Unleashing the Power of 7-String Metal Songs: What You Want to Know

by Patria

In the ever-evolving landscape of metal music, artists constantly seek ways to push boundaries, redefine genres, and elevate their sonic landscapes. One such innovation that has made a profound impact on the metal scene is the introduction of 7-string guitars. These instruments, with an extended range compared to traditional 6-string guitars, have become synonymous with the heavier and more complex sounds of modern metal. In this article, we delve into the realm of 7-string metal songs, exploring the evolution of this unique subgenre and showcasing seven iconic tracks that epitomize the power and versatility of these instruments.

The Rise of 7-String Guitars in Metal Music

The 7-string guitar, initially designed by luthier Steve Vai in collaboration with Ibanez, gained prominence in the 1990s. It offered guitarists an additional low B string, extending the instrument’s range into the bass territory. This innovation allowed for deeper, more resonant tones, providing metal musicians with a new sonic palette to experiment with.

Metal artists quickly embraced the 7-string guitar for its ability to deliver crushing low-end riffs and intricate, technically demanding compositions. Bands like Korn and Meshuggah played pivotal roles in popularizing the instrument, incorporating its unique capabilities into their signature sounds.

The Sonic Landscape of 7-String Metal

Enhanced Low-End: The most immediate impact of the 7-string guitar on metal music is the enhanced low-end it brings to the table. The addition of a low B string allows guitarists to explore deeper, more guttural tones, creating a seismic foundation for heavy riffs and breakdowns. This sonic characteristic has become a defining element of many subgenres, including djent and progressive metal.

Technical Prowess: Beyond the sheer heaviness, the 7-string guitar has become a playground for technical virtuosity. The extended range enables guitarists to execute intricate lead passages and complex chord voicings that were previously challenging or impossible on a standard 6-string guitar. This technical prowess has elevated the musicianship within the metal community, with artists continually pushing the boundaries of what is sonically achievable.

Diverse Artistic Expression: The versatility of the 7-string guitar has also fostered a more diverse range of artistic expression within the metal genre. From melodic and atmospheric passages to dissonant and avant-garde compositions, artists have leveraged the instrument to explore a spectrum of emotions and themes. This diversity has expanded the horizons of metal, attracting a broader audience and breaking down traditional genre boundaries.

Seven 7-String Metal Songs That Redefine the Genre

1. “Bleed” by Meshuggah: Meshuggah’s “Bleed” stands as a cornerstone of modern metal, showcasing the band’s mastery of complex rhythms and polyrhythmic structures. Fredrik Thordendal’s use of the 7-string guitar in this track delivers a relentless sonic assault, perfectly complementing the intricate drum patterns and Jens Kidman’s intense vocals.

2. “New Millennium Cyanide Christ” by Meshuggah: Another Meshuggah masterpiece, “New Millennium Cyanide Christ,” exemplifies the band’s ability to create a sonic barrage of dissonance and aggression. Mårten Hagström’s and Thordendal’s 7-string guitar work in tandem to construct a chaotic yet controlled soundscape, solidifying Meshuggah’s status as pioneers of the djent movement.

3. “Aesthetics of Hate” by Machine Head: Machine Head’s “Aesthetics of Hate” from the album “The Blackening” showcases the 7-string guitar’s capacity for emotional depth. Robb Flynn’s use of the instrument adds weight and intensity to the track, creating a powerful backdrop for the song’s lyrical content addressing the tragic death of guitarist Dimebag Darrell.

4. “Falling Away from Me” by Korn: Korn’s “Falling Away from Me” is a classic example of how the 7-string guitar can be used to create hauntingly melodic passages within the realm of nu-metal. Brian “Head” Welch and James “Munky” Shaffer’s collaboration on the 7-string guitars contributes to the song’s dark atmosphere and memorable hook.

5. “The Violation” by Fleshgod Apocalypse: Fleshgod Apocalypse’s symphonic death metal masterpiece “The Violation” features Francesco Paoli’s relentless 7-string guitar assault. The band’s fusion of extreme metal with orchestral elements showcases the instrument’s adaptability in crafting intricate and grandiose compositions.

6. “Scarlet” by Periphery: Periphery has been at the forefront of the djent movement, and “Scarlet” is a prime example of the band’s progressive and technical prowess. Mark Holcomb’s use of the 7-string guitar in this track contributes to the intricate tapestry of layered riffs and soaring melodies that define Periphery’s sound.

7. “The Woven Web” by Animals as Leaders: Animals as Leaders, led by virtuoso guitarist Tosin Abasi, pushes the boundaries of instrumental metal with “The Woven Web.” Abasi’s mastery of the 7-string guitar is evident in the track’s complex arrangements and mind-bending guitar techniques, showcasing the instrument’s potential for pushing the limits of what is musically achievable.


As metal music continues to evolve, the 7-string guitar remains a vital tool for artists seeking to push the boundaries of sonic expression. The instrument’s unique capabilities have not only shaped the sound of contemporary metal but also paved the way for new subgenres and artistic innovations.

In conclusion, the world of 7-string metal songs is a vast and diverse landscape, offering a myriad of sonic possibilities for both musicians and listeners. Whether exploring the depths of low-end brutality or reaching the heights of technical virtuosity, the 7-string guitar has become an indispensable element in the arsenal of metal musicians, forever altering the course of the genre’s history.

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