As a Metal fanatic, and one who came up through the old school in the 70's & 80's, I love guitar solos! It is something that I desire and cherish in Metal, a totally ripping, bodacious and meaningful guitar solo. On one hand, spraying a trillion notes a second in an attempt to impress just how shredilistic a guitar player is does not cut it with me. On the other hand, a Metal song without a guitar solo is missing something. In the old school, Metal *HAD* to have guitar solos. It was just a requirement. In some genres of modern Metal, guitar solos are not necessary, or desired, or a requirement. In all honesty, I respect that. Many times that means putting the song first over guitar heroics, which is admirable. But can't we find a common ground with a few more solos???
I could write a whole long analytical essay about all this, examining different Metal genres, expressing the pros and cons of guitar solos. However, I don't want to do that, at least not now. But I do want to speak about Folk Metal, which is my current big kick. In Folk Metal, the lead guitar is often non-existent, with the emphasis going into the vocals, and the expression of the song's melody with traditional folk instruments. Fiddle/violin and flute/recorders often get top billing, which is really cool. Electric guitar provides the crunchy rhythm and OOOMMPPHHH, which of course, is really cool. But man, there is such a missed opportunity when the guitars could go berserk for a few bars without sacrificing the song's folkish integrity!
When I think of Metal guitar solos, the first thing that pops into my head is Adrian Smith and Dave Murray of Iron Maiden. In retrospect, one major revelation I had about Metal was when I realized that a lot of the the melodies those guys use in their solos, and in their exceedingly amazingly intertwined twin dual leads, are of a folkish nature! Of course, they are ripped through their magic fingers and exploding amps. But their solos have such an ancient timeless quality to them, you could swear they are over 1000 years old. So why not incorporate more of that ancient Guitar Godliness in Folk Metal???
Well, there are some bands that do that. One that I would like to make note of is Menhir from Germany. They play a very righteous Folk Viking Metal that does NOT EXCLUDE beautiful Maidenesque solos. Click on the song link below for "Das Alte Lied Des Windes," and it will take you to Menhir's MySpace page. There you can hear this great song from their great album "Hildebrandslied," which came out last year. It is an amazing Folk Viking track, emphasizing the folk melodies and emotive vocals until about 4:21 into the song, when BLAM, gorgeous after gorgeous soaring guitar solo takes off, building on the one before it, settling into a twin lead that causes instant orgasm. The solos go on for about a full two minutes, which is great! I love it! I want more of it! Yeah, it's Maidenesque as hell. So what? I love it! I WANT IT, I NEED IT, I HAVE TO HAVE IT!!!
Das Alte Lied Des Windes by Menhir
The Eight Cent Guys in Menhir!
Give Me 8 Cents,
Give Me 8 Cents,