T-Rex ToneBug Totenschlager review

  • £120
The ToneBug Totenschlager delivers remarkable tonal shaping.

MusicRadar Verdict

A really good distortion pedal - not just for metal.


  • +

    Versatile tonal shaping; it's black and has an umlaut in the name!


  • -

    EQ faders feel a little wobbly.

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If metal distortion is your thing, the Totenschläger aims to supply it, courtesy of level and gain knobs and a three-band graphic EQ.


There's a very useful range of distortion on tap here from overdrive-like grit through various shades of grind, to a full-on dirt-fest with plenty of sustain. But the really remarkable thing is the amount of tonal shaping that can come from three tiny faders.

You get real girth with the low, nasal parked-wah or classic scoop from the mid, and ice-pick-in-the-ear nasty from the high.

If you stick Totenschläger into Google Translate all it comes out with is 'dead bat' - a tribute to Ozzy, perhaps? Either way this is a really good distortion pedal and, graphics aside, not just for metal.

Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.