Throwback Thursday: Digitech’s Death Metal Distortion Pedal

Death metal front medium

If you ever needed to sound like Slayer on a budget, then DigiTech had exactly what you need with their Death Metal Distortion pedal.

Designed to boost your mids and cut the bass, this stomp box had some nice features as it had two inputs for going directly into a mixer or your amp to give you more control over your recording and live sound. Turn the level knob all the way up, and you not only got the full power of the Death Metal Distortion, you also challenged the windows of the building you were in. This thing was loud. However; the lows were too low at times even with the setting all the way up, making this not ideal for Stoner/Doom metal.

If you were into playing aggressive music like Thrash, Black or Death Metal, you were in luck as an extreme tone was waiting for you. Several settings that came with the manual were designed to help you get the most out of the angry box, but as always, they weren’t necessary for the player to use. The Death Metal Distortion ran on a 9-volt battery or a PS200R power supply.

As great as the smooth bite and overall sound of the pedal were, there were a few issues with the Death Metal Distortion. For one, while DigiTech claimed the battery would last up to 18 hours of continuous use, one would often lose power at around 8-12. A power supply was almost necessary out of fear of your sound going out in the middle of a gig or rehearsal. Also the pedal did not last very long. A little after a year or so, it would eventually not sound as beefy as it used to and if you didn’t have a soldering iron, it was time to take it down to your local music store to sell it for whatever you can get.

While it had its flaws, the Death Metal Distortion was the most extreme effect pedal you could get on a budget. The pedal would sell new (and still does) for around $50. A used one will go for about $20. While the pedal is no longer as popular as it once was, you can download the module on your Istomp if you have one, which may be the best way to go as the physical pedal is pretty hard to come by.

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