Even though the Metal Zone is seen as something of a Marmite pedal by many - it is nevertheless Boss’s second most popular pedal of all-time - and endlessly enduring - in fact only beaten in Boss’s best seller stakes by the venerable DS-1 Distortion.
Lots of modern players make great use of the Metal Zone - and probably none more than Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro fame :
This 'Stealth' Edition is actually my 3rd Metal Zone - my first acquisition being the Robert Keeley Modded Twilight Zone Edition some years ago now - which has even more Low End grind and more aggression - via enhanced Tone Stack Calibration and 3 selectable modes of increasing gain.
NOTE - that it is I who have assigned the 'Stealth' moniker here - Boss and retailers will solely be referencing this as the '30th Anniversary MT-2'.
I next acquired of course the MT-2W Waza Craft Metal Zone - which launched in October of 2018. And now I finally have a standard circuit version too - in that Stealth 30th Anniversary Livery.
I have slightly enhanced the labels in the visual - which are a very dark grey - for otherwise they would be nigh invisible. Obviously the Stealth edition is for those who know their way around the Metal Zone - as there is no chance you will be able to pick out those legends in any of the typical low-light scenarios.
Most famously the pedal features those now legendary dual-concentric pots - which yield High and Low Frequency Controls alongside the dual-pot Parametric Mids. The Mids Pot is notoriously sensitive as tiny movements yield vastly different results - as touched on by Simon Neil above. It's really a case of micro-movements - 1/10th of a mm to hit that perfect sweet-spot. Of course when you've done is a couple of times - it becomes easier - but you still need to deploy due diligence and patience.
Some players don't get on with the Metal Zone - as they just don't have the patience or skill to dial it in properly. If you do though you can achieve the most wonderfully thunderous, harmonically rich and well-balanced, full-sounding heavy metal tones.
Rarely were 6 knobs so powerful - with Level, High, Low, Middle, Mid Frequency and Distortion controls available. The Metal Zone is most definitely THE poster child for 3-Band EQ with Parametric Mids.
Each of my varieties yield fantastic tones - and if you have the patience to make the most out of this pedal - you can truly achieve wonderful results.
The Stealth Edition is a fitting celebration for the Metal Zone's pervasive legacy. It's nice also to see that its sibling HM-2 Heavy Metal will soon join it on the Waza Craft roster.
The simple truth is that even though there are lots of fantastic more modern high gain metal pedals on the market - like the Redbeard Effects Red Mist, REVV variants, and Klirrton Oh My Goat - your metal collection is not going to be complete without the addition of the Metal Zone and Heavy Metal. Those are both masters of their craft and each is very capable of delivering immense, intense and extraordinary tones - every household should have one of each!
The 30th Anniversary All-Black Stealth MT-2 Metal Zone should be available at most key Boss dealers imminently - it is priced at €134 / £120 RRP - that edition's production cycle is limited to 2021.