HM-2 Heavy Metal review by Boss

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (67 votes)
Boss: HM-2 Heavy Metal

Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 10
I play an Epiphone SG through a thrift store pocket amp, the brand of which I can't be bothered to check right now. The pedal is noisy as hell, but that's desirable in my case, and in the case of anyone else who knows how to properly use the HM-2. It's a really strong pedal, with thick, crunchy, crackly distortion. Sounds like a chainsaw. I can definitely get the sound of some of my favorite bands like Entombed, At The Gates, and all of the other Swedish death metal bands. It also works very well for "Deathcrush"-era Mayhem.

Overall Impression — 10
Overall, this is the best pedal I've ever played. I honestly think it's the only good distortion pedal ever made. I personally play black metal, and it works really well. I would buy another for sure if it got stolen or lost. I would not, however, buy another if it broke, because that's impossible. The thing is built like a tank. I love everything about it, and dislike nothing. My favorite feature is the fact that it exists. I have compared it to other products, namely the BOSS DS-1 and MT-2. The DS-1 sounds awful. The MT-2 sounds even worse. Like I said, the HM-2 is the only good distortion pedal ever made (plenty of good fuzzes and overdrives, though). There is nothing I wish it had, because it is perfect in every way.

Reliability & Durability — 9
The Boss HM-2 is incredibly reliable. They do not break. Ever. This is a pedal that you can throw around, roll joints on, do lines of coke on, vomit on, piss on, drip blood on, do whatever to, without it breaking. The knobs do have an annoying habit of coming off, though. However, that issue is easily fixed, as they pop right back on. The knob problem is honestly the only flaw the pedal has, sound included, provided you're using it properly for Swedish-souding death metal, or to a lesser extent, black metal.

Ease of Use — 10
I looked through all the HM-2 reviews, and it looked like most of you didn't know how to use it properly, so here's my input on the thing. It's incredibly easy to use. The HM-2 is for one sound, and one sound only, but it makes that one sound better than anything else can. To get that sound, you simply turn every knob to ten. There you go, that's the Boss HM-2. There is no need to fiddle with it to find a tone. However, you can get a decent stoner sound by turning the distortion all the way down. However, pretty much any fuzz pedal will do that better.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I really like my HM-2. I found the equalizer (and the rest of the pedal) rather easy to use, especially when compared a metal zone (which I didn't like at all, not enough defenition for me). The grit this pedal produces is amazing! This makes the pedal (imo) very useable for stoner/sludge tones as well when put in front of a mildly overdriven tube amp (besides the obvious buzzsaw ). I prefer the following settings (for stoner/sludge): level at noon, Low on full, high somewhere between 9 and 1 'o clock and distortion somewhere around 11 'o clock. I usually start at low gain (both on the amp and pedal) and then turn it up until I'm satisfied. Using these settings, the high tone knob responds different than I expected (high end 'sparkle' becomes more pronounced when turned all the way down), but hey, it works. Again, this probably won't sound very good through a digital/solid state amp, but who would use such an amplifier for stoner/sludge anyway . Needless to say, you can get almost any other metal tone out of this pedal (see comments above by other people).
    My band mate has one of these evil little pedals. The thing just overtakes my distortion. The damn pedal is just a wall of noise coming at you! But it's sooooo damn brutal I use an ML-2 Metalcore and I get just about the same tone as he does, except that I have more clarity on my distortion.