Zoltan Bathory: why James Hetfield is the perfect metal rhythm guitar player

Zoltan Bathory (left) and James Hetfield
(Image credit: David Wolff – Patrick/Redferns, Didier Messens/Redferns)

Last year, YouTube user MetalliGeek uploaded a video that featured Metallica frontman and electric guitar player James Hetfield's isolated guitar tracks from a choice selection of classic Metallica cuts such as Battery, Master of Puppets, Disposable Heroes, Welcome Home (Sanitarium), Blackened, One and Dyers Eve.

The video – which went incredibly viral incredibly quickly – was a true testament to Hetfield's unrivaled picking precision, famous for generating a concrete wall of riffing that has influenced probably millions of guitarists by this point.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.