Outside of the USA/Canadian metal mainstream for years, Annihilator have been hammering away at the European/Asian metal markets for more than a decade. After years of success overseas, frontman Jeff Waters finally brings the mighty Annihilator back to North America with a vengeance. There can be no doubt that Jeff Waters is among the most important and influential metal guitarists of our time. His amazing sense of rhythm, unique mix of dynamism and intricate detail, wealth of ideas and reliable feel for hooks and riffs have had a lasting influence on countless young musicians.

Waters' band, Annihilator, is considered the perfect example of an intelligent, sweaty, ever surprising metal act, having released a number of classics from 1989's debut Alice In Hell, to the mega-successful Never, Neverland, to the European/Asian hit King Of The Kill, Carnival Diablos, Schizo Deluxe and many others over the years; 12 studio cd's to be exact.

"I have a lot of guitars in my collection but many are not super high-priced beasts. For some reason, I usually prefer the feel of a less-than-$1500 guitar to the more expensive versions; I don't think I am alone, after meeting hundreds of pro players over the years and finding out that many prefer their own "cheaper" signature models to the "more-pro" versions (that sell often for upwards of triple the price).

So when the kind folks at Epiphone asked me to try out a few of their new creations, I was game. It was a very pleasant surprise to see the latest editions of the Epiphone line have such an eye-pleasing look but would they actually play well and sound good? Yup; they do. These guitars not only look sharp but they are light (much needed in a touring metal band that likes to run around lots!) and easy to play. I opted to throw in Dirty Finger pickups in my versions but the stock EMG's are great, too. You can't lose with these guitars or probably most in the entire line. Great job, Epiphone!"