Ghost B.C. – Dance Macabre (Nameless Ghoul)

Solo timing: 2:18-2:47

This quick shred goes by fast however every note builds up to the next. I feel this song came out in the 80s and was kept into a vault until now.

Starts out with Drums going crash while building up the best part. Right when the switch from crash to ride at 2:33 it goes from chaotic shred to euphoric shred. You get taken from moms basement to being a sav in the club within seconds, very hard find these days among the sea of shreds. The best part was from 2:33 to the end of shred. Tone is on point, it’s 14 seconds of pure joy. It’s hard to not repeat it if you’re a shred enthusiast. Great work Ghost.

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Megadeth – The Killing Road (Marty Friedman)

2:17-3:03

Marty coming in hot with a full shred here. Picture a stream locomotive just getting going. Right at the 2:50 is when the locomotive can’t stop as it’s going full speed ahead. Kind of like a blitz on the QB and you’re not sure the tackle is going to happen. I’m curious on the process to get this solo done. Did Marty just rip this out in minutes and hit record? Did it take him days to get it right? Regardless the shred is captivating and makes you want to play this solo when you hear it. As a drum player I can’t help but air guitar this solo each time it happens and I air guitar few solos.

My kids next birthday party I want Marty to show up and just play Megadeth solos. If he doesn’t I think Marty could just do shows on playing solos for the crowd. I’d pay to see it. Maybe he could team up with Kirk Hammett and Zakk Wylde, tour would be called, “ShredCity.” I know I’m going off the “killing” road here but you get the point.

Bottom line: If you’re in the car and this song comes on, it’s guaranteed to go up a couple of notches due to the Mustaine/Friedman shredification.

Bon Jovi – Raise Your Hands (Richie Sambora)

Solo timing: 2:50-3:18

We all know living on a prayer. It’s literally played everywhere, except the Congo, don’t know if they have music of this caliber there.

This is not only my favorite Bon Jovi song but we have a solo worthy of review here. Two things come to mind when hearing this song:

1) The movie Spaceballs where Barf (played by John Candy) is eating barf while rocking out to this song.

2) The solo.

Harmonics are on point here. Richie busts out a quick shred playing some solid work all within 30 seconds. When I hear this solo I think 80’s Bon Jovi concert where the solo is actually happening in front of you. Other solos take you elsewhere, this one brings you to them live in concert. Nice try Bon Jovi, I’m onto you bud..

Ps. If Richie had a mustache he would be Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s.

Boston – Hitch A Ride (Tom Scholz)

Solo timing: 2:32-4:11

First time I heard this solo was 2009 when I purchased the album.  I was surprised it was not heavily played on the radio and wondered why I didn’t hear this before.  Right before the solo Brad says, “Carry me away for the last time,” then Tom Scholz hammers out the most epic outro solo of all time. The overdubbed 2nd guitar catapults the solo into the next century while his euphoric notes leave you speechless throughout the entire solo. Sholz’s staccato picking will have you catch “More Than A Feeling” and will leave you wanting to hear it over and over again.  This hidden gem has timing of drums to shred a perfect match.  Usually I’ll listen to the solo on an average of 10-15 times before a review however this one slipped into the 20-30 times range just because it’s that powerful.

Timeless classic.

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Guns N’ Roses – November Rain

Solo timing: 3:58-4:45

One of my favorite solos to watch. The music video is set in a church where Axl is getting married. Slash’s role is ring bearer however he can’t seem to find the ring..

No worries, Duff to the rescue, “Bro I got you.”

Slash proceeds to the alter, drops off the ring and does an irish goodbye but for good reasons. He’s about to unleash a full shred which 3 towns over will hear.

Alright let’s get to the shred. This is a top down cruising at various speeds desert weather type of solo. The notes marry each other in a way that if your parents would hear it, they would approve the marriage for its radio friendly nature. It’s comfortable, soothing, and Slash makes it look effortless in the music video.

Envisioned convo between Director of video and Slash.

Director: Lets keep the top hat while you shred.

Slash: Nah bro, just want a Marlboro Red and my axe, start filming.

-Mark

Pantera – The Sleep

Solo timing; 3:00-4:42

Lots going on here. It’s a 2 part solo with a break in the middle and then Dime continues to shred.

First part: 3:00-3:43

First 19 seconds you face the facts that you’re flying in the dark. Not sure what’s next, Dime takes you to his house of shred which he abruptly kicks in the door at 20 seconds to provide an electrifying “soaring over the clouds” riff whilst whammy is on point. If you’re listening at a low volume, you would lose out by not kicking it up a couple of notches. He doesn’t let his foot off the gas until there’s a small break leaving us wondering if shred is complete.

2nd half: 3:53-4:42

Two words: Strong finish. Whammy bar damage is an understatement here. If I’m a professor of Whammy, this would be the solo I’d make all the students learn first. Everything else is easy after that.

Chalk this up as one of the classics metal solos out there. Dime may be gone but his music is very much alive today.

-Mark

Zakk Wylde – Between Heaven and Hell

Solo timing: 2:09-2:35

The process for reviewing solos is as follows; Listen to solo 10-20 times to ensure I don’t miss the mark. This ensures I’m fully invested in the solo. Each one is unique and requires a fair handshake.

Today we’re discussing the guitar solo from Zakk’s first “solo” studio album Book of Shadows, song is “Between Heaven and Hell.” It’s a bit more light touch and introspective than his previous work with Pride & Glory.

Two words sum up this shred: Mini Vacation.

Right when the solo starts he says, “Somewhere” as if to say, I’m taking you to your somewhere. Right when the solo takes off you immediately feel good, picturing a sunny beach day with a slight snooze while you’re rocking this song via headphones. When you hear the slide used it gives a tropical feel of white sand and clear water, the opposite of any New England beach. When the solo is over you want to go back and listen again but you also want to listen to what’s next. I went back to listen.

-Mark