So I'm looking for a pedal to help me get a better metal sound. I want to sound like bands from Disturbed, Lamb of God, Slipknot, Slayer and so on. Right now I have that Dunlop Zakk Wylde overdrive pedal. It's not heavy enough in my opinion. Maybe my amp and pedal settings aren't right. I don't know. Right now I'm running that pedal with a Gibson Les Paul Standard with a Marshall Haze 40 Watt tube amp. I also play an ESP E-II.
If you all could send me some pedals and/or settings to try I would appreciate that. I'll try them once I take some leave to go home from the Army, and let you all know if I like what I'm hearing or not.
For starters the amp you have will have a huge difference in these distortion sounds, for the bands you mention they have a fat low end growl with clear mids and highs, nothing better than a tube amp or a SS with some awesome processed effects or signals to get this sound. For start most people like the Boss distortion pedal, there are literally many hundreds of these pedal and similar, but Boss is a great pedal to start with, get the DD i think its called, less than 100$, you can try a effects pedal like the Boss ME 25, or zoom, these low priced pedals create some great sounds as well, for settings you are the one in control dial it in, but for example i would use my amp gain at 60-75 percent just too much to where it gets muddy, (Unclear), then 60-80 on the mids, treble 40-50, bass 60-80. Presence about 40-70. if using the pedals then just play around with the amp settings a 50% then adjust amp for fine tuning it in, a noise gate will be needed as well. unless you like all that hiss and popping during no playing. Good luck on your journey your skywalker.
In addition to dfalgout's great advice, check out the Boss Metal Zone guitar pedal.