Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal
Public price: N/A
Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal : Hatsubai's user review
"Old school melodeath tone"
Anybody who has ever listened to old school melodeath has heard this pedal. We're talking everything from At the Gates to In Flames to Entombed and more. It's not your daddy's distortion pedal, and it's not for everybody. Hell, it's debatable as to whether it even sounds good. The one I'm reviewing is the Taiwan version, but after trying both of these side-by-side, they really do sound roughly the same. The pedal has knobs for level, contour high, contour low and distortion.
I never read the manual for this pedal, so I can't say how well it's written. However, I have read many other Boss pedal manuals, and they're always super helpful. I can't imagine this one being any less helpful. They tend to give you example sentences and clearly explain what every knob is. Thankfully, they're also easy to understand just by looking at them, so you can simply figure out what's going on by messing with the knobs. The housing is super tough, and these have taken some extreme abuse throughout their lifetime. I constantly see them beat up without any flaws what-so-ever. The pedal is FET bypassed, and if I recall correctly, it kinda leaks a bit with the gain cranked, but it's been awhile since I last tried one, so I could be wrong on this.
The HM-2 is very controversial as to what sounds good or not. First of all, these knobs are crazy touchy. You can get some extremely different tones by just moving the knobs a hair. If you've ever played a Mesa style amp, you'll know what I'm referring to. It would help to have tape to fix your settings in one spot as it can take awhile to find them again. The pedal is brutal, and it works great at slamming a clean amp into outrageous distortion. My favorite usage of this pedal is to get that Bloodbath style tone. To me, they have the best HM-2 style sound, and that's really what the HM-2 sounds like. Entombed is another good representation as to what this pedal is like.
Don't expect to use this as a clean boost. It doesn't really work the way a tubescreamer does, and the distortion in this is extremely brutal. It's almost too over the top for most people, but if you want that old school melodeath tone, this is what you're going to have to go with. I wouldn't bother too much with the differences between the Taiwan and Japan versions as they're both roughly the same, sound wise. It's not like the DS-1, SD-1 and others where it kinda matters.