10 Great Hard Rock and Metal Guest Guitar Spots

A few weeks ago, we offered up our list of 10 great hard rock and metal vocal duets.

Now it’s time to give guitarists some love.

Below, behold 10 great—and sometimes unexpected—guitar player guest spots.

Check out the list below and let us know what you think in the comments.

1. Kerry King – “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” (Beastie Boys)

The Slayer guitarist was drafted to play on this Beastie Boys song by Rick Rubin, who was recording both Reign in Blood and License to Ill at the same time, in adjacent studios. According to King, he was offered a couple hundred bucks to play the riffs and solo. Needing the cash, he laid down his parts in roughly a half hour. The result is a hip-hop classic.

2. Kirk Hammett – “Salt the Wound” (Exodus)

It was only a matter of time before the Metallica guitarist reunited with his original band. Given the results, it’s only too bad it took this long…

3. Zakk Wylde – “Unholy” (Black Veil Brides)

It was black on black for this Kiss classic. Black Label Society leader Zakk Wylde added a searing solo to Black Veil Brides’ cover of “Unholy” off their 2011 EP, Rebels.

4. Eddie Van Halen – “Beat It” (Michael Jackson)

Maybe the most celebrated melding of hard rock and pop music, EVH added a solo to Michael Jackson’s smash hit after receiving a call from producer Quincy Jones, which he initially thought was a prank. Famously, Van Halen didn’t even ask to be compensated for his work, saying he did it as a “favor.”

5. Synyster Gates – “The River” (Good Charlotte)

Gates adds a melodic solo to this 2009 Good Charlotte hit. For good measure, his Avenged Sevenfold band mate, M. Shadows, contributes vocals as well.

6. Dimebag Darrell – “Strap It On” (Anthrax)

Dimebag contributed solos to several Anthrax tunes from this album, We Have Come For You All, as well as 1995’s Stomp 442. But his solo here is one of his best Anthrax appearances.

7. Jeff Loomis – “Race Car” (Periphery)

Periphery albums already feature plenty of crazy guitar work. Adding Arch Enemy and ex-Nevermore shredder Jeff Loomis to the mix for this one only ups the guitar insanity.

8. Slash – “You Better Run” (Motorhead)

Slash appeared on two songs on Motorhead’s 1992 effort, March or Die. The other one, “I Ain’t No Nice Guy,” was a hit ballad with additional vocals from Ozzy Osbourne. “You Better Run,” however, is the better of the two, a slow-burning trad-blues banger with plenty of tasty leads from the top-hatted one.

9. Paul Waggoner – “Nocturne” (TesseracT)

TesseracT are already one of the most instrumentally accomplished bands out there. But drafting Between the Buried and Me’s Waggoner to add a solo to this, an instrumental version of the first single from their 2013 album, Altered State, served to sufficiently blow many prog-metal minds.

10. Stephen Carpenter – “Rizzo” (Chimaira)

The Deftones guitarist adds some gnarly riffing to this song, which he also helped to write. It appears on Chimaira’s 2001 debut full-length, Pass Out of Existence.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.