A quick appraisal of Zakk Wylde’s Wylde Audio electric guitar catalog will unearth a plentiful array of eye-catching and visually intriguing six-strings, but the brand’s latest release – the IronWorks Barbarian – might just be its most insane offering yet.
As the name implies, the guitar itself is a Wylde Audio Barbarian at its core, meaning it features an SG-style body shape that flashes a few extra spikes around the extremities.
However, whereas the previous Barbarians came equipped with striped Buzzsaw and quilted maple Nordic Ice finishes, the IronWorks iteration brings something completely different to the table.
Because, instead of featuring the quilted maple top and all-mahogany body construction of its predecessors, the IronWork comes loaded with a metal top – and, while we can’t imagine this does much in the way of tone, it certainly soups up the aesthetics quite significantly.
Ever the champion of Viking imagery and ancient Nordic visuals, Zakk Wylde has equipped the top with a hypnotic border accommodating a range of floral and animalistic images.
There’s also the skull from Black Label Society’s logo – as well as appropriate BLS initials – which sits atop the letters S.D.M.F. For those unfamiliar with such an inscription, the letters stand for Strength Determination Merciless Forever – the calling card of the band and the title of their 2005 track from Kings of Damnation 98-04.
Extravagant aesthetics aside, the guitar is a standard Barbarian, at the crux of which can be found a flat top mahogany body, three-piece maple neck and 22-fret, 14”-radius ebony fingerboard.
Other functional specs include pearloid runes inlays, Grover Rotomatic tuners and a Graph Tech XL Ivory Tusq nut, as well as a TonePros T3BP TOM/T1SZ tailpiece and set-neck construction.
In terms of electronics, Wylde’s favorite EMGs once again make the cut – an EMG 81 bridge and EMG 85 neck – and are at the mercy of two volume controls, a master tone parameters and a three-way selector switch.
For our two cents, it's one of Wylde Audio’s most insane-looking axes yet, one that doubles down on the Black Label Society identity in the most spectacular fashion.
Price-wise, it’s slightly more expensive than the other Barbarians, weighing in at $1,799.
For more information, visit Wylde Audio (opens in new tab).