Fans of Alex Skolnick’s shredding in Testament might be shocked by his new album, Planetary Coalition, a collaborative world-music project driven by Skolnick’s crystalline, beatific acoustic guitar and assimilationist composing skills. But it’s not a case of a metal jaguar changing his spots; Skolnick is simply displaying all of them for the first time.
Malcolm's really underrated. He makes the band sound so full, and I couldn't ask for a better rhythm player. Sometimes I look at Malcolm while he's playing, and I'm completely awestruck by the sheer power of it. He's doing something much more unique than what I do-with that raw, natural sound of his. People like Malcolm, Steve Cropper, Chuck Berry and Keith Richards-they're all doing something better than the rest of us.
Once upon a time, the mere act of strapping on an electric guitar and cranking up an amplifier marked one as an outsider, a rebellious badass who refused to live by the laws of a "decent" society. But today's cookie-cutter rockers and forgettable pop janglers make studying for the priesthood seem like an edgier pursuit than playing guitar in a band.
Guitar fans might remember seven-string guitarist the Commander-In-Chief from her “Zigeunerweisen Op. 20" guitar-duel video, which she made with classically trained guitarist Thomas Valeur. That video, which was premiered on GuitarWorld.com, was one of the site's 10 most-watched videos of 2013.
While this was a somewhat uneventful year for new rock releases, it was bananas for interesting box sets. Record companies reached deep inside their vaults and discovered some really cool and weird things.
Despite a few nasty rumors to the contrary, the guitar is alive and well in 2014. It survived the rise of the keyboard in the Eighties and the overwhelming bass-barrage of electronic dance music of the early 21st century and, as evidenced by the 50 selections below, shows no signs of waning in relevancy.