FLESH ROT v2 (with video demos)


Well-known member
Brutal pedals are fun, and if so brutal that they necessitate a clean amp, then all the better! I contacted Shea over at This Heavy Earth, about his most brutal, and FLESH ROT v2 was the recommendation. I would compare this pedal to the Diezel Herbert Preamp pedal, although a different flavor. The FLESH ROT is not as sterile and automatically punchy, in that there are more audible picking dynamics with FLESH ROT and you can make it sound punchy or not. But it is as brutal, and with a wider range of characteristics as Gain increases. I ran it through various amps, and I do prefer solid state over tube, mainly because it cuts better. Someone wanting a thicker, warmer sound would likely prefer tubes. Regardless, this pedal sounds amazing. And I should point out that I did go with some darker tones in the demo, whereas FLESH ROT has a lot of slice and dice, which I’ll get into.

FLESH ROT is pure Death Metal, with the Ampeg VH140c chip at its foundation. However, this is where comparisons to other pedals using this chip ends, and FLESH ROT emerges with some nice tweaking. Shea added a Shift (filtering) knob to hone in on the right frequencies for your mix, and when combined with the Presence, Tight, and the three EQ knobs, it’s easy to dial in where you need it. The relationship among all the controls is what really sets this pedal apart.

The Treble/Midrange/Bass EQ knobs have a perfect range. You know how some pedals can be… you never go near the upper or lower end of the frequencies because they’re not usable. FLESH ROT’s EQ range is all usable, without any of it sounding extreme. This makes it easy to dial into a good sounding tone, then finalizing it with the Shift knob. Not tight enough, then increase the Tight knob, or maybe it’s plenty tight and you need more lower-end midrange via the Shift. FLESH ROT already is pretty tight (and very quiet!), in that with the Tight all the way down, it still sounds pretty tight. I am impressed with the quality of the Presence; it doesn’t bite too hard and it makes the tone sound glassy and slightly larger, as though it’s an enhancer. I would say it makes things clearer and somewhat brighter, without it sounding bright (in the harsh or high-treble sense of the word).

Overall, there are a lot of great sounding tones, ranging from classic scooped to bold and modern punchy. Even the grain quality varies as you crank up the Gain. On low gain, it has a thick crunch quality, then as you approach 12-noon, it’s more of a snarl that growls and rips. Saturation increases past 12-noon, so that it sounds massive, thick, yet smooth and velvety… almost like a big fuzz, yet retaining its distortion quality.

Something else that gives FLESH ROT such a big sound is that it contains internal circuitry that increases the 9VDC supply to higher voltages for additional headroom; and it only requires 52mA of power. I never had the pedal’s volume past 10-o’clock, and so, it has plenty of gas. And for those who had an older version of FLESH ROT, which produced a high gain oscillation with some passive pickups and when the Gain was cranked, that issue has been rectified.

Overall, FLESH ROT v2 is a people pleaser. Once you hit your first power chord you can feel that big grin across your face. Those massive, aggressive tones make guitar playing fun and riff writing inspirational, and that’s how it should be.
Figured I'd post that amp you were showing me yesterday me This Heavy Earth is releasing soon seeing as it is continuing the VH-140C worship and some may be interested in it:


"The plan since the beginning of THE has been to bring several of my ideas to fruition as full amp heads. What once was just custom tube builds and mods, has evolved into the creation of a killer solidstate platform thanks to modern class d power amp technology. Mix that new technology with my preamp designs and you have an absolutely punishing, lightweight small form factor weapon of destruction.

Based on the iconic Ampeg VH140C, the FleshRot sports several of my own mods that improve upon this legendary circuit. First is the addition of variable high pass and low pass filters that allow you to dial in the stock EQ settings, or with a couple turns you've opened up the top end and tightened the low end.

Next I focused on the Ultra Mid. While this is a great scoop control, I found it to interfere with the frequencies necessary for cut and more importantly to many of you, chainsaw tones. What started out as A.I.B. and I talking about changing the range of the scoop, I noticed with a couple tweaks you would be able to just pick your center frequency as needed for the Ultra Mid scoop. This is when things just became heavier than heavy. "