Let’s make one thing perfectly clear — the GAMMA Hades Metal Distortion pedal is not here to charm you with sweet, smooth harmonic saturation. The GAMMA Hades pedal is here to deliver some of the filthiest, nastiest, and depraved electric guitar tones you can conjure. And if you’re into ‘90s hardcore, death metal, doom, sludge, or other styles that require truly insidious electric guitar tone, the GAMMA Hades pedal is sure to put a twisted smile on your face. Let’s explore the loathsome sound of the GAMMA Hades distortion pedal — guided by fearless guitarists and content creators Rob Chapman, Kyle Bull and Sonic Drive Studio — to find out whether it’s the foreboding distortion pedal you’ve been looking for.
Nasty, Filthy, Old-school Distortion
Before we dig into the details of the GAMMA Hades Metal Distortion pedal, check out this demo song created by John at Sonic Drive Studio. John summarizes the GAMMA Hades pedal’s role on your pedalboard well:
“This pedal sounds unapologetically filthy. In my view it’s not really a pedal that aims to re-create the exact tone of a boutique tube amplifier (like some of the other amp-in-a-box pedals that I’ve demoed on the channel). This is your classic, old-school, filthy-sounding distortion pedal, and it works really well for genres like old-school death metal and black metal.” – Sonic Drive Studio
Now that’s a metal guitar tone with some teeth on it. You can hear that the low end is tight and confrontational, but doesn’t become flubby and interfere with the bass and kick drum. The mids are crunchy and grindy, and the highs make everything detailed and defined without being obnoxious. When you hear the contrast with the pedal turned off, it’s obvious that the GAMMA Hades can turn any amplifier’s clean channel into a metal distortion channel.
The Sonic Drive Studio demo is using a real amp into a loadbox with speaker IRs, a standard recording setup for many home studios. With a 4×12″ speaker cabinet miked up with an SM 57, it sounds just as brutal. Check it out with some aggressive riffage from guitarist and content creator Kyle Bull:
And if you want to hear how the GAMMA Hades Metal Distortion pedal sounds going directly into an audio interface with IR speaker emulation, Kyle Bull has you covered there too:
“We are going directly into the front of my interface with the pedal. I am going into one of my favorite impulse responses… it actually sounds pretty good to my ears!” – Kyle Bull
Reactive Mid Control Unlocks the GAMMA Hades’ Full Potential
You can hear that the GAMMA Hades pedal delivers eviscerating distortion whether you put a mic in front of a speaker cabinet, run your amplifier into a loadbox with cabinet emulation, or record directly into your audio interface. The true power of the Hades pedal is in its 3-band EQ section with Bass, Mid, and Treble controls. To get an idea of how severely you can cut or boost each band, let’s enjoy some knob-turning with Sonic Drive Studio:
“Now what I’m going to do is loop some riffs, and then tweak the controls so you can hear how they sound.” – Sonic Drive Studio
While all the controls offer a big range of cut and boost, the Mid control in particular clearly has a huge impact on the overall character of your distortion tone. You can hear that boosting lows adds weight and girth, while boosting Treble adds upper-mid presence without icepick harshness. But it’s the Mid control that determines the sonic signature, and will make it easy for your guitar tone to hold its place in the mix.
While we’re at it, let’s hear Kyle Bull tweak some knobs on the GAMMA Hades pedal:
Note that when Kyle rolls through the entire range of the Treble control beginning at 6:50, it seems to build on the emphasis created by the Mid control. Considering how reactive the 3-band EQ is, you can use it to shape your distortion tone however you like, and then fine-tune the tonal balance with your amp’s EQ. Kyle Bull agrees:
“Of course, you can affect the voicing of the pedal by using the voicing of your clean channel.” – Kyle Bull
Taking a break from savage riffs and palm muting, Rob Chapman demonstrates how the Mid control gives melodic lead lines intensity and presence:
“Let me bring in more of the mids, and give you more of the drive.” – Rob Chapman
And while we’ve been talking tone this entire time, Kyle Bull points out that the feel of the GAMMA Hades distortion pedal is pleasingly responsive as well:
“The pedal has a really good feel to it — it’s tight but it does have a little bit of give. The palm mutes are kind of fighting back a little bit, so it doesn’t feel like a solid state distortion pedal — it’s actually got some feel to it.” – Kyle Bull
Tone doesn’t mean as much if a pedal isn’t responsive to your touch and fun to play, and it sounds like the GAMMA Hades pushes back in just the right way.
GAMMA Hades Stacks Well with Overdrive Pedals
If you achieve your gruesome guitar tones by stacking an overdrive pedal with your distortion, you’ll be wondering how the GAMMA Hades pedal handles boosting from an OD pedal. So was Kyle Bull:
“Let’s go ahead and try that [MXR] M77 again because I thought they really meshed well together. It tightens the pedal up: the pedal can be tight on its own, but combining it with an overdrive gives you the amp-with-an-overdrive experience.” – Kyle Bull
Rob Chapman had the same idea, stacking the GAMMA Hades distortion pedal after the GAMMA Atlas overdrive:
“As soon as I switched on the Hades I immediately instinctively knew that with the [GAMMA] Atlas, the tones marry so perfectly. What you get is this beautiful preamp sound.” – Rob Chapman
There you have it — the GAMMA Hades Metal Distortion pedal will likely match well with whatever overdrive pedal you prefer to stack it with.
Embrace the Dark Side of Tone with GAMMA Hades Metal Distortion
These content creators clearly agree the GAMMA Hades Metal Distortion pedal delivers some of the most gut-wrenching distortion sounds you’ll find in a surprisingly affordable stompbox. Its 3-band EQ gives you unparalleled tone-shaping potential, with a powerful Mid control that offers a huge range of boost and cut to explore. And it feels responsive to play, pushing back when you dig into it just like a cranked tube amp would. When you need to conjure a seriously filthy distortion tone, you’ll be impressed with the GAMMA Hades Metal Distortion pedal!
“This pedal sounds quite nasty — and sometimes that’s just what the doctor ordered!” – Sonic Drive Studio
(See Jon’s full review of the GAMMA Hades Metal Distortion pedal here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKAJZLBl19s)
“Early ‘90s hardcore in a box!” – Kyle Bull
(See Kyle’s full review of the GAMMA Hades Metal Distortion pedal here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBeoHyTvpnI&t=8s)
(See Rob Chapman’s full review of the GAMMA Hades Metal Distortion pedal here: https://youtu.be/5BTR5zQiJBU)
Want to learn about the other GAMMA guitar pedals? We have you covered:
-GAMMA Atlas Boosted Overdrive: https://homestudiohub.com/can-the-gamma-atlas-boosted-overdrive-be-your-always-on-drive-pedal-top-influencers-put-it-to-the-test/