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Integrality of the Guitar Solo

Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 17, 2006, 07:56:21 AM
Listening to Morbid Angel's Altars of Madness, one realises the richness and integrality of Azagthoth's guitar soloing- Frenzied, warped: mimetic. Eschewing traditional masturbatory pentatonic runs (and in the moments when he does indulge, they are delivered through such a distorted lens as to only associate themselves with the pools of madness which the rest of his soloing speaks of), the solo work speaks of confusion, of insanity. Excellent.

However, listening to most other metal bands, one sees a tendency toward sub-proficient (that is contrasted against the legends) guitar soloing that is too in-line with the profligacy of Malmsteen and his ilk; that is, simply a flagrant display of showmanship which doesn't further the song in any way outside of pleasing the tech-heads and guitar wizards.

The question I ask, after recently listening to the spew of melodic efforts (and whatever else), is how important is the guitar solo to cerebral metal? What does the guitar solo represent in cerebral metal, and is it succesful, or merely another element which steers the genre toward the more populist efforts in terms of structure and expectancy? Certain bands, Asphyx amongst them, barely use the solo, and I feel that were they to use solos of the speed-metal ilk (which are plastered all over death metal bands), it would detract from their essence.

The presence of guitar solos in metal is too often an excuse to showcase ability, or to popularize the music by appealing to mainstream techniques, rather than narrative investigation.

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 17, 2006, 09:19:11 AM
I agree with the fact that guitar solos are often just used cos the bands don't know where to take the song next. They often carry no message within them other than "i can play my guitar to a very high standard, so suck my cock now."

But sometimes they add something to the music that wasn't there before, when they are done well, and by well i don't necessarily mean technical ability, they can bring the song up to another level. They can add to the drama or atmosphere in a song. This usually is displayed best when there isn't an obvious build up to a solo, like the hole song was just written for a solo. But sometimes it can add some more drama and impact.

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 17, 2006, 09:43:43 AM
The traditional concept of the solo, having a rythmn riff for the lead guitar to ride, this reduces the role second guitar to fiduciary placeholder, constraining. This technique has been done. Where can it go?

Solo's should not be the point of a song, should not even be considered 'solo', rather as fast complex riffing. One direction possible is soloing in unison with other instruments to create narative. Breaking out of the static confines of the traditional paradigm. The band should play in similar fashion to an orchestra. I'm thinking a cross between Therion's Beyond Sanctorum and Sacramentum's Far Away From the Sun.

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 17, 2006, 11:58:18 AM
I think Varg's little guitar solos are pretty well integrated into the songs (like - lost wisdom, DSEV, key to the gate) and dont  give off that '' i can play - suck my cock'  impression.

Vajra

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 17, 2006, 12:36:43 PM
Quote
I think Varg's little guitar solos are pretty well integrated into the songs (like - lost wisdom, DSEV, key to the gate) and dont  give off that '' i can play - suck my cock'  impression.


I think the term 'lead' makes more sense here. See Enslaved's 'Hordanes Land'.

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 17, 2006, 03:49:09 PM
I agree that 'lead' is perhaps the correct nomenclature, though where I'm from, the two are used interchangeably.


ICONOCLAST_IS_GOD

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 17, 2006, 08:10:13 PM
Quote
The presence of guitar solos in metal is too often an excuse to showcase ability, or to popularize the music by appealing to mainstream techniques, rather than narrative investigation.


*coughslayercough*

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 17, 2006, 08:19:59 PM
 Sometimes a song can be more meaningful if you add a solo that has the same feeling or vibe from the song itself, but also taking the emotion of the guitar to a different level.

Listen to the solo in Stairway to heaven, it's known as one of the greatest solos (well according to some places) because of how well Jimmy let each note talk for itself, and how the harmony blended perfect with the critique of the song already.

Solos are definately what shows a guitarists abilities, but not needed in every song. Riffs and lead play the main role in most metal I hear.

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 17, 2006, 08:30:07 PM
well a solo is also the same as the pinnacle or crescendo just before the cadence, the usual purpose being to bring the energy of the song right up before the end of the song (after all if the end of the song is flat you are less likely to get the same response from an audience compared to the cadence in many of Beethoven's works)  

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 18, 2006, 12:17:53 AM
Quote

*coughslayercough*


Actually Slayer's solos usually go out of the way to be out of tune and chromatic to add intesity to the music.  It's meant to be an addition to the song and not an ego thing, even if you think it's a dumb addition.  

I do think it's lame that he does the exact same kind of solos everytime though.

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 18, 2006, 12:58:52 AM
I always liked the lead rhythm melody playing as in Burzum's "Key to the Gate." That's a more mature view of the solo, which can be done well, and in my view Morbid Angel and Deicide are its masters.

ICONOCLAST_IS_GOD

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 18, 2006, 01:14:16 AM
Quote

Actually Slayer's solos usually go out of the way to be out of tune and chromatic to add intesity to the music.  It's meant to be an addition to the song and not an ego thing, even if you think it's a dumb addition.  

I do think it's lame that he does the exact same kind of solos everytime though.


I'm not really a huge fan of slayer, but songs I do like usually are ruined by a horrible solo-- reign in blood is the best example.  The solo towards the end is just atrocious.  It is noise.

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 18, 2006, 01:48:08 AM
Im a guitarist in a grindcore band and i dont really think that "solos" are very important.  I think that can add interesting points to a song but I think too many metal bands think that they have to have a solo in the song when really it has just turned into an egotistical way to play a song.

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 18, 2006, 03:17:12 AM
I think solos are good if they are emotional, musicial or help the feel of the music, but if you are just showing off how good you can play, then you are missing the point of what music is about.  

Also, it's an over-used tool and if everyone stopped doing it now, it wouldn't do any harm to the progression of music.  There are other tools to be used.

Re: Integrality of the Guitar Solo
November 19, 2006, 10:18:23 AM
The solo on Immortal's Frozen by Icewinds is a good example of the solo being used to take the song to another level, to add to the chaos. It is just the right length as well, and it avoids the pitfalls of being a cock sucking fest. It goes with the music and then takes it to another level until ending with chaos and noise. And it comes out of nowhere rather than having the purpose of just killing time.