Metal Sucks have put up their list of “The Top 25 Modern Metal Guitarists” and Synyster Gates grabs a spot at #23.
Synyster Gates (aka Brian Haner Jr.) is a ridiculously good guitar player.
No disrespect to fellow A7X axe-slinger Zacky Vengeance; he’s a helluva player too. But I always got the impression Syn was the Slash to Zacky’s Izzy Stradlin… the main writer, arranger, and taker of amazing guitar solos. Together with Brent Hinds, Adam D., Jon Donais and Mark Morton, Synyster Gates helped usher actual good lead guitar playing back into mainstream metal in the early to mid ’00s, rescuing us all from dunder-headed single-note-riff nu-metal oblivion.
His artful, effortless shred makes Yngwie look like the egotistical (yet lovable) wanker he really is, but more importantly Synyster Gates is a composer and arranger of endless talent. A7X’s twin guitar attack functions like dual violins in a chamber orchestra, weaving in and out of leads and rhythms that brings the guitars to the forefront of a band that actually has a vocalist. And unlike, say, Dream Theater, who frequently send their vocalist on extended back-stage breaks while the rest of the band wanks (again, lovably), Gates somehow gets away with playing leads underneath vocals pretty much all the time and makes it work perfectly. Check out the twin-leads under the verse (0:25) and loping lead line under the chorus (0:59) of City of Evil track “Trashed and Scattered”
Even if you don’t enjoy Avenged Sevenfold’s music (which I do and you should), you can’t deny Synyster Gates’ talent. Respect where it’s due, prease.