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Kirk Hammett Reveals the Metallica Guitar Solo of Which He is Most Proud

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Given the many guitar solos Kirk Hammett has put to tape for Metallica over the years, one might expect his favorite would be one of the thrashier numbers from the band’s early years, one of his scintillating performances on St. Anger (lol j/k!) or any of the numerous wah-soaked escapades from the band’s storied catalog.

But nope! It’s the one in “The Unforgiven,” as controversial a track in the band’s lore as any. Speaking to Kerrang!, Hammett cited the process of the solo’s creation in the studio with producer Bob Rock as the reason he’s so fond of it:

“I was thinking about the solo in ‘The Unforgiven.’ I remember showing up to the studio that morning, thinking I was going to play all these certain licks and then Bob Rock’s going, ‘That’s fucking crap.’ Then it was one of the very first times when I said, ‘Just fucking hit the record button,’ and shit flowed out. I prefer to record my solos that way now because I like the spontaneity of it; that’s how that solo was pretty much created.”

Listening back, I concede this solo is pretty sweet, even if it’s basically just standard pentatonic blues noodling as most of Hammett’s solos are. Something about the execution — and the glorious lack of wah — makes this one extra epic.

Check it out below starting at around the 3:20 mark (with clean intro).

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