Ex-Aborted guitarist Mendel's custom Legend of Zelda Carillion guitar is the ultimate six-string Nintendo tribute

Ex-Aborted guitarist Mendel Bij De Leij – otherwise known simply as Mendel for his solo project – has given Guitar World an up close and personal look at his custom Carillion electric guitar, which is heavily inspired by the Legend of Zelda games.

Talking about the history of the project, the metal virtuoso said "I grew up with the Nintendo games, the Super Nintendo games... thus came the idea of bringing the Legend of Zelda theme to a guitar."

As a huge Zelda fan, Mendel explains that he worked closely with Carillion luthier Chris Delia to come up with imaginative ways of incorporating imagery from the iconic games into his new guitar.

"We talked for months – seriously, months – about how to implement the Zelda theme to a guitar," says Mendel.

Treating the fretboard as an artist would treat a blank canvas, they decided upon a statement piece custom inlay inspired by Ocarina of Time, which Mendel says is probably his "favorite game of all time".

Mendel Bij De Leij Custom Zelda Carillion

(Image credit: Mendel Bij de Leij)

Initially, the inlay was intended to only feature the temple symbols from Ocarina of Time, although Delia had other ideas and instead went full Zelda by including imagery from Twilight Princess as well.

"As soon as he sent it, I was floored. Like, that's it, that's the things that need to be on the fretboard," recalls Mendel. "And basically, the rest was history."

The bold final design sees the Ocarina of Time temple symbols woven into an intricate web of Twilight Princess-inspired lines – Zelda fans will go Cucco (ahem) for the Triforce that sits at the 12th fret.

The rest of the guitar is equally impressive, featuring a mahogany body, burl maple top, nine-piece roasted maple neck and an ebony fretboard. The Carillion also comes equipped with Devin Townsend's versatile signature Fishman Fluence pickups – listen to them in action in the video below.

The Legend of Zelda custom Carillion guitar can be heard on Mendel's newest album Neoblivion – a "reamped, remixed and remastered" version of his 2015 album Oblivion – which is filled with fretboard acrobatics, punishing riffs and addictive melodies as epic as the adventures of the Hero of Time.

While on the topic of guitars that take inspiration from contemporary pop culture, check out Gibson's trio of Adventure Time-themed guitars, which were released last month.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.