It’s safe to say that metal as we know it simply wouldn’t be the same without Megadeth. The other ‘big four of trash’ bands contributed certain elements to the form – Anthrax brought the humour, Slayer brought the evil and Metallica brought the gruff manliness. But Megadeth contributed intelligence, social awareness and instrumental virtuosity in a consistent and incredibly assured way. Megadeth’s lineups have changed throughout the years but the one constant is Dave Mustaine. In many ways he is Megadeth – he’s the band’s songwriting anchor, and his rhythm guitar style defines the whole band’s approach. Megadeth are returning to Australia for Soundwave 2014, and their performance is sure to be a highlight of the festival. How could it not, with classics such as “Holy Wars …The Punishment Due,” “Hangar 18” and “Symphony Of Destruction” to draw from, as well as material from latest album Super Collider, which sees the band returning to the more melodic vein previously explored in albums like Youthanasia and Cryptic Writings? Continue reading
Before you read this you’d better pound a couple of Red Bulls, do some push-ups and maybe slip into a suit of armour: Seymour Duncan has just announced the Dirty Deed distortion pedal, a monster of crunchy distorto-goodness made in Santa Barbara, USA and ready to kick you in your kickables. It’s designed to give you a versatile, amp-like distortion and you can run it at 9v or slam it with up to 18v to get an even thicker, squishier, more saturated tone. Here’s the press release:
Press Release: From the light, singing overdrive of classic rock to raunchy, screaming, ear-shattering distortion, the Dirty Deed was created for complete versatility. The tone is very organic and natural sounding; it’s designed to capture the character and responsiveness of a classic overdriven tube amplifier with elements of distortion, fuzz and overdrive combined into a single wide-range pedal. Continue reading
Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’d probably know about my Seymour Duncan Custom Shop pickup, the Magnetar. Anybody can, of course, order their own custom pickup from Seymour Duncan, but the process just got a whole lot easier with the launch of the Custom Shop’s Build Your Own Pickup service. You can start with whatever format you like (right now there are options for Humbucker, Strat, Tele and P-90 along with a section where you can specify other types) and configure it however you like; magnet and wire type, colour, logo or no logo, pole piece type, string count (6, 7 or 8), custom-engraved colour… and there’s a section where you can describe the exact tone you’re after, so the Custom Shop can nail it for ya. And of course you have the option of giving your pickup a cool name (sorry, Magnetar’s already taken). Continue reading
Poland’s Mayones has been around for quite a while, but they’ve only recently really gained a foothold on the world stage, helped in large part by the high visibility of players such as Periphery’s Misha Mansoor and Pain of Salvation’s Daniel Gildenlöw. There are several base models to choose from in the Mayones range, including six and seven-string variations, your choice of pickups by DiMarzio, Bare Knuckle, EMG and Seymour Duncan, and even the Djentlemen range of 7 and 8-string axes aimed at the the rapidly solidifying dent movement. The Regius is a particularly popular shape for Mayones, a little more offset and rounded compared to the equally droolworthy Setius.
The fine folks at Drum City-Guitar Land are currently offering an exclusive run of Schecter Avengers that you really have to check out: all the specs of Schecter’s popular SLS with addition of a a Floyd Rose and Sustainiac System, in TransPurple Burst. Only 24 are being made, and when they’re gone they’re gone. Specs include Mahogany body, Maple set neck, Ebony fretboard, 24 Jumbo frets, Grover tuners, Seymour Duncan SH-10 Full Shred bridge humbucker, Sustainiac neck pickup, and a Floyd Rose 1000 Series bridge. Hardware is Black Chrome, and the 1C molded case is an extra $119. You can pick one up from Drum City-Guitar Land here, but you’d better be quick. I’d rather like one myself. Continue reading
Keith Merrow – metal master extraordinnaire, he who has launched a thousand riffs and currently collaborator with Jeff Loomis in Conquering Dystopia – is working with Schecter on a new signature guitar. And if you’re following Keith on his Facebook Page you will have seen over the weekend that his first prototype KM-7 7-string has arrived, and it’s awesome. You can see a full gallery of this monster here. This isn’t the finished version of the guitar though: Keith will ask for the bridge pickup and the controls to be shifted back a little bit. And he’s already popped a covered Seymour Duncan Nazgul and Sentient pickup set in there to compare them to the open-coil look. Here’s more info from the Facebook page: Continue reading
Trivium have never been the kind of band that stays still. They’ve always bobbed and weaved, zipped and zoomed around the metal scene: a little metalcore here, a little thrash there, maybe the occasional dip of the toe into the stream of progressive metal. Their 2011 album In Waves pushed their sound into a new atmospheric level and won them plenty of new fans, and it positioned itself as a very difficult album to top. So how would the Florida four-peace approach its follow-up? The answer is Vengeance Falls [Roadrunner]. It’s at once familiar and unlike anything Trivium has done before. The crushing riffs and virtuoso twin guitar solos are still there, as is the finely honed production aesthetic that worked so well on In Waves. But Vengeance Falls finds the band putting Matt Heafy’s vocals in the spotlight like never before. To that end Trivium enlisted the help of Disturbed frontman David Draiman to produce the album. Continue reading
It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re into: you can’t help but like Every Time I Die. Their music is energetic and infectious, their lyrics are that rare combination of smart, funny, deep and light at the same time, and anyone who slathers their album covers with bright pink obviously has a sense of style more akin to Steve Vai circa 1987 than any band they share shelf space with in the metalcore bin. And guitarist Andy Williams is a big part of what makes the band so awesome. Combining technical hardcore, southern metal and mathcore elements, his style (and that of co-guitarist Jordan Buckley) is like an encyclopaedia of post-thrash guitar styles. I caught up with Williams on the eve of the band’s latest Australian tour. Continue reading
Testament’s Alex Skolnick has just announced that he’s joined forces with ESP Guitars for a new signature model. Available in January 2014, the ESP Alex Skolnick EC and the LTD AS-600 will be offered in two finishes: Silver Sunburst (SSB) and Lemonburst (LB). Based on ESPʼs popular Eclipse body style, the guitars feature a set-neck design at 24.75” scale, with a full-thickness mahogany body, mahogany neck, a custom headstock, rosewood fingerboard with custom inlays, Grover tuners, TonePros locking TOM bridge with stop tailpiece, and an Alex Skolnick signature Seymour Duncan pickup set.
Here are some words from Alex about ESP: Continue reading
2012 was a breakout year for Asking Alexandria, headlining massive sold-out European and North American tours, and capping it all off with a slot on the Rockstar Mayhem Festival. This year they’ve packed in a stack of European festival appearances as well as a huge, huge show at the Download festival. And now they’ve released From Death To Destiny, their third album. Produced by Joey Sturgis (The Devil Wears Prada, Buried in Verona, Of Mice and Men), From Death To Destiny is heavy, melodic, intense and powerful. And it’s full of the twin-guitar attack of Ben Bruce and Cameron Liddell, both of whom are die-hard Ibanez guys with their own signature models. I reached out to Bruce because I thought it’d be fun to have a nice nerdly chat about all things six-string.
I hope you don’t mind talking guitar-nerd stuff!
I’ll try my best! My guitar techs know more about guitar stuff than I do! Continue reading
There’s a really cool discussion over at the Seymour Duncan User Group Forum right now: if you had a signature guitar, what would it be? Forum member Dr. Vegetable posed the following questions: Which company called you? Which standard model in their product lineup do you base your sig off of? (Need not be in current production.) What specs do you insist upon that make it uniquely yours? What other customizations do you make to the guitar? What special piece of “case candy” goes with it as a collector’s item? I gave it a great deal of thought, because there are a lot of companies I’d love to have a signature guitar through. I replied with one answer, but then I realised I really have two. So below are my responses, the original and the one that hit me after I’d already hit ‘post.’ Continue reading
Check out this new video of Keith Merrow and Wes Hauch tearing off the heads of all and sundry in this as they demo Seymour Duncan’s various 8-string humbucking pickups. Keith’s using his Schecter and Wes is using the new Jackson SLATFXQMG 3-8, the model we looked at a few days ago here and which you can read more about here, and which looks extra-cool with those Duncan passive-in-active-housing pickups, don’t ya think? In the video below you’ll hear Duncan’s Pegasus bridge, Sentient neck, Nazgul bridge, Distortion neck and bridge, Invader neck and bridge, and Blackouts neck and bridge models all put to devastating use by Keith and Wes. Enjoy! Continue reading