THE TOP 5 Modern Guitarists According to JAMES NORBERT IVANYI

Australian guitar phenom James Norbert Ivanyi is releasing his new EP ‘Denalavis’ on June 1st (pre-order it here), and we wanted to know what guitarists he was listening to these days. Here are his Top 5:


Daniel Donato

Daniel is a young Nashville-based country guitarist who exhibits some of the most extraordinarily frightening chops I’ve ever seen. His improvisation instincts and use of shade in his playing is what captivates me the most, and I get very inspired by it. You can see this best on one of the many videos of him playing on youtube in what must have been some residency cover band he was in, where he goes for it and it on these big solo sections, and it really is incredible.

Scott Carstairs

Over the last few years, I have definitely drifted away from listening to any kind of metal music, especially the more extreme death metal groups that to my ear, have nothing unique to offer and sound the same. Scott’s refined, and signature sense of melody is what drew me into listening to Fallujah, and eventually becoming a big fan of the band, and now a friend of Scott’s. His approach to the genre is extremely unconventional, in the way that he builds soundscapes and dreamy, majestic melodies (reminiscent of Jeff Beck) that are effortlessly blended into the bedrock of truly crushing riffs. An incredible player, and even better guy!

Mateus Asato

It goes without saying that Mateus is a very gifted, and incredible guitarist, on his way to being one of the greats. I don’t usually pay attention to players that ‘just play’ stuff on the internet, but what separates him from the rest is his almost other-worldly sense of melody, intensely satisfying chord changes and incredible control over the instrument. We’ve had the pleasure of hanging out at Suhr and NAMM many times, and if there’s one solo guitar album I’m looking forward to more than anything else, it’s his. (Hurry up, Mateus!)

Richard Henshall

Richard’s playing and song writing style in Haken is almost my favourite thing to listen to when it comes to heavier progressive music. He’s a gifted multi-instrumentalist that doesn’t rely on the guitar alone to get the job done, but instead utilises numerous instruments to get the most out of the musical part at hand, which is something I’m very inspired by and explore myself with my own music. ‘Affinity’ is one of my favourite rock/metal albums as of late, and his work on it is incredible.

Joseph Haley

Fellow Aussie Joe Haley, in my opinion, is one of the most original, and incredible riff writing machines to ever exist in the metal world. It’s so rare to see someone with a unique style in the death metal genre, and for someone who doesn’t even play solos in Psycroptic, you know it’s Joe with a single note. I’ve also seen him live many times, and his execution, and ability to command a stage sound as a sole guitarist is extremely inspiring. He also meddles in a range of other genres, plays drums, is a producer and can shred like a madman, even though it’s seldom seen. His use of open strings, semi tonal slides in fast riffing and subtle chromaticism is absolutely wild, and very original.

For a preview of what’s to come on James’ new EP, have a peek at this official video, or go see him play at UK Tech Fest or on his upcoming Australian tour (dates below):

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As Editor-in-Chief of Gear Gods, I've been feeding your sick instrument fetishism and trying unsuccessfully to hide my own since 2013. I studied music on both coasts (Berklee and SSU) and now I'm just trying to put my degree to some use. That's a music degree, not an English one. I'm sure you noticed.

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