He heads a top ten which also features Metallica pair Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield plus late Ozzy Osbourne axeman Randy Rhoads.
Three of Ozzy’s collaborators make the list, with Zakk Wylde taking the number seven position. Dimebag Darrell Abbott is the only other entry asides from Rhoads to have passed away.
Guitar firm Gibson say: “Ot all rock’n’roll’s many styles metal is the most brutal. No matter the sub-genre, metal is held together by a reliance on loud riffing guitars and, of course, an inspiring lead guitarist.
“Tony’s dark, distinct guitar textures in Black Sabbath helped spearhead the heavy metal movement. Iron Man and Paranoid boast some of the most memorable riffs of all time, with crushingly heavy choruses. His playing is immortalised through the generations of bands that have followed.”
Gibson’s Greatest heavy metal guitarists
1. Tony Iommi
2. Kirk Hammett and James Hetfield
3. Randy Rhoads
4. John Petrucci
5. Dimebag Darrell
6. Eddie Van Halen
7. Zakk Wylde
8. Adam Jones
9. Dave Murray and Adrian Smith
10. George Lynch
-Classic Rock Magazine