The Top 10 Best Distortion Pedals for Metal Music

A distortion pedal is only considered good if it delivers a sizzling full amp sound at low volumes. A great distortion pedal should have the ability to emulate a full-on amp stack sound even with a minimal 15-watt practice amp. Finding a distortion pedal to play heavy metal music with can be very problematic. What metal musicians seek is a pedal that can deliver the perfect tone regardless of factors such as amp size to name a few.

A distortion pedal for metal music should have excellent tone-shaping capabilities that can give you full EQ, better harmonics, and excellent control requirements.

Purchasing a distortion pedal is a no joke and definitely not a walk in the park. Shoppers need to be careful as picking the wrong type of distortion pedal will result in poor tone and sound quality. In this article, we will enumerate the top ten distortion pedal effects that will give you the best sounds from thrash, doom, to great death metal music.

1. Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Distortion Guitar Pedal

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B0002CZVA0″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jtspedals-20″ width=”135″]Click here for our Boss Mt-2 review

Let us admit to the fact that this list would not be complete and considered legit without listing down the bestselling Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Distortion Pedal. It promises great tone that makes it worth every penny. It houses a vast array of custom mods that can be applied to many applications.

This is professional-grade distortion pedal that can sustain with solid parameters. This distortion pedal is ideal for metal music as it claims to offer high precision control over tone. It features dual-grain circuits coupled with super-long sustain and seething distortion effects.

It has a three-band EQ that feature high and low shelving knobs with mid-band parametric EQ possibilities. It is a highly responsive and has useful tones for practically any period or genre of metal music.

2. Digitech TL-2 HardWire Metal Distortion Extreme-Performance Pedal

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B001CJ2R04″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jtspedals-20″ width=”104″]Click here for our TL-2 HardWire Metal Distortion review.

This distortion pedal is perfect for metal as it includes two high-gain amp tone circuit positions that will definitely fire up and sizzle your overall sound. The Tight mode is highly responsive, percussive low end combined with smooth high frequencies. The Loose Mode showcases a low EQ perfect for detuned guitars as it produces massive amounts of low-end grind. The Level Gain, the Low, Mid, and High Tone features sweepable midrange allowing users to dial in at any tone. The Digitech TL-2 is made of sturdy machined metal construction that is perfect for musicians with heavy touring schedules. It also has high-precision potentiometers that ensure knob positions stay exactly where they are originally set. The input signal is set for high voltage operations, thus further protecting the sound by getting rid of clipping coming from an axe with high-output pickups.

Other features:

  • true bypass circuitry
  • well –built metal components
  • constantly high-voltage operation to ensure tonal quality and noise reduction

3. MXR M116 FullBore Metal Distortion Pedal

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B004FOGUZ6″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jtspedals-20″ width=”160″]Click here for our MXR M116 review.

Drive your leads about the mix by keeping your rhythms well saturated by a gorgeous looking and sound distortion circuit designed by the ever-reliable and kickass design team from MXR.

The ultimate riff power can be yours with the help of the MXR116 FullBore Metal Distortion Pedal with its compact but extremely powerful features. You can achieve some of the most devastatingly beautiful contemporary metal guitar tones simply by opting for MXR M116. It turbocharges a guitar with high amounts of ultra-high gain. In combination with a built-in Noise Gate feature that gets rid of unnecessary noise commonly related to extreme gains whilst improving the definition and tightness of syncopated metal riffs.

Other features:

  • super high-gain distortion quality
  • 3-band EQ with sweepable mid-frequencies
  • Internal Gate Trigger control allows users to set Noise Gate’s Sensitivity level
  • True bypass with LED

4. Biyang Metal End (King) High Gain Distortion Effects Pedal

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B00A03GMKO” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jtspedals-20″ width=”160″]Click here for our Biyang Metal End review.

The Biyang Metal End King High Gain Distortion Effects Pedal is considered the ultimate high gain distortion pedal on the market today. Apart from the excellent sound it produces, it also features a variety of knobs and switches than any other models on the market.

It can be used for many applications, including NWBHM, Nu, Death, and Thrash metal riffs and a whole lot more.

The pedal is outfitted with 6 knobs that helps in sculpting the basic tone. The 3 amp modes on the other hand allow users to choose the kind of basic amp you need.

Other features:

  • level and distortion controls
  • 4 EQ controls set at low, middle, high, mid freq
  • 3 amp modes set at normal , modern, and classic
  • 3 tone models set at normal,bright, and warm
  • high cut switch
  • amp simulator switch
  • true bypass circuit
  • super solid metal casing
  • 9v battery or standard Boss style adapter for power

5. DigiTech XMM Metal Master Distortion Guitar Pedal

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B0002E3M0E” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jtspedals-20″ width=”99″]Click here for our DigiTech XMM Metal Master review.

Headbangers rejoice for DigiTech XMM Metal Master Distortion Guitar Pedal will make your heavy metal dreams come true. It is excellent in that it makes any amp sounds ragingly beautiful with amazing tone to boot. The company’s multi-distortion technology creates endless distortion types that can be changed and mixed up into wild but groovy combinations.

Endless combinations of the most brain shredding, and most amazing distortions available; Mesa Boogie Mark II, Boss Metal Zone, DOD Death Metal, and Rectifier to name a few.

This distortion pedal also features spectral-contouring EQ combined with clean and crisp signals specially made for cab modeling.

Other features:

  • multiple distortion settings
  • level, lo, and hi EQ and morph controls
  • studio-quality sounds

6. Electro-Harmonix Metal Muff Distortion Pedal

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B000MO2QJM” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jtspedals-20″ width=”96″]Click here for our Metal Muff review.

This distortion is perfect for metal music as it features 3 powerful EQ bands that has the ability to skillfully sculpt mids. In addition, it features a total of 6 controls for shaping around sound and tone with high precision. The top boost feature adds that much needed crunch with its own control knob and dedicated footswitch button.

Lastly, it has separate knobs for volume and distortion level, with a red LED that indicates whether effect is engaged or disengaged. The pedal works with a 9V battery or any optional effects adaptor.

7. Hotone Skyline Series WHIP Compact Metal Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B00DJGPXZ4″ locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jtspedals-20″ width=”136″]Click here for our Hotone WHIP Compact review.

The WHIP Compact Metal Distortion Guitar Pedal from Hotone Skyline Series boasts a truly unique middle range tone shaping quality that makes it the perfect pedal for heavy metal.

The EDGE button on the other hand delivers more aggressive tones with higher frequency boost as well.

It is small and lightweight making it the best pedal to use by touring musicians. The WHIP Compact pedal is originally designed to create more aggressive metal tones.

The TONE and Volume parameter controls shape the tone, whilst the EDGE button delivers high-end boost consistently.

The pedal features a metal footswitch as well as analog-style parameter knob enabling users to tweak their tone easily.

Other features:

  • true bypass footswitch
  • Zinc alloy outer cover
  • Main light-up knob that adjusts overall distortion
  • 9V power supply

8. Outlaw Effects WIDOW MAKER Metal Distortion Pedal

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B00LIO8K8Q” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jtspedals-20″ width=”160″]Click here for our WIDOW MAKER Metal Distortion review.

The Outlaw Effects Widow Maker Metal Distortion Pedal is all you need to get that scorching hot, saturated distortion with tight attack, making it a high-gain beast perfect for metal music.

The Widow Maker from Outlaw Effects comes with three unique EQ voicings that allows users to fine tune the grueling tones to your personal taste.

The Boost Off feature will give you a sinister, hard-hitting tone that is ideal for rhythm guitar parts, whilst the Lo Boost control takes things into 80s territory with its scooping mid-range. The Hi Boost control delivers razor sharp tone with burning highs that are ideal for darker amps and with the ability of cutting through heavy rhythm sections.

Other features:

  • rugged and solid chassis
  • silent and easy operation
  • low-profile design

9. Amptweaker TightMetal Distortion Effects Pedal

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B01CGZGH5S” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jtspedals-20″ width=”160″]Click here for our TightMetal Distortion review.

Amptweaker is the brainchild of James Brown, effects pedal designer of some of the greats including Van Halen, Joe Satriani, and Synyster Gates to name a few. James Brown helped musicians create strong and solid metal guitar tones over the past three decades. And with Amptweaker TightMetal Distortion Effects Pedal, you know that you are guaranteed to get your money’s worth.

The TightMetal is one of the most highly regarded distortion metal pedal of all time. It delivers over-the-top metal and hardcore heavy crunch tones with adjustable tightness all thanks to its unique Tight control feature.

It creates thicker and heavier distortions that can be tweaked by simple built-in output EQ curve. In addition, this can further be adjusted by the output Tone control feature, making it relatively easy to stack sounds even through a tight and small combo clean channel.

The play-ability is further improved with the addition of the Mid Switch that helps in creating a more traditional metal rhythm sound. The thrash setting on the other hand delivers that much-needed deep scooped mid tone.

The Noise Gate switch helps stop the notes as quickly as possible as it decays the Chomp setting especially during quick riffs with palm-muted stops, thus making the sound tighter than ever.

Other features:

  • true bypass switch
  • tight attack control
  • effects loop with pre and post switch and tracks with on and off footswitch
  • LED lit knobs when using power supply
  • Works with 9V to 18V supplies
  • 5-year limited warranty

10. Blackstar HT-Metal Guitar Effects Pedal

[easyazon_image align=”left” height=”160″ identifier=”B006WW5HZI” locale=”US” src=”” tag=”jtspedals-20″ width=”160″]Click here for our Blackstar HT-Metal review.

Blackstar HT-Metal Guitar Effects Pedal delivers all that a metal head could ever need. If you fancy a sizzling-hot tone that boasts dynamics and definition, the HT-Metal Guitar Effects Pedal has cascaded tube gain stages and high 300-volt operation will satiate your cravings for heavy and deep metal sounds.

Its two main channels gives you the perfect pair of distortion settings. With the brand’s very own Infinite Shape Feature and 3-band EQ, you are sure to be provided with powerful tone shaping capabilities.

The speaker-emulated output on the other hand allows users to connect the guitar effects pedal directly to a sound system or recording device. If you want the delicious sound and feel of a cranked tube amp in a pedalboard-friendly layout, then Blackstar HT-Metal Distortion Pedal is a definite must buy!

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