Today I’m going to introduce you to some fantastic guitarists who play in bands from Erra, to Periphery, and Intervals, but have also taken on solo or side projects of their own. Some of these bands are completely instrumental and if you’ve never listened to songs without lyrics, give them a shot. Sometimes they can say more or emote more than music with words. As you will hear, the following guitarists not only can shred the guitar when needed, but they can also create some of the most ear-pleasing and interestingly composed tunes with their minds that are not only bursting with creativity but also highly trained in all things technical.

Ghost AtlasGhost Atlas

For those of you who don’t know, Ghost Atlas is the solo project of Erra guitarist and vocalist, Jesse Cash. Perhaps the most alluring aspect of Ghost Atlas is the fact that the guitar is at the forefront as much as his vocals are. Not one aspect of his music overshadows the other. Miraculously, he manages to make all the elements coexist in a way where they can equally shine, making it a dream for those with a technical ear to listen to. Furthermore, his voice cuts through with its crystal clear tone as he sings deeply emotional and delicate lyrics. Dimension is a word I commonly think of when I listen to Ghost Atlas. It builds, never falls flat, and most importantly takes you through a journey of dynamic and seemingly unexplored sounds. Overall, it’s clear that he is one of our generations most talented musicians, but he is still hiding somewhat in the shadows. The light deserves to be shown on this phenomenon of a project that warrants your attention. He has a new album coming out this year, so stay tuned for an official release date.

Essential Tracks: “Sacred Organs,” “Mood Ring,” and “Rainmaker”

Haunted ShoresHaunted Shores

Many of you know of progressive metal giants, Periphery, but have you heard of Haunted Shores? Haunted Shores is the side project of Periphery guitarists, Mark Holcomb and Misha Mansoor. The project is mainly instrumental, providing the ultimate jam sesh to rock out to. On occasion, they bring in guest vocalists, like Devin Townsend, which add yet another layer to their monstrous instrumentals that already have the power to stand on their own. They are another highly technical project that can be enjoyed by both musicians and music lovers alike. They create some monstrous tracks that are both powerful yet restrained in the best ways imaginable.

Essential Tracks: “Harrison Fjord,” “Norway Jose,” and “The Spire”

PliniPlini

Plini is a solo project by Aaron Marshall of Intervals. Much like Intervals, Plini is a completely instrumental band. You may be noticing a theme here… Guitarists taking on projects of their own. But, they all bring something uniquely refreshing to the table and are able to not only look at music differently, but are also extremely finessed. As a result, you get projects like Plini, who takes you on a musical carpet ride with his wildly and uniquely composed tracks. There’s something so eerie yet calming about his creations as they play with both dark and euphoric notes. It’s not only a joy for people to listen to, especially in times when you are in need of inspiration, but his music is extremely fun for guitarists to play, especially since it has a tad bit of theatricalness to it (the non-cheesy kind). Overall, he uses his guitar to express emotion in a way that words cannot express.

Essential Tracks: “The End of Everything,” “Selenium Forest,” and “Paper Moon”


I hope you enjoyed discovering these musicians as much as I did. Please let us know what you think of our recommendations in the comments.