I do not know about you but when I was a child I dreamt of becoming a wizard. My Harry Potter fantasies had all shapes and forms, including me holding a stick and moving it around as if it were my wand. I adored movies that included some sort of magic and sometimes even witches drove me crazy. As you can see, my childhood was full of wonder about supernatural creatures and capabilities. As I grew older that interest slowly faded away, but later on I discovered that the dream of becoming a sorcerer still lived deep inside me. That was when I came across Afterneath Otherworldly Reverberator from EarthQuaker Devices. I looked at the pedal, read about it and I was sold. I did believe that it would turn me into a wizard of sounds that would be able to do unimaginable things. And that is exactly what happened when I started performing with it regularly. This baby is hard to describe with words since it is so different and ethereal. If you are anything like me and want to experience the magic of music, then you have to stay with me and read this article attentively. After all, it might convince you to learn a spell or two! Let’s get started!
One glance at Afterneath from EarthQuaker Devices is enough to grasp just how versatile and wonderful this pedal is. Just like all of its siblings, it features interesting and unique design. The surface has a cool painting of a wizard in the cave and that is exactly how it is marketed. The color palette completes the whole magical look and turns this unit into a real statement. But that is not the only thing that catches the eye. Relatively small chassis features a whole pack of knobs, which is quite surprising. The amount of controls is relevant, as it truly displays the quantity of the available properties. Here, you can create plate reverb and all of its flavors. You have the ability to enter spatial continuum that does not seem to have any limits. Afterneath offers a wide variety of useful and unique tones that cannot be heard anywhere else. And that is one of the main features that make this unit so special. It is not a typical reverb that you will encounter with every stompbox, it is something completely unknown and rather remarkable. It is also worth mentioning that this fella is hand-built and then tested thoroughly in order to make sure that nothing goes wrong once it hits your pedalboard. You can stay assured that everything will be okay, since it is comprised with high quality materials. After all, the brand is renowned for its durable devices. Afterneath can be powered with an AC adapter, but make sure you utilize a quality one to avoid creating unwanted noise. All in all, this baby is a tool that you will never want to say goodbye to.
When it comes to the control section, we have A LOT to talk about. Though it has ample knobs, they are spaced quite well which means you can tweak them without interfering with the rest of the encoders. If I told you that setting this fella to perfection will be an easy task, I would lie. You really have to spend some time with it, explore all the options you got and then make the adjustments accordingly. Oh, and one more thing, the names of the knobs are quite queer here: some of them might sound pretty odd. But that is exactly why I am here: we will go through all of them together so that you do not have any unanswered questions.
We shall begin with Length, which modifies how long it takes for the reverb to decay. Next comes Diffuse that controls how spread-out the reverb will be and what intensity of attack it utilizes. It is followed by Dampen, which is basically a Tone control with fancier name. It makes your sound brighter as you turn it clockwise and vice versa. Then we have the funkiest and most intriguing of all – Drag adjusts the delay time. As you turn it clockwise, it creates fast reverberations that are mixed with delays and echoes. In counter-clockwise position, though, you get more of a delay that bounces without fixed rhythm. Reflect modifies the amount of feedback – at its maximum settings it causes the pedal to self-oscillate and saturate your sound with cool layers. Finally, we have Mix that blends together dry and affected signals.
Judging by control section only, it does not require any guessing games to grasp how diverse this pedal actually is. Afterneath is a true wizard and maybe even the god of reverb itself. This magical device will take you to the most unworldly universe that is steeped with so many different sounds. On one side you get slow, pulsating swirls, on the other you are left with self-oscillating madness that surrounds you with distinctive but irregular echoes. The blend of these effects creates something extraordinary – something that you probably have not even thought about. Afterneath forces you to step out of your comfort zone, forces your brain to work harder and awakens all the creativity that is dozing in your subconscious. This pedal offers you so much that you might even get overwhelmed. Do not forget to take notes of all the settings since it will be hard to create the same tones twice. It is distinctive, powerful and versatile as hell – what else could we ever dream of?
You might get the idea that I am biased towards Afterneath Otherworldly Reverberator from EarthQuaker Devices. But I am not. It is truly one of the best reverb pedals that I have encountered throughout my journey as a guitar player. It is a fantastic beast that will quickly become a staple in your rig. It forces you to perform hours on end and never stop experimenting. Just get this fella and start playing and you will experience all these magical feelings. Good luck!
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