Dimebag, Randy Rhoads and Tony Iommi Among Greatest Metal Guitarist Of All Time

Gibson counts down the Top 10 Metal Guitarists of All Time. Here are four of their picks: 9. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden) When Iron Maiden came onto the scene, guitarists Dave Murray and Adrian Smith were quickly recognized for their high-speed agility of soloing, sinuous technique and telepathic rhythm work in partnership together. This duo, so it seemed, were true musical soulmates. Adrian Smith left Iron Maiden after 1988's Seventh Son of a Seventh Son, altering the band's musical chemistry and foreshadowing a grim creative drop for a period. But with Smith and Murray both back in tow, Iron Maiden are at their proggiest, and almost every track on 2010's The Final Frontier has a riff-heavy chorus that leaves its own stamp.

5. Dimebag Darrell (Pantera, Damageplan): The most popular metal band of the first part of the '90s, Pantera cut through '80s hair metal to establish their own unmistakable style. That signature sound largely came from guitarist Dimebag Darrell, whose rhythmic attack and hard-hitting sledgehammer tactics proved metal guitar could shred wildly, but still groove. Tragedy struck on December 8, 2004, when Darrell, then 38, was shot and killed by a concertgoer during a club show in Columbus, Ohio. He'll always be remembered as one of the most significant engineers of modern metal.

3. Randy Rhoads (Ozzy Osbourne): With Randy Rhoads on lead guitar, Ozzy Osbourne's debut solo release, 1980's Blizzard of Ozz, had no chance to fail. The record was one of heavy metal's supreme releases, very much thanks to Rhoads' blistering playing. While other guitarists of the era emulated Eddie Van Halen,Rhoads stepped out on his own, incorporating classical music into his passages. His untimely death in a freak airplane accident in 1982 remains one of metal's biggest heartbreaks.

1. Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath): Tony Iommi's dark, distinct guitar textures in Black Sabbath helped spearhead the heavy metal movement and its signature massive riffing. "Iron Man," "Black Sabbath" and "Paranoid" boast some of the most memorable riffs of all time, with lumbering heavy metal and crushingly heavy choruses. Iommi's playing is certainly immortalized through the generations of heavy metal bands that have followed. Check out the full list here

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