Best Metal Rhythm Guitarists

mrcrowley4h
Best rhythm guitarists in the metal genre. The focus here is on good riffs, rhythm harmonies, picking speed, accuracy, and tightness, and overall rhythm playing. Rhythm/lead switches and dual leads are acceptable as long as their rhythm playing is impeccable.

The Top Ten

1 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.

Based on metal? Without a doubt it's James! I STILL can't emulate the speed of his down-picking rythym riffs! How the heck he does if during a live show for a few hours is beyond me... My forearm is sore after one song!

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2 Dave Mustaine - Megadeth Dave Mustaine - Megadeth ...read more.
3 Jon Schaffer - Iced Earth Jon Schaffer - Iced Earth Jon Ryan Schaffer is an American heavy metal musician. He is best known as the guitarist and last remaining original member of the Florida-based heavy metal band Iced Earth, which he formed in 1985 under the name "Purgatory".

I say his speed and technically is above hetfield any day. Look at every song before Dark Saga proves it.

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4 Gary Holt - Exodus Gary Holt - Exodus
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, ...read more.

His Lead / Rhythm switches are awesome. He's one of the riff masters of all time. - Metal_Treasure

6 Zacky Vengeance - Avenged Sevenfold Zacky Vengeance - Avenged Sevenfold 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 just has amazing riffs! I love how his melodies and timing coordinates with Synyster Gate's solos! Plus he can also sing, along with Syn. Especially in City Of Evil. His melodies and riffs are just phenomenal!

7 Marten Hagstrom - Meshuggah Marten Hagstrom - Meshuggah Mårten Hagström, (born 27 April 1971) is the rhythm guitarist for the Swedish experimental metal band Meshuggah. Hagström, along with his bandmate Fredrik Thordendal, was rated #35 by Guitar World as the top 100 greatest heavy metal guitarist of all-time.

The albums obZen and Chaosphere from the technical metal bosses Meshuggah proves that he could do very badass rhythm grooves and deserves to be in this list.

8 Chuck Schuldiner - Death Chuck Schuldiner - Death Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known as the founder and vocalist, guitarist and bassist of the American heavy metal band Death. He is considered the most influential figure in Death Metal, with some publications referring to Chuck as the "Godfather ...read more.
9 Bill Kelliher - Mastodon Bill Kelliher - Mastodon Bill Kelliher is a musician from Atlanta, Georgia, best known as rhythm guitarist of heavy metal band Mastodon.
10 Toni Iommi - Black Sabbath

The Contenders

11 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.
12 Adrian Smith - Iron Maiden Adrian Smith - Iron Maiden Adrian Frederick "H" Smith is an English guitarist, best known as a member of Iron Maiden, for whom he writes songs and performs live backing vocals on some tracks.
13 K.K. Downing - Judas Priest
14 Eric Peterson - Testament
15 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.
16 Sully Erna - Godsmack Sully Erna - Godsmack Salvatore Paul "Sully" Erna is the American vocalist and guitarist for the American hard rock band Godsmack.
17 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.
18 Fredrik Norrman - Katatonia
19 Matt Tuck (Bullet for My Valentine) Matt Tuck (Bullet for My Valentine) Matthew "Matt" Tuck is a Welsh musician. He is the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist in the Welsh heavy metal band Bullet for My Valentine.
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List StatsUpdated 21 Feb 2017

100 votes
19 listings
3 years, 253 days old

Top Remixes

1. James Hetfield - Metallica
2. Jon Schaffer - Iced Earth
3. Dave Mustaine - Megadeth
mrcrowley4h
1. Jeff Waters - Annihilator
2. Jon Schaffer - Iced Earth
3. James Hetfield - Metallica
Metal_Treasure

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