- Hey, it’s pretty fun – it’s big and aggressive, sounds like the Metallica of old. For you kids, this is the Metallica that us old people always say you missed out on. Not quite, but pretty close. The album’s not much more than a bunch of recycled riffs from 1983-1991, but they do it real well. Once in a while, I don’t mind that kind of “creativity.”
- The “loudness war” is over. Metallica has won. Holy schnikes, this may be one of the WORST sounding albums I have ever bought. And I don’t say that as just a semi-audiophile freak. This is really, really bad sounding. There is audible distortion everywhere in the form of static and crackling. People complain about Rush’s Vapor Trails, but it is nowhere near as bad sounding as this. Just give a listen to Lars’ cymbals – they sound like someone crinkling tinfoil rather than actual musical instruments. Mastering engineer Ted Jensen answered a fan’s question here (grain of salt: there’s no telling this is definitely him, but these guys are not celebrities and often respond to “fans”):
I’m certainly sympathetic to your reaction, I get to slam my head against that brick wall every day. In this case the mixes were already brick walled before they arrived at my place. Suffice it to say I would never be pushed to overdrive things as far as they are here. Believe me I’m not proud to be associated with this one, and we can only hope that some good will come from this in some form of backlash against volume above all else.
“Brickwall” referring to a particular effect of this kind of sound as seen in an editing program – it looks like one solid wall of color, rather than the typical wave-shape most people are familiar with representing sound waves. This album has been removed from Jensen’s project list – he doesn’t want to be associated with it!
- And the above is a damned shame.
September 15, 2008
A couple of notes about the new Metallica album