1) EarthQuaker Devices Afterneath - Otherworldly Reverberation Machine
It seemingly came from nowhere; the Afterneath is a pandora's box of endless reverb - living up to its "otherworldly" status.
At less than half the price of the Strymon Big Sky, and significantly cheaper than the Strymon Blue Sky, can it hold a flame to the pedals that have become the benchmark of stompbox reverb? Well, yes.
The Afterneath is the black sheep of versatile reverb stompboxes, for black sheep guitarists.
EarthQuaker have managed to pack studio quality reverb effects into this thing, which must have been the first point on the checklist, but with the twist of a couple of knobs, you get into the "otherwordly" territory.
It's impossible not to be creative when you've got your guitar plugged into the Afterneath, it encourages you to explore, to have fun, to create amazing soundscapes and compositions.
For what this pedal offers, at a price below £200/$250, it really is an incredible little machine. The only drawback is that there is no expression pedal input, because that really would elevate it to an entirely different level.
But even with that in mind, based purely on the array of sounds available, the quality of the sounds, and just how much damn fun it is to mess around with this thing, it has to be the coolest pedal put onto the market this year.
EQD, we salute you for this one.