Ragnarok Inspiration


I remember when Grunges bastard child ‘Nu-metal’ came on the scene in the mid-90’s; the guitar riff’s suddenly sounded much heavier and darker somehow. I was actually more interested in the Hip-hop integration with Metal at the time musically, and it took me a while to get into the new guitar sound. I just assumed it was some production effect on the guitars that gave the heavy tone and it wasn’t until I was reading one of my Brother Lee’s Powerplay magazines that I noticed the guitarists in Korn had 7-stringed instruments. I knew Steve Vai played a 7-stringer, but I’d never associated the instrument with heavy riffage, which made it more appealing to me as I thought it was very reminiscent of Cliff Burton’s sound during his bass solos.

It is around this time I started playing guitar again (after a very brief ‘strumming’ period aged around 9 years old). I would write to guitar manufacturers like Ibanez, Jackson, Gibson etc. to request their catalogues so that I could see the latest guitar ranges and specifications. We didn’t have a home PC at the time, so I would have to sneak onto the guitar websites in between (and during) lessons at college. It was very difficult to find information about latest guitars and Rotherham didn’t have a very comprehensive guitar shop, so this was the only way I could stay up to date. The Ibanez catalogue had good images and specifications of the signature models for Munky and Head of Korn, which both had 7 strings and featured locking tremolos.
I wanted one desperately even though I didn’t know what to do with just 6 strings at the time and I couldn’t afford or justify a 7-string guitar.

Ragnarok will finally fulfil my adolescent dreams of a owning and playing a carved top Les Paul style 7-stringer; it will be very difficult to part with it at the end.

Deep Purple

I have toyed with the idea of an all-black finish for this guitar, but being inspired by artists like John Martin, Frank Frazetta and John Howe, I would like to try and attain an Armageddon storm cloud type of finish for the body. Primarily dark purple, I want to incorporate some hints of white and blood-red as an underlying highlight. Currently the idea is to have a tight-grained Wenge body with a book matched flame-Maple cap. I intend to grain fill certain areas of the flamed figuring with red-dyed grain filler, emulating fissures in a volcano. This will contrast quite strongly with the white-grain filler towards the centre of the body (see the concept post for Ragnarok), so I need to plan carefully to ensure some degree of subtlty here. The red flamed grain will flare out towards the outer rims of the body, and will be mostly tempered underneath the black finish surroundings of the ‘sunburst’.

A deep purple trans-finish will then cover everything and hopefully give the intended ‘brewing storm’ effect. There are a few different aspects where I will draw inspiration from for the dark purple finish and red highlights; some are pretty tenuous but this is what my mind sees (see below):

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