Metal is a demanding genre for a guitarist.
You've got to be able to shatter bone with low-frequency roars, play with a hard-and-fast attitude and fly up the fretboard for shred-tastic solos while looking like a true metal master. You can't swear by any old guitar for a job like that.
On Wednesday we asked UG readers to nominate and vote for the best metal guitars ever. As usual, the results are pretty stellar, and almost every model is attached to a well-known metal guitarist name to help give you an idea of what they sound like in practice.
How would you improve this list? Are any guitars missing that deserve to rank higher? Join the debate in the comments and settle the score once and for all.
10. Zakk Wylde Bullseye Les Paul
When you're shredding on behalf of the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, you've got to have a guitar that goes beyond the call of duty. Wylde's aggressive style could only be matched by the Bullseye Les Paul. It sounds great, and who could forget the black and ivory-shaded graphics?
9. Schecter C1
There's a few variants of this particular Schecter, but they're all damn good. Common praise for the guitar says it's great for down-tuning and sounds super tight - perfect for low-range metal action.
8. Eddie Van Halen's Frankenstrat
Always one to tinker and tweak his guitars, Eddie went a giant step further when he tried to merge a Fender with the genes of a Gibson. The result was the Frankenstrat. He even added extra switches and pickups to confuse copycats, but it's probably best known for the awesome paint job.
7. Dave Murray's Stratocaster
The Iron Maiden guitarist likes to keep things simple and has been hanging a classic Stratocaster from his neck since the mid-70s. It's been tweaked with various custom pickups, and the neck has a flatter soft V-shape with a satin back, according to Fender.
6. Dave Mustaine's Jackson King V
The Megadeth frontman has since switched to ESP then Dean guitars, but he's well known for rocking Jacksons back in his youth. In 1986 Jackson started producing his signature series King V guitar, which became one of their best-selling models in history.
5. Dimebag Darrell's Dean From Hell
Dean Guitars were huge around 1980, but it took a certain Pantera guitarist to ensure their name lived on with the same reverence until today. The "From Hell" model was his favorite; blue with lightening bolts and with such an authentic metal style that it appeared on the cover of Pantera's "Cowboys From Hell" album.
4. Fredrik Thordendal's black Ibanez 8 string
The Mesuggah guitarist loves his 8-string Ibanez, which has been customised with a Lundgren Model 8 pickup. He used to use Newborn guitars too, but intonation problems nudged him to commit exclusively to Ibanez. He's known to tune the guitar down to F because it helped match the vocal range of singer Jens Kidman.
3. Randy Rhoads Polka Dot Flying V
Legendary guitar maker Karl Sandoval has hand-crafted axes for the likes of Eddie Van Halen and George Lynch, but he's best known for the Polka Dot Flying V. Randy set the specifications for this guitar which only cost $740 in the end not bad for the third best metal guitar ever.
2. Tony Iommi's Gibson SG Special 'Monkey'
Tony Iommi has trusted the sturdy Gibson SG ever since the bridge on his old white Stratocaster failed while recording the debut Black Sabbath album. His particular SG has apparently been plagued by tuning problems and noisy pickups, but he stuck by it anyway. So why the 'Monkey' part of the name? Simple: his version has a monkey sticker on the front.
1. James Hetfield's EET FUK Explorer
To many, Metallica are the definitive metal band - and for frontman James Hetfield to swear by this model, it's a fair call to say the EET FUK is the definitive metal guitar. Explorer guitars weren't half as well known before he started rocking them at the front of their bone-crushing live shows, and even when he's not using the EET FUK, he'll often use guitars that look the same. His relationship with the Explorer could be one of the great love stories in rock.
What do you think of the final top 10 and the ultimate winner? Let us know your opinion in the comments.