Epiphone has unveiled its latest Les Paul Custom from the Adam Jones Art Collection, with the Tool guitarist’s signature guitar looking all business up front with its Antique Silverburst finish, and metal-dragon-slaying party on the back, courtesy of Frank Frazetta’s epic artwork, The Berserker.
Frazetta is known as the godfather of fantasy art, and this design will not disappoint guitar players whose aesthetic preferences were shaped by Conan The Barbarian and the recorded works of Yngwie Malmsteen. Well, Frazetta illustrated the album cover for Yngwie's 2001 studio album, War To End All Wars.
The Berserker follows the release of The Veil Of Bees in December 2022, which featured artwork from Mark Ryden, and is similarly limited edition, with only 800 of these top-of-the-line electric guitars being released worldwide. And in terms of spec, this is as high-end as an Epiphone guitar gets.
The Berserker has a solid mahogany body, topped with a maple cap, a three-piece maple neck, topped with a 22-fret ebony fingerboard – block inlays as per the Les Paul Custom house style.
The seven-ply binding on the body’s top, five-ply on the back, bound ebony fingerboard and headstock give this a super-premium aesthetic – the split-diamond headstock inlay is, as ever, the bow-tie on a tuxedo guitar. But look round to the back of the headstock; there you will find more art from Korin Faught.
Okay, some of your money is going towards that custom art finish. That’s true. The quality of components, however, is impressive. You’ll find a Seymour Duncan Distortion humbucker at the bridge position, a reverse-mounted Epiphone ProBucker Custom at the neck.
Have a peak under the hood at the wiring for the dual volume, dual tone control setup and you’ll suspect that Epiphone has been raiding Gibson parts drawer again, with CTS pots and Orange Drop capacitors as standard.
The Berserker is fitted with set of 16:1 ratio vintage-style tuners, a LockTone tune-o-matic bridge and tailpiece, and PosiLock buttons for your guitar strap lest you damage that limited edition finish. The hardware’s nickel finish should wear in nicely over time, and it sure looks good with that Silverburst paint job.
In terms of dimensions, we’d wager this is a heavyweight, so you’ll want as thick a strap as you can find. Otherwise, it is all very classic Gibson/Epiphone: the ebony fingerboard has a 12” radius; the scale length is 24.75”; the nut width 43mm.
Given The Veil Of Bees sold out within hours, don’t sleep on this. The Berserker is available now, priced £1,149 / $1,299 street, and it ships in a hardshell guitar case. See Epiphone (opens in new tab) for more details.
And keep your eyes peeled for the next release in the series, and perhaps a regular edition of Adam Jones' Epiphone Les Paul Custom, because not everyone wants artwork on the back of their guitar.