I got a Fender Frontman 212R for my birthday. I like its sound, but I'd like to know how to make it more suitable for some metal. I'm not talking about Black or Death Metal, but Heavy/Melodic/Gothic Metal. Shall I buy a distortion pedal? Or would an EQ pedal be better?

Thanks in advance!
i would add a distortion pedal. even an EQ isnt going to get you there, sorry.

what's your budget?

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I'd suggest a Boss MT-2
My Gear

Fender Deluxe Players Stratocaster
Marshall DSL 50 with 1960A
I'd say add a pedal, maybe the BOSS Metal Core, I like that one.

Until then, turn your amp settings to More Drive, 7 Treble, 4 Mid, 7 Bass, 6 Drive, 1 Reverb. That's probably the closest you'll get to metal without EQ/Distortion pedals.
Yeah, EQ pedal will help, also a good overdrive pedal. By far the best channel is the clean so if you can run it into that, you get a much better tone. I use the clean for all the bluesy stuff I do with a bad monkey, and it actually sounds pretty good.

I have found the scooped mids + bad monkey into the shitty drive channel quite fun for any 80s/90s shred.