Rock

The guitar riff Slash considers the heaviest of all time

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In the ongoing musical debate surrounding Guns N’ Roses’ classification as a heavy metal band, one cannot deny that they exuded the spirit of traditional rock and roll more prominently than any flamboyant genre.

However, delving into the heart of their lead guitarist, Slash, reveals a different tale – a tale of diverse influences that shaped his musical journey from an early age.

As a young Saul Hudson, Slash’s musical roots were anchored in the realm of traditional rock and roll, nurtured by his parents’ associations with renowned artists like James Taylor and Joni Mitchell.

Yet, it was during his teenage years, when he discovered the likes of Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith, that he realized the guitar’s calling in his life.

Through numerous gigs with different California bands, fate finally united him with kindred souls like Axl Rose and Duff McKagan.

The band’s lifestyle was immortalized in the raw energy of “Appetite for Destruction,” where each guitar break from Slash seemed like an emotional exorcism, releasing the demons trapped within.

While “Sweet Child O’ Mine” showcased his penchant for rock and roll riffs, the album also unveiled traces of a metallic edge in tracks like “My Michelle” and “It’s So Easy.”

However, when it came to discussing his love for metal, Slash invariably gravitated toward the haunting resonance of Black Sabbath.

In the revealing documentary “Metal Evolution,” Slash unreservedly hailed Black Sabbath as the epitome of heavy music, explaining, “Black Sabbath was the vanguard that defined heavy metal for me. Their weighty approach made you believe in their authenticity.”

Reflecting on Sabbath’s earlier records, with chilling anthems like the self-titled “Black Sabbath” and the legendary “Iron Man,” Slash perceived their later evolution as a descent into their most mesmerizing and demented creations.

Among them, he singled out “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” from the album of the same name, considering it to be one of the most formidable guitar riffs he had ever encountered.

Conversing with Matt Pinfield, he passionately exclaimed, “The title track, that breakdown towards the end of the song. There’s nothing that surpasses its heaviness. I can’t think of any other band with a riff as weighty as ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath.'”

Interestingly, the genesis of Tony Iommi’s otherworldly guitar sound on the track had an eerie backdrop – it was recorded in a supposedly haunted estate.

Immersed in this haunting ambiance, Iommi tapped into a dark creative space that birthed “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,” overcoming prior struggles to conjure hauntingly melodic brilliance.

Though Slash never sought to emulate Black Sabbath’s influence in molding Guns N’ Roses, the band’s unmistakable heaviness seeped into more than a few of their tracks.

While Slash undoubtedly found inspiration in guitar legends like Joe Perry and BB King, the groove of songs like “Paradise City” echoed a hint of Iommi’s masterful playbook, proving that the heritage of heavy music resonates across generations, etching its mark on the soul of every devoted musician.

 

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