As heavy guitar music continues to evolve, the incorporation of electronic elements – samples, programmed drums and synth lines, for example – is becoming increasingly commonplace. One band who’ve successfully mastered the art of digitally infused metal – while maintaining a sonic stamp that’s completely their own – is Canadian trio Spiritbox.
If you’re a regular reader of our weekly round-up of essential guitar tracks, you might remember that we included the band’s latest single Holy Roller in last week’s edition. Now we bring you a full guitar playthrough of the track, performed by appropriately named guitarist Mike Stringer.
Holy Roller’s winding arrangement – which traverses between full-band instrumentation and sampled breakbeats – offers ample opportunity for Stringer to display its varied array of drop-tuned, pit-opening riffs, one of which incorporates a particularly impressive Gojira-esque pick scrape technique.
“We wrote Holy Roller because we wanted to have a song that was ridiculously heavy, yet still very energetic and memorable,” Stringer says. “The song is already tuned to F# on a seven-string which is a very low tuning to begin with, but we wanted to try and push it even further.
“This is how the song ended up having a walk-down section where three even lower tuning changes occur (F, E, and D#). Luckily, the Kemper handles the pitch shifting well, and has very little latency, so I’m able to recreate the guitar down tuning in real time.
“Playing this song is rhythmically challenging at parts, but is extremely fun, and has a great bouncy feel to it as it relies on a lot of dramatic bends on the low strings.”
Spiritbox’s latest single Holy Roller is available now via Pale Chord.