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PRS SE Paul Allender Model review

  • £659
  • $1276
A filthy guitar you'd love to cradle!

Our Verdict

A great metal axe that really delivers the goods!


  • Stunning looks, playability.


  • You need Paul's taste.

Come the day that he decides to give up dressing in scary makeup and calling Jesus a lady's front bottom or something, Cradle of Filth's Paul Allender could consider a career in guitar design. His SE model proves that a guitar can sound mean and still look pretty.

Earlier this year when we interviewed Paul, he had this to say about his SE signature model: "It sounds so aggressive and plays amazingly. I can't believe it's an SE. It's so good that I'm going to play it onstage with Cradle of Filth."

We're with Paul on this one - this guitar is the balls! It's light and well-balanced, plays beautifully (thanks to a slim neck), and looks the business.

Allender has managed to breathe some fire into the well-worn PRS formula replacing the classic bird fingerboard inlays with awesome-looking bats. We love that purple Allender Burst finish too.

Plugged in, this guitar is versatile with enough tonal variation to handle any genre from country to rock, though most of these guitars will end up in the hands of metal players.

SE Allender models are flying out of music shops like a bat out of hell at the moment, in part because of its street price of around £560.

We only managed to get hold of one thanks to Trevor Durrant's Guitar Centre in Colchester (01206 794470), but by the time you read this there will be more SE Allenders in the shops. Just don't expect these beauties to hang about.