We've seen this sort of seven-string madness before, but it never fails to impress us. Chris Garza's signature Schecter took a T-style electric, exposed it to gamma rays and made a hulk to great effect, and the same goes for Deftones man Stef Carpenter's signature LTD axes. The ML-7 does likewise.
Continuing where the ML-3 left off (and adding an extra string on the way), the ML-7 is sure to test well among the same black t-shirt focus groups, built to shred with a slim, contoured maple neck that Chapman calls 'set-through'.
While it feels, looks and, more importantly, sounds like it has a neck-through construction (hello, sustain!), it's nonetheless glued on, keeping the overall cost of the guitar down.
The body is swamp ash and heavy enough that you must bend your knee and keep your back straight when taking it out of the case. Seven strings can be unwieldy in a tuning sense, but a set of chrome Hipshot tuners helped keep the ML-7 in pitch no matter how hard we thrashed it - and boy, it's built to be thrashed.
We could tell you about the woody jazzy tones to the neck humbucker's cleans, and how these custom Alnico pickups have warmth and character, an organic quality with nuance and subtlety. And that, again, a coil-split lets you split the 'buckers for a little more spank.
But the bottom line is that the ML-7 is all bottom, happiest dealing out low-end thunder, which it metes out with definition and clarity, and complementing that with some sweet-sustaining lead tones from a guitar that's a lot of fun to play once you get past its weight.