photo & text by nacrowe
WARREN DEMARTINI. it is definitely all about WARREN DEMARTINI.
dude was one of the hands-down GNARLIEST GUITAR PLAYERS of the 1980s METAL scene; GLAM METAL, THRASH or otherwise. his TASTEFUL LEGATO runs are all over RATT's debut OUT OF THE CELLAR (ATLANTIC, 1984) album, adding TEXTURE and a sense of ENERGY and excitement to some of the CATCHIER GLAM METAL from that era, right up there with heavyweights MOTLEY CRUE and VAN HALEN. of course, like most bands from that SUNSET STRIP era, the MACHO POSTURING and RIDICULOUS fashion was OUTLANDISH and LAUGHABLE at best (just look at KISS and OZZY OSBOURNE from this period) and CRINGE-INDUCING at worst. i know to some extent this was a scene built on the idol worship of ICONIC acts like T. REX and THE NEW YORK DOLLS, but like all religious converts they all took it too far. vocalist STEPHEN PEARCY was as guilty of this as anyone, but i'll admit i appreciate his relative RESTRAINT on lead single "ROUND AND ROUND," which was one of the better tracks of that scene.
all that being said, whenever i tire of listening to THRASH, HARDCORE or EXTREME METAL sub-genres like DEATH and BLACK METAL from the period, i definitely put on OUT OF THE CELLAR for the genius of DEMARTINI. easily on of the most UNDERRATED and CRIMINALLY OVERLOOKED GUITARISTS in ROCK AND ROLL history. at some points its not even about the songs, just his guitar phrasing, technique and feel for his INSTRUMENT. i definitely here reverberations of his influence in the likes of the CONSIDERED pyrotechnics of ZAKK WYLDE (BLACK LABEL SOCIETY), SYNYSTER GATES (AVENGED SEVENFOLD) and even JOSH MIDDLETOWN (SYLOSIS, ARCHITECTS). if the guy was born in a different era he'd probably be a LEGENDARY BLUES or JAZZ player, not the OVERQUALIFIED lead guitarist for a CHEESY, also-ran 80s HAIR METAL band. but those are the breaks.
do i recommend RATT? no. not at all. but i do recommend checking out the work of WARREN DEMARTINI. dude is an ABSOLUTE wizard.