On this page I'll try to give an overview of the guitars the legendary Peter Tägtgren has used throughout his career. This Swedish musician is probably best known as the frontman of the bands HYPOCRISY and PAIN and his involvement in bands and projects such as WAR, THE ABYSS, BLOODBATH, LOCK UP and LINDEMANN.

He is also the main man behind ABYSS STUDIO, where many death and black metal classics were recorded and/or mixed.

In the past, Tägtgren performed as the live guitarist for the black metal band MARDUK as well as the eurodance act E-TYPE.

If you would like to contribute to this page, freel free to drop me a line at tagtgrenguitars@telenet.be

Be sure to visit:

Thanks to Peter Tägtgren and his manager Sanna Bark for helping me out by clearing some guitar mysteries!

 

Last update: 05 November 2018

Added the ESP Snakebyte which Tägtgren is now using on tour with Hypocrisy!


The brands


B.C. Rich

 

B.C. Rich Ironbird

In the 90's death and black metal scene, everybody and their dog was playing these. Including Peter Tägtgren. Once the 90's were over, nobody was playing them anymore. Okay, maybe Trey from MORBID ANGEL still does.

The B.C. Rich Ironbird was available in many different configurations (different bridge types, different hardware, different pickups, regular or reversed headstock, ...).

In the video for "Roswell 47" Tägtren plays a black one, probably with a licensed floyd rose tremelo system and stock pickups.

Specs:


ESP

Peter Tägtgren seems to favour ESP Eclipse guitars while performing live with PAIN. They are only rarely used live with HYPOCRISY. He currently has several of these, all rumoured to be set up with EMG81 en EMG85 pickups instead of the stock EMG81 and EMG60 combo.

With HYPOCRISY, he is often spotted using ESP Explorers as well as post-lawsuit ESP EX's.

 

ESP Eclipse (bolt-on)

The earliest ESP Eclipse Tägtgren was noted playing, was this one. The most notable features are the nudge in the horn, the dot fret markers with model name at the 12th fret and the three knob layout. It is most likely a bolt-on model, as illustrated in the second picture. In an interview with Lords of Metal, Tägtgren mentions he likes the super thin neck on this one.

Haven't seen this one on the road the last couple of years, but Tägtgren did use it for the recording of the PAIN albums "Cynic Paradise" and "You only live twice". It can clearly be seen in the studio videos for those albums.

It can also be seen in the PAIN video "Bye/Die" and the PAIN DVD "Live is overrated".

Specs:


 

ESP Eclipse I CTM BB BKS (Black Satin)

This is one of Peter's main guitars. Satin black finish, four knob control layout, black hardware, EMG pickups.

The ESP Eclipse I guitars are different from the Eclipse II guitars in two ways; four knobs instead of three and and "old horn" instead of the flatter new one. The Eclipse I are hard to get in the USA because of a Gibson lawsuit.

The guitar appears in the PAIN videos "Monkey Business" and "Have a drink on me". Tägtgren also used this guitar for two PAIN appearances on the Swedish TV4 channel. In 2006, they played "Zombie Slam." In 2008, they played "I'm going in" and "Follow me" featuring Annette Olson. The male co-host of the show actually commented on Peters guitar (in Swedish): "Nice guitar, Les Paul-style, but lighter, so you don't get back pain".

Specs:


 

ESP Eclipse I CTM SW (Snow White)

Another one of Peter's main guitars. This one can be seen throughout the PAIN "We come in Peace" live DVD.

White gloss finish, four knob control layout, black hardware, EMG pickups.

An interesting thing is that, in a live situation with PAIN, he turns the volume of the neck pickup all the way down, so that the pickup switch actually becomes a kill switch.

Specs:


 

ESP Eclipse I CTM VTB (Vintage Black)

This one is rarely seen. It's hard to tell from the unsharp screenshots, but it has yellow binding and gold hardware, unlike his other black satin Eclipse.

Tägtgren used it for a performance of PAIN on the Swedish TV show "Nyhetsmorgon" on TV4 around 2007. They played the songs "Walking on Glass" and "Zombie Slam".

Specs:


 

ESP ECLIPSE I CTM VW (Vintage White)

So far, this one hasn't been spotted on the road. It was, however, featured in the PAIN video "Dirty Woman".

White satin finish, four knob control layout, gold hardware, EMG pickups.

Specs:


 

ESP Eclipse I CTM GBK (Gloss Black)

A couple of years ago, Tägtgren sold one of his ESP Eclipses on a Swedish second hand website. Apparently, the guitar was one of his backup guitars as the case was labeled "BACKUP Git Peter (blank)". This explains why there is no live footage of this guitar - at least I haven't seen any.

The story was documented by the buyer on the HYPOCRISY forum.

Black glossy finish, four knob control layout, gold hardware, EMG pickups.

Specs:


 

ESP Eclipse II VB

I nearly missed this one. This is probably an ESP Eclipse II VB (three knob layout, different horn than the ESP Eclipse I). I can't make out the logo on the headstock in this blurry screenshot, but I don't think it's an LTD EC-1000 since they have 24 frets. This one has 22.

As far as I can tell, it only showed up in the PAIN video "Zombie Slam".

Specs:


 

 

ESP Eclipse

A new ESP Eclipse, looks like a custom job. The logo on the headstock is different from more common ESP Eclipses, but also features different tone and volume knobs. It also has the old, more rounded horn instead of the more open, flatter horn of newer ESP Eclipses. Might be covered with paint or altered in Photoshop to get the uniform white-gray look, of course.

Specs:


 

 

ESP Eclipse

Another new custom ESP Eclipse. This one is a baritone, tuned to E,A,E,A,D,F#. Besides having a baritone scale, it is also set apart from his other ESP Eclipse guitars by the Tägtgen signature on the headstock as well as the absence of the regular "ESP block" 12th fret marker.

On the "Coming Home" tour in the fall of 2017, Tägtgren used this one for one song.

Specs:


 

 

ESP MX

These guitars were popularised by James Hetfield of METALLICA. In the late 80's, ESP made two white and one black Gibson Explorer copies for Hetfield, which he used intensively during the "... and Justice for All" tour. More of them followed during the "Black album" era and beyond.

Many metal guitarists got ESP MX's (MX = "Metallica Explorer") in the 90's, until Gibson filed a lawsuit. ESP no longer can produce these guitars, although it is known that they will make you a custom one if you have the right amount of cash and know the right people in Japan.

Tägtgren got his in the 90's, I think I remember seeing it live as early as 1994. Apparently he has several black ones and a white one too. However, in an interview with Lords of Metal, Tägtgren states he bought his from Jesper Strömbland (ex-IN FLAMES) for a mere €600 (be prepared to pay several thousands of euros if you are looking for a used one). It is supposed to be an ESP MX built in 1998. It is unclear whether he was talking about his favourite ESP MX among several or that he in fact only has this one.

This guitar is used in the HYPOCRISY "Eraser", "Scrutinized" and "Weed Out The Weak" videos.

Specs:


 

ESP EX

After the Gibson lawsuit, ESP released a modified explorer called EX with a different headstock and a more radical body shape. Alas, their famous explorer endorsee James Hetfield refused to use the new EX shape. The new shape never was as popular as the classic explorer shape, but quite a few metal guitarists did start to use it.

Peter Tägtgren obviously is one of them.

This guitar is used in the HYPOCRISY video "End of Disclosure".

Specs:


 

ESP EX Diamond plate

The new ESP EX was released in a variety of finishes and colours. A somewhat special one, was the diamond plated version. It is obviously inspired by the older Hetfield signature guitar JH-2, which also featured a diamond plate on the older pre-lawsuit body shape.

This guitar is used throughout the whole HYPOCRISY DVD "Hell over Sofia".

Specs:


 

ESP EX Custom Baritone

Tägtgrens newest guitar: an ESP EX Custom Baritone. He mentioned it in Guitar World:

In terms of guitars, what are you currently using and what's been your favorite so far?

I'm hoping now that the favorite is going to be the custom guitar that's going to show up tomorrow or within the next few days. That's going to be very interesting. It's actually an Explorer, but it's in baritone now, and it's made for my tuning. It has the cross in the frets and stuff like that, so it's going to be really cool.

This guitar appears in the HYPOCRISY video "Tales of thy spineless".

Specs:


 

ESP Standard Series Vintage Plus / 400 series

This guitar popped up on the 2011 PAIN tour, more specifically for the song "Have a drink on me".

Specs:


 

 

ESP Snakebyte (James Heftield signature)

Yes, listing this one is perhaps a bit premature. Tägtgren visited ESP guitars in Los Angeles in December 2017, apparently to discuss a new "HYPOCRISY guitar". Several photo's were posted of this white ESP Snakebyte, the guitar model designed by James Hetfield of METALLICA.

Specs:


 

 

ESP Snakebyte (James Heftield signature)

It seems that adding the ESP Snakebyte to this page wasn't premature after all. On the 2018 Hypocrisy tour, Tägtgren started using this model. One modification is noticeable: the EMG "Het set" that normally comes with this guitar is swapped out for the regular EMG pickups Tägtgren uses.

Pictures by Jan Heesch/Rock Genuine Magazin!

Specs:


 

ESP STEF B-8 (Stephen Carpenter Signature)

Tägtgren got this guitar as a gift from ESP. He used it on the Lindemann "Skills in Pills" album. In the "Lindemann Studio Rundown" video, Tägtgren mentions he tunes the guitar to drop-E (EBEADGBE).

Specs:


 

ESP Ultratone-SL

This one first showed up in the fall of 2016. In the meanwhile, it seems to have become the main guitar for Pain shows. Tägtgren used it for all but one songs on the latter half of the "Coming Home" tour in Europe in 2017.

Specs:


 

LTD

LTD actually is a sub-brand of the Japanese guitar brand ESP. Depending on the model number (and price), LTD guitars are either manufactured in Indonesia or South-Korea.

 

LTD EX-360 BLK

This guitar popped up during the South-American leg of the "End of Disclosure" Hypocrisy tour.

Specs:


Fender

 

Fender Stratocaster

Very little is known about this guitar. Used during the recording of the PAIN album "Cynic Paradise". Tägtgren mentions that it's a Fender in the "making of" video.

Specs:


Fernandes

 

 

Fernandes Steeler

I totally overlooked this guitar. I alwas assumed Tägtgren used a Jackson Rhoads V for the Marduk "Heaven Shall Burn" tour in 1996-1997, but it actually was a Fernandes Steeler. It has a Hypocrisy logo sticker on the upper wing.

Specs:


Gibson

Gibson Explorer

Another classic. Tägtgren probably has a couple of these. The one in the picture has a new scratch plate as well as new black hardware. The pickups look stock, though.

Specs:


Gibson Explorer

Another Gibson Explorer, used during the tour for "The Fourth Dimension" as well as the "Roswel 47" video. Besides the black scratch plate, this one looks pretty much stock.

Specs:


 

Gibson Les Paul Standard

This one was new to me, but apparently Tägtgren used a Gibson Les Paul Standard live. I have no idea what pickups he used in this one.

Specs:


Ibanez

 

Ibanez UV7BK

There was a lot of debate whether the guitar used on the "Hypocrisy destroys Wacken" video/DVDis an Ibanez 12-string with one tuning peg missing or what not, but it is actually a 7-string with guitar picks taped to the bottom of the headstock.

This guitar was also used during Summerbreeze 2002, minus the picks taped to the headstock. It can also be seen in the HYPOCRISY video "The Final Chapter".

Specs:


 

Ibanez Destroyer DT-155 or DT-555

This one has been a mystery for quite a while as the archive footage from the early days on the "Hell over Sofia - 20 years of chaos and confusion" was very blurry and unclear.

It's still to be determined if this is a DT-155 or DT-555 - most likely a DT-155 judging by the colour of the bridge.

Thanks to Reni McDonald Hill for identifying this guitar!

 


Jackson

 

Jackson Rhoads V

Classic as hell. Every metal guitarist has either owned or heavily gassed for a Jackson Rhoads V at one point.

Everything on this guitar seems to be stock.

Tägtgren used this guitar in the early HYPOCRISY years, but also took it out on the road on the "Abducted" tour.

It is also featured in the HYPOCRISY videos "Pleasure of Molestation" (top image) and "Inferior Devoties".

The Rhoads V used in the "Left to Rot" video has a brass plate under the controls.

Specs:


The end ...?

The picture of Tägtgren's guitar rack below shows I am far from done. I can see some kind of Telecaster, a strat, ... I still haven't identified.