From jaw-dropping collaborations to jaw-dropping genres to soulful blues: here are this week’s essential guitar tracks

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welcome to guitar worldThe weekly roundup of musical highlights from the, uh, guitar world. Every seven days (or so), we strive to bring you a selection of songs from across the guitar world, all with one thing in common: our favorite instrument plays a starring role.

Megadeth – We’ll be back

What is that? The lead single from Megadeth’s long-awaited 16th studio album, The sick, the dying… and the dead! The thrash metal heroes return in glorious form with an exceptionally driving opening riff – forged with a barrage of alternating machine gun picks – before Dave Mustaine and Kiko Loureiro take turns to take over, trading frantic sixes. string shots that would strike down most mortals.

Standout Guitar Moment: We’re frankly spoiled for choice, but Kiko’s solo from 1:56 must surely take the cake. This slide-infused two-handed tapping passage towards the end of the section is the very definition of face melting.

For fans of: Killer, Testament, Anthrax

Sam Roche

Lari Basilio – Your love

What is that? The Brazilian guitar phenom returns with the announcement of her third album and this one, the title track she premiered today on guitar world. Written, arranged and produced by Basilio, it is the epitome of his style and compositional sensibility.

She makes it look effortless. It’s music for leisure, for weekends, for summer afternoons, no matter what time it is. And yet, we as guitarists know how difficult it is to first establish melodies like this, and fully exploit them without drawing attention to the fretboard tricks we use. Basilio’s game is smart and vital.

Standout Guitar Moment: Basilio’s tone is worth listening to on its own. His signature Ibanez LB1 has that chameleon quality that references the Fender classic, but in his hands it sounds like something we’ve never heard before.

But what will confuse most players is Basilio’s feel during the most nimble passes. About 40 seconds later, you’ll get a sense of how she does casual virtuosity like few other contemporary players.

For fans of: Joe Satriani, Mateus Asato, Andy Timmons

-Jonathan Horsley

Tim Henson – Sunset (ft. Cory Wong and Plini)

What is that? A new track featuring three of the most exciting players in the modern guitar world: Tim Henson, Cory Wong and Plini. Infectiously groovy, Sunset finds the trio swapping lick for lick on their respective signature models, straddling the line between pop and funk.

It is entirely instrumental, but contains more melodic plot throughout its two and a half minutes than most vocal songs. Not at all surprising, however, given the caliber of musicians featured.

Standout Guitar Moment: How can you even begin to pick a standout guitar moment from a track with such a lineup? But gun to head, we’d say Plini’s deftly placed quick alternating picking lines stand out – but by just a few millimeters.

For fans of: Polyphia, Intervals

Sam Roche

Mars Volta – Blacklight Shine

What is that? Vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist Ernie Ball Music Man Omar Rodríguez-López have played in recent years with alternative rock supergroup Antemasque and a reunited at the Drive-In, but Black light shine is their first new single under the Mars Volta banner in a decade. Kaleidoscopic and downright exciting, the song is a welcome return from this ever-fearless band.

Standout Guitar Moment:
The six-string psych-funk kinetic soundscape created by Rodríguez-López is the energy source of this song, with each passing listen revealing another of its ingredients. We can’t wait to hear what else he has up his sleeve.

For fans of:
At Drive-In, Antemasque, Coheed and Cambria

jackson maxwell

Ozzy Osbourne – Patient number 9

What is that? Two years and a Covid fight since his last album, ordinary manthe Prince of Darkness is back, with a brooding mid-tempo single, Patient number 9. The title track from his upcoming 13th solo album – fittingly arriving September 9 – sees Ozzy rookie, Johnny Depp collaborator and guitar legend Jeff Beck for a stellar lead role over his seven minutes and a half.

Standout Guitar Moment: Beck’s solo from 3:38 is anything but conventional, serving up broken-sounding guitar stabs with suitably dirty guitar sound.

For fans of: Judas Priest, Black Label Society, Black Sabbath

Sam Roche

Drifting Mind – Mass Formation Psychosis

What is that? This latest work of vintage steel from Texas-based Nate Garrett’s doom metal project is taken from their upcoming EP 20 centuries pastwhich comes out August 19 and features mostly covers taken from the most important records in Garrett’s collection.

There will be songs from ZZ Top, Skynyrd, Metallica, Pantera and Thin Lizzy on the record, but it’s more what we associate Spirit Adrift with, Garrett pinning the jam to a big doom riff, but daring to lean more into melodies that some of his contemporaries might dare.

Standout Guitar Moment: This is the riff verse. That’s how it has this meowing quality, like the hull of a ship meowing in a storm, and it gives the track a rhythm and an energy that would be a groove in any other musical context.

For fans of: Bearer, Crypt Sermon, Candlemas

-Jonathan Horsley

Delicate Steve – I can fly away

What is that? Delicate Steve – AKA Steve Marion – is a session musician and guitarist who has spent the better part of the last decade trying to make his guitar sound like, well, anything but. His efforts have earned him the admiration of Paul Simon, Yeasayer and Kanye West, to name just a small sample.

His last album, after hours (due July 8), sees Marion doing the last thing you’d expect: making a back-to-basics collection of “guitar and amp” instruments.

Standout Guitar Moment: Well the supremely cold I can fly away is so heavy on Stax-y summer vibes that you’ll have to apply sunscreen before listening.

For fans of: Carlos Santana, El Ten Eleven

Matt Parker

Kirk Fletcher – Afraid to die, too afraid to live

What is that? The first single from the bluesman veteran’s forthcoming album, heartache to the pound, Afraid to die, too afraid to live is a catchy, soulful melody with impeccably catchy horn arrangements and a moving, vulnerable heart.

Standout Guitar Moment: Fletcher is all business here, and this song is all the better for it. The phrasing of each of his solos is perfect, his passages sharp and pointed, but never a second too long. It’s the sound of a real pro at work.

For fans of: Eric Gales, Joe Bonamassa, Larry McCray

jackson maxwell

Rat Tally – Spinning Wheel

What is that? The first single from singer-songwriter Addy Harris’ debut album as Rat Tally, In my car, spinning wheel is a vaguely melodious gem imbued with unease, restlessness and a touch of nostalgia.

Standout Guitar Moment: These distorted and deliciously catchy solos. This is how you create a memorable track with just a few notes!

For fans of: Charly Bliss, Postal Mail, Smashing Pumpkins

jackson maxwell

Jonathan Young – Inner Wolf

What is that? Jonathan Young is a multi-instrumentalist with an aesthetic that suggests he had a tron-like adolescence, lost in the 1s and zeros of the binary architecture of a video game hell.

Like, he’s a guy whose art is widely savored on YouTube, where he has over two million subscribers, and yet it’s like he’s under the hood, tapping into the desires of the carnivalesque of heavy metal.

On this one, he’s got Caleb Hyles (1.63 million YouTube subscribers) on hand to duet and give the song a kind of steel-clad Tenacious D vibe.

Standout Guitar Moment: The fact that he resists the urge to solo. How can a Kiesel sponsor exercise restraint at a track like this?

For fans of: DragonForce, Blind Guardian, Helloween

Jonathan Horley


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