Mestis, aka Javier Reyes, demonstrates the 8-string’s supreme versatility with this exclusive playthrough of Media Noche

Away from the prog-metal behemoth that is Animals As Leaders, Javier Reyes has been taking the eight-string in rather different directions with solo project Mestis, which weaves diverse genres into tasteful, tonesome guitar-heavy jams.

And now, to celebrate the announcement of new Mestis live album, En Vivo, we have an exclusive playthrough to share with y’all.

Filmed in his home studio, Reyes’ runthrough of Media Noche makes full use of the eight-string’s range, with passages that border on classical fingerstyle at moments, but all with his unique sense of groove and tone.

“Media Noche (Midnight) is a song where I'm pulling influences well outside of my normal prog/metal world,” says Reyes.

“It features influences from my childhood in Washington, DC listening to go-go music, hip-hop, and R&B. I believe in writing music that comes naturally yet has character. I'd like to believe Media Noche definitely comes off as a unique breath of fresh air in the world of eight-string guitar.”

Part of what keeps the track sounding fresh is Reyes’ gear picks: he’s playing a Japanese Custom ESP Vintage Plus eight-string with custom DiMarzio Strat eight-string pickups, running into a Synergy Syn2 with Pitbull module, and Neural DSP Archetype: Plini plugin.

Pedals, meanwhile, include a Bogner Harlow Comp/Boost, Empress Effects ParaEQ, Strymon Big Sky and Dunlop Echoplex.

En Vivo is out on September 25 via Sumerian Records, and features nine tracks recorded in different cities across North America.

The first of these, Gentle Giant (live from Los Angeles, CA) is available to stream below.

For more info, and to preorder, head over to Mestis.

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.