BOSS HM-2: Like an Ever Flowing Gleam

The BOSS HM-2 Heavy Metal guitar distortion pedal holds a special place in death metal history. It is the sound of Sweden. This cheap, compact design pedal was used heavily at Sunlight Studios to make the “buzzsaw” guitar tone famous on so many original Swedish death metal records from Entombed, Dismember, Nihilist, At the Gates, and Edge of Sanity; later, on scores and scores of not so memorable imitation records.

BOSS HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal

In fact, that’s pretty much all this pedal can do. Dynamics? Forget it. Put all levels on 10, detune, and jam. Of course, there’s some amp EQ details in there somewhere, but forget it. This pedal gets so much worship for such a one-trick pony. My old band mate, Leon del Muerte, is one of those worshippers. He liked the light plate I added to my old Phase 90 and wanted his HM-2 to get the same treatment. Sure, the HM-2 already has a power indicator light, but he wanted it to SHINE like the god he saw it as. I took it from his apartment as he hugged it goodbye and I went to work (2 months later).

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