They’ve been rocked, they’ve been rolled, but do these decal’d doom-bringers really provide the tone to back up their outré looks?
As this modest collection surely proves, there are some wonderful guitars with graphics out there that don’t have to cost the earth. A decal may not have the uniqueness of a hand-painted or air-brushed guitar, but the detail this type of application provides is pin-sharp.
By far the most complex of the designs here is Dean’s Cemetery Gates. Covering the whole expanse of the body’s front face and chock full of subtle elements and hidden signs, it doesn’t just say metal but screams it from the rooftops. The guitar has a massive yet strident tone that’s more versatile than we’d assumed before plugging in, and that soft ‘V’-profile neck will always have a firm place in our hearts.
The application of Jackson’s Pile O’Skulls design to a classic Dinky body is unique here for also including genuine swishes of air-brush and echoes of a true Custom Shop design, right down to the playability of the two-piece bound maple neck. The brace of Duncan pickups ensure it’s perfectly suited to virtually all styles, although you might need more bite for ultra-metal shenanigans.
A limited edition Schecter C-1 may seem like a contradiction, but with it being restricted to just 100 pieces in the US and even fewer in the UK, this Propaganda version will have players reaching for their credit cards at an RRP of under £600. The passive EMG pickups still give that polarising abrasion to rhythm and solo sections and separate volume pots certainly up the versatility stakes.
We were very impressed by the Washburn. Not only does it offer a truly terrifying crunch from both Randall humbuckers, but it plays well too, thanks to it’s compact shape. And although it bears visual accoutrements from Scott Ian - it’s his signature model after all - they’re subtle enough not to put anyone off. If you’re in need of an eye-catching spare guitar for your metal gigs, you could do a great deal worse…
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to grips with each guitar we’ve featured here and they all have their own merits, with very little for us to moan about. Is beauty the sole domain of the beholder? Take a closer look at these great guitars, then you decide…
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