With the final phase of their announcements released over the weekend, lets take a look at a few highlights across the ESP 2021 LTD and E-II ranges that have been making our hands clammy with anticipation (or maybe it’s just that it’s 38 degrees celsius here today? Perhaps both..).
LTD Black Metal Series Additions
Launched in 2018, the popularity of ESP’s LTD Black Metal range has probably surprised no one. The blacked out colour schemes on classic shapes combined with the streamlined but carefully considered components make for a bad ass stark look that’s somehow both classic metal and futuristic. So it’s no surprise they continue to build the series with 4 new guitars; an Eclipse with Floyd Rose (EC-FR Black Metal), the alien looking F Black Metal, the angular EX Black Metal and the Arrow-NT Black Metal, as well as the M-4 Black Metal Bass rounding it out for the four strings fans.
The Arrow is looking particularly menacing to us in its Black Metal get up, like a shard chipped off the solidified magma flows off Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano. Metal AF. It features TonePros locking bridge and string-thru body design, stainless steal frets and the EMG 81 with TKO kill switch.
New Series: LTD Arctic Metal
You can see the board meeting for this one in your head.
‘OK guys, people love the Black Metal series, how can we build on this vibe?’
‘…how bout we do the same thing…but WHITE?’
‘But lets not call it white metal, that sounds a bit white supremacist-ey’
‘Oh yeah shit. What else do Black Metal fans love?’
*marketing guy Googles black metal*
‘Well..they like winter a lot’
Delight at obvious marketing aside..It’s a winning formula. They really do look killer. Thankfully they didn’t opt to do a weird white fretboard. That would be going too far. For the debut guitars in the Arctic Metal series ESP have released five guitar models: the Arrow-NT Arctic Metal, the EC Arctic Metal, the M-HT Arctic Metal, the M-7BHT Arctic Metal, and the Phoenix Arctic Metal.
What’s 2022 going to bring? Hoping for Beach Metal. (Did I mention its hot here right now?)
H-1001 in Violet Andromeda Satin
One ESP’s wildest finishes is no doubt Violet Andromeda Satin, a Chameleon style paint job that changes colours depending on the lighting. It’s very difficult to photograph, but you see it in the flesh and go ‘ooooooooh!’. So we’re excited to see another LTD model receiving the special treatment. It also features a set of direct-mount Seymour Duncan Sentient (neck) and Pegasus (bridge) pickups with push-pull coil splitting, a Hipshot bridge with string-thru-body, and stainless steel frets.
New Josh Middleton Signature Model, JM-II
Josh Middleton’s no doubt one of the most popular metal guitarists on the planet at the moment, so no doubt many will be keen to get their hands on the new JM-II six string. The JM-II has an alder body with a quilted maple top in an outstanding Black Shadow Burst finish. This guitar features a three-piece roasted maple neck with an extra thin U-shaped profile, 24 extra-jumbo stainless steel frets, a recessed Gotoh bridge with string-thru-body, and a set of Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker pickups.
E-II M-II 7B Baritone Evertune
E-II is ESP’s range of premium models made in the Tokyo ESP workshop and there’s some stunning new additions. I mean…good lord. Would you just look at this thing? This finish is called ‘Granite Sparkle’. Outrageous. I love it! These 7-string, neck-thru-body guitars are offered at 27” baritone scale, and feature the EverTune constant tension bridge system, allowing it to stay in tune and in perfect intonation at all points of the neck. There’s also a bone nut, Dunlop locking strap buttons, Gotoh locking tuners, and a set of Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker pickups — alnico in the neck, ceramic in the bridge.
E-II Eclipse Full Thickness
Or better yet, tune in to ESP Presents 2021 broadcast event, run by ESP USA. Simply head to espguitars.com to watch!
ESP will be showing the events at the following times each day: 10AM, 2PM, and 6PM PST. No matter where you are in the world, you’ll be able to see “ESP Presents 2021”.