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Here's Entombed covering King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man".

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Entombed - “
21st Century Schizoid Man”

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The original is cold and paranoid, nearly panicked at times. The Entombed cover is suffocating and deranged, mostly because of the HM-2 guitar tone.

Here's Entombed doing Bob Dylan’s "The Ballad of Hollis Brown".

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Entombed - “The Ballad of Hollis Brown”

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The original is desperate and suicidal. The HM-2 tone helps turn the song into an expression of murderous rage.

I often wonder what songs would sound like if the original guitars were replaced with the HM-2 buzzsaw. The King Crimson and Bob Dylan covers are drawn from Entombed's cover album, Sons of Satan Praise the Lord. I left three more covers from Sons at the end of this post. All offer a different feel than the originals. As with the King Crimson cover, the HM-2 tone is a big part of the change in feel.

When I reviewed Entrails’ The Tomb Awaits last year, I wondered what a band like Amon Amarth or Amebix would sound like with HM-2 tone. Here are some other bands and albums I'd like to hear with HM-2-ized guitars:

Ramones - Ramones, Leave Home, or Rocket to Russia
Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols
Dream Theater - Images and Words
Judas Priest - Stained Class
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Saxon - Denim and Leather
Anthrax - Among the Living
Obscura - Cosmogenesis
Cathedral - The Ethereal Mirror
Lost Horizon - A Flame to the Ground Beneath

Bands covering songs from other genres is always an interesting experiment. This is a little different. Sons of Satan is a good starting point, but I want more covers that stick with the original song's style but use the HM-2 tone, because I want to see if they are heavier than the originals. I also want to discover how the HM-2 tone changes the feel of the music. In particular, I'm wondering how bands like Obscura would fare, and whether the tone would obscure their technical style. HM-2-ized Lost Horizon would be sheer perversion; like sticking your dick in a mysterious hole in a stall at a truck stop. Nobody knows what'll happen, but it will be messy, and there will be regrets.

The aesthetics of a band's guitar tone can be a major part of their sound. For Stockholm death metal, black metal, and djent, I think that the tone influences the song writing. Black metal's trebly tone rewards rapid tremolo strumming, and is integral to the genre's wintry and obscure feel. Meshuggah tunes down to Z flat, and their 'djent' tone keeps their guitar chords compact and distorted rather than flabby or sludgy. It emphasizes the band's mechanical palm muting, but it also rewards that technique. HM-2 tone is conducive to rock and roll grooves, tremolo picking, and heavy open strums that leave the chords hanging over the listener. What came first, the chicken or the egg? The riff, or the tone?

There are a few examples of bands using the HM-2 tone without writing Stockholm style death metal. There are also a few bands that dial up HM-2-esque tone by turning all the knobs on their distortion pedals to maximum. Seance used to play Florida style death metal. Iniquity are labeled as technical death metal, but they were technical in the way Morbid Angel were technical in 1993, rather than the way Obscura are technical in 2012. On Grime, Iniquity gave us a glimpse of how more technical music might sound via the HM-2 pedal.

The new Black Breath has some thrash riffs, and so did Slaughter of the Soul. Here's how southern style sludge sounds through HM-2-esque tone, courtesy of Pungent Stench:

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULPogzrLrUA&feature=player_detailpage#t=59s

Pungent Stench - "Happy Re-Birthday"

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Weezer even managed to get some HM-2-like tone on their song "Hash Pipe." I know this because I replicated the tone using a cheap little 30W amp and a DoD pedal by turning all the stompbox's settings to max. I promptly lowered the guitar's tuning and it sounded a lot like Clandestine.

Bands like Iniquity, Black Breath, and Weezer show that the HM-2 tone doesn't have to be used to write Stockholm-style death metal, and that the results can be very interesting. I'll never object to more Entombed clones, but I'd rather hear somebody aping their guitar tone without aping their riffing style. That, and covers of "Saints in Hell" and "I.C.B.M." using the HM-2 guitar tone. Anybody want to take me up on that experiment?

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Entombed - “State of Emergency”

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Entombed - “Under the Sun”

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Entombed - “Scottish Hell”

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— Richard Street-Jammer

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