Mastodon, the acclaimed American heavy metal band featuring ESP player Bill Kelliher, will be releasing Emperor of Sand -- the band's seventh studio album -- on March 31. To say the album is highly anticipated by fans of heavy music worldwide is an understatement. Bill told us at the 2017 NAMM Show that his recently-introduced LTD Signature Series guitar, the Sparrowhawk, can be heard all over Emperor of Sand, which is the band's first new album in nearly three years. Bill also turns to his LTD BK-600 signature guitar for recording, songwriting, and live shows.
The Sparrowhawk was officially introduced at the 2017 NAMM Show last month, and we were lucky enough to have Bill on hand there to show it off to our booth visitors. With a body shape designed by Bill based on elements of a number of different guitars he's admired, the Sparrowhawk features a set of Lace Sensor Divinator pickups, with a push-pull coil-splitting control for a variety of tones. The Sparrowhawk has a maple-capped mahogany body, set-thru construction, and a smooth heel joint for fast access to the highest frets. It offers a three-piece mahogany neck with satin finish, a 22-fret ebony fingerboard with block inlays, and a TonePros locking TOM bridge and tailpiece to provide stability and sustain. The Sparrowhawk is finished in Military Green Sunburst Satin, and is available in both right- and left-handed versions.
The BK-600 was designed by Bill to provide the wide range of tones needed for Mastodon’s music while being sturdy and reliable enough for his most punishing rhythms and brutal riffs throughout long tours. It's based on the single-cutaway ESP Eclipse guitar style, along with a traditional full body thickness and no waist cut. Its three-piece mahogany neck is joined to the body with set-thru construction at 24.75” scale for smooth and comfortable fast access to the upper frets. The BK-600 offers an ebony fingerboard with pearloid “ESP Flag” inlays and 22 frets, as well as binding on the body, neck, and headstock. Its sound is generated with two of Kelliher’s own signature Lace Sensor Dissonant Aggressor pickups, a sonically versatile humbucker set with excellent dynamic response, sustain and tone. The flexible sounds of the BK-600 are controlled with master volume and tone knobs that each offer a push-pull control to split the bridge and neck pickups respectively.
The band has released a series of videos that include the official audio from some songs off the album, using animations of the fascinatingly macabre imagery from the album's artwork as something you can stare at while Mastodon rocks your brain. Visit the Mastodon site to order the new album now.