Price paid: £ 22
Purchased from: ebay
Ease of Use — 7
Not as easy as some would say. Because of the huge distortion the levels have to adjusted according to the type of guitar, amplifier, distance from the amplifier, how terrified your audience it etc. It's a balancing act getting the huge sound without losing it in a white noise of distortion and feedback; this is achieved by balancing the various levels. Guts, Pain, Scream can be lowered with RIP raised up to get a cleaner sound. Chords are difficult with this as they are prone to internal feebdback in the pedal causing a wall of white noise distortion. Playing chords of "N.I.B." by Black Sabbath I found that the minor 5th triads descended into indistinguishable distortion. But the solo note line came out clearly with a desirable distorted edge.
Sound — 10
FX86 DOD say in their literature "turned the Gain on this to 10 and yanked it out." No doubt about it its an apt description. Describing the tone and volume knobs as Low (Guts), Middle (Pain), High (Scream), Volume (RIP) may sound like a gimmick until it blows you away. Even on low settings this is a ferocious beast of an effect sounding hell bent on devouring the guitarist and unleashing Hell. In fact the death metal effect is so strong that it's difficult to obtain a low line signal from it. Only by reducing one of the variable resistors i.e. turning a knob down is it possible to obtain a signal suitable for chords.
So soloing: its perfect the aggressive huge sound is more impressive than many metal bands including Death Metal. The pedal immediately puts you in the sound league of Black Sabbath and Slayer live. Playing a solo of a series of single notes comes off great as I've mentioned in my review for my Ibanez Roadstar II.
But playing chords is problematic. The feedback which gives the pedal its massive sustain reduces chords to a wall of feedback white noise to the point that the sound of one chord is indistinguishable from another. Only adjustment of the levels can compensate this and then you risk losing the full overwhelming metal sound. Connected with my DigiTech Blues Screamer pedal and together they produce note sustain well in excess of a minute. Here it can outdo David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fro sustained guitar lines.
To experience the full power of the pedal it does require a high quality guitar and expensive amp. Cheap equipment will be miraculously improved but the performance will suffer from drowning in distortion when playing chords. This effect will make you sound like Black Sabbath live and they are harder and more Death Metal than many so called bands like Cannibal Corpse: lyrics about disembowelment but you can't actually decipher them. And Deicide? Being Satanic and trying to be hard is not the same as living in the industrial steel mills of Birmingham.You really want to play metal then go and work on a heavy industrial site, or an abattoir or go and work in a warzone under fire then buy this pedal.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This pedal is built to withstand stomping but I treat it like a delicate flower. It's too precious to risk damaging. Hands not feet caress this baby. It will last forever. As such it is reliable but playing live there's a delay while adjusting to make sure you won't blow all the amps while releasing the blood thirsty beast from the pedal. It does eat batteries quite quickly and changing on stage will be a nuisance. The battery compartment is not the easiest to open. I found my Boss and Yamaha echo pedal were more solidly made but this DOD is better made than any of the cheaper brands I've tried.
Overall Impression — 10
This is THE pedal that will turn you into a metal god! Not diluted commercial lackluster metal but the metal that will be heard when Chapter 12 of the Book of Revelations come true. A sound that will change your audience forever. It's the pedal to use when dismembering people in a basement. Put with my DigiTech Blues Screamer and I have a huge sustain that is Hendrix like but outdoes Hendrix. Pity my fingers can't do the same. For experimental or noise metal the pedal is able to produce a cavernous growl with a huge sustain so playing on the guitar is to hit a chord then add individual notes or harmonics every few seconds.