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Fulano
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:44 am 
 

Well, there it is: bands or albums that, no matter how great the music is, the guitar soloing is not on par. Not necessarily awful but just mediocre.

There are some easy examples, like Slayer, Cannibal Corpse or Dismember; I don't think anyone listens to them because of the excellent guitar solos but for other reasons.

Then you have bands like Deicide that started out with great riffing and bad/average solos, then switched guitarist and the soloing improve and the riffing worsened.

So I thought it might be fun to discuss this cases. Obviously this is all very subjective but so are half of these threads anyway.

On a side note: I also find interesting that there are bands that in mostly guarantee great solos (Iron Maiden, Carcass, etc.) despite the quality of the rest of the song.


Last edited by Fulano on Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Prigione Eterna
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Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:43 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:10 pm 
 

I feel like some would disagree, but I like Slayer's solos. They sound as demented and crazy as the music itself and I think they add to the overall atmosphere of perversion and evil.

Bolt Thrower and early Entombed are the first ones that come to mind. Utterly crushing riffs, guitar tones and everything; I feel like the guitar solos are very perfunctory though and they basically could have done without them and wouldn't have lost much.
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Metallic Shock
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:11 pm 
 

Most chaotic death metal solos don't do anything for me. Sinister stand out as an example of this to me because I swear almost none of their solos exceed 12 seconds and they're usually just a bunch of random atonal scale runs and whammy bar noises. Great band on their peak albums though.

On a different note, I've never been the biggest fan of Andre Olbrich's soloing. He has some good ones but they to tend sound very safe and predictable to me, though it doesn't negatively impact Blind Guardian's music too much.

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Coastliner
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2021 7:49 am
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:57 pm 
 

Prigione Eterna wrote:
I feel like some would disagree, but I like Slayer's solos. They sound as demented and crazy as the music itself and I think they add to the overall atmosphere of perversion and evil.


Exclamation mark.

@ Topic: Every FW album without either Victor Arduini or Frank Aresti, i.e. when Jim Matheos is on his own. Mr. Sourpuss is a monster rhythm guitarist but as a soloist he isn't on a par with everyone else around him. When he tries to deliver an emotional melody he sounds like a robot whose programmed vocabulary consists of a couple of nouns, some verbs and no adjectives or grammar rules at all. I never understood why. Given that his acoustic work on e.g. "First Impressions" was nuanced and emotional, you'd expect his plugged-in persona to be similar.

Oh, and I think Queensrÿche never had great solos either. They could have used some six-string hero like Criss Öliva or George Lÿnch as a foil for both Tate's and Rockenfield's sönic dominance.

And I'll probabble-bly get flak for that. :boo:
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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:28 pm 
 

I wouldn't call him a bad soloist, but Thomas Youngblood's lead breaks fall a bit short of doing the amazing songwriting of Kamelot justice, and I'd throw the same criticism at
Emppu Vuorinen, though in his defense Nightwish basically lives and dies by Tuomas' "artistic" whims. Emppu performed exemplarily on both Oceanborn and Wishmaster, but I often wonder what it would have been like if a more accomplished shredder like Jani Liimatainen had been brought in to handle the leads.

Outside of a power metal context, I will generally disagree with the first couple of posters. While I'm sure it would have been neat to have heard early Deicide, Cannibal Corpse and Entombed with polished shred extravaganzas similar to what Chuck Schuldiner and James Murphy were doing at the time, that chaotic solo style that Kerry King pioneered fits in nicely with the general tone and tenor of the songs.

Outside of metal, if I were to pick the world's worst guitar soloist who also happens to be a solid songwriter with some good riff work, two words: Neil Young! When your lead breaks are so choppy, disjointed, and work against the grain of the song worse than Kurt Cobain butchering the Star Spangled Banner, it's time to go the Tom Petty route and bring in somebody who can actually solo.
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orphy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:32 pm 
 

Early Kreator has some pretty sloppy solos, especially on "Pleasure to Kill." The songs are pretty frantic and evil, so I don't really think the solos take away from it much, pretty much the same kind of thing Slayer was doing. "Under the Guillotine" at 3:25 always kills me, there are some pretty sour notes on that one in particular. Chalk it up to youthful aggression I guess!
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Morn Of Solace
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 3:22 pm 
 

Early Sigh had some slopfests that go on way too long (Curse of Izanagi, Victory of Dakini) ...i can perceive the enthusiasm but i don't enjoy them very much. Luckily Shinichi improved very much trough the years: compare those to the pure Blackmore-ish goodness that is the Corpsecry Angelfall solo

The award for the worst guitar mangling however goes to Celtic Frost's Live at the Hammersmith Odeon 3.3.89, everytime Oliver Amberg goes for a solo i feel the urge to run away and hide. I'm glad he was in Coroner for only two years :lol:

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oldmetalhead
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 3:32 pm 
 

Metal Church has some weird solo's that don't really fit during the Mike Howe era.

And the obligatory reference to Slayer who pretty much always had discordant solo's on their songs. Seasons in the Abyss being a bit of an exception, as there on some nice solo's that fit the songs, I think Hanneman had a lot to do with that as he was writing more structured songs at that point.

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Prigione Eterna
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 3:50 pm 
 

hells_unicorn wrote:
Outside of metal, if I were to pick the world's worst guitar soloist who also happens to be a solid songwriter with some good riff work, two words: Neil Young! When your lead breaks are so choppy, disjointed, and work against the grain of the song worse than Kurt Cobain butchering the Star Spangled Banner, it's time to go the Tom Petty route and bring in somebody who can actually solo.


Check out the rougher numbers like Hey Hey, My My or Keep On Rockin' though. His punk-rock electric playing is perfect for those.
But he can also do pretty leads; I think he plays the lead part on For What It's Worth, for example.
He's not a technical player for sure, but you gotta love his no-frills attitude. Same with his writing or singing, for that matter.

Morn Of Solace wrote:
the worst guitar mangling i've seen must have been Celtic Frost's Live at the Hammersmith Odeon 3.3.89, everytime Oliver Amberg goes for a solo i feel the urge to run away and hide


I don't even understand why they got Ron Marks to play lead guitar earlier. I'm sure nobody would call Tom Warrior a proficient lead player but his solos were perfect. I guess he thought his playing was too crude for what he had in mind for Celtic Frost.

Another one for me is Machine Head. I can't imagine anybody complaining if they never had solos, especially on their later, more traditionally metal albums.

Also, not quite the same, but even if I liked Trey Azagthoth solos for the same reasons you'd like Kerry King's, sometimes I wished they had been shorter. I understand with players like Marty Friedman where it's almost a song within the song, but otherwise half a song's length of atonal nonsense over furious blast beats feels a little too much.
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King_of_Arnor
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:04 pm 
 

The Cro-Mags have great songs and riffs, but the solos, at least on the songs that have them, are just really weak from what I've heard (mostly the first two albums).

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MikeyC
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:06 pm 
 

Luciferion's Demonication (The Manifest) is a great old-school death metal album with some awesome riffs and impeccable drumming, but the solos are trash. Total whammy bar overuse.
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Firmament1
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:40 pm 
 

Meshuggah generally has pretty good solos, but I thought the one on the song Clockworks was pretty bad.

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LithoJazzoSphere
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:41 pm 
 

Generally if the solos are really bad I just can't into the band that much in general, as I mentioned in the thread on Kerry.

Not "bad" solos per se, but a few bands I felt had consistently much weaker solos than riffs are In Flames and Iced Earth. At least IF would occasionally bring in more capable players like Christopher Amott or Fredrik Johansson to spice things up. Solution .45's solos are fine, they just sound weak because the band sounds so similar to Scar Symmetry, and Per Nilsson is too high a standard to compete with.

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Sokaris
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:08 pm 
 

Watain is the only example that springs to mind as being aggressively offensive in this regard. The solos are infrequent so it's not really a big deal but it's pretty pointless when they roll one out.
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Benedict Donald
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 5:40 pm 
 

oldmetalhead wrote:
And the obligatory reference to Slayer who pretty much always had discordant solo's on their songs. Seasons in the Abyss being a bit of an exception, as there on some nice solo's that fit the songs, I think Hanneman had a lot to do with that as he was writing more structured songs at that point.


The guys claimed to have taken guitar lessons prior to the recording of that album, specifically for improvement of solos.

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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 7:31 pm 
 

Prigione Eterna wrote:
Check out the rougher numbers like Hey Hey, My My or Keep On Rockin' though. His punk-rock electric playing is perfect for those.
But he can also do pretty leads; I think he plays the lead part on For What It's Worth, for example.
He's not a technical player for sure, but you gotta love his no-frills attitude. Same with his writing or singing, for that matter.


Oh I'm familiar with all of his rougher numbers, and I had Keep On Rockin' on my mind when I mentioned him on my last post. I'm not as demanding of rock lead guitarists as I am metal ones when it comes to technical work, I think my mention of Mike Campbell (though I didn't reference him by name) should have suggested as such, but I do expect them to at least be somewhat in the pocket when soloing, Neil Young basically has no concept of what the pocket actually is, he just comes off as a wannabe Jimi Hendrix who can't actually play lead and stay in sync with the band. I caught him live back in '96 on The Horde Festival, he was all over the place every time he stepped back from the mic. Give me the bare bones minimalism of Campbell's melodic slide guitar solos on "Won't Back Down" and "Learning To Fly", it works better than the choppy mess that Young dished out on those rougher numbers. And again, both of those songs that you mentioned are solid tunes, but those solos utterly destroy them for me, it's like listening to a first year guitar student struggle with a pentatonic scale on his first live gig.

That said, he is a solid songwriter and has put together some solid riffs, but I really think the guy should have backed away from trying to be a lead guitarist while also being the front man, he's like a stage hog without the ability to fully close the deal.
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Last edited by hells_unicorn on Tue Oct 19, 2021 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Zelkiiro
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 7:34 pm 
 

"The Living Grimoire" by Magica is a fun and endearing Euro-power metal song...but the solo (starts around 3:56) is a dueling solo between babby's first casio keyboard and a guitar that sounds like someone performing cunnilingus to a voice modulator a la Van Canto. Really, really glaring and hard to overlook.
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AxeCapitol
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 7:38 pm 
 

Living Colour for the abomination of cult of personality alone. Great songs. Great guitars. Great riffs. But that solo. Eek.

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Prigione Eterna
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 9:01 pm 
 

AxeCapitol wrote:
Living Colour for the abomination of cult of personality alone. Great songs. Great guitars. Great riffs. But that solo. Eek.


It's quirky but not bad.

hells_unicorn wrote:
Oh I'm familiar with all of his rougher numbers, and I had Keep On Rockin' on my mind when I mentioned him on my last post. I'm not as demanding of rock lead guitarists as I am metal ones when it comes to technical work, I think my mention of Mike Campbell (though I didn't reference him by name) should have suggested as such, but I do expect them to at least be somewhat in the pocket when soloing, Neil Young basically has no concept of what the pocket actually is, he just comes off as a wannabe Jimi Hendrix who can't actually play lead and stay in sync with the band. I caught him live back in '96 on The Horde Festival, he was all over the place every time he stepped back from the mic. Give me the bare bones minimalism of Campbell's melodic slide guitar solos on "Won't Back Down" and "Learning To Fly", it works better than the choppy mess that Young dished out on those rougher numbers. And again, both of those songs that you mentioned are solid tunes, but those solos utterly destroy them for me, it's like listening to a first year guitar student struggle with a pentatonic scale on his first live gig.

That said, he is a solid songwriter and has put together some solid riffs, but I really think the guy should have backed away from trying to be a lead guitarist while also being the front man, he's like a stage hog without the ability to fully close the deal.


I'm probably biased about this as I'm a big fan of messy, sloppy, hairy, chaotic, noisy guitar solos, Blixa Bargeld, The Birthday Party, you know?
When the overall vibe demands it, of course... it wouldn't make sense in Metallica or Iron Maiden, most traditional hard rock really.
So for songs like the ones I've mentioned, to me it's pretty spot on. Admittedly I'm more familiar with his earlier works where the band does most of the work.
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wraithlike
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:12 pm 
 

damn big disagree on all those examples in the OP honestly. love me some early Deicide solos, and even Slayer, CC, while none are bands I put on for their solos, all have solos that add a nice little bit of atmosphere to it.

Like Dead by Dawn has a fantastic solo IMO. but idk I don't know how you're measuring the quality of a solo. Definitely not the prettiest, most technical, or tightest solos around with those bands

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Fulano
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:26 pm 
 

wraithlike wrote:
damn big disagree on all those examples in the OP honestly. love me some early Deicide solos, and even Slayer, CC, while none are bands I put on for their solos, all have solos that add a nice little bit of atmosphere to it.

Like Dead by Dawn has a fantastic solo IMO. but idk I don't know how you're measuring the quality of a solo. Definitely not the prettiest, most technical, or tightest solos around with those bands


Well, it all comes down to personal taste, I guess. And the OP was a huge generalization.

I'm not saying "fast/chromatic/whammy bar = BAD" and "melodic/virtuous/technical = GOOD" or anything. I do like "messy" fast solos, but a find a lot of them like just to be sort of a requirement to complete a song, and the guitar player just throw in some fast notes and call it a day. I love Cannibal Corpse, but aside from a few exceptions here and there, I think his solos are too similar in nature and even interchangeable.

To mention some examples of "chaotic" soloing I like, I could say early Suffocation and Sepultura. Again, personal taste, but I suspect there was more work put into those fast progressions and an effort to make them unique within the context of a song. I guess the perception of it is a case-by-case scenario, with no serious logic behind it.

And by the way, I do think the Dead By Dawn solo in an excellent fit and wouldn't change a note from it.

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693
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:39 pm 
 

Fulano wrote:
Well, there it is: bands or albums that, no matter how great the music is, the guitar soloing is not on par. Not necessarily awful but just mediocre.

There are some easy examples, like Slayer, Cannibal Corpse or Dismember; I don't think anyone listens to them because of the excellent guitar solos but for other reasons.

Then you have bands like Deicide that started out with great riffing and bad/average solos, then switched guitarist and the soloing improve and the riffing worsened.

So I thought it might be fun to discuss this cases. Obviously this is all very subjective but so are half of these threads anyway.

On a side note: I also find interesting that there are bands that in mostly guarantee great solos (Iron Maiden, Carcass, etc.) despite the quality of the rest of the song.


Slayer Guitar solos are great if Jeff is playing them, Kings solo's har horrid. That pretty much goes for all Slayer Music, all the Jeff songs are the good ones.

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des91
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 3:40 pm 
 

693 wrote:
That pretty much goes for all Slayer Music, all the Jeff songs are the good ones.


Eh, I agree kind of, however Divine Intervention was mostly by King and I really like that one.

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Floodland
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 4:10 pm 
 

I hate guitar solos; they kill the music. The less, the better.
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mjollnir
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:51 pm 
 

Floodland wrote:
I hate guitar solos; they kill the music. The less, the better.

And you're in a metal forum, why?
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des91
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:16 pm 
 

Actually, his comment made me wonder, does anyone listen to Metal more for the solos (including leads) than the riffs? Like, you just look forward to them more than the riffs.

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HeavenDuff
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:31 pm 
 

hells_unicorn wrote:
Outside of a power metal context, I will generally disagree with the first couple of posters. While I'm sure it would have been neat to have heard early Deicide, Cannibal Corpse and Entombed with polished shred extravaganzas similar to what Chuck Schuldiner and James Murphy were doing at the time, that chaotic solo style that Kerry King pioneered fits in nicely with the general tone and tenor of the songs.


Slayer gets this reputation of having bad solos because they sometimes stick out like a sore thumb. The most infamous example being Rainning Blood, which is probably one of the most killer thrash metal songs there is. But it takes a nosedive when the solo comes in and it's just random, dissonant whammy wank, and it kind of makes the song fizzle out weakly.

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HeavenDuff
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:34 pm 
 

mjollnir wrote:
Floodland wrote:
I hate guitar solos; they kill the music. The less, the better.

And you're in a metal forum, why?


Are you serious? Because a lot of metal doesn't have solos at all or doesn't put a lot of focus on it. Loads of death, black, doom and post-metal hardly has any solos.

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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:36 pm 
 

Most of the solos I like are in hard/classic/blues rock as opposed to metal - no issue with metal solos but I do tend to gravitate more to meaty riffs than solos there.
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Metal_On_The_Ascendant
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:40 pm 
 

des91 wrote:
Actually, his comment made me wonder, does anyone listen to Metal more for the solos (including leads) than the riffs? Like, you just look forward to them more than the riffs.


It really, really depends on the band, the sub-genre etc. Or what I'm in the mood for, I should say. Sometimes I really wanna check out some shred or some tasteful guitar playing with traditional soloing. Other times, I want riffs or slow builds. My taste in metal goes full spectrum.
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LithoJazzoSphere
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 1:53 am 
 

des91 wrote:
Actually, his comment made me wonder, does anyone listen to Metal more for the solos (including leads) than the riffs? Like, you just look forward to them more than the riffs.


I get the feeling that I care less about riffs than most people here. Not that I'm not into them (I'm a guitarist who knows hundreds of them), just that for quite a few people here "RIFFS!" seems to be their rallying cry for what they like about metal. It probably comes at least partly from the criteria for inclusion in the database being hyper riff-focused. I'm more interested in the aesthetics of how they sound, from a texture, production, engineering standpoint than most, and that's more important than what notes are in the riff, or how many riffs a song has. I might care more than average about soloing, though it's hard to say for sure.

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Lagartija
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 7:42 am 
 

Cryptopsy 'None so vile'. They don't go anywhere or provide anything extra, whereas they are much better on 'Blasphemy made flesh'.
I think if Blasphemy were remixed and remastered it would be so superior to Vile in every way...

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DecemberSoul
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 8:31 am 
 

Floodland wrote:
I hate guitar solos; they kill the music. The less, the better.


There has never been any post that I could relate to as much as yours! I've repeatedly expressed my dislike towards solos in general and usually call them the nadir of every song. That's really how I feel about it; the unreflected notion of many bands to succumb to the apparent necessity of a solo brings down each one of them for the duration of the solos, usually with the rest of the group delivering background entertainment of sub-par quality.

One very notable exception to me are Trey Azagthoth's solos; a masterpiece like Covenant wouldn't be as otherwordly complete and deliciously evil without them.
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The_Grindcrusher
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:28 am 
 

Floodland wrote:
I hate guitar solos; they kill the music. The less, the better.

I disagree. A good solo can really add to a song (i.e. Tornado Of Souls, Follow The Blood). But a bad solo can definitely kill a song for me.
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Floodland
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 10:34 am 
 

The_Grindcrusher wrote:
Floodland wrote:
I hate guitar solos; they kill the music. The less, the better.

I disagree. A good solo can really add to a song (i.e. Tornado Of Souls, Follow The Blood). But a bad solo can definitely kill a song for me.


OK, so I'm into metal for what? Like 30 years, maybe more? And I still haven't encountered a single album, a single song, where a guitar solo does it justice, enhances it or upgrades the song in any way possible; oh, how many stinking solos do the very opposite? every single one of them. They kill the dynamics, they are used as fillers, they fuck up the atmosphere.
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des91
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:40 pm 
 

^^ Floodland, do you listen to any Black Metal?

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Benedict Donald
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:58 pm 
 

des91 wrote:
Actually, his comment made me wonder, does anyone listen to Metal more for the solos (including leads) than the riffs? Like, you just look forward to them more than the riffs.


There are certain players (a select few) whose solos are as important - perhaps even more so - as the riffs.
Richie Blackmore is the prime example for me (yes, do consider both Rainbow and Deep Purple to be metal). I seek out any/every 70s live recording of his....pure manna from heaven to these ears.

Although not metal, I'll always stop and listen to David Gilmour and Jeff Beck's solos.

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mjollnir
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 4:14 pm
Posts: 1955
Location: White Oak, PA
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 5:12 pm 
 

HeavenDuff wrote:
mjollnir wrote:
Floodland wrote:
I hate guitar solos; they kill the music. The less, the better.

And you're in a metal forum, why?


Are you serious? Because a lot of metal doesn't have solos at all or doesn't put a lot of focus on it. Loads of death, black, doom and post-metal hardly has any solos.

You may be right about loads of death and doom bands have little to no solos....but the good ones do and lots of them.

Black metal does have solos and the ones that don't usually have really tasty lead work in the riffing. Ihsahn is an amazing lead player. Quorthon played solos on his albums.

Then you mention post-metal...most of it blows.

Solos are metal....period. Think of Desecration of Souls with no solos!? I don't want to.
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Edit: fuck it this whole thing is bait anyway.


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oldmetalhead
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2021 1:30 am
Posts: 410
Location: Helltown, United States
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:17 pm 
 

To each their own but I have always loved guitar solo's but from great guitarists. It's like a signature on the song.

Nevermore, one of my favorites had the best solo's. Too bad Loomis is not getting to do his thing anymore.

A song built on solo's, Exhibit A- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbplBs29Amo

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Floodland
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2021 4:58 am
Posts: 189
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 6:46 pm 
 

des91 wrote:
^^ Floodland, do you listen to any Black Metal?


loads and loads of black metal, why?
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