Although the two shared the stage in Exodus during the band's formative years, Kirk Hammett and Gary Holt found themselves as competitors during our Round 1 series of voting. While Holt is one of thrash metal's most powerful guitarists and has filled the spot of Slayer's Jeff Hanneman with phenomenal precision, it was Metallica's Hammett who snagged a Round 1 win.

In what was our closest battle of Round 1, neoclassical virtuoso Ygnwie Malmsteen took on Judas Priest axe-slinger Glenn Tipton. With less than a one-percent margin between the two at the conclusion of Round 1 voting, Malmsteen emerged victorious over the Priest icon. Few guitarists on Earth can compete with Malmsteen's chops, but will the man's skill set be enough to advance him further?

Kirk Hammett or Yngwie Malmsteen? Cast your vote for the Greatest Metal Guitarist in the poll below! Voting for this round closes on Sunday, July 28 at 11:59PM ET. Fans can vote once per hour, so keep coming back to make sure that your favorite metal musician wins!

Shredder Region Round 2

Axe-Slinger Region Round 2