Wylde Audio Odin Grail Genesis Bullseye

Berserker Broadax

Zakk Wylde emerged from New Jersey in the late ’80s to give Ozzy Osbourne’s music a style and attitude unlike that of any guitarist before him, using an approach spawned from the Allman Brothers, Black Sabbath, and Randy Rhoads.

Price: $1,119
Info: www.wyldeaudio.com

His debut on No Rest For The Wicked introduced a dynamic chemistry between guitarist and singer that lasted through three decades. Today, Wylde’s picking propels heavy-metal churners Black Label Society and he guides Wylde Audio, designing gear that shares his aesthetic sensibilities.

The company’s Odin Grail Genesis Bullseye has a single-cut mahogany body with flame-maple cap, three-piece maple neck with a C shape, bound ebony fretboard with a 24.625″ scale, 14″ radius, and 22 extra-jumbo frets. The guitar is distinguished from other “Les Pauls” with a sharp, down-curved treble-bout point, curved tip near the strap button, and oversized mother-of-pearl block inlays.

A TonePros tune-o-matic bridge and Grover Rotomatic machine heads in gold work in conjunction with a GraphTech Tusq nut for tuning stability. A three-way toggle, two Volume knobs, and a master Tone control operate an EMG 85 pickup in the neck position and EMG 81 in the bridge; the 85 uses two Alnico-magnet coils with a wider aperture to give the upper and lower EQ spectrums a sweeter thickness while the 81 has a ceramic magnet and higher output. Both offer a range of sounds with no noise, yielding subtle midrange timbres, very usable compression, and a seamless transition when switching.

The Odin is ’70s-heavy, powerful, and yields hearty cluck in the middle position, angry bark in the bridge, and warm-but-brusque personality in the neck position. Clean tones are an excellent complement to fine-tune the sound of a high-gain amp.

The Grail Genesis Bullseye wasn’t sired for lounge jazz at wine-tasting socials. But it’s an outstanding no-frills rock machine.

This article originally appeared in VG March 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.