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How Metallica, Slayer and Pantera Sound with a Clean Guitar Tone

(Image credit: Mick Hutson/Getty Images)

When it comes to playing metal, no effect is more vital to guitar tone than distortion.

For anyone who doubts it, check out this video from YouTube poster Vaalvla, titled “Metal Songs Without Distortion.” In it, he plays selections from six classic metal tracks on his modified Squier Jazzmaster using, apparently, no effects whatsoever.

The selections are, in order, Slayer’s “Angel of Death,” Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” Pantera’s “5 Minutes Alone,” Slipknot’s “Left Behind,” Pantera’s “Cowboys from Hell” and Slayer’s “Raining Blood.”

You can see more of Vaalvla’s videos on YouTube and hear some of his original music as well.

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Christopher Scapelliti
Christopher Scapelliti

Christopher Scapelliti is editor-in-chief of Guitar Player (opens in new tab) magazine, the world’s longest-running guitar magazine, founded in 1967. In his extensive career, he has authored in-depth interviews with such guitarists as Pete Townshend, Slash, Billy Corgan, Jack White, Elvis Costello and Todd Rundgren, and audio professionals including Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick and Ken Scott. He is the co-author of Guitar Aficionado: The Collections: The Most Famous, Rare, and Valuable Guitars in the World (opens in new tab), a founding editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine, and a former editor with Guitar WorldGuitar for the Practicing Musician and Maximum Guitar. Apart from guitars, he maintains a collection of more than 30 vintage analog synthesizers.