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From generation-bridging jams to seismic melodic hardcore: here are this week's essential guitar tracks

Joe Satriani
(Image credit: Cory Wong)

Another week, another edition of essential guitar tracks! For those new here, we, the team at Guitar World, have been tirelessly scouring the web for the hottest new guitar tracks to drop in the last seven days.

This week, we've got a host of exciting new entries, including a furious new release from nu-metal up-and-comers Tallah, the most high-gain funk collaboration you may ever hear courtesy of Cory Wong and Joe Satriani, the latest material from Deftones guitarist Stef Carpenter's side project Sol Invicto and loads more.

So sit back, put that guitar down, and prepare to be inspired. Oh, and then pick the guitar up again.

Cory Wong – Massive (feat. Joe Satriani)

2020 has brought with it a host of unexpected collaborations – William Shatner and Ritchie Blackmore, anyone? – but this unlikely pairing of funk titan Cory Wong and guitar god Joe Satriani has been one of the most successful.

Massive has all the hallmarks of a classic Wong track – the percussive, heavily compressed Strat vamps, taut rhythm section and horn stabs are all present and correct – but this minor-key jam gets taken in an all-new direction courtesy of Satch, who delivers the track’s hook with the kind of wah-drenched swagger only he can muster. (MAB)

Tallah - No One Should Read This

Today sees the release of Tallah’s debut album, Matriphagy, and as its opener No One Should Read This shows, the nu-metal influence runs strong. Listeners will feel nostalgia for the genre’s heyday of the early 2000s, with strong Slipknot vibes resonating throughout courtesy of its monstrous guitar riffs.

It’s also clear that Mike Portnoy has passed on his sticksman genes to son Max, who blazes through this track with considerable ferocity. (SR)

Sufjan Stevens - Run Away With Me

Even for an artist whose career has been defined by sweeping, all-encompassing and grandiose artistic statements on topics ranging from entire American states to the death of his mother, The Ascension – Sufjan Stevens’ long-awaited new album – is truly something else. 

80 minutes long, alternately moody, euphoric, despondent and bracingly confessional, and packed with more layers of electronics than one finds on your typical Aphex Twin album, it’s an incredibly difficult work to suss out on a first or even second listen.

Run Away With Me, however, finds Stevens at his most approachable. It’s a song that reminds you – when you strip away some of his more dense instrumentation and meme-inspiringly opaque lyrics, Stevens is simply one of the best pop songwriters on the planet.  

Casey Foubert’s aching, sky-gazing lead guitar work is the perfect spice for this tune - a beautiful, sepia-toned daydream of yearning that ranks among the most immediate, affecting love songs Stevens has ever penned. (JM)

Anna B Savage - A Common Tern

It’s something of a music-criticism trope to make comparisons to Radiohead, but this enveloping track from London singer-songwriter Anna B Savage truly shares the emotional and sonic weight of alt-rock’s premier luminaries.

Savage employs some tasty extended-chord voicings to conjure A Common Tern’s menacing atmosphere, before exploding in a fit of overdrive to reach the track’s cathartic zenith. (MAB)

Sol Invicto – A Reason for Being

Deftones may have got their mojo back with new album, Ohms, but eight-string – and now nine-string – maverick Stephen Carpenter saved his heaviest riffs for the latest track from his Sol Invicto side-project.

A Reason For Being is some kind of doom-thrash hybrid, showcasing Carpenter’s precision-engineered palm-muting chops and keen ear for dissonance. This is how you do rhythmic metal right. (MAB)

LANDMVRKS - Rainfall

Hailing from Marseille, France, this five-piece brings a refreshing energy to the well-trodden path of metalcore/melodic hardcore. Today, the group dropped Rainfall, their first recorded material since 2018 full-length Fantasy, and it shows that their thirst for creative innovation has thus far gone unquenched.

Crank those speakers and prepare for the track’s ground-shaking guitar work, resonating screams and seismic drumming to blow your socks off. (SR)

Foi – Sink to Swim

India-based instructor Sanjay Kumar has been wringing nuanced licks out of his Aristides for a number of years now, but new track Sink to Swim strikes the perfect balance of blistering technique and irresistible melody.

The song’s opening legato/tapping line, backed by punk-rock powerchords, is pure guitar euphoria, before Kumar leads into a darker middle section that nods to metal, djent and classic shred. If you dig Plini, Intervals and I Built The Sky, you’re gonna love this. (MAB)

Drive-By Truckers - The New OK

In an ever-unpredictable world, it’s comforting to know that Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley are still one of the best two-guitar attacks in rock.

The title track of their surprise new album – their second full-length of 2020 – The New OK finds Hood tackling the political unrest that has unsettled his Portland home in recent months with the profound empathy and nuance that’s such a hallmark of his songwriting.

As for the music, well, you can almost set your watch to it – Hood delivering those ever-satisfying, meaty riffs, with Cooley’s brash but ever-melodic leads playing the perfect foil. These maestros can do it in their sleep at this point, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable to hear them at work. (JM)

Accept - The Undertaker

The Undertaker sees the German heavy-metallers trade their all-out guitar onslaught for a more brooding arrangement. The verses are pared down, with just bass guitar, drums and vocals, while ethereal guitar chords bolster the song’s dark dreary lyrical content.

We particularly love the guitar solo (which hits at 3:43), as it’s a perfect example of feel over virtuosity, and fits the track's vibe tremendously. (SR)

Chris Mike – Limerence

The virtuoso with two first names returns with this theatrical new single that fuses spanky distorted tones with synth brass – to our ears, the resultant sound brings to mind a djent Toto.

Mike’s chops are as impeccable as ever, wringing a wealth of tasteful articulations from his Ernie Ball Music Man, before a rapid-fire alternate-picking section brings the track to its thunderous conclusion. (MAB)