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Best Distortion Pedals For Metal 2021: Top Full Review, Guide

Best Distortion Pedals For Metal

Most of us want some Distortion now and then. Many guitarists can not live without it. In this era of guitar pedals, together with all sorts of small-scale boutique stompbox manufacturers facing off from business titans like MXR, TC Electronic, and Boss, there has never been a more golden age to locate the best distortion pedal that will assist you in turning your immaculate cleans into yummy dirt.

Fidlar has some sturdy perennials and a few omnipresent selections from the big titles in this buyer’s guide. Still, at the opposite end of the distortion spectrum, we have also contained an abysmal profit machine out of EarthQuaker Devices with a single knob just.

Whoever has the Best Distortion Pedals For Metal Tone on the market will turn into a fresh guitar amp to a fire-breathing monster; therefore, if you are looking for the best pedal, you can be sure you have come to the ideal location.

What Is The Distortion?

There are so many good pedals out there from some of the best effects brands in the guitar world.

Thus, let us discuss what we mean by stimulation and how this could influence your search for the best metal distortion pedals. Much like anything with a decorative purpose, equipment, and the way it seems, it is subjective. There are no rules, as long as the tone speaks to you, and finally, that is the most important thing.

This list concentrates on distortion, but there is some overlap between distortion, overdrive, and fuzz, as most of them dirty your tone.

However, where overdrive does not alter the guitar’s signal’s essential character, distortion is much more competitive. It clips to your sign tougher. Fuzz clips it more challenging still, and that means you truly get rid of definition.

Distortions are best employed to wash tones. Just stomp on the change, along with your modern metal tone and hard rock dreams await. Bearing that in mind, let us discuss everything you may be on the lookout for.

What To Look For In The Best Guitar Distortion Pedal

Finding the Ideal Tone

Every single metal pedals you utilize offers something a bit different when it comes to tone. Add in various glass installments, your guitar, along with your playing style, and you have many factors that influence your choice.

When buying without enjoying, this could result in you using a pedal that does not suit your playing style. Because of this, it is ideal for searching for flexibility.

The other knobs, the more significant, as this means that you can tweak more configurations before discovering the tone you’re searching for.

Build Quality

It is not just a strong distortion that you’re searching for. Also, you need your pedal to resist the rigors of constant stomping.

The Profit

High gain is the thing that provides your guitar that profound and twisted sound. Most pedals should let you tweak this setting.


Much like with profit, the bass is an indispensable part of heavy metal playing. You’re searching for a “Low” or “Bass” knob on the pedal. Both do the identical thing.

Added Effects

Past the usual distortion, some pedals provide additional effects. The metallic Shaman’s “Brutality” style is a fantastic instance of this.

Best Distortion Pedals For Metal 2021

Best Distortion Pedals On The Market

1. Boss DS-1X Distortion

Simple is how forwards together with the DS-1X since it provides four knobs that enable you to correct gain, amount, and distortion. The plan mirrors this simplistic approach, so you won’t wind up fiddling about for hours to find out things.

Boss also comprises Multi-Dimensional Processing (MDP), which created the preceding version of this type of success. This assists you pick out unique tones, irrespective of your enrollment.

The MDP can also make this a fantastic pedal for those that play lead and rhythm. You may correct to get a profound and fuzzy noise for your rhythm playing before shifting things to find that fantastic solo tone.

Having said this, you might see that you obtain a thinner noise when playing large notes. This could be on account of your installation, but it is something to bear in mind regardless.


  • Versatile enough to be used in rhythm and lead playing
  • Straightforward enough for players to comprehend readily
  • MDP generates unique tones whatsoever registers
  • Best all-purpose distortion pedal ever made


  • Occasionally Produces a thin noise when you play higher notes.

2. TC Electronic Dark Issue

The TC Electronic Dark Matter is the best cheap distortion pedal. It includes gain, amount, bass, and treble controls, in addition to a voicing switch that could provide you a few excess oomphs on breakdowns or competitive riffs.

As a result of its authentic skip feature, you won’t lose your tone by merely adding it to your squat lineup. The pedal operates on a standard 9V adapter and comes in an assortment of colors. Overall, the black background with a white ribbon is possibly most fitting to get a metal guitarist’s installation.

It’s possible to fix the pedal to get a vast assortment of tones to your vintage-voiced distortion. But understand that this will not be sufficient to find a distinctive and memorable style. The pedal is best utilized at a rig, even if you would like to get the maximum from it.

However, what I love is the notion of publicly shifting between retro and contemporary tones at the push of a button. This attribute is well worth every cent at this price point, mostly if you prefer to experiment with the style.


  • 2-band EQ
  • Analog circuit voicing
  • Extensive tonal tweaking
  • Cheap
  • Top Rated Distortion Pedals for Classic Rock


  • Could not be enough for intense genres
Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Distortion Guitar Pedal
311 Reviews

3. MXR M75 Super Badass Distortion

The MXR M75 is a trendy distortion pedal. It’s a three-band EQ plus a dedicated frequency controller knob, enabling an impressive distortion adjustment array. Additionally, it is likely to sweep the moderate frequencies to make a much crunchier and one of a kind metal sound.

I enjoy the rugged metallic layout. This makes the pedal appear easy yet “badass” in almost any installation. The tall controller knobs are also a big plus in my book as they make it simpler for on-the-fly adjustments and tone track.

Nevertheless, this pedal includes a small learning curve. Though its tonal range is nothing short of remarkable, it may take quite some time to find out its function at a preexisting pedal rig, particularly if you don’t have any prior knowledge of developing a metallic sound.


  • Extensive tonal Selection
  • Scoopable is
  • True bypass
  • Rugged build and layout


  • Not much

4. Boss Mega Distortion MD-2

Suppose you’re searching for something easy to enhance your installation, something that will make you that classic thrash, hard rock, or death metal groove, then the Boss MD-2 may be the pedal for you. It is amazingly bright orange outside, makes it visible from miles apart, and will be able to help you make rapid alterations in dark places.

The pedal includes a tone control, a distortion controller, and a degree to increase for much more distortion. That is one of my favorites when we are talking about extreme stimulation and prolonged sustain.

The manufacturer designed the tone controller for balancing the low and high frequencies. Even though the MD-2’s tonal range isn’t on a level with other metallic distortion pedals at precisely the same price range, it manages the metal spectrum’s extremes quite well.

What is also convenient is the bottom-heavy distortion was calibrated to match seven-string guitars also. So opening up more possibilities of what you may achieve. it is seen as the best guitar distortion pedal on the market now.

Though I probably would not suggest it for a djent installation, if you are on a budget and you’ll be able to spring for an AXE FX, this can get you started well.


  • High-end sustain
  • Extreme distortion
  • Calibrated for 7-string guitars
  • Very exact tonal adjustments


  • Restricted Selection

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5. Jim Dunlop MXR M116

Metal by metal and name my character, Jim Dunlop utilizes metal to provide this pedal an exceptional appearance. Even better, it usually means that you obtain the right package that could withstand thicker stomps when you are in the heat of the moment.

It’s six knobs permit you to command your audio range, frequency, profit, and quantity. You may tweak those while using this three-band EQ.

I also enjoy the pedal is fitted using a Noise Gate change again. It follows you’ll be limited by your other equipment in regards to sound clarity in addition to intense distortion at high volume knob. Therefore, I find this to be a fantastic match for both rhythm and lead guitarists.

In terms of the tone, it is something of a mixed bag. It generates an exciting metal sound when played via a low-gain amp, although you will struggle to discover fantastic metal tones to choose this.

Regrettably, it is not precisely the best boutique distortion pedal if performed via a high-gain amp. This is probably because of how the pedal includes a high profit, so the mix of both does not make for much.


  • A strong Metallic exterior protects against hard stomps.
  • Lots of scope for controlling your audio and Degree of distortion
  • Works nicely when performed through low-gain amps
  • Cost-effective


  • You will struggle to get a Fantastic tone with all the distortion effect.
  • Could not be the best pedal when You Have a high-gain amp

6. Amptweaker TightMetal Jr

Amptweaker is the brainchild of James Brown, the lead writer on the Peavey 5150. With that legacy, you may be forgiven for having high expectations, and Amptweaker delivers.

Compared with the first TightMetal, the Jr has a far superior sound gate, lower noise floor, and extra EQ choices, which let it take on a number of the tonality of its FatMetal pedal.

Convincing chug and strong arpeggiated chords are easy to find using a Les Paul and a Jazzmaster. Together with all the tight switch engaged, the pedal may even djent. Using a seven-string in hand, you can smash out Tesseract with no mushy bass.


  • One of the Greatest high-gain noises you will receive from a pedal.
  • Built-in Sound gate
  • Adaptive EQ


  • Not Affordable
Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Distortion Guitar Pedal
311 Reviews

7. KHDK Dark Blood

Kirk Hammett’s signature distortion pedal is a brutal-sounding item, using raging stack-esque shipping. Background noise is kept to a minimum with an onboard sound gate.

However, the Doom knob, which dials at a gigantic landslide of bottom-end for this crushing tone Kirk’s bandmate James Hetfield is famous for, is the central selling point.

The Hi/Lo switch increases the Lo setting’s weak ability, expanding the grunt variable for rhythm and Hello fostering the top-end and maintaining lead fractures.

We also love the treble control, which includes bags of variant. To have all this power at a single reasonably inexpensive pedal is a fantasy come true for metalheads.


  • Defined, tight high-gain seems.
  • Built-in Sound suppression functions nicely.
  • Useful EQ controls


  • Does not manage low-gain sounds well

8. . Boss MT-2W Metal Zone

Even though it’s a divisive pedal, we have always been fans of the Metal Zone. Having a full EQ section and a vast sweep on the control, it’s easy to dial in punchy sounds, which cut through a group mix.

Shooting out standard style on the Waza variant using our first MT-2, we discovered the newer pedal somewhat thinner using the same configurations; it takes tweaking to find the bark’ we are utilized to, and it is quieter than the first, also.

Changing to the new customized manner is just another story. It is complete, throaty, and simple to control in the bass end, although we found that the EMGs on our seven-string oversaturated it.


  • Customized style takes the MT-2 to seem to new heights.
  • Versatile EQ


  • Better pedals can be found for extended-range fashions.
Caline CP-15 Tantrum Distortion
259 Reviews

9. Wampler Triple Wreck

Versatility is the key with the Triple Wreck. It delivers a big sound, but the classic switch makes it helpful if you would like to test a more traditional rock tone.

In terms of the distortion result, it includes a massive advantage as standard. But, there is also an increasing switch, which takes things up much more significantly.

Switch the switch off, and you get this heavy fuzz that envelopes your playing. Turn it another way, your distortion layers together with itself, so it’s possible to reach a few big sounds.

Also, it supplies plenty of low ends, giving it a very bass-heavy sound. You could realize that this means that it will not work well on most amps, however. Just a little tweaking of the EQ settings may assist here.


  • Versatile enough to match many playing styles
  • The boost switch generates a much heavier sound.
  • Lots of low ends
  • Six knobs allow for lots of tweaking.


  • Makes an extra sound when plugged into a power source

10. Blackstar HT-METAL

A two-channel pedal, the Blackstar permits for playing in addition to that heavy fuzz that alloy player’s value. Cleanly, it functions as an increase to provide your tone an excess layer of glow.

The two stations also provide flexibility, letting you change from playing to barbarous rhythm within a matter of moments.

Additionally, it has a high profit, though you could realize that the pedal creates an excessive amount of noise when using it.

Additionally, it includes six knobs, which allow for additional tweaking of your audio. I especially enjoy the ISF knob, which lets you mess with mid-range to make it more audible when playing hefty.


  • Offers two stations for switching between heavy and clean playing
  • Direct out interface makes it suitable for recording
  • Exceptionally Higher gain
  • ISF knob offers more control within the mid-range


  • Pedal creates some sound when playing high gain.
BOSS Distortion Guitar Pedal, Single Mode (DS-1)
1,971 Reviews


Final Thought

My listing highlights ten of the best distortion pedals to get contemporary metallic playing. Start looking for high profit and a deep low end to ensure you receive a pedal that does the job.

Beyond this, it comes down to a playing style and setup. If you enjoy mixing clean tones with heavy distortion, then make sure that your pedal permits you to switch between several stations. Nevertheless, you can opt for a more straightforward option if you simply want heavy and loud distortion.

Last update on 2021-05-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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