National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) 2020 Show Report

Hails to all you APESHIT goons, has it been a year already?  How time flies when you’re blasting underground metal on a daily basis.  We hit up the Winter NAMM show, and here are a few things we found interesting in 2020!

Sabian’s new printed graphic cymbals made their debut, and they are quite a delight to enhance your kit’s visual appeal.  These printed cymbals are available at their custom shop, as the tops are printed with a color graphic, and the bottom is left untreated.   Another notable new Sabian product is the crisp Complex 21” and 22” ride that ensures to cut through your run-of-the-mill grind riffs.

Getting rid of body hair has been part of our routines for a long time. Guys shave their facial hair, and women shave their legs and underarms. Normally are 2 the types of treatment that you prefer to employ, but which one is the best? epilator vs waxing!

Drum god Nicko McBrain (IRON MAIDEN) has switched over to the British Drum Co. with his custom Icarus kit.  The Icarus features a signature snare series that has an Oak shell with Black Fishtail Oak outer veneer and the Icarus logo badge on the side.  The kit can be ordered as a replica or in any size configuration, which should please drummers who are huge Nicko McBrain/IRON MAIDEN fans.

On the pickup front, EMG has announced two highly anticipated signature sets; the first set is from Jim Root (SLIPKNOT), available in zebra or white.   For bassists, EMG announced the Robert Trujillo (METALLICA) “Rip Tide” set available in different chrome and black chrome variations.

Lots of guitar info to be covered this year, and we’ll start off with the major player first – Gibson.  The first major announcement was Jerry Cantrell (ALICE IN CHAINS) now endorsing Gibson guitars.  This certainly feels natural as he has played many Les Pauls in the past.  Hopefully we’ll see a signature model next year!  Another huge announcement was the Gibson Slash Collection (GUNS ‘N ROSES), which has four Les Paul models and two J-45 acoustic models.  The Les Paul models feature signature SlashBucker pickups and the exclusive Slash Scully” signature drawing on the back of the headstock.  The Slash Les Paul Standard is available in November, featuring Appetite, Vermillion, and Anaconda Bursts.  One last Gibson-related item of note is the announcement of an exact replica of Tony Iommi‘s Monkey SG model – be warned, as there are only 50 of these produced; signed and numbered by the riff king himself.  You may need to take out a loan to get one of these babies.  However, this exact replica will definitely be the sickest axes you will ever own, as Gibson’s meticulous attention to detail on each guitar also includes a replica of Iommi’s silver cross necklace and his 1960’s case.

For you prog/tech fans out there, Strandberg guitars announced their first True Temperament production model for perfect tuning anywhere on the fretboard.  The union of the Boden design and True Temperament fretting system allows for easy playing in the studio or in the live setting.  Kiesel guitars, another fan favorite for technical death metal enthusiasts, introduced the headless Thanos bass series as well as the headless Delos guitar series.

Metal guitarists are always interested in the Jackson and ESP booths.  Last year, Jackson released the signature Jeff Loomis (ARCH ENEMY) Kelly model; in 2020, Rob Caggiano’s (VOLBEAT) Shadowcaster and Gus G.’s (FIREWIND) San Dimas and Star signature models were announced to the world.

While ESP had a lot of the same guitars on display, the most notable 2020 model for us was Nergal’s (BEHEMOTH) new signature LTD NS-6!  The NS-6 is a set-thru design with mahogany body that is loaded with Fishman Fluence Modern Humbucker pickups.  The ebony fingerboard has the BEHEMOTH Triumviratus logo inlays and glow-in-the dark side markers.  I was able to try out the NS-6 at the ESP booth, and alongside the previously released Nergal-6 model, the BEHEMOTH frontman is endorsing some excellent guitars right now.

Last year, Dino Cazares (FEAR FACTORY) made the stunning switch from his longtime favorite axe, Ibanez, to the Australian-based newcomers called Ormsby, and we can certainly see why now.  Omrsby introduced brand new signature models for him – along with his custom 8 string (!) guitar, the company also showcased the absolutely stunning Aztec Sun God model.  The Aztec Sun God model features a custom Dino Cazares Toe Cutter pickup, reverse headstock, ebony fretboard, fixed Floyd Rose bridge, and one of the grandiose designs ever (pictured below).

Well, there’s just too much to see in four days, so those were a few products we enjoyed seeing within the metal realm.  Once again, thanks to the NAMM family for allowing us to geek out and cover another year of this mind-blowing convention!

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