REVIEW: Ibanez Darkstone DN500

The Ibanez Darkstone is a slightly unusual foray for Ibanez. The company has never been afraid to take chances, of course – after all, they did build the first production 7-string guitar – but the new Darkstone line takes a lot more of these chances than even the legendary Universe. The line is pitched at the metal market, a notoriously difficult egg to crack if you want to try something different. Does the gamble pay off? Let’s see.

The first interesting quirk of the Darkstone is that it’s built from Sapele, a wood which is tonally reminiscent of mahogany but is more commonly found in acoustic guitars. Both the body and the set-in neck are built from Sapele. The scale length is 24.75″ (ie: Les Paul-ish rather than the Strat-like 25.5″ of an RG), and the neck feels surprisingly beefy for a D-shaped profile. The frets are medium, but the slightly curvy 305mm (12″) radius and the pearloid binding (just like the binding on my beloved Ibanez UV777BK) makes the frets feel a little bigger. By the way, I reviewed the black model, but it’s also available in white. Get both and alternate them each night the way Jimmy Page alternated his black and white stage suits.

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NEWS: Dio tribute album on the way

This from

Ronnie James Dio’s widow and manager Wendy has revealed to AOL’s Noisecreep that Rob Halford (JUDAS PRIEST), Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH, BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION), Dave Grohl (FOO FIGHTERS, NIRVANA), Lemmy Kimister (MOTÖRHEAD), Alice Cooper, Sebastian Bach (SKID ROW) and Chris Jericho (FOZZY) are among the artists who will appear on a forthcoming tribute album to Ronnie. Grohl will do the BLACK SABBATH hit “Mob Rules” and Halford will take on “Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll”. Cooper already has a song in mind, going back to the ELF days, according to Wendy.

Cool. They should bring Jorn Lande in to do something too. He kicked ass when he played with Heaven & Hell last year.

And of course he has an entire Dio tribute album already.

GIVEAWAY: Sanyo Pedal Juice – still a few days left!

The Sanyo Pedal Juice is one of the coolest little gadgets to come out in the last few years. It’s a rechargeable battery designed to power from one to a whole bunch of pedals (if you use a daisy chain), saving you from having to buy a whole bunch of batteries and lessening the number of batteries being chucked out and turfed into landfill. A single charge lasts for a very, very long time – I have one that I use every few weeks and I literally haven’t had to charge it since September.

Well now thanks to Sanyo you can win a Pedal Juice of your very own. All you have to do is ‘Like’ the I Heart Guitar Facebook page and reply to the post you’ll find right here about the contest. You’ll have to answer a question, but you’ll see what it is when you get there.

The winner will be picked at random via on March 1, 2011. You won’t have to provide your address until you win.

For more information on SANYO, visit


COOL VIDEO ALERT: Hurtsmile – Just War Theory

Hurtsmile, the new band featuring Extreme’s Gary Cherone, has just released the first video from their self-titled debut album. The song is called Just War Theory. The whole album’s pretty cool, and Extreme fans will dig the III Sides To Every Story-style vocal production.

Check out Mitch Lafon’s interview with Gary about Hurtsmile here.


HURTSMILE is the new band featuring singer Gary Cherone (Extreme, Van Halen) who has teamed up with his brother Mark to write his most succinct record to date. The self-titled,HURTSMILE is a raw sonic sucker punch in the face! From the opening buzz saw riff of “Just War Theory” to the epic finale of ”Slave” and “Beyond The Garden/Kicking Against the Goads”, Gary continues to push and poke you in the ear with his lyrically provocative themes.

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