Nuno Bettencourt’s Guitar Solos Reignites the Love for Guitar Heroes?


The new album from Extreme is one of the most highly anticipated releases of the year when it comes to hard rock music. The band has released three singles so far – “Rise”, “Banshee” and “#Rebel” – and it’s safe to say that fan interest is at an all-time high. The band members themselves have confirmed this in various interviews they’ve done. The high number of streams on streaming services and constant appearances on radio shows and podcasts speak to this as well. And it’s all justified – the quality of the new music is top-notch. However, there’s one more aspect in which Extreme stands out, and that’s guitarist Nuno Bettencourt’s playing. It seems like his playing on just these three songs has completely blown away the rock and metal community.

The general opinion that has been ingrained in rock/metal community in the last decade, that actually dates back to the 90s and the emergence of alternative music, is that guitar solos, flashy guitarists, and attention to that segment of musical skills are not crucial in songs as they once were. Not only that, but the opinion is that such playing style is also undesirable. To be clear, we are talking about modern rock and metal music that gravitates towards mainstream. It is clear that guitarists still have their “place under the sun” when it comes to solos but the overall impression is just that the audience no longer attaches importance to it as they did before. However, with the appearance of these songs by Extreme, it seems that things are starting to slowly change.

There are many older and newer bands today that have top-class guitarists in their ranks who showcase all their talent and musical skills on their records. And there should be no mistake about that. But nobody, or almost nobody, has managed to completely capture the public’s attention in such a short time and in just three songs – solo parts in songs, as Nuno Bettencourt did in these three aforementioned singles. It’s no secret that Nuno is a top-class guitarist, in the league of the best in the world. We all know that as a fact. However, his parts played in these songs, especially in the song “Rise,” have completely driven the rock and metal community crazy in a way that no one has been able to do in the last 5 to 10 years, or maybe even longer.

There is no podcast, radio show, reaction video, or review that deals with the new Extreme songs that does not speak in superlatives about Nuno’s playing. Look for yourself, if you dont believe us. Even the “most replayed” segment of the YouTube video for the song ‘Rise’ is set right at the solo part, and it appears multiple times on different solo parts. People are making reaction videos on the subject of these songs and almost everyone puts his contribution in the foreground. This, of course, does not diminish the contribution of the other members of the Extreme’s success, but Nuno Bettencourt, with his guitar playing, has achieved something that may not have been seen since the 80s in a proper way, and that is that guitar solos are: THE THING THAT EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT AGAIN! They are widely talked about and they are in the spotlight.

Someone might say that it’s just an impression that deceived us. In that case, find a reaction video or podcast that analyzes the songs Rise, Banshee or #Rebel and check for yourself whether the hosts mention the guitar solos in those songs and then compare it with others. The difference is huge. All in all, maybe this is a return to faith in guitar bravado and guitar heroes as it once was. Perhaps Nuno Bettencourt, with these three phenomenal solo parts, has again drawn the audience’s attention to that segment of rock and metal music. Maybe from now on, we will pay more attention to it in general. Nuno is not the only one, but he made us stop and for a moment and to celebrate the significance and beauty of guitar solos as we once used to.

And one more thing. Nowadays, there are millions of guitarists around the world who perform various crazy things with guitar on the internet or even starting bands or projects based only on that. However, ask yourself when was the last time we were impressed by guitar playing that actually serves the song? That little segment of the song where guitar player actually becomes a guitar hero….

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