Top 7 Guitars for Death Metal (2020) – Our pick of the Best Death Metal Guitars

Note: Here is a list of some of the best death metal guitars out there to pick from, containing detailed information along with relevant cons that will help you conveniently compare and select the most suitable model based on your needs.

Best Death Metal Guitars - Blog Cover

Our top 3 Death metal guitars

4.7/5
  • Amazing battery-powered pickups for rich tone
  • Built for extreme metal 
  • Too good for the price

4.6/5
  • Best Budget LTD
  • Great for the price
  • Comes in some amazing and brutal colorway

4.4/5
  • Custom 5-way switch for more tone options
  • You get the “Fender attention to details”

Blast beats, muted riffing, speed solos with a whammy bar, brutal growls, and lyrics about killing, diseases, murdering and satan – Yup, that’s music to us death-metal-heads. 

It has almost become the genre that non-metal heads stereotype for anything metal such as – heavy metal, metalcore, deathcore or even hard-rock, it is the pioneer of the metal genre. And to capture that sound, you need to play it on the the most brutal metal guitar out there.

A lot of people will tell you either Death or Possessed started it, but you cannot pin-point at a single band or artist and handover the medal for inventing this beast.

Even though the creator of death metal is still unclear, one thing is for sure that you need a guitar that is created in such a way that not only the best guitar for death metal sound-wise but also looks the most brutal to put on a perfect show.

The best Death Metal guitar:

  • Plays well on very low tuning (D, C or even B)
  • Usually has great humbucker pickups for the signature sound
  • Body convenient for palm muting, goes without saying
  • Can be used for extremely fast solos
  • Looks brutal

Since there are a lot of signature guitars that come at an extra price, we have only included the ones which are actually worth the money. Here are 7 top electric guitars for you to play death metal with!

Get ready to start those epic walls of death with these guitars!

These are the 7 Best Death Metal Guitars (2020)

True Music Helper Rating - 4.7/5
4.7/5

Schecter is on the top of this list for a number of reasons. Along with being one of the most hardcore death metal guitars, it is also made out of sturdy materials, it certainly has the looks and it does all that for a price that will not hurt your pocket. The craftsmanship, the feel and the way it growls has to make it the first on our list.

How does it sound?
It has a beautiful quilted top on it and it is built out of Mahogany wood. The frets are decorated with almost like a medieval type of design, heavy metal kind of look. You can tell Schecter put in a lot of time into making the guitar look and feel great even at an inexpensive offer price.

How does it feel?
The beautiful, battery-powered Active EMG 81TW and 89 humbuckers deliver crushing electric guitar tone. The regular humbucker mode with single coil configuration is where it really shines. You can tell that this guitar was made for the extreme metal genres because it sure sounds like one!

Pros

  • Amazing battery-powered pickups for rich tone
  • Created for extreme metal genres
  • Good quality material
  • Handsome guitar with metal look
  • Too good for the price

Cons

  • None

True Music Helper Rating - 4.1/5
4.1/5

This is one of the best budget LTDs that you can buy and since it is an LTD, it promises comfortable playability. It also has extra jumbo frets which means you can play the guitar as quickly as you want. Our point is – you get a lot of guitar for the price you pay.

How does it sound?
This guitar will make sure that you have fun while blasting death metal. The tuner and the pickup are not the best in the market yet the range of tones you get out of it is extremely satisfying.

How does it feel?
The body has a nice carve to it and it is designed to have a vintage classic style, despite the pointy horn. It is a very well constructed and well-finished guitar for that price.  It also comes with a toggle for loudness and push/pull pickup separator which is an added bonus.

Pros

  • Best Budget LTD
  • Get a lot for the price you pay
  • Comes in some great colorway

Cons

  • Pickups are not the best out-of-the-box

True Music Helper Rating - 3.9/5
3.9/5

A strat is one of the most versatile guitars ever created and this model of Stratocaster can handle death metal like a champ. The only trouble you will face is sharing almost the same guitar shape as blues or pop musicians.

How does it sound?
With this guitar, Fender has rethought the iconic Stratocaster as a distortion machine – so you can play genres from hard rock to death metal. The guitar has high output Alnico humbuckers, coupled with a strat’s 5-way custom pickup switch option gives you numerous tones to pick from.

How does it feel?
Fender has some really good color combination options for this guitar to make it unique for you. It also has medium-jumbo frets which makes it a sweet spot for playing this genre. This guitar, like the pervious one, comes with a system to stop the guitar to go out of tune to a certain extent and it’s called ‘The floyd-rose system’.

 

Pros

  • Great attention to details that comes with the Fender Tag
  • Custom 5-way switch for more tone options

Cons

  • Doesn’t look extremely metal

True Music Helper Rating - 4.6/5
4.6/5

This is hands down, the best 7-string electric guitar in the market that you can get for the price. Since the ‘chugga-chugga’s and 7-string guitars go hand-in-hand, here’s ESP’s prized possession on our list.

How does it sound?
The guitar is an absolute badass in the sound department. Tune it to drop B and it’s a brutal metal machine yet very clear.  It is the epitome of 7 string death metal guitars.

How does it feel?
At first look, you can tell that it looks nothing like a normal guitar. The shape of the guitar is unique but extremely practical. It’s made out of maple, rosewood, and mahogany, it’s an absolute delight to hold. We have never heard a single complaint about this guitar.

Pros

  • Best 7-string for the price
  • Perfect for playing metal
  • Comfortable neck

Cons

  • Looks can be hit or miss

True Music Helper Rating - 4.4/5
4.4/5

The guitar is loud, and we don’t mean just sound-wise. The guitar is visually very loud and it will definitely leave an impression on the onlookers.

How does it sound?
The guitar sounds awesome and it sounds exactly what you would want a metal guitar to sound like. The tremolo system on this guitar (which comes in handy when you want to play death metal) is so good that it has its own fanbase because of the way it comes set up out-of-the-box.

How does it feel?
It’s a gorgeous guitar, very thin – made for some good shredding. The neck is very thin and the guitar is very angular which makes it fit with the guitarist’s body seamlessly. It also comes in some great funky colors.

Pros

  • Screams death metal
  • Has the best tremolo system

Cons

  • The material used for the guitar makes it kind of heavy
  • Again, looks can be hit or miss

True Music Helper Rating - 4/5
4/5

It’s the classic Rhoads design that looks like it is a guitar straight from hell. And trust us, you will be really excited to show off this guitar and what it can do on stage.

How does it sound?
You get the Jackson high-output humbucking pickups which sound absolutely magnificent. They are amazingly clear and handle dissonance in one of the prettiest ways we’ve ever heard. It’s really nice for sweeping as well. 

How does it feel?
It has a lightweight and comfortable poplar body. Jackson JS Series Rhoads has a bolt-on maple neck, graphite neck reinforcements, and a really speedy neck profile. The only real problem you will face with this guitar is playing it while sitting down otherwise it is a guaranteed lean, mean, metal machine! It also comes with a locking nut so you should not expect it to be one of those guitars that constantly go out of tune.

Pros

  • Looks are perfect for a metal guitar
  • You get amazing Jackson pickups sound
  • Locking nut ensures that it doesn’t go out of tune

Cons

  • Takes time to get used to playing while sitting down

True Music Helper Rating - 3.6/5
3.6/5

This is a proper metal guitar and so if you’re looking for a weapon of mass destruction then congratulations, you have found your next death metal guitar.

How does it sound?
Sustain flying out of the EMG pickups is just gorgeous and the variety of tones you can achieve from this guitar is just surprising. It is also blazingly fast, so if you are a shredder, clear your schedule as you will be spending a lot of hours with this baby.

How does it feel?
The mahogany body, the ebony fretboard, and the locking tuners, you really get everything with this guitar. You will really enjoy holding, playing or even just staring at this beautiful instrument.

Pros

  • Amazing build quality and accessories
  • Beautiful flat black finish
  • A great many variety of tone

Cons

  • Can be expensive

Build your own Death metal rig

Best Death Metal Pedal:
Although death metal was invented in Florida, Sweden has played a huge role into moulding it into what it is today.

All the bands that come out of Sweden – subgenres like Gothenburg melodic death metal and Stockholm raw-death-metal have had one thing in common.

It is the Boss HM-2. We cannot talk about death metal and not mention HM-2. This is the main ingredient of a typical Swedish death metal. The production of this small distortion machine stopped in October 1991 and since then there has been a hunt for the same sound from a pedal.

Cut to today, the best alternative we have for HM-2 is BOSS MT-2.

It does not sound exactly as the HM-2 but it is the closest you can get to the iconic death metal tone of our Gen-X buddy. If you are looking to build your own death metal rig, MT2 is one of the most important pieces that you need to add to it. Get one for yourself!

Best pickups for Death Metal:
The trick to achieving the signature tone here is to get a good mix of active and passive pickups for a more organic type of sound.

These are some death metal pickups that you can look into – Seymour Duncan Distortion Mayhem Set, Lace Aluma Deathbar 4.0, Seymour Duncan Black Winter Trembucker – These pickups have amazing sustain, high gain sound and aggressive mids. Perfect for your death metal rig.

Best Amp for Death Metal:
You can’t really go wrong with most amps for death metal. Make sure that the lead channel is excellent for the crazy, brutal death metal tones.

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