The new KHDK Electronics Dark Blood pedal is billed as their most evil pedal to date. That sounds about right for the Metallica guitarist’s signature sounds. With the release of the Hardwired To Self Destruct album, you can, allegedly, hear it on record as well…
The Dark Blood is aimed at downright dirty high-gain distortion tones. These are achieved using MOSFET and solid state technology. They have also squeezed in a treble booster to ‘juice’ the signal even more.
The back story here is that Kirk found some obscure MOSFET-based distortion pedal whilst on tour in Europe. Although he wanted more of them, he couldn’t find any. So being the enterprising chap that he is, he got the pedal reverse-engineered, kept the good bits and upgraded the not-so-good bits. Voilá: the Dark Blood was born!
The treble booster is used to boost the main distortion circuit. The main circuit itself also has a control labelled Doom, a pre-distortion EQ circuit used to get a good tight bass response. The signal then hits the gain circuit.
There is also a Gate control to keep everything tidy and tight, very handy on a heavy-gain distortion pedal like this. The Treble control is passive and acts as a low-pass filter, cutting out the bits of the signal you don’t need rather than adding more.
The LO/Hi switch selects one of two different gain settings and gives you a lower gain level for riffs and a high one for leads.
Damn it, Hammett!
I like the idea of the pedal and it looks a flexible way of getting high gain distortion sounds. Kirk says it will work great on a clean amp, and also when you need to drop in on a gig and carry as little equipment as possible. This makes it interesting for gigging rockers that don’t want to lug massive high-gain amp heads with them.
My mate was working at the BBC Maida Vale studio sessions with Metallica last week and he told me they were all using Fractal Axe FX systems, but mentioned no use of any pedals. But Kirk has stated that he has used this pedal on the band’s new album, so expect some great Metallica-like crushing tones from the Dark Blood.
It’s not exactly cheap. though, so check out the man himself talking about it below before parting with your money. But if you like his guitar tone, then it may actually be a bargain for you.
I really would like to hear a decent demo and if it can do what he says it can, then it could be a lot of fun to play through.
RRP: EUR €272.51
For the full specifications on the KHDK Dark Blood check here