ESP Guitars has announced five new additions to their signature series for Alexi Laiho, the acclaimed guitarist and frontman of Finnish metal bands CHILDREN OF BODOM and BODOM AFTER MIDNIGHT, who passed away at the end of 2020. The Alexi Ripped will be offered from the brand's LTD, E-II, and ESP Custom Shop Series, while the Alexi Hexed will be available in LTD and ESP Custom Shop versions.
"We'd been working closely with Alexi on the development of the new Hexed and Ripped guitars for over a year before his passing," says Tony Rauser, ESP director of artist relations. "He was very excited about the new models, which are the first new additions to the Alexi Laiho Signature Series since 2013. We're grateful to have this opportunity to honor Alexi's memory and celebrate his immense legacy with these new models, which will be available to fans for years to come."
All five of the new Alexi Laiho models are presented in the familiar offset V shape of Alexi's signature ESP guitars with neck-thru-body construction at 25.5" scale, and feature a three-piece thin u-shaped maple neck with natural satin finish for smooth and fast playability, along with alder body wings. They also offer ebony fingerboard (scalloped from frets 19-24) with 24 extra-jumbo frets, sawtooth inlays, and glow-in-the-dark side markers, and chrome hardware.
The Alexi Hexed — available in LTD and ESP versions — comes in Purple Fade finish with light purple pinstripes with matching back and sides. This guitar's sound is powered by a single EMG HZ F-H2 passive pickup with volume control. This ceramic high-gain pickup offers excellent presence and clarity with a punchy response. The LTD Alexi Hexed includes Grover tuners and a double-locking Floyd Rose 1000 bridge. The ESP Alexi Hexed, built by hand one at a time in the ESP Custom Shop in Tokyo, includes Gotoh locking tuners, ESP strap locks, and a double-locking Floyd Rose Original bridge, as well as an ESP MM-04 active boost switch with adjustable EQ settings and up to +18dB of boost. Both models include a deluxe ESP hardshell case.
The Alexi Ripped — available in LTD, E-II, and ESP versions — is being offered in Purple Fade Satin finish with painted black satin "ripped" pinstripes. This guitar is the first Alexi Laiho Signature Series model with more than one pickup. In addition to the EMG HZ F-H2 bridge humbucker, it includes an EMG HZ S2 passive stacked single coil in the neck position, offering just the right mix of mids with a clear and full low end. The LTD Alexi Ripped offers components including Grover tuners, a double-locking Floyd Rose 1000 bridge, and an inset three-way pickup selector. Built at the ESP factory in Japan, the E-II Alexi Ripped components include Gotoh locking tuners, ESP strap locks, a double-locking Floyd Rose Original bridge, and the ESP MM-04 active boost switch. The ESP Alexi Ripped is hand crafted at the ESP Custom Shop and also includes Gotoh locking tuners, ESP strap locks, a double-locking Floyd Rose Original bridge, and the ESP MM-04 active boost switch.
Born in Espoo, Finland on April 8, 1979, Laiho was best known as the lead guitarist, lead vocalist, and primary songwriter of CHILDREN OF BODOM, the melodic death metal band he founded in 1993. Laiho has been honored by many publications including Guitar World, Metal Hammer and Total Guitar as one of the best metal guitarists of all time, well known for a combination of ferocious speed and highly melodic note selection. He joined the ESP Guitars artist endorsee roster in 2002, and ESP released his first Signature Series guitar models in 2006. Between 2003 and 2019, CHILDREN OF BODOM had a string of successive albums that hit No. 1 in their native Finland and were widely popular around the world among fans of metal and guitar virtuosity. Laiho died on December 29, 2020 at age 41.
Detailed info and specs on the entire Alexi Laiho Signature Series is available on the ESP web site at espguitars.com.