Review Fix’s Top Ten Metal Bassists of All Time

When it comes to bands, everyone knows the singers, the guitarists, and the drummers. But what about the foundation of the band? The key component to the rhythm?

Metalocalypse was right. It seems that the bassists always get left out.

Today is a day of redemption for them as brings you the ten best metal bass players of all time. These guys are not only audible, but are some of the most influential musicians ever to grace a stage.

10: Dan Lilker: Whichever metal band you’re thinking of, there’s a chance Lilker has played in them. Lilker’s band resume looks like a hardened criminal’s rap sheet. From his glory days in Nuclear Assault and S.O.D; to the grinding sounds of Brutal Truth and Crucifist, there’s no telling who he’ll be playing for. His low bonky tone can be picked up at the drop of a hat and the man himself can be spotted just as easy in his skinny 6’4 frame.

Songs to check out: “Critical Mass” -Nuclear Assault, “Speak English or Die” – S.O.D; “Godplayer”-Brutal Truth.

9: Greg Christian: Testament’s backbone has a distinct jazz style that can be heard throughout the band’s catalog. A quiet guy, Christian usually lets his bass do the talking for him on and off the stage.

Songs to check out: “Into the Pit,” “Greenhouse Effect,” “Souls of Black”

8: Jean-Yves The’riault (A.K.A. Blacky) – The maniac from Voivod. An underdog in the bass player world. Blacky has destroyed everything he has ever touched in the best way possible. He is a ferocious player with more intensity in his little finger than most people do in their entire body.

Songs to check out: “Missing Sequences,” Ravenous Medicine,” “Ripping Headaches”

7: Jon Myung: Dream Theater’s silent bass player is one of the most underrated. Myung is a classically trained musician who’s fingers are all over the place. Not only is he able to play such strange time signatures, but he does it on a six string bass while keeping up with guitarist John Petrucci.

Songs to check out: “Panic Attack,” “The Glass Prison,” “Honor thy Father.”

6: Alex Webster: Cannibal Corpse’s star is arguably the heaviest bassist around. Aside from ripping incredibly technical bass lines and being a fantastic performer, he’s also a well rounded player. Webster uses a three-finger walk technique that allows him to play at blistering speeds without using a pick.

Songs to check out: “Hammer Smashed Face,” “Five Nails Through the Neck,” “Amnesia.”

5: Steve Digiorgio: The fretless wonder is one of the most underrated bassists of all time. Steve Digiorgio has played with countless bands starting with thrash legends Sadus. Digiorgio has an instantly recognizable tone and is one of the fastest bass players around. One listen and he will blow you away.

Songs to check out: “Overactive Imagination” – Death, “Wolf” – Iced Earth, “Valley of Dry Bones” – Sadus.

4: Cliff Burton: This wouldn’t be a top 10 bass player list without Cliff Burton. Metallica’s iconic bass player was taken far too early in his life, but the music he crafted has lived on. Using various pedals and gear, Burton was able to make his bass sound like a low tuned guitar, and played solos that were beyond comprehension. Without Cliff, both Metallica and thrash metal may not have gone very far in the first place.

Songs to check out: “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth),” “The Call of Ktulu,” “Orion”

3: Geezer Butler: The man responsible for all that is metal bass playing. Geezer Butler’s unique style has crafted masterpieces such as “Master of Reality,” “Heaven and Hell,” and of course, “Paranoid.” The original Black Sabbath has recently reunited with talks of a new album, followed by a world tour, proving you can’t put this Geezer down.

Songs to check out: “Children of the Grave,” “NIB,” “Symptom of the Universe.”

2: David Ellefson: The Megadeth bassist recently put out a new signature model from Jackson guitars commemorating one of his best works, the mighty “Rust In Peace” album. Ellefson has been in Megadeth from the beginning, wreaking havoc on every stage he has ever touched. Megadeth’s new album, “Th1rt3en” marks the bands first album with Ellefson since 2004’s “The System Has Failed.”

Songs to check out: “Holy Wars,” “Wake Up Dead,” “Good Mourning…Black Friday.”

1: Steve Harris: The founder of the legendary Iron Maiden needs no introduction. Harris’ signature “galloping” bass style is still on par with the albums after all these years. The man has influenced so many different genres of music and bass players, there’s no telling if he’ll ever stop doing what he does best. The band still continues to tour a majority of the year with the same energy they had 25 years ago.

Songs to check out: “Powerslave,” “Killers,” “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.”

About Chris Butera 136 Articles
Chris Butera has been absorbed in Heavy Metal since he was 15 years old. He has been playing in bands since 2006 and has interned for extreme music label Earache Records, while writing for since its inception and more recently for When he isn’t doing anything music related he’s probably reading comics or classic books, watching a horror movie or a wrestling match, or pretending to be a dinosaur.

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