Growing up in the 80’s, I was a huge thrash fan and my favorite band by far was Anthrax. Their mixture of heavy riffs, political commentary, and humor struck a chord with me (pardon the pun). I spent hours working through the riffs on their 1987 album Among the Living. When I first saw the Scott Ian SI60, all those memories came rushing back and I was aching to riff on Scott’s “killer” axe (again with the puns).
The Indonesian manufactured guitar is a chaotic beauty featuring an extremely aggressive mahogany SG inspired shape and cosmetics, which according to Washburn’s website, are “based on Scott's Murder Weapon which he personally bludgeoned with a chain & mace type object and then spattered with a blood like substance”. Well, it’s certainly an original take on the current distressed/pseudo-relic trend, and the “blood” splatters actually have a modern art quality too them which looks much better than it sounds. Grover 18:1 ratio tuners, ebony fretboard, custom “Anthragram” inlays, a string through body design, and the Buzz Feiten tuning system round out the axe’s high end features.
Immediately upon strapping on the guitar, I was a little disappointed as it suffers from neck dive syndrome. This may not bother some, but I found it distracting. I also found the distressing, which could be felt along the length of the otherwise thin and fast bolt on neck, slightly distracting. While the excellently sculpted heel joint provided smooth access to the highest frets, the review model experienced some string buzz on the low E string which, even with adjustment, I couldn’t completely eliminate. I expect better from a guitar in this price range.
Plugged up, this baby lives up to its name. I can only think of one word to describe the Frank Lamarra designed Egnater pickups, brutal. The pickups are perfectly matched with the bridge pickup serving up a tight, focused low end perfect for palm muted riffing with just the right amount of slice to cut through during solos while the neck pickup has a smooth high end yet retains clarity for fast legato soloing. The single volume and tone controls are very responsive, but don’t expect this guitar to clean up and play nice when rolling down the volume knob. It’s really designed for one thing, and it nails it with authority. This is a guitar which absolutely possesses you. I just could not stop the palm muted riffs, sweep-picking and finger tapped runs.
While there are a couple design choices I initially found distracting, the sound of this guitar quickly made me forget them.
Price: ~$599.00 USD
Pros: Incredible pickups, unique cosmetics.
Cons: Distressing on the neck distracting, neck heavy, buzzing on the low e string.