Is Ralph Santolla the World’s best Death Metal lead guitarist?

I think so.

Exhibit A: stepped into the shoes of the Hoffman brothers in Deicide (despite him being a practicing Catholic entering into the world’s most Satanic band) for the album The Stench of Redemption – a titanically heavy album with superb melodic shred playing that perfectly suits the Death Metal genre.  Ok – when I say ‘stepped’ into the shoes of, I’m not forgetting Jack Owen (former Cannibal Corpse guitarist) who’s not exactly a slouch on his axe either, but his lead playing while violent and fitting for this type of metal is not as refined and melodic (I know this sounds like an oxymoron in context) as Santolla’s.

Exhibit B: Replaced Allen West in Obituary for the crushingly heavy but beautifully adorned (with Santolla’s spiraling leads) album Xecutioner’s Return.  I always felt West was the weak point in the Ob lineup and had a minor celebration when James Murphy joined for the Cause Of Death album (sadly he left because he went mental from brain cancer). West’s leads just lacked that certain oomph and energy – neither weird, atonal or ‘sound effecty’ enough nor as melodic or technically accomplished in the shred realm to really round out Obituary to being totally crushing. Let’s hope Santolla stays in the band, or at least contributes as a hired gun in the great tradition of other revolving door DM guitar artistes such as Murphy, Andy LaRoque, Paul Masvidal… Anyway, go buy that album – an outstanding Death Metal release.

P.S. My company network blocks access to the Deicide website. Now that’s evil.

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3 Responses to “Is Ralph Santolla the World’s best Death Metal lead guitarist?”

  1. […] luck for Glen Benton and gang then, since IMHO Ralph Santolla is the World’s Best Death Metal Guitarist. Wonder if he left because Deicide is a Satanic band and he’s a […]

  2. […] they have a new album coming out with the sucky name ‘Till death do us part’. Ralph Santolla isn’t on […]

  3. Wow. He stepped in for some great bands. If not the best he is the luckiest death metal guitarist in the world.

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