Glenn Hughes, Devin Townsend, Ripper Owens, and Dee Snider take on Sinatra classics

Various Artists
SIN-atra
Armoury Records


Ready for some metal versions of Frank Sinatra classics? Glenn Hughes, Devin Townsend, Ripper Owens, and Dee Snider are among the 12 notable artists lending their vocal talents to songs like “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “New York, New York,” “Witchcraft,” and “It Was a Very Good Year.” Unfortunately, some stellar vocal performances and righteous guitar and bass riffery by Bob Kulick, Richie Kotzen, and Billy Sheehan end up falling flat due to the project’s humor-bent focus and the use of keyboards. I get the dilemma—you can’t just delete Nelson Riddle horn lines and string swells from something paying tribute to Sinatra. Regardless, the keyboard tones simply kill this otherwise brave mashup, grating on your skull much like the brass-mocking keyboard in Europe’s “The Final Countdown.” Too bad. Some moments of legit darkness that breathe interesting new life into these charts get overshadowed by all the cheese.

Made in Canada, this two-voice guitar features a chambered Mahogany body, carved Swamp Ash top, 25.5” scale Mahogany neck and Rosewood Fingerboard.

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Gain is fun in all its forms, from overdrive to fuzz, but let’s talk about a great clean tone.


We’re all here for one thing. It’s the singular sound and magic of the stringed instrument called the guitar—and its various offshoots, including the bass. Okay, so maybe it’s more than one thing, but the sentiment remains. Even as I write this, my thoughts fan out and recognize how many incarnations of “guitar” there must be. It’s almost incomprehensible. Gut-string, nylon-string, steel-string, 12-string, 8-string, 10-string, flatwound, brown sound, fuzztone…. It’s almost impossible to catalog completely, so I’ll stop here and let you add your favorites. Still, there’s one thing that I keep coming back to: clean tone.

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A supreme shredder’s signature 6-string dazzles with versatility.

This immaculately built guitar sounds great and can do it all.

The more affordable price is still out of reach for many guitarists

$2,799

Charvel MJ San Dimas SD24 CM
charvel.com

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4.5
4.5

Charvel’s first Guthrie Govan signature model was released in 2014, after an arduous two-year effort to get the design just right. Since then, the guitar—now in its second edition—has become one of Charvel’s most coveted models. Unfortunately, its $3,699 price keeps the U.S.-made axe out of reach for many.

This year, though, the company released the Made-in-Japan signature MJ San Dimas SD24 CM, which sells for a slightly more manageable $2,799. Needless to say, that’s not cheap. But depending on your priorities, it’s a fair price for a very high quality, pro-level instrument.

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