Wylde Audio Viking V review

Come on feel the Norse…

  • £1099

MusicRadar Verdict

Zakk Wylde has done a good job with his Wylde Audio guitars, but with the Viking V, he's taken a well-worn concept and made it feel fresh and dangerous again.


  • +

    As metal as you like.


  • -

    Looks may put some people off.

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This prickly customer has the same neck profile and flat 14-inch radius ebony 'board as the recently-reviewed Odin and Warhammer.

We really like that consistency. You know you're getting a great playing instrument; you just have to decide on the body style and finish.

Tonally, the all-mahogany Viking V roars through its bridge pickup. Bottom-string riffs sound monstrous, while the articulation on extreme gain settings is impressive, meaning you can hear every note. Like the other two Wylde models here, the Viking V has two volume controls, and a master tone.

The control nearest to the bridge is the neck pickup's volume, the one in the middle is for the EMG 81. The furthest away knob handles the tone.

Active EMG pickups are driven by a nine-volt battery. While there's no law against running an EMG 81/85 clean, they come to life when you dish out the dirt.

Suddenly, pinched harmonics feel easy to launch, and the sustain on offer is of Spinal Tap-esque proportions. That response is boosted further by the Viking V's string through-body construction and the chubby neck.

This guitar kills, but before you make your mind up you should know there's a Bloodburst finish on offer at £1,099, also hardtail but with a quilted maple top, and a Floyd Rose-equipped version in the same Pinstripe finish as we have on test for £1,199.

Also, while we like the stylised Les Paul headstock on the Odin, the fearsome-looking beast protruding from the Viking V and Warhammer couldn't look more metal if it were being used for a spot of pillaging by a horde of Norsemen.