My Favorite...

My Favorite Metal Guitar Solo, by Anciients Guitarist Chris Dyck

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Welcome back to our new series, “My Favorite…”, in which (like the title doesn’t give it away) metal luminaries will discuss some of their most beloved albums, performances, and experiences. In honor of Anciients’ support slot on Lamb of God’s headlining tour (dates below), we asked guitarist Chris Dyck to tell us about his favorite metal guitar solo; below, get his thoughts on Zakk Wylde’s classic solo from Ozzy Osbourne’s “No More Tears.” Unfortunately, due to van issues, the band is going to miss the first night of the tour (tonight), but they’ll join the trek-in-progress tomorrow, Friday, May 17. In the meantime, here’s Chris’ ode to “No More Tears”…

Greetings fellow metal nerds!

So I am supposed to be talking about my favorite guitar solo here. I thought that would be a bit of a short column, so I’m also going to include some guitarists and bands I dig that led me to where I am today in music.

I was in grade eight when I got into metal. I always had great music surrounding me. My parents’ record collection was bad-ass. The heaviest thing they owned must’ve been Deep Purple or Molly Hatchet albums, though, which as we all know, aren’t really that heavy. When I first heard “legit metal” a-la Black Sabbath, Metallica, etc., I got way into it immediately. I started sharing music with my nerdy friends. It was a mix of Sabbath and Seattle bands I guess… Alice in Chains and Soundgarden for the most part. This led to Helmet, White Zombie, and Tool. I had some Faith No More, Sepultura, Slayer, Motorhead, Ministry, etc. On the more extreme side, I started getting into Cannibal Corpse, Bolt Thrower, Napalm Death, Suffocation, and the like. I could go on for days about how I’m old school and I was around during the tape trading days and shit, but in reality I’m just old. Who cares… I listen to the same CDs I bought when I was seventeen, I’m super boring…

I’m not really a “guitar player” kind of guy. I dig good riffs mostly. Leads for me are kind of secondary in rock/metal, but mostly because I suck at them and my brain doesn’t create in that space, haha.

Some guitarists and their lead playing though, can really draw me in.

Stevie Ray Vaughan, Glen Tipton, Uli John Roth, Dickey Betts/Duane Allman, Ritchie Blackmore… I dig really organic guitarists on the regular. One dude in particular, this shredder dude ruled my life for a bit when I was a kid. I am talking about Zakk Wylde… the dude was killing it.

I think it was Christmas when I turned thirteen and got an Ozzy CD. Zakk Wylde was blowing my mind. I think this was the first CD my mom actually bought for me.

The song: “No More Tears.” The riffs, production, tones, vibe of this record rules/ruled… I know Ozzy’s later stuff is kinda “meh” and “whatever,” but dude…

So we are talking guitar players and solos and stuff here, and the guitar solo in “No More Tears” has to have the most perfect lead ever. The slow build, the simple yet perfect harmony, the shreddy bit at the end — the final note slays; this has to be Zakk’s best solo, hands down. It reminds me of later Scorpions tone, like a “No One Like You” kind of solo…Like a GN’R solo with less honky tonk? All I know is that it fits the song perfectly. Note choice, tone, everything is 100% rad. It could maaaaaybe be tied for “best all time metal solo” along with “Dead or Alive,” “No One Like You,” “Painkiller,” “Emerald,”  “Sails of Charon,” “Highway Star,” and everything else in the pantheon of shred.

This one for me is the champ. No contest… Not sure if it is a contender for best guitar solo ever, but certainly in the metal end of things.

If you guys care, some of my favorite non metal solos are: Yes’ “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” Alan Parsons’ “Wouldn’t Wanna be Like You,” and I pretty much dig any Allman Brothers, Steely Dan, and ELO solo in any song ever.

I would like to point out though that after that No More Tears record, I never bought another Ozzy album or another BLS record. It was just that one song on that one record that really taught me something about songwriting. Ozzy sounded as good as he ever would… evil as shit and relevant for the time.

If anyone knows why Zakk went all biker and started spitting on himself and rocking a chain guitar strap please let a guy know. I really dug his more hippie vibe. Maybe it’s just me though. I also think maybe he got as rad as he was ever going to on that record. The later Ozzy stuff just kinda copied that album, and so did BLS. Whatever…there are legit Hells Angels in the small town we live in outside of Vancouver… Trust me, it’s not that rad.

Anciients’ awesome new album, Heart of Oak, is out now on Season of Mist; you can download the song “Raise the Sun” here for free!, and purchase the album here. Tomorrow they join Lamb of God’s current headlining trek; eventually, The Acacia Strain will join them as well. Here are dates:

Fri/May-17 Chattanooga, TN Track 29
Sat/May-18 Nashville, TN Marathon Music Works
Sun/May-19 Columbus, OH Rock on the Range
Mon/May-20 Columbia, MO Blue Note
Wed/May-22 Boulder, CO Boulder Theater
Thu/May-23 Salt Lake City, UT In The Venue
Fri/May-24 Boise, ID Revolution Center
Sat/May-25 Reno, NV Knitting Factory
Sun/May-26 Ventura, CA Ventura Theater
Tue/May-28 Tucson, AZ Rialto Theater
Wed/May-29 Anaheim, CA The Grove
Fri/May-31 Chico, CA Senator Theater
Sat/Jun-01 Portland, OR Roseland Ballroom
Sun/Jun-02 Kennewick, WA Toyota Ice Arena
Mon/Jun-03 Missoula, MT Wilma Theater
Tue/Jun-04 Billings, MT Shrine Auditorium
Thu/Jun-06 Fargo, ND The Venue
Fri/Jun-07 Madison, WI Orpheum Theater
Sat/Jun-08 Lincoln, NE Bourbon Theater
Sun/Jun-09 Wichita, KS The Cotillion
Mon/Jun-10 Tulsa, OK Cain’s Ballroom

dates w/ The Acacia Strain
Wed/Jun-12 Ft. Wayne, IN Pierre’s
Thu/Jun-13 Rochester, NY Water Street Music Hall
Fri/Jun-14 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues
Sat/Jun-15 Montebello, QC Montebello Marina / D-Tox Fest
Sun/Jun-16 Portland, ME State Theater
Tue/Jun-18 Worcester, MA Palladium Ballroom
Wed/Jun-19 Baltimore, MD Rams Head
Thu/Jun-20 Norfolk, VA The Norva

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