The most metal guitar of 2023? Architects guitarist Josh Middleton's new custom ESP has thrown down the studded gauntlet

Josh Middleton
(Image credit: Sylosis)

Sylosis and Architects guitarist Josh Middleton has long been one of our favourite metal guitarists, and it looks like ESP agree because its custom shop has just delivered him a very special custom model.

Check it out in the video below. It looks unique for ESP – and came from Middleton's own design blueprint sketch back in 2020. It looks like there's another ESP Custom Shop guitar coming too… 

"1 of 2 @espguitars custom shops," Middleton posted on his Instagram on 9 February. "This one is something I drew out back in 2020 and have been salivating to get my hands on it and see it come to life. HUGE thank you to @tonyrauser !!!! So grateful"

Tony Rauser also designed 2022's whole LTD line for the company and we're loving what we're presuming is a nod to the late Chuck Schuldiner's mainstay BC Rich Stealth with the contrast between the upper and lower horn sizes. We know Josh is a huge fan of Chuck's work with Death from his 10 albums that changed my life interview with us.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.