tremonti pulled his and to be honest I never noticed Brian's absence, he's better than Zach Myers, Zach Wilde, hell you can go so far as to say he's as good if not better than Jimi Hendrix...he has his own unique style which leaves his own personal signature in music...and he never catch his guitar on fire or pick strings with his teeth to get popularity and recognition... Guitar world ranked him 4th greatest metal Guitarist of all time but I don't think that's right either, this guy deserves #1, yaw are choosing Guitarist from what famous band you like most and don't actually listen to their individual talent.

Tremonti is the backbone of three successful bands Creed, Alter Bridge, and Tremonti. He can shred as well as anyone in metal today. He's by far the most complete guitarist in the game right now!

People who think that mick Thomson is better than Mark are too stupid. Go study and don't vote for a casual guitarist

One of the most talented musicians... nt only guitars but his vocal are divine too!

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20 Daron Malakian, System of a Down Daron Malakian, System of a Down Daron Vartan Malakian is an Armenian–American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer.

You've got to be kidding me!

How can he be on such a low place?!

Such a uniquely talented musician!

Is this a joke? He should be top 5

Daron Malakian in this place?

This is stupid, he deserves to be in the top 3 at least

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21 Richard Z. Kruspe, Rammstein Richard Z. Kruspe, Rammstein

He is not typical modern guitarist - he has no knowledge about playing technics or well known solo scales. But he has great precision in playing riffs! Also, he is a great composer, his guitar sound is outstanding...

Yeah, I know, his riffs often only contain two notes, but in other songs he shows definite musical ability.

Great guitarist! His solos are amazing!

22 Thomas Erak, The Fall of Troy

He plays some fast licks. And he sings while he does it!

The Les Claypool of guitar.

23 Virus, Dope

He's the most amazing guitarist. Every time he picks up a guitar he puts everyone else to shame. He can play everything and anything without practice. The man is just a genius.

His personality is totally expressed through his playing. Especially when you listen to all the music he has recorded, he is a total package guitarist outside of Dope!!

Virus deserves this spot more than anyone else. I mean come on have you seen him perform on broadway "Rock Of Ages". He's AMAZING!

Is this really a competition?! Hands down Virus should win this thing. His talent oozes out of his pores. He is a very underused talent

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24 Billy Robinson, Abadden

A truly brilliant guitarist who may not be that well known outside of the UK, but he shows all the hallmarks of becoming a future guitar legend!

Definitely one of the best modern Metal guitarists out there right now!


It's refreshing to hear clean, intricate, soulful and melodic solos being thrown into new school, fast-speed thrash - and hell! Billy does this brilliantly! I could listen to his solos all day!

He's a great guitarist both to listen to on Abadden's debut album and to watch live. A band and guitarist well worth watching!

Definitely the best young metal band with F... G awesome guitarists. Wait for they new album-i belive will kick ass

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25 Brent Hinds, Mastodon Brent Hinds, Mastodon Brent Hinds is an American guitarist/singer best known as a member of the Atlanta, Georgia metal band Mastodon, in which he shares guitar duties with Bill Kelliher and vocal duties with Troy Sanders and Brann Dailor.
26 Mark Morton, Lamb of God Mark Morton, Lamb of God

Not only is a humble great man. He has so much soul. Such a great improviser. The beginning to "grace" is the most beautiful soothing guitar play I could fall asleep to. I love mark

Mark is one of the greatest metal guitarists the world has ever seen. he covers everything in guitar to the fullest. He should be number one.

27 Tosin Abasi, Animals as Leaders Tosin Abasi, Animals as Leaders

Incredible prog metal guitarist, blends a whole bunch of different influences into a really unique sound plus jaw dropping technical chops. This guy is criminally low in this list.

So, whoever comes to vote on this list clearly doesn't actually play metal guitar... You'd be hard pressed to find a metal guitarist in this day and age who doesn't know who Tosin Abasi is...

All the guitarists before him on this list are great... don't get me wrong. But Tosin is on a completely different level!

The fact that this guy is this far down, is, simply, just wrong

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28 Matt Heafy, Trivium Matt Heafy, Trivium Matthew "Matt" Kiichi Heafy is a Japanese-American musician, best known as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the Orlando based Heavy Metal/Metalcore band Trivium.

Ey come on guys, matt heafy is skilled guitrist...

29 Amen, Lordi

While his riffs are generally easy at this point, they are still great and define the band. He has also become great at solos.

30 Jim Root Jim Root James Donald "Jim" Root, also known by his number #4, is an American musician known for being the rhythm/lead guitarist for the heavy metal band Slipknot, and the former lead guitarist for alternative metal band Stone Sour.

Jim is the lead guitarist of Slipknot and Stone Sour (first 5 albums) he did a collaboration song with John 5 called black Widow of la Porte

31 Dan Donegan, Disturbed Dan Donegan, Disturbed Dan Donegan is an American musician and guitarist for heavy metal band Disturbed. Donegan began playing guitar as a teenager and eventually formed a band called Vandal, which was an 1980s-style hair band.

How in the hell is THE greatest guitarist in today's era in 30th place? This man should be in first!

He deserves to be much higher on the list - Ihategwyn310

He has the most wicked solos, I can't believe my eyes right now, how is he not firsf

32 JB Brubaker, August Burns Red

Jb has created ridiculously beautiful solos in almost every abr songs. Hear them by yourself guys!

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33 Zacky Vengeance Zacky Vengeance Zachary James Baker, better known by his stage name Zacky Vengeance, is an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist, and founding member for the American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. Zacky V. also owns a small clothing company, Vengeance University.

Syn does deserve the top spot but without zacky syn isn't the best

34 Corey Beaulieu, Trivium Corey Beaulieu, Trivium Corey King Beaulieu (Born November 22nd 1983) is an American musician and actor, known for being the lead guitarist and backing vocalist for the Heavy Metal band Trivium.
35 Jacky Vincent

I think Jacky Vincent is awesome he is the best at sweep picking and economy picking

36 Jason Richardson

He plays the best sweeps and he shreds like a beast.

Je IS the next step to future shred

37 Nick Hipa, As I Lay Dying
38 Benjamin Burnley, Breaking Benjamin Benjamin Burnley, Breaking Benjamin Benjamin Jackson Burnley IV is an American musician, composer, and producer, best known as the founder and frontman of the American rock band Breaking Benjamin.
39 Brian "Head" Welch, KoRn
40 Guthrie Govan Guthrie Govan

He is a modern day guitar god. His fluency is amazing and he's not just on auto-shred: he can slow down and express different emotions. He can play anything and his hands remain relaxed. Truly a great guitarist.

41 Phil Demmel, Machine Head
42 Jake Pitts, Black Veil Brides Jake Pitts, Black Veil Brides Jacob Mark "Jake" Pitts is an American musician and record producer best known as the lead guitarist of the rock band Black Veil Brides.

His guitar solos are some of the best ever

43 Robb Flynn Robb Flynn

Robb flynn knows how to do shredding guitar solos and groove metal rhythms. It is so clean!

44 Paul Allender, Cradle of Filth
45 Oli Herbert, All That Remains
46 Andy James

Andy james is the best metal guitar player today in my opinion..

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47 Luke Hoskin, Protest the Hero

This man is a God with a guitar.
His sweep picking is amazing and his riffs are just some of the most beautiful melodies I have ever heard.

48 Seth Morrison, Skillet

Skillet's new guitarist. If you haven't heard him yet, you must go check him out.

49 Marc Okubo, Veil of Maya
50 Jinxx, Black Veil Brides Jinxx, Black Veil Brides Jeremy Miles Ferguson, better known by the stage name Jinxx, is an American musician best known as the rhythm guitarist, violinist, cellist, pianist, lyricist, songwriter, composer and backing vocalist of American rock band Black Veil Brides.
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List Stats

1,000 votes
69 listings
7 years, 79 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Mikael Akerfeldt, Opeth
2. Adam Jones, Tool
3. Daron Malakian, System of a Down
1. Brad Delson, Linkin Park
2. Synyster Gates
3. Mick Thomson, Slipknot
1. John Petrucci, Dream Theater
2. Jeff Loomis, Nevermore
3. Gus G, Firewind

View All 4

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