NAMM: Buddy Blaze Suzanne Slair V

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Buddy Blaze (builder of my killer 7-string) launched several cool new guitars at NAMM this year, including this signature V for Canadian singer/guitarist Suzanne Slair of Glyscian.

The guitar has an alder body, a maple neck with ebony fretboard and reverse headstock, double custom DMT Blazebuckers with unique layout, Floyd Rose tremolo, matte black finish with custom red S design, and a 3-way pickup selector switch. Suzanne says it plays like hot loud butter.

By the way, Glyscian’s song ‘Awakening’ will be featured in the upcoming movie Patriot Act.

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REVIEW: DMT Tyrant Michael Amott humbucker

Michael Amott knows a thing or two about tone. Whether it’s vintage death metal with Carcass, hard rock with Spiritual Beggars or his main job in Arch Enemy, Amott has the ears, hands and sense of sonic taste to craft the perfect sound for whatever musical situation he finds himself in. After flings with guitars like the Ibanez RG550 and his former ESP signature model the Ninja, Amott is now a Dean endorser, with his own line of signature guitars. And central to the tone of this imposing axe is the DMT Tyrant, Amott’s signature humbucker from Dean’s pickup division, Dean Magnetic Technologies. Amott was kind enough to arrange for a Tyrant humbucker to be sent out for review after I interviewed him recently.

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INTERVIEW: Arch Enemy’s Michael Amott


Arch Enemy are about to embark on the last round of touring for last year’s excellent Khaos Legions.  More melodic and with maybe a touch less death than you might expect from a melodic death metal band, Khaos Legions is also the last Arch Enemy album to feature guitarist Chris Amott, whose departure from the band was announced earlier this month. But mere line-up changes can’t keep Arch Enemy down: new guitarist Nick Cordle of Arsis has taken up the co-guitarist throne alongside Michael Amott, and the band has a lot to say and do before they put the full stop at the end of Khaos Legions.

You’re about to come to Australia for a very short tour. Only two shows. You know what that means for a lot of fans: heavy metal road trip!

Yeah! We’re happy that we got the opportunity to play Australia at all this year, but it’s just these two shows. We wanted to play it safe. And it’s at the end of an Asia run. We start in Japan and do four shows there, then we go round Singapore, the Philippines, Korea, various places around Asia. Then we got the opportunity with a new promoter to tack on these two Australian shows, Melbourne and Sydney. We’re just really excited about doing it. I guess it’s been a couple of years since we were there now.

The last time I saw you were was probably Gigantour.

Yeah. I think the last time we were there was ’09. We did Gigantour, we’ve done a few different things down there. This will be our fourth or fifth visit to Australia, and this will be the last one in a while. We’re obviously not going to come back this year after these shows, then next year, 2013 is going to be a year off for Arch Enemy mostly. We’ll probably put out a new album in 2014. So I don’t know, maybe 2015 we’ll be back, if metal is still around at that point! So it’s going to be a while, so if anybody wants to see us and get their dose of Arch Enemy this is the last one for a while.

Obviously the hot topic at the moment is Chris’s departure from the band. What’s the story?

Well, Chris informed us in October last year that he wanted to leave the band. Again. [Laughs]. He’s been out of the band, in 2005, 2006, 2007.

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NEWS: Dean Buddy Blaze ML

Dean Guitars and guitar builder/designer Buddy Blaze have just announced yet another variation on the Dean ML theme. Blaze is the guy who customised Dimebag Darrell’s famous Dean From Hell. The Dean/Buddy Blaze ML has a pimped out chrome flame graphic, and features a top mounted Floyd Rose and custom wound Dean DMT pickups.

The guitar has custom ascending flame mother of pearl inlays on a 2 octave fretboard, attached to a pitched neck featuring Dean’s V carve. It’s interesting to note the bridge/middle/no-neck pickup configuration, something of a signature for Blaze, who is pictured on his website with a similar guitar, in the company of a very young and innocent looking Dimebag Darrell, back when he was known as Diamond Darrell.

Dean CEO Elliott Rubinson says “We have the highest regard for Buddy’s talents and after sitting down and discussing what we both envisioned for this guitar we realized that the new Dean/Blaze ML would incorporate the features that many players would find very appealing and a departure from what we are currently producing.”

Blaze says “My love for the Dean ML has endured over 25 years, the chance to create a signature model ML with Dean Guitars is a dream come true! After meeting with Elliott at Dean headquarters in Tampa earlier this year, I was impressed with his depth of guitar knowledge and his love of the ML. I asked that we do a complete design, not just a graphic, and he allowed me to reinvent my favourite Dean model! Modern era Dean guitars are 2nd to none in quality and value and I have no hesitation adding my name to this model. I insisted on top quality components and rigid adherence to my design elements. Elliott and the Dean team delivered! The Dean DMT pickups just scream tone!!!”