Boss officially launches the HM-2W Heavy Metal Waza Craft pedal

Boss HM-2W Waza Craft reissue pedal on a chainsaw
(Image credit: Boss)

At long last, after a slew of teasing first-glimpse pictures and an in-depth prototype playthrough, the hugely anticipated Boss HM-2W Heavy Metal Waza Craft reissue pedal has finally arrived.

Based on the original HM-2, the updated version seeks to continue the iconic pedal’s heavy metal legacy, while also installing a series of modern refinements for enhanced performance.

The project was officially announced way back in November last year, with the effects giant promptly opening up a Facebook group whereby HM-2 fans could contribute to the pedal’s design.

Now, following a lengthy design and development process, Boss has confirmed that preorders for the new-and-improved Heavy Metal distortion pedal, which has a listing price of $179, have officially opened up.

From a top-down perspective, a circuitry overhaul means the new HM-2W Waza Craft will come equipped with a reduced noise floor and a maximum output level increased by +3dB.

Also, thanks to some Waza Craft engineering wizardry, the pedal also features a premium craft buffer, which hopes to serve up improved bypass performance.

A closer inspection of the pedal reveals a mode selector switch, which toggles between a Standard or Custom voice. While the Standard mode is said to deliver the tone and feel of the original HM-2 with “100-percent authenticity”, the Custom mode offers “just a little bit more of everything”.

Featuring a drive stage with increased gain, as well as tweaked low and high-mid characteristics, the Custom mode aims to achieve extra sharpness and attack with increased fullness and definition.

In terms of controls, the tone tweaking interface stays true to its Heavy Metal roots, featuring a two-knob Color Mix EQ section. The H knob is responsible for taming tones around the 1kHz frequency range, while the L knob operates in the 100Hz territory.

The HM-2W also features Level and Distortion controls, as per the original spec sheet, for dialing in aggressive high-gain tones.

Originally produced from 1983 to 1991, the HM-2’s signature "chainsaw" tone not only became the defining voice of Swedish death metal, but found its way into rigs of all genres, catering to everything from mainstream rock to shoegaze. 

The Boss HM-2W Waza Craft will be available in the US from August 2021 for $179, with preorders set to appear across the brand's dealership network from today (June 17).

For more information, head over to Boss.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.