With metal music being more popular than ever, it’s only obvious that dozens of guitar companies caught interest in crafting guitars for this genre in particular. Old-school guitarists didn’t have such a huge range of models to choose from as we do today, so let’s review some of the Best Guitar Brands for Metal in 2021:
Ibanez is the first name that pops up to mind whenever metal guitars are the topic of conversation amongst fresh metal fans, veteran players, and professionals alike. Aside from being one of the longest-standing metal guitar brands, Ibanez boasts a massive catalog of axes in virtually all shapes, forms, and price tags.
The catalog of Ibanez guitars is absolutely huge. It’s comprised of more than ten generations of top-shelf entry level, mid-range, and boutique guitars. Even though every model is unique in its own right, the aesthetics of all Ibanez guitars are relatively similar, making quality more recognizable than ever.
Some of the most iconic metal gods that are endorsed by this company include Steve Vai, Nita Strauss, Munky, Paul Stanley, and Kiko Loureiro.
Most people associate Gibson guitars with rock music, but due to this company’s remarkable flexibility, it’s safe to say that they’re a guitarist’s brand of guitars. They’ve been around more than a century, being founded in 1902 in Kalamazoo by Orville Gibson.
Gibson’s Les Paul and SG models are mainly used by rock and roll players while metal guitarists gravitate towards Explorers more than any other series.
It’s safe to say that the dependable performance and authentic, recognizable tone all Gibson guitars boast are just some of the many reasons why they can fit into any style of music, even the hardest, heaviest, and most brutal types of metal.
Even though world-class rock guitarists such as Billy Gibbons, Slash, Jimmy Page, Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix made this brand bigger than life, there are also numerous metal legend endorsees of Gibson, including Tony Iommi, Randy Rhoads, Zakk Wylde, James Hetfield, and Buckethead.
If you are new to the gorgeous, vast world of metal guitar brands, just take a look at the names of Schecter series. Banshee, Apocalypse, Damien, Demon, Hellraiser, and Omen aren’t exactly the most cheerful, joyous titles one could give to a guitar, are they?
Schecter is a brand that specializes in manufacturing hard rock and metal guitars and basses, offering an extremely eclectic list of models that look, feel, and perform uniquely great.
A plain, quick look at Schecter endorsees shows that some of the world’s finest metal guitarists love their guitars, and these include Immortal’s very own Abbath, Cradle of Filth’s Ashok, GWAR’s Balsac, Charlie Scene from the Hollywood Undead, Disturbed’s Dan Donegan, and Johnny Christ, among many others.
In comparison to Gibson and Ibanez, Jackson is a relatively young brand. However, they’ve been around more than four decades, as they were founded in 1980 in Glendora by Grover Jackson.
They’ve waded through murky waters of guitar-crafting and took their competition head-on with innovative design ideas, clever collaborations, and respectful tributes to the widely accepted standards in terms of aesthetics and sonic performance.
Jackson’s highlight guitar models are unique and exquisite in more ways than one, but they also pay homage to the well-established guitar models, most dominantly Stratocasters, Explorers, and Les Pauls. Their engineers and luthiers are famous for adding unique finishes to recognizable guitar ideas, improving what we all love in metal guitars.
Gojira’s Christian Andreu, Hatebreed’s Chris Beattie, Revocation’s Dave Davidson, Machine Head’s Phil Demmel, and Slipknot’s Mick Thomson are just some of the metal idols that have their names stamped on Jackson guitars.
Dean manufactured tons of guitars for old-school rock acts of the ‘70s and ‘80s, but right after this period the company was sold, and its focus has drifted from rock and roll to more popular tides of music for a brief period of time.
Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine and Pantera’s Dimebag Darrell brought Dean back on the map, and ever since the ‘90s this brand became one of the most popular metal guitar companies.
They’re famous for heavy axes with heavy sounds, firm bodies, and extremely fast, highly playable necks. Fun fact of the day is that Dean started collaborating with Envy Bourbon in 2018 with a goal to craft the Envy Series of guitars, which are to be made from old whiskey barrels.
PRS Guitars were founded in 1985 by Paul Reed Smith, after which the brand is named obviously. As a master guitarist himself, Paul is the leading force of PRS Guitars in every aspect imaginable. He scouts the artists, collaborates with guitar endorsees, he is involved in all elements of the manufacturing process, and of course, he’s the spokesman of PRS.
Again, this brand may be perceived as a rock guitar brand by many people, which would be a completely fair assessment, but a huge number of PRS guitars are, in fact, absolutely perfect for metal guitar players, especially the ones who are searching for a versatile, controllable tone.
Mark Tremonti from Alter Bridge, Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth, and Cradle of Filth’s Paul Allender are just some of the most popular PRS metal artists.
Founded in 1974 in Azusa, Charvel is definitely one of the most consistent guitar companies in the world. Numerous rock and metal legends made the brand famous during the ‘80s, including the late Edward Van Halen, Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora, Gojira’s Joe Duplantier, and of course, Angel Vivaldi.
The story has it that Charvel’s founder Wayne Charvel used to work at Fender during a period of three years. Even though this brand started out as a repair shop for Fender-made instruments, it performed so well that it managed to find its footing quite fast.
Charvel Guitars boast classic aesthetic elements, very practical designs, exceptionally versatile tonal properties, and availability across all price point categories. Suffice it to say, if you are a metalhead guitarist who is looking for a quality, good-sounding guitar, you’d be more than satisfied with any Charvel axe.