Skip to main content

Review: Death By Audio Absolute Destruction

Meet your demise
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Guitar and effect pedals are a quick and easy way to sonically enhance your instruments in ways that plugins can't. Or, for the ones that can, trying to recreate the sound signature of certain pedals requires significant effort, and even then may not even come close to the original. Death By Audio is known for making some of the more exciting pedals in the market, and each unit is handmade in their small factory in NYC. While the types of pedals they make are fairly standard, ie delays, distortions, etc, it's how they make them that makes their pedals stand out. Take the Absolute Destruction for example. While it might seem like a distortion pedal, and in a sense, it is, there is certainly more than meets the eye. In this review, we'll be taking a look at the unit, and using it on a couple different machines to give you a better understanding as to what it can do. 


What is it?

It's essentially a compressor taken to the absolute extremes, and that's putting it lightly. In fact, this is what the company itself had to say about it: 

I mean, the metal head pyromaniac in me was sold just reading that. Plus, the name is just fantastic. The pedal is very simple, but the sound it creates is monstrous. It adds some of the most aggressive distortion I've ever heard come from a pedal. I've used it on plenty of tracks and sampled quite a few drum hits to save for later. Another way to think of it is instant pure industrial mayhem in a tiny little box. 

How does it work?

As I just said, the pedal is very simple. There are only 4 controls, one being a volume knob,  a standard bypass switch, and then the two main controls, Gain and Overload. The Gain slider acts like any other gain slider, increasing distortion and gain as you slide it to the right. And, to be fair, the gain alone is awesome and extremely harmonically rich. But the Overload is where the magic happens. Sliding it to the left decreases the ceiling to which the pedal overloads. If it's all the way to the right, the pedal will not overload. But as soon as you start sliding to the left, the sound gets increasingly...destroyed. But, if I'm to be completely honest, it needs to be heard to be fully understood. In the video below, I run both a synth (Model D) and a drum machine (Roland TR-8S) through it and demonstrate the raw power of this pedal. 

Recommended Articles

So what do I think?

Honestly, I love this thing. It's an extremely specific sound, and does something no other pedal, that I know of, can do. It's built like a tank, and it does, in fact, sound like a nuclear explosion.

Should you buy one?

Honestly, it isn't all that versatile, so if you're looking for an all-in-one, this isn't it. But, if you're looking for something extra intense and extra special, then yes. 

Final Thoughts

This pedal is rad. No other way about it. It's extremely simple and straightforward, as a pedal should be, but it offers a sound like nothing else. It's well made and built to take a beating. It's not for everyone, but that's ok, because some of us aren't for everyone either. 

Pros: Simple, brutal sound, fun

Cons: Non

Final Score: 5/5

Visit Death By Audio online to grab and thus cause your own absolute destruction

Related Content