1. ADAM JONES
Adam Jones has made a living from his art in video, painting, sculpture, digital and conventional art and is known for his wide ranging sound on guitar. When Tool emerged in the early 1990s created by Adam Jones & Maynard Keenan they sounded unlike anything that had come before. His guitar which is something that often stretches through a 10 minute song is the guitar of legends and has helped Tool gain cult status and sell millions of albums worldwide.
2. JOHN FRUSCIANTE
Although absent for most of the mid-1990s John Frusciante's guitar put Red Hot Chili Peppers on the map with Blood Sugar Sex Magick in the early 1990s. His heralded return to the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the late 1990s with the album Califonication began the most successful period in the bands career.
3. KIM THAYIL
One only need to do a quick listen to Superunknown to see why Thayil made this list his otherworldly riffs and melodies made Soundgarden legendary in the 1990s. Although the band broke up in the late 1990s they have since regrouped in 2010 and are working on a new album.
4. TWIGGY RAMIREZ
Twiggy Ramirez(also known as Jeordie White) took his name as Marilyn Manson did from icons of previous eras. Primarily responsible for bass on Marilyn Manson albums he has also provided lead guitar. It was said by Missy(Manson's previous girlfriend) that he had written not only bass but most of the guitar parts from Anti-Christ Superstar.
5. STONE GOSSARD
Responsible (in conjunction with Mike Mcready) for the guitar sound that propelled Pearl Jam from a relatively unknown band (except in Seattle) to a commercial and critically successful Juggernaut. With the guitar he provided Pearl Jam sold millions of copies and to this day do sold out tours around the world.
6. BRIAN "HEAD" WELCH
Responsible for the majority of the guitar on Korn's first several albums his unique styling is something out of an erie horror film. His guitar sound made most of the Korn albums sell multi-platinum records. although Brian "Head" Welch has left the band to follow a christian path, a decision I support, I must say Korn is not the same without him.
7. J. MASCIS
J. Mascis has always incorporated incredibly long amazing guitar solos into his songs, it is the greatest thing about Dinosaur Jr. Although they had broken up in the late 1990s they have since regrouped as of 2005 and toured extensively. They have also released two albums Beyond(2007) and Farm(2009) which have garnered even more attention than previous records.
8. JERRY CANTRELL
Jerry Cantrell was the music behind Layne Staley's voice. In the early 1990s Alice in chains began their meteoric rise in fame as one of the original grunge gods. After Staley died Cantrell worked on solo projects and eventually reformed Alice in Chains with a new singer backed by his incredible guitar driven music.
9. NIGEL PULSFORD
Following in the footsteps of the grunge greats Pulsford was responsible for Bush's crunchy guitar riffs and urgent styling. A perfect match stylistically for the raspy vocals of Gavin Rossdale. Pulsford left the band in the early 2000s and is now in semi retirement raising his family.
10. MIKE TURNER
Mike Turner was responsible for putting Our Lady Peace into the mainstream. His incredible rock riff sensibilities put his guitar on the same level as any of his US or international counterparts. OLP's second album Clumsy full of Turner's best guitar broke diamond status in Canada, platinum in the states and sold well worldwide. Turner left the band after it's 4th album as the band pursued a more pop sound (who can blame him).
Candle Hour (author) from North America on October 14, 2011:
Did our best it was difficult to narrow it down let me tell you
CapstoneTrends from Outside Boston, Massachusetts, USA on September 24, 2011: