This post is for you if you’re an extreme metal fan and want to expand your pedalboard. It will show you the 2 Best Guitar Pedals For Deathcore Music 2023.
Deathcore is a subgenre of extreme metal that especially gained popularity in the early 2000s. However, it still has a large fan base to this day. This music, which combines death metal and metalcore, touches many people with its incredibly heavy riffs and crushing breakdowns. If you are a Deathcore guitarist and want to build a decent pedalboard, this article may be useful.
We’ve collected various guitar pedals that will suit rhythm and lead guitarists. Moreover, we researched the equipment of real deathcore musicians, and many of these units are exactly what they use. So you can be sure that the list is legit. Therefore, please scroll down and see what we have prepared for you.
12 Best Guitar Pedals For Deathcore Music 2023
1. Ibanez TS9 (Overdrive)
The Ibanez TS9 is a classic pedal for pushing your distorted tube amp.
If you’re a beginner, you might wonder why we put the overdrive pedal on the list of deathcore units. But everything is simple – the tube screamer is perhaps the most popular tube amp boost pedal. If you put it in front and leave the drive at a minimum, it will filter out the lows and make your palm mutes tighter. Alternatively, you can use this pedal on a clean channel to get a warm overdriven tone.
In general, this pedal is used by many metal guitarists worldwide. There are many reincarnation versions, but we’ll focus on the classic TS9. This green box is extremely simple – you only get three controls. The power supply here is either via an adapter or a battery. Let’s try to understand its features in more detail.
- Drive Control
The Drive regulator is one of the most important here. It is thanks to it that you will control the amount of clipping. By the way, it’s soft clipping here and sounds like a tube amp. If you turn it to the maximum, the sound will still be controlled and musical.
- Adjust The Tone
This pedal also has a Tone control that controls how dark or bright the sound will be. It works like a tilt EQ. Accordingly, in one position, you will have more lows and less highs, and in the other – vice versa.
- Level Knob
Of course, you’ll need to balance the overall signal according to the drive level. To do this, use a Level control located on the right side. Accordingly, if you need a lot of drive, reduce the Level and vice versa.
- Robust Construction
It’s also worth noting that the TS9 has a sturdy construction, as the pedal has a metal body. So, you can be sure it will withstand the rigors of touring. It is also quite compact and can easily fit into a pedalboard.
The Ibanez TS9 is a legendary overdrive pedal that can make your distorted tone tighter and more expressive and add extra gain. You can also use it purely for an overdriven sound quite musical and warm. The unit is compact and has only three controls, so it’s easy to use. As for the price, it can be called affordable – it costs about $130.
Some users note that the battery connectors have a somewhat cheap feel. Also, the LED is difficult to see when the pedal is operating. Besides that, we don’t see any other drawbacks to this product.
2. Boss MT-2 Metal Zone Distortion
The Boss MT-2 Metal Zone will give you a massive amount of gain suitable for Deathcore.
The next item on our list is a pedal that has a controversial reputation. It was popular in the 90s, and most people used it on the clean channel of an amp or combo. As a result, the sound was quite broken and too nasty. But the unit can be very useful if you connect it to an FX loop or use it as a boost on a distorted channel.
The Boss Metal Zone pedal is specially designed for heavy music, as it has a lot of gain. In addition, it has a very sensitive EQ that allows you to shape the frequency range of the guitar tone accurately. Let’s talk about the unit in more detail.
- Set Highs And Lows
You’ll have a combined knob responsible for low and high frequencies. Accordingly, the lower part controls bass, and the upper part controls treble. You can cut or boost each zone by 15 decibels.
- Mid Frequency Control
The same combined fader will be used for midrange frequencies. But the point is that you can choose which midi to boost or cut. In general, the range here is from 200 to 5,000 hertz.
- Add Some Dist
And finally, this pedal also has a separate Dist control, which is responsible for the amount of distortion. Thanks to it, you can get a very compressed sound with a long sustain. Also, there is a Level control for signal balance on the opposite side.
- Compact And Sturdy
This pedal can also be called compact, as its dimensions are 70 x 125 x 55 mm. In addition, its body is made of metal, which promises to provide reliability in heavy use. And the pedal’s controls have a rather sturdy feel.
The Boss MT-2 Metal Zone is a pedal that will give you a heavy and massive distortion. The best way to use it is as a standalone preamp connected to an FX loop. It can also be used to push the main hot channel of your amp. The pedal has EQ controls for low and high frequencies and a variable knob for mids. The price of this unit is also quite pleasant and amounts to $125.
Some users complain that the controls are too small and inconvenient to use. Also, some guitarists don’t like the overly sensitive EQ, which takes some getting used to to get the tone they want.
3. Fortin Mini Zuul Noise Gate
If you need a compact noise gate that can handle distorted tones, check out the Fortin Mini Zuul pedal.
If you play Deathcore with a lot of gain, you cannot do without a noise gate pedal. A lot of distortion also makes the noise of your pickups noticeable, so you’ll want to clean that up and have a tight metal tone. Our next item, the Fortin Mini Zuul Noise Gate pedal, will help you with this.
This pedal is extremely compact, but despite this, it has all the same features as the previous version. What’s more, you’ll be able to route a clean guitar signal into it, thus getting rid of unnecessary noise. Let’s take a look at what’s in it.
- Adjust The Threshold
This pedal has only one control responsible for the threshold level. Accordingly, you will need to adjust it based on the noise level. Usually, this takes a little time. Just turn the knob until the noise disappears altogether.
- Additional Key Input
Also, the Mini Zuul has regular input and output. But a great bonus here is the additional Key input. For example, you can connect a tuner’s silent output to it and trigger the noise gate to avoid unnecessary noise.
- Threshold Range Switch
Another good bonus of this pedal is a small switch on the right side that expands the threshold range. This feature can come in handy if you have a noisy rig. But mostly, the switch can be in the lower position.
The Fortin Mini Zuul is an extremely compact noise gate pedal with many useful features. In particular, it has an additional input and can expand the threshold range if you encounter too much noise. This pedal will clean up your guitar tone and make it tighter, especially on palm mutes.
This pedal is quite expensive and costs more than $200. Other than that, we don’t see any more nuances that can be highlighted as negatives.
4. ISP Technologies Decimator Pedal V-II (Noise Reduction Pedal)
ISP Technologies Decimator Pedal V-II is a high-quality noise reduction unit that is very easy to use.
The Decimator pedals by ISP Technologies have become a real hit among metal guitarists thanks to their smooth operation. That’s because they “listen” to your playing and eliminate unnecessary noise based on that. There are many versions of these units, but we will focus on one of the most basic and well-known – the Decimator Pedal V-II.
This pedal is straightforward, as you only have a threshold control and an on/off switch. So it will take you a little time to set it up. It also has a fairly sturdy body and does not take up much space. Nevertheless, let’s talk about this product in more detail.
- Threshold Knob
There is only one knob on the pedal, which is responsible for setting the threshold. Its operation range is from -70 dB to 0 and +10 dB. Just turn this knob until the noise and hum disappear.
- Single In And Out
When it comes to connecting the pedal, everything is simple as well. You will have one Input and one Output on both sides of the box. It is especially suitable for those who dislike messing around with the so-called “four-cable method” and want to keep things simple.
- Connect An Additional Decimator
However, this unit still has an option for extended use. For example, connect an additional Decimator pedal using Link In and Link Out. For example, you can put one unit in a pedalboard and the other in an amp’s FX loop, thus eliminating more noise.
The ISP Technologies Decimator V-II is an extremely simple pedal to help you eliminate noise efficiently. Its main advantage is the minimum of settings and the fact that it does not suck out the tone because a special algorithm works here. Thus, it is not a noise gate pedal but a noise reduction pedal.
This unit is not too cheap and costs $185. Also, some users are not too thrilled with the mirror surface of the pedal. Besides that, we don’t see any other cons.
5. Boss DD-8 Digital Delay
The DD-8 is Boss’ most versatile compact digital delay pedal.
The delay pedal is another must-have tool in any guitarist’s arsenal, even if you play Deathcore. With it, you can add spaciousness and excitement to your lead parts. Thanks to the DD-8 pedal from Boss, which is a continuation of the famous Digital Delay series, it will be possible.
This pedal is very compact but has a huge number of different features. For example, the developers have included ten delay modes and even a looper. As for the connectors, you can receive both mono and stereo signals. However, let’s analyze the features in more detail.
- 10 Delay Modes
As for the delay modes, there are ten of them. Thus, the developers give you the whole history of this effect. In particular, these are Analog, Standard, Tape, Warm, Reverse, Delay+Reverb, Shimmer, Modulated, Warp, and Glitch.
- 40 Sec Looper
You will also get a built-in looper with a 40-second recording capability. You’ll find it next to the other modes. So you can jam with your rhythm parts in real-time, which is also a great feature.
- Basic Settings
This pedal also has a set of basic settings that include Effect Level, Feedback, and Time. The first is responsible for the amount of effect, the second for the repetition rate, and the third determines the delay time.
- Tap Tempo or Use Expression
Another cool feature is an additional input to connect a tap tempo device or an expression pedal. In the latter case, you can control the effect level, feedback, and time simultaneously or any of the parameters separately.
- Extended Connection
It’s also worth mentioning the number of connectors, which is four. Thus, you will be able to connect both mono and stereo signals, including panning. By the way, output B has an extended delay time feature.
The Boss DD-8 is a versatile digital delay pedal that will surprise you with its number of features. In particular, you will have ten effect types, a looper, and advanced connectivity. Thus, this version incorporates all the best of the previous delays. By the way, the price of the pedal is approximately $160.
Some users claim that the battery of this pedal dies very quickly. Therefore, we recommend that you consider powering this unit strictly through the adapter.
6. Strymon Big Sky (Reverb)
The Strymon Big Sky is a high-end pedal that will give you many reverb types and parameters.
Reverb is another effect without which it’s hard to imagine guitar leads. You can use it in small amounts to thicken the tone, or vice versa – with extreme settings, getting a long and lush sound. Now we will talk about the pedal with which all this is possible – the Strymon Big Sky.
This blue box has found a place in many pedalboards worldwide and has become a standard. That’s because it offers many settings for the type of studio rack unit. As for the types of reverbs, there are a whole bunch of them. Let’s talk about it in more detail.
- 12 Different Reverbs
The cool thing is that you can find almost any type of reverb here. There are 12 of them in total: Early Reflections, Room, Hall, Plate, Spring, Swell, Bloom, Cloud, Chorale, Shimmer, Magneto, and Nonlinear.
- Essential Reverb Settings
Once you’ve chosen the type of effect you want, you can always change its parameters. To do this, you have the standard reverb settings controls, such as Decay, Pre-Delay, Mix, and Mod.
- Two Additional Parameters
This pedal also has two additional knobs, Param 1 and Param 2. These settings will be different for different types of reverb. For example, the first one may be responsible for the amount of low-end, and with the second one, you will select Small or Large modes.
- Save Your Presets
It’s also worth mentioning that this pedal can save presets. You will have 300 slots where you can place your custom settings. Also, you can move between them using the buttons at the bottom of the unit.
By the way, this unit can also be MIDI-controlled. There are MIDI In and MIDI Out buttons on the rear panel. In addition, you can connect an expression pedal here – there is also a separate jack for this purpose.
The Strymon Big Sky is a pedal that will give you studio-grade reverb but in a stompbox format. You’ll get classic effects like Room, Plate, Spring, or huge ambient sounds. This unit has enough parameters to give you full control to shape the reverb how you want it. As for the build quality, it is also at a high level.
The only drawback we can identify here is the high price, which reaches four and a half hundred dollars. But it is justified by the quality of this product.
7. Boss RV-6 (Reverb)
Check out the Boss RV-6 if you want a more affordable yet versatile reverb pedal.
If you want to spend less money on a reverb stompbox, we also have an option for you. It is a product of Boss, one of the most popular manufacturers of guitar effects pedals. Now we’re going to show you a great reverb that only takes up a little space but still gives you a lot of tonal possibilities.
The Boss RV-6 is a digital reverb that includes eight different algorithms. The pedal has mono and stereo connections and can be powered by an adapter or battery. Let’s take a look at all its features one by one.
- 8 Types Of Reverb
This small pedal offers eight types of reverb. You’ll find both old-school effects and more modern ones. The list generally includes Modulated, Spring, Plate, Hall, Room, Shimmer, Dynamic, and Delay + Reverb.
- Tone Regulation
One of the most useful features of this pedal is the Tone control. With it, you can adjust whether your effect is bright or dark. It is a very handy feature to make it more noticeable, or vice versa.
- Adjust Effect Level
Of course, as with most reverb pedals, you’ll have an Effect Level knob. This parameter allows you to adjust the reverb amount relative to the original signal. It will also help you adjust its noticeability.
- Reverb Time
And finally, you will also have a separate Time control here. Its function is quite simple – it adjusts how long or short the effect will be. So, if you want the reverb to have a long tail, turn it up to the maximum.
- Connect Expression Pedal
Another great feature of this pedal is its separate input for the expression pedal. This way, you can control, for example, the thickness of the Hall, which can add creativity in certain artistic cases.
The Boss RV-6 is a great digital reverb pedal that will delight you with its compact size and settings. It features eight of the latest Boss reverb algorithms, Effect Level, Time, and Tone controls, and the ability to connect an expression pedal. And the icing on the cake is the price of this unit, which is $165.
Some corrupt officials don’t like the fact that there is no possibility of controlling it with MIDI. And, of course, the pedal can’t save presets and switch between them.
8. Digitech Whammy 5 (Pitch Shift)
Digitech Whammy 5 is the latest generation of legendary pedals that will bring you great fun.
The Whammy pedal with the effect of the same name has long been a classic. It has been used in a wide variety of genres. For example, think of Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine or the guitarists of Korn. However, you can also use it in Deathcore. For instance, to make lead parts more exciting.
Digitech Whammy 5 has plenty of programmable presets suitable for riffs and chords. Plus, unlike previous versions, the pedal has a true bypass so it won’t suck out your guitar tone. But let’s talk about its features in more detail.
- Classic And Chords Modes
This pedal has a special switch that allows you to choose between Classic and Chords modes. As you may have realized, the former is for single notes, and the latter is for chords. So choose this based on your performance.
- 10 Whammy Presets
One part of this pedal’s presets is all about the whammy effect. It means the unit takes your entire signal and lowers or raises it by certain intervals. For example, the Dive Bomb involves three octaves down, two separate octaves up, and everything in between.
- Add Some Harmonies
As for the Harmony presets, there are nine of them, and they imply that intervals will be added to your original sound. For example, with the pedal up, you’ll have an octave down, and with the pedal down, you’ll have an octave up. It can also be 5th and 4th and other intervals.
- Detune Mode
In addition to all this, the pedal also has a Detune mode. There are two presets here: Shallow and Deep. The main difference between them is that the first will have a slight detune, and the second is quite noticeable. Accordingly, you will get this effect when you press the pedal forward.
Another good feature of this pedal is its separate MIDI input. It means that you can control its operation remotely using auxiliary devices. It especially could be useful in stage or studio environments.
Digitech Whammy 5 is a famous pitch shifter pedal that can bring you new creative solutions. You can use it to add harmonies, whammy effects, or detuning. It has 21 presets with different intervals on board. And the price of $185 is not so high considering the functionality’s much more advanced. Plus, an AC/DC power supply is included here.
Some users note that the power consumption of this pedal is 1300 mA, which is quite aggressive. Accordingly, the usual power supply of your pedalboard may not be enough. Fortunately, as we mentioned earlier, a separate power supply is included with the pedal.
9. Electro Harmonix POG2 (Polyphonic Octave Generator)
The Electro Harmonix POG2 is a polyphonic octave generator that will make your guitar sound out of this world.
The next product on our list is an effects pedal allowing you to turn your sound into a 12-string guitar or even an organ. That’s because it’s a polyphonic octave generator with many settings. It can be a cool solution for atmospheric verses or lead parts.
The Electro Harmonix POG2 pedal allows you to add enough octaves to your sound. In addition, it has an effects section, and the ability to save presets and switch between them. Let’s talk about all this in more detail.
- Voice Mix
One of the main sections of this pedal is called Voice Mix. Specifically, here you’ll have separate sliders to add two octaves down, one octave down, one octave up, and two octaves up. You can do this one at a time or add them all at once. There’s also a Dry Output control that controls the ratio of wet to dry signals.
- Adjust Effects
Another section here is Effects, which will give you a lot of fun. In particular, you can adjust the attack here and get a fade-in sound. There is also a Low-Pass Filter and Detune. The latter will give you a chorus or wobble effect.
- Q & Dry FX
Two buttons in the center of the pedal will also come in handy. First, there’s Q, which has four sharpness modes for the high-pass filter slope. In addition, you’ll find the Dry FX button, which will enable effects for your dry signal.
- 8 Preset Slots
Another cool feature of the pedal is that you will have eight slots for your presets. You can save your favorite settings and then switch between them using the Preset button, which is located on the opposite side of the Bypass.
The Electro Harmonix POG2 is a fantastic pedal that will open up much room for experimentation. With it, you can turn your guitar sound into a dreamy synth or other interesting things. This polyphonic unit allows you to add an octave up and down and adjust the attack and the high-frequency amount. It also has a Detune function that makes you sound like a chorus.
The only drawback is the high pedal price, which is over $330. Besides that, we don’t see any other cons and recommend you check out the user comments online.
10. Electro Harmonix Metal Muff (Distorion)
If you’re on a budget but need a filthy distortion for metal, check out the Electro Harmonix Metal Muff / Top Boost pedal.
That’s great if you’re using the distortion of your amp. But some people can’t afford a fancy guitar head. In this case, a pedal may be the way out. Or, if you have an amp and want another tool for your sound, this will also work. Now we will show you a unit that will cope with this task – the Electro Harmonix Metal Muff / Top Boost.
It is one of the most popular distortion pedals with a rather massive and dirty sound, which can be ideal for extreme music. Its main feature is that it has a Top Boost function. This way, you get a kind of “two pedals in one.” Let’s break down its features.
- Three-Band EQ
As for the equalizer, there are three controls: Treble, Mid, and Bass. Accordingly, you will be able to get both a metal tone and a midrange tone. By the way, the EQ of this pedal is quite sensitive and has a wide range of operations.
- Distortion Control
The Dist control, located on the pedal’s right side, allows you to control the clipping level. It’s worth noting that this pedal has a fairly large amount of distortion so that you can get a very compressed sound with minimal dynamics. And vice versa – you can get only a slight effect.
- Add Some Boost
Finally, you will also have the Top Boost feature. It will add volume and a lot of upper frequencies to your tone. Ultimately, you can control this with a separate control of the same name and turn it on with a separate button. This feature can come in handy for lead parts.
The Electro Harmonix Metal Muff / Top Boost is a good distortion pedal that gives you a heavy and massive metal tone. It has a sensitive 3-band EQ and a feature that allows you to break in with extra volume and treble. And, of course, the pedal’s affordable price, which is almost $100, is also worth mentioning.
Remember that a scooped midrange also makes a dip in volume. Therefore, some guitarists prefer to leave this parameter at noon or further. Also, be prepared that Top Boost will produce a large amount of high frequencies, which may confuse you. Therefore, we advise you to set it to the minimum before trying it out.
11. Electro Harmonix Small Clone (Chorus)
The Electro Harmonix Small Clone is an analog chorus pedal that is very easy to use.
If you love chorus and want a legendary pedal at an affordable price, the next item on our list is for you. It is a famous unit used by Kurt Cobain of Nirvana. You may think, “Why do I need this for Deathcore” but in fact, this effect can be used for any style of music – the main thing is your creative imagination.
The Electro Harmonix Small Clone pedal can fill your leads with interest. Its main feature is that it is very easy to use because there are a minimum of controls. Despite this, there is plenty of room for experimentation. Let’s take a look at the features of this stompbox.
- Control The Rate
The only knob this pedal has is called Rate. It is this knob that will allow you to control how intense the effect will sound. Accordingly, turn it to the maximum to get the most expressive chorus.
- Depth Switch
This pedal also has a Depth switch that controls the overall amount of the effect. Accordingly, in the lower position, the chorus will be slight, and in the upper position – vice versa. Finally, you can also influence this with the Rate knob, which we described above.
- Sturdy Housing
Another feature worth mentioning is the sturdy housing of this pedal. Its body is made of metal, so you can be sure that it will stand the test of touring and active use. And you don’t have to worry about stepping on it too much.
The Electro Harmonix Small Clone is a great analog chorus pedal that can withstand time. It won’t take long to figure out its settings because there are only a few of them – one knob and a switch. Nevertheless, it gives you a wide range of effect intensity from slight to extreme. As for the price, it’s affordable and costs about $90.
The pedal is quite large and can be difficult to fit if you have a busy pedalboard. To be more specific, the dimensions are 114 x 200 x 110 mm. Other than that, we don’t see any other flaws.
12. Ernie Ball EB6180 VP-JR (Volume Pedal)
With the Ernie Ball EB6180 VP-JR, you’ll always have your guitar’s volume at your feet.
Last on our list, we decided to include a volume pedal. Yes, it’s more of a utility device, but it can be very useful nonetheless, especially if you use a lot of gain and need to mute the signal quickly. Of course, you can do this on the guitar, but some instruments don’t have a convenient volume pot location. So, it will be more convenient with a pedal.
The Ernie Ball EB6180 VP-JR pedal is extremely simple, only controlling the signal’s volume. However, there is one more very cool feature that will add convenience to its use. We’ll talk about it below.
- Relatively Small Size
This pedal is slightly more compact than its predecessors in the series. As a result, it’s not too bulky and yet large enough to be comfortable for your foot. It is also a positive factor if your pedalboard has limited space.
- Smooth Operation
The pedal operation is quite smooth. It means you won’t get any jumps in volume when you change the volume. That also applies to the pedal movement itself, which is also super smooth.
- Tuner In
In addition to the usual In and Out, you will have a separate Tuner In. So you can connect a pedal to it and tune your guitar quietly at any time. This way, you can leave the tuner on, which is also quite convenient.
The Ernie Ball EB6180 VP-JR is a very simple guitar volume pedal that can be useful for you. Thanks to it, you can quickly adjust the volume with your foot. In addition, you can use it as an expression pedal by connecting it to other units with such an output. Overall, it has a solid build quality and costs only $100.
We don’t see any drawbacks to this product. Therefore, we recommend checking out more detailed user reviews online.
As you can see, plenty of pedals can be used for Deathcore. And these can be both distortion and effect units. To conclude this post, let us focus on a few stompboxes that deserve special attention.
If you need an overdrive to warm up your amp, we recommend the #1 on our list – the Ibanez TS9 pedal. It’s a win-win that will make your distortion tighter, especially on palm mutes. And if you need to get distortion not from the amp but from the pedal itself, then #2 Boss MT-2 Metal Zone and #10 Electro Harmonix Metal Muff are good options.
We recommend checking out the number 4 ISP Technologies Decimator Pedal V-II if you need a noise gate. And if you’re thinking of a volume pedal, then the number 12 Ernie Ball EB6180 VP-JR might be a great choice.
And finally, as for effect pedals, #5 Boss DD-8 Digital Delay, #6 Strymon Big Sky, and #9 Electro Harmonix POG2 are great options. The latter is a polyphonic octave generator that will change your sound beyond recognition.
Keep in mind that there are no pedals that are perfect for one genre or another. It all depends on your personal taste and creative decisions. Good luck with your choice!
Ilarion Ivanenko is a remote mixing and mastering engineer from Ukraine, a musician with more than 15 years of experience. Specializes in rock, metal, progressive and the other genres. He can’t imagine his life without music, as it is the biggest passion in his life