Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith is responsible for penning some of the band’s best songs like ‘2 Minutes to Midnight,’ ‘Wasted Years,’ and ‘The Evil That Men Do.’ His absence from Iron Maiden was strongly felt until he rejoined the band in 1999. Smith squeezes a flurry of notes out of tight spaces, making those watching him wonder where they even came from. The emotion and feeling in his playing is the most palpable of all the guitarists in Iron Maiden.

Jake E. Lee was originally supposed to be the guitarist for the Dio band, but disagreements led to an audition for Ozzy Osbourne, beating out George Lynch of Dokken for the vacant guitar slot. He took on the daunting task of replacing the late Randy Rhoads and succeeded with flying colors. ‘Bark at the Moon,’ ‘Waiting for Darkness,’ and ‘Lightning Strikes’ carry the Rhoads torch up high. After two albums with Ozzy, Lee formed Badlands with singer Ray Gillen, who had a brief stint with Black Sabbath. The band featured more mega riffing, but more in vein of ‘70s Whitesnake.

Adrian Smith or Jake E. Lee? Cast your vote for the Greatest Metal Guitarist in the poll below! Voting for this round closes on Sunday, July 21 at 11:59PM ET. Fans can vote once per hour, so keep coming back to make sure that your favorite metal musician wins!

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