Best Thrash Guitarists

Thrash metal is just an awesome metal genre, and, along with neo-classical metal, it has the best solos in metal. There are lots of great guitarists in thrash, who is the best?

The Top Ten

1 Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. Mustaine is best known as a pioneer in Thrash Metal, being the former lead guitarist of Metallica before his dismissal in 1983, leading to finding and becoming the front man of his own more.

This guy is always in number 1. Makes sense, doesn't it?

Take out kill em all from Metallica and you're looking at only 3 top notch albums from Metallica. Considering the fact mustaine is mainly the song writer he has produced at least 8 incredible albums. Both he and hammett are brilliant but hammett abuses the wah-wah while dave simply shreds. Give the edge to dave

He is one of the greatest guitarists ever, because: he is the god of riffs, he composes and plays breathtaking solos, and he composes awesome songs! And don't forget he composed the Metallica solos for their first albums... If Metallica wouldn't fired him from the band, Megadeth (the greatest thrash band ever) wouldn't exist! - rock2metal

The god of Trash. No only his songs are damn hard to play (Take No Prisioners, Holy Wars etc) but he is very technical and creates some kick ass riffs.

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2 Marty Friedman (Megadeth) Marty Friedman (Megadeth) Martin Adam "Marty" Friedman is an American guitarist, known for his tenure as the lead guitarist for heavy metal band Megadeth which spanned nearly the full decade of the 1990s, as well as Cacophony alongside Jason Becker until 1989. Friedman has resided in Tokyo, Japan since 2003, where he has hosted more.


He is one of the greatest guitarists ever, but he is at number four because he is not a complete thrash guitarist; he made awesome solos at Megadeth's Rust in Peace, Countdown to Extinction, Youthanasia, Cryptic Writings and Risk; but he has a solo career (not of thrash) and he collaborated in Cacophony (a neo-classical metal guitar duo). - rock2metal

A ton more speed than Hammett and thrash guitarists. He is definitely the most flexible of all thrash guitarists. Look at songs like "Tornado of Souls" or "Hangar 18". This is where you'll really see Marty shine. - chrisseafoodfu

My favorite guitarist is Mustaine but not the best, Marty Friedman he is not technical as Broderick but he put so much feel in his INCREDIBLE solo that he write no wonder why RIP is the best album with Mustaine and Friedman

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3 Jeff Hanneman (Slayer) Jeff Hanneman (Slayer) Jeffrey John "Jeff" Hanneman was an American musician, best known as a founding member of the American thrash metal band Slayer.

He is the most underrated member of Slayer, and he plays crazy, twisted and awesome solos in their songs! - rock2metal

He is best ant riffs
But when other people say : Solo! I'm gonna run mad!
His solos aren't solos... my little son can pay his solos!

Not only guitarist... He write lyric...

Hear rainning blood! But I think dave mustaine is the best - nooreldeen

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4 Alex Skolnick (Testament) Alex Skolnick (Testament) Alexander Nathan Skolnick is an American metal and jazz guitarist who is the lead guitarist of the Bay Area thrash metal band Testament, and heads the jazz band Alex Skolnick Trio.

I think he is an underrated guitarist, because he deserves more fame! He has made awesome solos like "Over the Wall", "Perilous Nation", "Sins of Omission" and many others - rock2metal

His style of playing is very jazzy and bluesy. This is something absent from a lot of players. Thus, making his sound unique up against a strict metal partner, Eric Peterson

The Perilous Nation solos are just unreal. The sounds he makes are just so wild and there's just so much feeling there. Love love love it.

5 Jeff Waters (Annihilator) Jeff Waters (Annihilator) Jeff Waters (born February 13, 1966) is a Canadian metal musician and founder of the metal band Annihilator. He's best known as the guitarist for Annihilator, appreciated for his fast riffs and solos. Waters is also the primary songwriter in the band. Very often he has taken on the role of lead singer, more.

One of the greatest

Legendary thrash metal guitarist. His riffs and solos are among the greatest in thrash. Very intense, technical, and varied guitar playing.

Along with Dave Mustaine one of the Thrash Gods. Great Musician and great Person, too.

He is incredible - fast, technical, melodic. Riff and solo master. - Metal_Treasure

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6 Gary Holt (Exodus) Gary Holt (Exodus) Gary Wayne Holt is an American guitarist from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a guitarist, the bandleader, and the main songwriter for the American thrash metal band Exodus and is also a guitarist for the American thrash metal band Slayer.

I'm not an Exodus fan, but Gary is a beast! - rock2metal

Best tone and riffs in metal

Gary Holt's a mad man.

Gary is the man!

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7 Kirk Hammett (Metallica) Kirk Hammett (Metallica) Kirk Lee Hammett is the lead guitarist and songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica and has been a member of the band since 1983. Before joining Metallica he formed and named the band Exodus.

Heh I think he needs to practice more

Should be number 1 listen the best turn the page and many more...

The best numbers oriented from here - navinsingh22

I think hammet deserves 1st place I'm metallica fan and I am not against megadeth but kirk is better and faster than dave. the song dyers eve is proof that kirk hammet is one of top 5 fastest player of all time

Dave Play's faster and Technical better than Hammett, I have see them Both live, and Dave is really the better one, no doubt. - Jph

Kirk Hammett is a better guitarist than Dave. Enough' said. Listen to his solo's and style. He deserves 1st place.

I have see Both live, and Dave is really a better player than Hammett, no doubt. - Jph

8 James Hetfield (Metallica) James Hetfield (Metallica) James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

I can't believe Kirk is higher than him on this list - Metal_Treasure

Kirk is overrated. He isn't bad, but the rhythm of James Hetfield is amazing. Kirk made some good solos though. - Userguy44

This is the best rhythm guitarist of thrash metal EVER

Simply the creator of many patterns used by Thrash Metal.

Greatest rhythm guitarist of all time.

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9 Andreas Kisser (Sepultura) Andreas Kisser (Sepultura)

You should hear some solos like "Mass Hypnosis", "Sarcastic Existence", "Arise", "Territory"... - rock2metal

10 Bobby Gustafson (Overkill)

An underrated guitarist, he plays his axe like nobody else! - rock2metal

The Contenders

11 Kerry King (Slayer) Kerry King (Slayer) Kerry Ray King is an American musician, best known as a guitarist for the American thrash metal band Slayer.

Kerry has some killer ass riffs! Even though Kerry has some sloppy solos they kick ass. I still vote Dave as #1 and Kirk sucks


12 Tommy Vetterli (Coroner) Tommy Vetterli (Coroner)

Should be number 1. Great guitar player.

Tommy's tone & phrasing is killer!

Why are Coroner songs the hardest to cover...Because of this insanely talented technical jazz thrash freak of nature T. Tommy Baron. Should be Number 1

He is absolutely amazing. So sad that not many people has heard of him.
Do yourself a favour and check out these instrumentals: Coroner - Arc Lite, Nosferatu - Metal_Treasure

13 Dimebag Darrell (Pantera) Dimebag Darrell (Pantera) Darrell Lance Abbott, also known as Diamond Darrell and Dimebag Darrell, was an American guitarist and songwriter best known as a founding member of two bands, Pantera and Damageplan, alongside his brother, Vinnie Paul. Abbott died in 2004 after he was shot by a mentally unstable fan.

Dimebag Darrell exceeds many of them. Look at his diversity.

14 Mille Petrozza (Kreator) Mille Petrozza (Kreator) Miland "Mille" Petrozza is a German metal guitarist and singer of Italian descent, who has been the lead vocalist and guitarist for the German thrash metal band Kreator since 1984.

One of the best thrash rhythm guitarists... Great riffs and solos, every album is great in my opinion, that's why my favorite thrash band is kreator!

15 Chris Broderick (Megadeth) Chris Broderick (Megadeth) Christopher Alan Broderick is an American musician, best known as the former lead and rhythm guitarist of the American heavy metal band Megadeth.

This guy is pretty godly. His rift hand technique is insane and his ability to take over Martha's old spot in megadeth is great. Although he may not be able to make music as well as Friedman, he can sure play the older albums well.

In guitar playing techniques he's the best.

16 Kiko Loureiro Kiko Loureiro Pedro Henrique "Kiko" Loureiro is a Brazilian Heavy metal guitarist, best known as a member of the bands Angra and Megadeth.
17 Gary Lenaire (Tourniquet)

Tourniquet is an underrated band only because they are Christian. If they weren't, I'm sure they would be more famous... I recommend you solos like "A Dog's Breakfast", "Ark of Suffering", "Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance"... - rock2metal

I can't agree with you more. The only exposure they've gotten is from when Ark of Suffering was aired on mtv then yanked for the animal abuse footage.

18 Josh Christian (Toxik)

Some of his solos on Think This were amazing.


19 Chris Poland (Megadeth)

He was on the first two albums of megadeth really sick! And even did some solos for Rust In Peace and The System Has Failed, really underrated guitarist

20 Mike Scaccia (Rigor Mortis)

To not even mention this man is seriously a slap in the face to thrash in general. Granted you can say it had some speed metal elements, this guy was one of the all time greats on guitar.

21 Dan Spitz (Anthrax)
22 Rocky George (Suicidal Tendencies)

A thrash guitar genius! If you listen to Rocky's work with Suicidal (like "How Will I Laugh Tomorrow" or "Lights...Camera...Revolution! "), you can't say he doesn't belong in the top 3 or top 5.

Everything he did was a melodic solo. He never gets enough credit

23 Scott Ian (Anthrax) Scott Ian (Anthrax) Scott Ian is an American musician, best known as the rhythm guitarist, backing and additional lead vocalist, and the only remaining original founding member of the thrash metal band Anthrax. He also writes the lyrics on all their albums.
24 Eric Peterson (Testament)
25 Spike Cassidy (D.R.I.)

Brought the head banging and mosh put from punk to metal. Best thrash tone ever. Listen to full speed ahead

26 Max Cavalera (Sepultura) Max Cavalera (Sepultura) Massimiliano Antonio "Max" Cavalera is a Brazillian singer, guitarist, and songwriter who currently plays in heavy metal bands Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, and Killer Be Killed.
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List Stats

500 votes
26 listings
8 years, 2 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Marty Friedman (Megadeth)
2. Alex Skolnick (Testament)
3. Jeff Waters (Annihilator)
1. James Hetfield (Metallica)
2. Jeff Waters (Annihilator)
3. Dave Mustaine (Megadeth)
1. Dave Mustaine (Megadeth)
2. Jeff Hanneman (Slayer)
3. Kerry King (Slayer)

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