I play Black Metal and this guitar suits me very well. To me the stock pickups sound fine. They crunch well, yet retain clearity on speed runs and when playing chords. I play on 2 different amps, a 65 watt Marshall VS, and a Crate Blue Voodoo 100 watt half stack. On the Marshall I use either a Boss MetalZone(for distortion more on the treble side)or a DOD Death Metal pedal(for distortion more on the bass side). The Crate Blue Voodoo amp has the best distorted channel I have ever heard so no distortion pedal is needed with that amp. On both amps I run my DOD graphic EQ and my Boss digital reverb/delay through the effects loop. This guitar has a very thick, powerfull sound perfect for metal.
This is a very strong durable guitar. The only thing I did not like was that it did not come with strap locks. A friend of mine cracked the neck on his Gibson Les Paul and I had my Fender Strat come careering down in an axe-like motion once all because we did not have strap locks. DO NOT let this happen to you. I would not gig without a backup because if you break a string everything comes to a halt until you can restring your damn guitar.
This is the best metal guitar you can get in the $500 price range. If it were ever lost or stolen I would definatly buy another Warlock. I have been playing for about three years and I own 2 other guitars. A Fender Lone Star Start and a Jackson Rhoades. The Warlock offers a distinct, different tone and is a great addition to my arsenal.