Cynosure’s custom electrics for Bloodstock headliners are a work of art

[L-R] Cynosure's Parkway Drive, Scorpions and Sabaton electrics are handmade with meticulous detail (Image credit: Cynosure Guitars)

With Bloodstock Open Air nigh upon us, Cynosure Guitars has revealed the custom shop guitars they have built in honour of festival headliners Sabaton, Parkway Drive and Scorpions.

Cynosure is the brainchild of luthier Oliver Andrew, who has been building guitars for Bloodstock’s Rock and Metal (RAM) gallery since 2014. His six-string electrics are hand-made, fully operational and boast the most out-there finishes we have seen this or any other year.

The Parkway Drive model is an asymmetrical doublecut with a lava finish that looks more erupted than designed. 

At first blush, the Sabaton model is ever-so-more sedate, a singlecut that seems conventionally ornate until you see that actual bullets have been used for fretmarkers – no MOP or abalone here, thank you very much. Just when we thought shipping rosewood across borders was the toughest job in guitar distribution, here's one with ammunition on the fretboard.

And then there is the Scorpions guitar, which is, well . . .  It’s a scorpion. And a new level of insane for guitar body shapes has been reached. 

“Generally the process for me is to get inspiration from the band's name or the lyrics or the imagery the band uses,” Andrew told the RAM website. “For the Scorpions, this guitar was a very literal eponymous interpretation so as you can imagine with a name like that, it had to be a scorpion! I submitted several designs all of which featured a scorpion in one sense or another, whether crawling through the body or tangled in the body shape of a regular guitar.” 

But just because the body shape is the stuff of an HR Giger-esque cheese binge nightmare, don't let that put you off. As Andrew maintains, these guitars are made to be played. 

In the meantime, head to Bloodstock and check them out. The festival opens its gates at Catton Park, Derby, on Thursday 8 August. Anthrax, Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth are among the other acts playing the festival. 

A limited number of standard weekend and camping tickets still available, priced £152 for adults, £39 for children. See here for more details and to book.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.

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