Check out Gary Holt’s new Hutchinson-customized ESP!


Gary Holt recently posted photos of a new guitar on his Instagram, commenting: 

‘The sickest collaboration ever between myself, @espguitars and the insane skills of @hutchinsonguitars, to create a six string medieval woodcut guitar!!! 

Hutchinson: Gary contacted me over a year ago, after seeing some of my Viking and Medieval concepts. He had the great idea of doing a medieval woodcut carved on the guitar. I came up with some designs, but it was put on hold until he had the right guitar from the ESP Custom shop made.

October comes round again and I receive the bare wood guitar; a super heavy custom Holt Eclipse! So I set to work to create a Medieval Satanic scene, satirically referencing the Ascension, and taking ideas from old historical Occult woodcuts. I even included a levitating cat!    

The fretboard was left plain, except for a 12th fret inlay of 666 in Roman numerals, and the ESP logo was translated into an Old English font, carved into the headstock.

It’s the most intricate guitar carving I’ve done to date. It was a balance between too much fine detail and making the Baphomet image stand out enough to be visible on stage. I think it works! The guitar is being used on the current Exodus tour.

Hutchinson Guitar Concepts accept requests for new custom concepts and designs, offering extensive modifications to existing guitars, or complete concept instruments built to the highest standard. Due to high demand, there is a reserve list that potential customers can apply to on the website 

Photos by: Thorsten Seiffert/

Metal Masters 5 To Stream Live

image003The latest in the Metal Masters clinic series has been announced, with a huge line-up of legends from some of the biggest names in thrash and prog metal. And although it occurs during NAMM Week (and NAMM is industry-only which presents certain challenges), Metal Masters is open to everyone. It’s at the House Of Blues in Anaheim, California, in Downtown Disney and right near the Anaheim Convention Centre where NAMM is held. So if you’re heading there for NAMM anyway, this seems like a great way to kick off the week. And if you’re not NAMMing but you’re in California, go go go go go! And if you’re not gonna be there, it’ll be streamed online! Here’s the press release.  Read More …

NEWS: New releases 27/10/2008

Click on any title to buy the album.

Living Colour: CBGB OMFUG Masters: August 19 2005 CBGB Records
This live set captures Living Colour about a month after I saw them at the Metro in Melbourne, as the band toured off the back of its reunion album, Collideoscope. This set features a few songs from that album as well as a lot of classic material, mainly drawn from the first two albums, which honks me off slightly because my favourite LC CD is ‘Stain,’ which is only represented by ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ here.

Megadeth – Rust in Peace (Vinyl reissue) Capitol
Another one of those ‘if you don’t have this, you can’t call yourself metal’ albums, Rust In Peace features the Megadeth debut of Marty Friedman, fresh from Cacophony and eager to fill every available corner of this album with exotic phrasing and unusual melodies.

Cradle of Filth – Godspeed On The Devil’s Thunder (Special Edition 2 CD) Roadrunner
This is a concept album telling the story of Gilles De Rais, the world’s first serial killer and a good buddy of Joan of Arc. This one’s being hailed as the band’s most ‘aggressive and chilling’ album to date, and is a must for anyone who spends as much on white facepaint as I do on lattes.

Exodus – Let There Be Blood Megaforce
Thrash pioneers Exodus rerecord their classic Bonded By Blood with their new line-up, to bring the album’s sound up to date with their later recordings, and with a slightly less terrible cover. Produced by Exodus’s Gary Holt and mixed by can-he-do-no-wrong producer Andy Sneap.

Steve Vai – Passion and Warfare (Vinyl reissue) Sony Legacy
What is it with vinyl reissues? Not that I’m complaining, cos here’s another one I never had the chance to buy on vinyl when it was first released, and there’s a good chance I’ll probably buy this just for the sentimental value – I really wanted this on vinyl when it first came out (I was 12) and had to settle for the tape. Anyway, another classic of the genre, if you’ve never heard it you suck, etc etc etc.

The Cure – 4:13 Dream Geffen
The 13th album by The Cure, rearranged from the original plan to release a double album. This one contains the ‘light’ tracks, and the dark moody stuff will be released at a later date. The Cure is now down to just four members – Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Porl Thompson and Jason Cooper – and this album is suitably stripped back.