Hey guys, new to the forum here but not new to playing guitar (though I've taken somewhat of a hiatus over the past 3 years since being off at school).

I'm looking to spruce up my setup and upgrade a few things. I currently play an Epiphone Les Paul Custom through a Peavey Envoy 110. I also have a homebuilt semi-hollow body stratocaster. I mainly play music like Tool and Opeth (pretty heavy stuff on my LP) and I would like to beef up my bedroom rig for that type of music.

I'm looking at upgrading the stock pickups and an EMG 81/85 setup is high up there on the list. Pending a few gun sales I'm also looking to pickup an amp that would work better for metal.

I like the distorted guitar tone found in the following bands:

Alterbridge (Alterbridge III)
Dethklok (okay, okay, cheesy but I love Thunderhorse)
Mastodon (Crack the Skye)
Opeth (Still Life, Blackwater Park)

So, basically I'm looking for some suggestions for a smallish amp suitable for heavier rhythm guitar. I'll also take suggestions on pickups, effects, etc. Right now I'm looking at an EMG 81/85 setup and a Blackstar HT-5 combo amp.

I'm also looking at expanding my horizons and learn to play different styles. I'm confident that my strat and Peavey amp will work well if the pickups I get for my LP are too focused for metal tones.

Any suggestions would be welcome.