The guitar solo on Through The Fire And Flames is already impossible enough as it is. As anybody who grew up playing Guitar Hero can attest, the minutes-long trade-off between guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman is a marathon of athletics that’ll scorch your fingers and quickly have steam billowing out your ears. Herman’s just built different, though. Not only have nearly 20 years of practice meant he can probably play DraganForce’s signature song in his sleep by now, but, as demonstrated in the 2015 clip below, he can even do that shit underwater.
The scene takes place on the 2015 Full Metal Cruise, an annual European festival held at sea aboard a cruise ship. For reasons known only to Herman Li, the guitarist had his instrument customised so it could be played in the swimming pool directly in front of the ship’s stage. It’s an adjustment that requires lots of tape, rubber and condoms (yes, really).
After the brief rundown of how what we’re about to see is actually possible, we’re shown the actual stunt. Herman eases his way into it, first simply playing at poolside, among the fans in attendance. Then he perches at the edge of the water, where someone going for a swim puts him on their shoulders and then wades laps of the pool. All this while the guitarist is effortlessly blasting out one of the hardest solos in heavy metal history.
Then, the grand finale. During the closing section, Herman fully slips into the pool and pulls himself underwater, with just his hands up in the air and out of the water, still playing the song. According to the video, this was “the world’s first underwater live guitar solo” – and you know what? We believe it.