This question has plagued me since the thought of buyign a new guitar crossed my mind. I just wanted to know are there guitars that actually sound better for rhythm and lead? I mean take Metallica for example. James plays those big fat gibsons while Kirk plays the Strat bodied guitars. I myself have an LTD KH-202 and i do play lead guitar. Just yesterday i was looking at an LTD EC-1000 and i loved it. But will that slow my lead capabilities or sound? Or is it just personal preference. Any feedback would be much appreciated.
It's entirely, 100% personal preference. Without exception. It's quite ironic to talk about this on an internet forum dedicated to talking about electric guitars, because what we're saying is ultimately, nothing anyone else says matters and there's no real point discussing it. You, and only you, can ever know what is right for you.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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Yes, different guitars made out of different woods, with different pickups, can sound quite different, though the amp will always add it's own strong tonal characteristics. Also, guitars can have "faster" necks, as in it's easier to play. Try playing a Les Paul, then try playing an Ibanez of some sort, and note the differences in feel and tone.

Choosing a guitar with a "slower" neck may seem harder to play lead, but it doesn't mean you can't. Shreders always seem to have "fast" guitars as speed is very important, and it's easier on the hands, but for a general Metallica type style, a guitar like the EC-1000 would not hold you back. I personally prefer guitars that fight back a bit, instead of making it too easy As for sounding better for lead or rhythm, that's subjective and up to you.

hope that was informative.