Modern metal virtuoso expanding the limits of heavy guitar

Benjamin Ellis


Benjamin Ellis is a guitarist, composer, and producer from the UK, best known for his work with the bands Scar Symmetry, Pentakill, and Bloodshot Dawn. Influenced by an eclectic mix of music with a particular interest in metal, video game music, and film scores, his fierce technical ability is tempered by a lyrical finesse that lends itself as readily to death metal as it does to lush symphonic prog and beyond.

After hearing the iconic harmonized lead guitar lines of Iron Maiden’s “Number Of The Beast,” Benjamin first picked up the guitar aged 16, compelled to spend the following years obsessively honing his craft. Inspired in those formative years by bands such as Children Of Bodom, Arch Enemy, and Angra, his passion for playing soon became a desire to create music of his own.

Benjamin’s first notable musical venture began in 2009 with Bloodshot Dawn, a promising underground metal band from Hampshire (UK). Instrumental in developing the band’s acclaimed signature sound, Benjamin’s playing is often cited as a standout element of Bloodshot Dawn’s music. Praised for their compositions blending ferocious technical death metal with captivating melodies and solos, the band garnered international attention, and widespread critical acclaim with the release of their debut self-titled album “Bloodshot Dawn” (2012), and their sophomore album, “Demons” (2014). The success of these records saw them tour across the world with acts such as At The Gates, Wintersun, Decapitated, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Vader, Aborted, Gorguts, and Xerath.

Catching the attention of prog-metal masters Scar Symmetry on tour in 2013, Benjamin was hired to fill in for celebrated guitarist Per Nilsson on their tour of Eastern Europe the following year. After this, he continued to perform live with the band before being invited to join as an official member in 2016. Benjamin’s playing can be heard on the new Scar Symmetry album The Singularity (Phase II: Xenotaph).

In addition to his work with touring bands, Benjamin’s creative and virtuosic approach to songwriting has earned him a reputation as a sought-after session musician, writer, and producer, working with notable artists such as Allegaeon, Shadow Of Intent, Onslaught, Acrania, and Mendel. Between 2020 – 2021, he collaborated with the music team at Riot Games, writing and recording lead guitars for Pentakill – the virtual Heavy Metal band set in the wildly popular League of Legends video game universe. The result was Pentakill’s third album, “III: Lost Chapter”, which has amassed tens of millions of streams on Spotify and Youtube. The album premiered with an award-winning, interactive virtual concert that was attended by hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe, and excerpts from Benjamin’s guitar solos have even been used as sound bites for character emotes in the game itself.

Throughout his career Benjamin has also been recognized for his skills in international guitar competitions, having been a finalist in contests for Andy James (Five Finger Death Punch), Guitar Messenger, Toontrack, and Jam Track Central.

“Strandberg guitars strike this wonderful balance for me, between their comfort to play and beautiful modern aesthetic. The lightweight design, the EndurNeck, and effortless upper fret access make them a real joy to play both on stage and in the studio.” – Benjamin Ellis

Aggressive and sophisticated

Boden Prog NX 7 Charcoal Black

Aggressive and sophisticated, the Prog NX models are an extension of the Original model design with the new EGS Pro Rev7 Tremolo System and the smooth and slick-playing Richlite fretboard. With a more cutting tone than the Original, the Prog models are ideal for modern progressive and metal players using high-gain amplification systems. The versatile Fishman pickups and switching system provide a wide range of sounds for virtually any playing style and musical genre.

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“Ben's ability to seamlessly blend fusion and feel, with a dynamic sense of phrasing, makes him one of the most musical and exciting guitarists I've had the privilege of listening to. His style that straddles both technical and expressive, captivates the listener and brings a sense of excitement and satisfaction to the ears.”

Greg Burgess (Allegaeon, Nuclear Power Trio)