Guitar Planet has put together a list of genre-spanning guitarists they believe are The Modern Masters Of The Guitar Riff, Synyster Gates included.
Synyster Gates (Avenged Sevenfold)
The reason it is so tricky to single out the modern masters of the riff is that, in the current landscape, certain acts burn white hot for a moment and then fade. Indie fans will certainly remember Franz Ferdinand’s riffs from the early-2000s, for a time they dominated Europe’s dance floors, but not so today. Equally, Metal has endured a decade of false starts with bands threatening to become the next big thing, but receding before they reached the heights Franz managed in indie.
14 years on from the turn of the millennium it is tempting to label either Daron Malakian (System Of A Down) or Mick Thompson (Slipknot) metal’s leading riff machine. However, while these guitarists are monumental, they feel like part of the furniture, rather than of the moment. The leading lights of a generation just passed. Synyster Gates and Avenged Sevenfold, on the other hand, still feel like the oncoming storm: the one band capable of escaping the metal milieu and staking their claim towards immortality.
It helps of course that their material keeps getting better and better. Having started with riffs whose theatricality made them distinctive, today Gates seems content to bowl over his audience with earth shaking heaviness. 2013’s “Hail To The King” riff is simplicity itself, but the way its rudimentary brutality contrasts with light fingered delicacy of the second guitar part is simply divine.
Gates’ Top 3 Riffs: Hail To The King, Nightmare and Eternal Rest