Is Gary Holt’s medieval woodcut ESP the most satanic guitar ever?

(Image credit: Hutchinson Guitar Concepts)

Gary Holt has conceived some unique electric guitar designs over the years, including one painted in his own blood.

Now, the Slayer and Exodus guitarist has teamed with Hutchinson Guitar Concepts to craft a medieval woodcut design on one of his ESP Holt Eclipse models.

Explains Hutchinson owner James Hutchinson, “Gary contacted me over a year ago, after seeing some of my Viking and medieval concepts. He had the great idea of doing a medieval woodcut carved on the guitar. I came up with some designs, but it was put on hold until he had the right guitar from the ESP Custom shop made.

“October comes ‘round again and I receive the bare wood guitar; a super heavy custom Holt Eclipse! So I set to work to create a medieval satanic scene, satirically referencing the Ascension, and taking ideas from old historical occult woodcuts. I even included a levitating cat!

(Image credit: Thorsten Seiffert/

“The fretboard was left plain, except for a 12th fret inlay of 666 in Roman numerals, and the ESP logo was translated into an Old English font, carved into the headstock.

It’s the most intricate guitar carving I’ve done to date. It was a balance between too much fine detail and making the Baphomet image stand out enough to be visible on stage. I think it works! The guitar is being used on the current Exodus tour."

For more information, head over to Hutchinson Guitar Concepts.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.