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Past Reflections Crown of Nails The Curse of Orlac Rise to the Light Dissension Beyond the Unknown Sovereign All of Ladytron 's discography has various degrees of brickwalling, but Velocifero is the worst of the bunch. Notably, even albums like that were recorded in the pre-loudness war era are still incredibly loud. Juno Reactor 's Gods and Monsters and The Golden Sun of the Great Eastalthough sporting above-average for today dynamic range, have a sizable amount of clipping.
This made for a really harsh contrast with the comparatively more dynamic and pleasantly mastered Discovery. Awolnation 's Megalithic Symphony. Even though the interlude tracks sound lo-fi, they have better mastering than the rest of the songs on the album. Skyla Vertex's Blut EP. Dead Can Dance 's Anastasis. Kavinsky 's debut album, Outrunis extremely, extremely compressed. This is probably intentional, considering his fondness for cars, and the fact that a song on this very album was used as the theme song to a film about themmaking the album perfect for car speakers.
Vicious Pink's self-titled album became a casualty with its remaster. Every Basshunter album since Now You're Gone is an offender. Calling Time is especially heavily clipped. The entirety of the Toho Eurobeat series is guilty to some extent, but Vol.
All of the songs on these two are sheer brick walls with near-zero dynamic range and constant audible clipping. Even the songs by Odyssey, who normally avoids this trope, as mentioned on the "Aversions" page. Holy Ghost! The mastering engineers definitely screwed up here. Luckily, their second album, appropriately titled Dynamicsavoided this. All of The Crystal Method's albums since Tweekend have suffered. Teddyloid's song "Me!
Nostromosis's Dawn of the Planet Earth is one of the worst mastered goa trance albums, with all of the track waveforms being solid red rectangles in Audacity when "Show Clipping" is enabled. The waveform looks like a square. Electric Youth's Memory Emotionwhile far from the worst in terms of dynamics, has ridiculously heavy clipping of the percussion on most of its tracks. Their debut, Innerworldwas also quite loud at DR 6, though not nearly as clipped.
NINA's sophomore album, Synthianis horribly maimed by audible clipping on most tracks, with the odd exceptions of the title track, "Automatic Call", and "Never Enough". Whoever mastered this has a few lessons to learn about dynamic range. Especially tragic considering that her debut album, Sleepwalkinghad nearly flawless dynamics.
Zigzagged with her Control EP, where the Title Track is brickwalled and has heavily clipped drums perhaps for stylistic reasonsbut the others avert this trope. LAU's solo debut, Believerreleased on the same label, suffers similarly. The first two singles, "Stunning" and "We Had Magic", have reasonable dynamics, but the rest of the tracks have atrocious clipping, which screams straight-up mastering laziness.
All of Scandroid 's material, at least in digital format, is near-solidly brickwalled and continuously clipped, on par with fellow darksynth artists Perturbator and Carpenter Brut. Klayton's main project, Celldweller, similarly exhibits Death Magnetic -caliber overcompression, especially the three most recent albums. Lazerhawk's second album, Visitorsis by far his worst casualty, with the loudest track, "Shoulder of Orion", having a DR approaching 3 and clipping everywhere.
His first album, Redlinewas also mastered loud, but still had some semblance of dynamics and wasn't clipped. Some tunes, such as "Saw You Standing There" and "Wish Upon a Star", are compressed but have acceptable dynamics, while others, such as "Tokyo", "Holiday", and "Cheerleaders", are crushed and clipped to the point of unlistenability.
Against All Logic's two albums are both a DR4, which is a shame since the production is otherwise incredible. It's quite baffling considering that Nicolas Jaar's albums under his own name generally avert the loudness war. Most of the tracks on Michael Oakley's Odyssey have at least passable dynamic range, but "Is There Anybody Out There" is almost completely brickwalled and continuously clipped, apart from the intro and ending.
Paul Simon 's Graceland was remastered and re-released in and has extremely noticeable clipping, especially on "You Can Call Me Al". Despite the fact that Bob Dylan harshly criticized this entire trope famously declaring, "You listen to these modern records, they're atrocious, they have sound all over them. There's no definition of nothing, no vocal, no nothing, just like Luckily enough, they were also released on vinyl, which just seems to confirm that it was the record label's fault, not his.
His album Rough and Rowdy Ways sounds fantastic, with an absolutely outstanding average dynamic range of Most Lenny Kravitz albums are pretty bad in this regard, but Baptism in particular sticks out.
Singles like "Where Are We Running? Insult to injury on such a depressing album. The Darkness ' Permission to Land ; not that this is surprising, or entirely inappropriate. ZZ Top 's Mescalero. The limited-edition vinyl has a DR of 9, loud by vinyl standards, but still better than the CD. Fortunately, the follow-up, Darkest Hourbacked off on this trend, although it still has some clipping, which may be intentional. Pressure and Time by the Rival Sons is so badly mastered, you can easily hear the clipping right from the beginning of the first song.
Not even "No Quarter" is free of this with audible clipping during the piano solo. The worst offender on that CD is probably "Achilles' Last Stand"; the whole track is horribly brickwalled. The Strokes ' Room on Fire is especially daunting since Is This It was widely considered a breath of fresh air from this. The Killers ' Day and Age.
Horrible clipping and compression. See also: their first and second albums, so it's not really surprising that their third one should follow this trend. Day and Age is actually slightly less loud than the other two albums according to ReplayGainbut it sounds much more distorted especially the drums on "Spaceman".
It might very well be that this was what they were going for you never know with Brandon Flowers Her self-titled first album is also terribly mastered. Passion Pit 's Gossamer is crushed to a dynamic range between 4 and 6, which is a major shame, considering that their first album, Mannershad a stellar DR of The re-release of both of Razorcuts's albums, Storyteller and The World Keeps Turningboth have awful remastering. They're also '80s jangle pop albums too, so there's absolutely no excuse for the louder-than-usual sound.
The remasters of Felt's discography has also been criticized for brickwalling the album's sounds as opposed to keeping their dynamic, atmospheric and dreamy quality.
Many Industrial artists have become casualties or combatants of the loudness war as of late, especially Front Line Assembly 's Artificial Soldier and most of the remix album FalloutDecoded Feedback's Combustion and Aftermathand everything by Funker Vogt since Most of the remasters of their earlier albums also got brickwalled. They had this trend going as far back as with Nihilalthough that wasn't quite as brickwalled as their contemporary material.
Nine Inch Nails examples: The Downward Spiralalso released inhas the same deal as Dawn - IV Noise - We Wait For The Sun (File Copper - overall there is a lot of dynamic range, but the loudest portions of the album are brickwalled and clipped.
This would continue with most of Nine Inch Nails ' releases throughout The '90s and in fact, dates all the way back to their EP Broken. However, knowing Reznor's perfectionistic tendencies, it's quite likely that he intended the clipped parts to sound exceptionally distorted, so your mileage may vary as to whether this counts as a straight example of this trope or whether it's a subversion.
Guess those dastardly mid-'90s standards wouldn't let Trent realize his "true vision". Which is a shame, because almost everything else about the vinyl of The Fragile was pristine. Hesitation Marks comes with a download code for an "audiophile master" version, which was supposed to have greater dynamic range than the standard version's DR5. The audiophile master measures an incredible DR6. Reznor claims it has more bass, which it does, but he also makes it sound as if it forsakes the quest for loudness entirely, which it definitely doesn't.
For a long, balanced look at the differences between the two masters, watch this. The European vinyl version, however, which was cut from an alternate version of the audiophile master, does reach DR Ayria 's Hearts for Bullets. Synthesis by The Break Up, a Seattle darkwave outfit, appears to intentionally use compression for a gritty vibe, but many of the songs overdid it, resulting in unlistenable solid brick walls for waveforms.
Especially "Who's Crying Now" with its shrill overdriven synth lead, and "Trapeze". This is still an improvement over their self-titled first album, which was both brickwalled to death except for "Tread Softly and had audible clipping in many places.
Cut and Coil by Cylab, an industrial group also featuring Severina X Sol, was compressed near par with Synthesisagain possibly intentionally. Skinny Puppy 's Too Dark Park yes, the original, not a remasteralthough dynamic by today's standards, was heavily compressed forwith a DR of 8, the same as their contemporary albums TGWOTR and Mythmaker and lower than the remaster of Rabies. However, their modern albums are pretty dynamic for industrial music, although that's mostly because industrial music as a whole has gotten so much less dynamic in the intervening two decades.
While Jazz wasn't too much affected by the Loudness War as a whole, there are a few notable victims, particularly the remaster of On the Corner by Miles Davis : it's not really brickwalled, but it's still very compressed for a jazz well, jazz-rock album, and the loudest parts are badly clipped. Fucking hell. Modern death metal has a serious problem with this in general, but Hour of Penance's releases have been ridiculous even by those standards. While all of their Unique Leader releases have had major issues with this, Sedition takes this to truly extraordinary levels.
The loudest track is at This is not unique to HoP, either; the album's producer, Stefano Morabito, does this shit all the time and is arguably even worse than Jason Suecof or Erik Rutan, two other very major offenders in the death metal loudness wars. Ozzy Osbourne 's album Ordinary Man clocks in at a pitiful DR3, with all the clipping and compression you'd expect from a value that low.
Metallica 's album Death Magnetic is so distorted and clipped that even mastering engineer Ted Jensen note A man who has has brickwalled his fair share of albums in the past has criticized it, adding that he couldn't do anything since the preliminary mixes came in already "brick-walled". Interestingly, the version made for Guitar Hero 3 was based on a "rough mix" that features far more range, and those tracks have been subsequently ripped and distributed via peer-to-peer services.
To sum up: Metallica, the anti-Napster poster boys, now have an album that can only be truly appreciated via piracy, and a video game featuring a guitar with 5 buttons on the fret-board is the best way to enjoy an album The Guitar Hero 3 version is definitely the only way to go. The album was remastered inand it's a substantial improvement.
The new score is DR7, which isn't greatbut is a hell of a lot better than the original's DR3, and more importantly, it is nowhere near as badly clipped as the original it's still slightly clipped, but honestly, unless you're listening on studio monitors, it isn't even noticeable. This is probably how the album was intended to sound in the first place. Unlike Death Magneticit has yet to be remastered though hopefully, it will be soon.
Considering it was produced by Rick Rubin, it's probably not too surprising that Black Sabbath was a casualty of this trope with their reunion album This is especially disappointing given how meticulously produced Soundgarden and Rage's material had been the posthumously released Renegadesmentioned further below, is an exception, which shouldn't be surprising since it was also produced by Rubin.
Hypnotize was definitely the worst of them; the guitar solo during "Lonely Day" has very noticeable clipping, even on poor speakers. Rick Rubin of Death Magnetic infamy would seem to be a likely culprit until one notes that he produced all of their albums starting to notice a pattern with Rubin productions here? Maybe he just stopped caring around or so. Given the nature of the band's musicit does kind of Come With the Territory.
Steal This Album! Slipknot 's Vol. Not only is it pushed to the limit of modern-day loudness, it doesn't even peak. And I'm not just talking about below-zero flat-lining or extreme soft-clipping here either.
I'm talking about rampant straight diagonal lines, suggesting that the mix was even worse than usual in the maxed-out clipping department, and the mastering engineer had to turn it down post-processing, just to meet today's ridiculous standards. And guess who was behind the production helm? That's right, Rick friggin' Rubin. Anything after Demanufacturereally and even that album could get rather clippy at points.
Case in point: "Shock" starts up with a blast of distortion that clearly should not be there. Their first album, Soul of a New Machineis an aversion, scoring an average DR10 despite a production which would sound really dated nowadays. Edguys album Tinnitus Sanctus gets this one badly. Iron Maiden seems to be suffering from this the video's author is shocked to see how balanced is the mastering of their recent song "Different World"!
This happened to the and reissues of Powerslavetoo. It sounds rather muffled, and the vocals are now too loud compared to the drums. Ditto for most of their other reissues, eg The Number of the Beast. Frankly, both albums are among the best-sounding of Iron Maiden's career. Mystery elucidated: A Matter of Life and Death producer Kevin Shirley mentioned in a message Dawn - IV Noise - We Wait For The Sun (File post that Steve Harris specifically decided not to master the album to keep the "live" sound.
The vinyl masters are also clipped, though they come out having more dynamic range due to the nature of the format. The most dynamic master is the version available on iTunes, which is DR9 and slightly less clipped. Judas Priest 's remasters are also pretty bad. And with the newer special editions, it goes From Bad to Worse.
Lacuna Coil 's Karmacode. It's a particularly egregious offender given that their earlier albums were characterized by dynamics that you could practically breathe in. Rage Against the Machine 's final album Renegades suffers from this, most likely due to the fact that A the band had already split up, B it's a collection of covers that aren't all from the same recording session, and C Rick Rubin "produced" it. Interestingly, the track "The Ghost of Tom Joad" appears here in only slightly altered form from its previous release on a Brendan O'Brien-produced single, and the difference is quite evident when it's played directly opposite audio sludge like "How I Could Just Kill a Man".
The trope had started to creep in somewhat to their previous album The Battle of Los Angeles as well, and to an even lesser extent to Evil Empirebut neither of them is anywhere near as bad. Dismember 's "Pieces" EP has an album gain sitting at This was released in Bleeding Through's Declaration is so badly compressed that the kick drums drown out everything else whenever they're played. Which happens a lot. It can be a painful listen, even though the production isn't that bad, other than the godawful compression.
The strangest thing about all this? The producer wasn't some unknown, it was done by Devin Townsend of all people. Have a listen. Ignoring the kick drowning things out for a moment, there's also some serious unintended distortion going on at places. In addition to the above example, Beneath The Grey's first verse opens with a lovely blast of noise. DragonForce are loudness war criminals overall, but Sonic Firestormparticularly the reissue, is brickwalled to the point of being unlistenable. The vinyl release of Ultra Beatdown seems to be mastered a little more responsibly, however.
If we're talking original releases, Valley of the Damned was significantly more guilty of this, with the following two being surprisingly reasonable in this regard, especially compared to their genre peers. In fact, Sonic Firestorm is probably one of the best-produced and best-mastered songs of the decade. That said, Inhuman Rampage is easily the worst-sounding of the three for completely different reasons fatigue-inducing overproduction and searingly harsh upper-midrange dominant EQ, just to name a couple.
Blackguard's major-label debut, Profugus Mortiswas pretty badly compressed to nobody's surprise in particular. But the follow-up, Firefighthas extremely conspicuous compression and clipping.
The parts that clip are in red. The drums are mixed loudand they'll clip even during the passages with clean guitars. Turn on the distortion, and you get a sea of red. Bad mastering must be a trend in djent then again, a lot of djent is self-producedbecause Periphery 's self-titled debut long-play record has the same and extremely audible clipping issues.
The flat parts are clipping. What the hell, Bulb? Surprisingly, their album Anthems of Rebellion averted this trope somewhat, a daring move for the time let alone now. Alice in Chains ' post-reunion albums have been hit hard by the loudness war. Somewhat justified in Black Gives Way To Blue 's case, in that the album was also released in vinyl format, which requires the maximum volume level just to be half as loud as the CD. Unfortunately, the vinyl is also pretty clipped.
If it's any indication, the Loudness War was already affecting them as early as when Dirt was released: it's still nowhere near as bad as the examples in this page, but it's heavily compressed by Album). Black Metal band The Axis of Perdition 's early releases were horribly clipped.
According to Audition, Fortunately, this tendency of theirs has abated with each subsequent release, to the point where their most recent releases Urfe and Tenements of the Anointed Flesh are aversions of this trope - both of these are mixed extremely quietly for black metal albums although there are also extended ambient passages on these recordingscoming in at around DR According to the band, the clipping on their early albums was apparently because they didn't know much about mastering at the time, though it is particularly strange that their second full-length album has clipping at odd amplitudes like -6 dB, depending on the track.
Ildjarn made extreme compression an essential element of his style, except in his ambient works. Averted with side project Sort Vokter, whose sole album comes in at DR Certain Type O Negative albums, such as October Rustare similar to Throwing Copper and The Downward Spiral in this regard; they have decent dynamic range, but the louder peaks are clipped.
Mastodon 's The Hunter is brickwalled to the point of being headache-inducing on low mid- to high-end speakers; even the LP suffers from this. All Album) Mastodon's work, really, although it got a lot worse when they moved to a major label; the stuff before that was just brickwalled, but starting with Blood Mountain they were also clipped sadly, their last release on Relapse, Call of the Mastodonalso got hit heavily with clipping.
Progressive Black Metal band Enslaved have this problem on nearly every CD they've released, with most of them being audibly clipped, although there are still dynamics on some tracks on most of the recent ones.
The recent vinyl releases of Riitiir and In Times avert this, being separately and sensibly mastered. Many of their older albums still have clipped LP masters, unfortunately, as there are several passages with obvious clipping on albums like Isa and Vertebrae although these versions still frequently have dramatically higher dynamic range scores than the CD versions - we're talking a five- or six-decibel difference here. Most of the albums from Alaska onwards still have some passages with dynamics, but when they get loud, boy do they get loud.
Atheist 's Jupiter. While the band's s and s stuff are mastered at reasonable levels, Jupiter is egregiously loud; while Jason Suecof, who produced it, is notorious for this in general, this is a special case. Word on the street was that he was going for a "raw" production, but his idea of a "raw" production involved horribly inconsistent instrument levels that varied from song to song, leading to such wonderful things as the rhythm guitar track almost completely drowning out the lead.
To add insult to injury, the bass, one of the chief elements of Atheist's sound, was almost completely inaudible. Oh, and the whole thing was brickwalled to Death Magnetic levels.
Jupiter as a whole was fairly divisive, but one thing that everyone agreed on was that the production was inexcusably awful. It would probably be simpler to list the Death Metal and Grindcore releases from the last ten to twenty years that aren't plagued by this trope than the ones that are.
They're almost all brickwalled, and unfortunately, they're also almost all clipped. Vital Remains ' album Dechristianize is unsurprisingly quite loud given that it's a 21st-century Death Metal album, and because of that a bit of clipping would go generally unnoticed underneath all the noise. Unfortunately, not only is it tracked at a ridiculous level The guitars themselves are compressed to hell and back even distorted guitars have some dynamics, but these have all of them stripped away and, when they are playing by themselves, peak as if the rest of the band were playing, who ducks the guitars when they begin playing, who are then ducked and unducked whenever Glen Benton gets on and off the mic.
The overall volume almost never changes; any time an instrument stops playing, the other instruments are turned back up to compensate and vice versa. It literally sounds like you are listening to a commercial radio station and Glen Benton is the announcer. The whole album is an exhausting, noise-ridden, pumping and breathing experience, and [insert God replacement here] help you if you can make it through all 60 minutes. While Immolation is already mentioned above as a "repeat offender" of the Death Metal loudness wars, 's Kingdom of Conspiracy deserves its own entry.
Practically the whole album is pegged at a Death Magnetic -esque DR3 one track logs a hardly more acceptable DR4pretty much everything in the mid or high frequencies is blatantly clipped, especially the cymbals and the guitars are so badly compressed as to render many of the riffs indistinguishable from one another, while being mixed so loud as to drown out the bass altogether. Oh yeah, and it ducks and unducks in a fashion similar to Vital Remains' Dechristianize.
If there was any doubt about producer Paul Orofino's note Orofino's worked on all the band's releases since 's Failures for Gods ; not coincidentally, that album started their reign of loudness, coming in at DR6, while its predecessor Here in After came in at DR10 place at the bleeding, ear-splitting edge of the loudness wars before this, it's been put to rest now.
Mastering-wise, it wasn't disastrous we are talking some pretty intense, thrashy Progressive Metalcore here but still pretty over-the-top However, when the band signed to Solid State Recordsthey decided to give it an extra "push" for the CD release. At Sadly, their full-length follow-up Captors has done little to remedy this, although that's nowhere near the biggest problem with that album. All of Dir en grey 's output fits this trope Some tracks come in at DR0.
Others still have a fair amount of dynamic range left, but they're still clipped. His '90s stuff is mastered reasonably but ever since he got out of prison he's been brickwalling all of his metal albums to death, even Fallenwhich he claimed was going to be mastered "as if it was classical music" it's actually more clipped than the album that preceded it.
Most tracks are DR4 and clipping is very audible throughout. In an interesting turn of events, the album's mastering engineer Zack Ohren joined in a discussion following a review of the album that was very critical of the production and even linked to an audio track combining volume matched samples from an alternate quieter master and the release master for comparison. Judging by documented conversations that fans have had with the band, they've acknowledged their role in it as well and admitted to wanting a bombastic, "larger-than-life" production, but realized that they went way too Dawn - IV Noise - We Wait For The Sun (File in that direction.
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