Wall St. Journal article

Anyone see the WSJ Thursday 9/25 about Metallica's latest cd "Death Magnetic" and how it was mastered for ipod's and was the loudest recording ever? The band wanted it to sound loud through earbuds. The mastering engineer was embarrassed to be associated with the project because we all know that by compressing levels at the mastering stage, the dynamics are completely lost. No subtle cymbals, no strumming guitars. No surprising nuances for audiophiles.Now I realize that Metallica is not exactly marketing to the audiophile set. However, Springsteen's latest cd "Magic" used the same strategy and I thought it sounded like crap.The recordings are designed for low end reproduction and not bringing out the best performance by the artist. If I want a wall of sound, I will crank up my maggies. Comments?
Well not all artist, and their producers go that route. I know Johnny Sandlin when he was having Bonnie Bramletts "Beautiful" CD mastered fought to make sure that CD was mastered well, and mot let the mastering engineers compress the hell out of it, and basically ruin the recording. Glad to see that there are some producers/engineers that still care how their artist recordings sound, and are not bending over backwards to apppease the Ipod and MP3 crowd.
I have the new Metallica CD.

I think it is a better recording than St. Anger both sonically and content wise. It is definitely not an audiophile recording, but it does sound pretty good in the car and through my Grado SR60 headphones. I'm in the process of changing speakers and did not listen to this disc on the home system yet. Yes, there are no subtle cymbals, no surprising nuances for audiophiles. The drums occasionally sound like tin cans. But it is enjoyable for what it is and definitely a "listenable" recording.

Maxnewid, do you have the disc at home? Have you heard it?
Can't blame them for marketing their product to the masses. My dad always says " I dunno why they quit making the big wood console tv's " and I keep telling him his 1 tv purchase every 10 or 20 years is not going to keep them in biz.
In an email even the recording engineer says "it's something I'm not proud of." He had to backpeddle after it was posted to a forum but still said his sentiment is the same and that he could have said it better. If you take one look at the waveform on the new album you can tell it's going to sound bad. In the WSJ, they compare the waveform of the new album compared with one of their older tunes, Black I believe. The difference is amazing. St. Auger sounded terrible - that snare drum and compression - oh. So bad. Metallic haven't released anything that sounded decent since And Justice for All. I'm embarassed for them - one of quite a few once great bands when they feel they have resort to DSP to make their stuff sound ok. p.s. did you see the documentary on them - "Making a Monster" something like that? They're a pathetic bunch not to mention Dave Mustaine's whining was as painful as it gets for a "heavy" metaller.
Perhaps if more artists and record producers, engineers, ect were involved with the "Turn It Up" organization then perhaps the industry could come up with some standards that would allow recordings to have more more dynamic range to them. I also wouldn't mind if quality recording would get a "Turn It Up' certification. Anyway, here's a link for Turn It Up and what they're all about.

I have it but haven't listened to it yet.....will come back with a report
I appreciate the comments. The www.turnmeup.org site is a great idea and resource Cleaneduphippy. The links listed were very interesting, particularly the Rolling Stone article from last year. This problem is significantly larger than I was aware. To the other responders, I was not questioning the quality of the new Metallica album as much as the recording technique. The compressed music is probably great for your convertible or in a bar, but not in the comfort of my home. The new software programs that can correct pitch and rhythm sometimes make recordings sound too homogenous. Keith Moon and John Bonham's distinctive styles were part of the successful formula for Zeppelin and the Who-- mistakes and all. Wouldn't it be great if Lars could have crescendos in a song and build to a climactic ending like they used to.

I wish I could hear the disc at home but I do not have speakers at the moment.

I was listening to this on my iPod at work today through my Grado SR60 headphones. it sounded OK for the most part, but since this post, I started paying attention to the sonics of this disc. Anyway, on "Judas Kiss", I noticed the bass was very distorted, kick drums were too. It almost was too loud that I had to turn it down. I looked at the EQ setting on the iPod and confirmed it was set to "off". I couldn't believe it! I listened again and same thing. I guess I did not notice this before when listening to it in the car. Through the Grados though, it was apparent. Not on all songs but on some of them you do hear this distortion. it almost sounds like the iPod was overdriving the 'phones. but it is not. I know it for a fact.

I have been a Metallica fan for more than 20 years now. They never produced an "audiophile" recording. And that is OK. They do not cater to this crowd. St. Anger really was a mess music and sound wise. This album is better.

The only Metallica song that sounded real good tghrough my system and the one that actually had some audiophile attributes(sound stage, imaging, detail) was the "Outlaw Thorn" from the "Load" cd. I really can't name any other Metallica song that would qualify for a high-end system playback. I still enjoy Metallica for what it is. but mostly in the car or through the iPod.
Listen to the last 30 seconds of "The day that never comes". I think it's great music, one of their best, but quality is just so bad. There is a version floating around the internet, taken from the Guitar Hero video game that sounds way better than the cd.
I listened today and whilst I took a while to adjust (I've not been listening to my main system very much)and it is compressed.Also as stated above Magic by Springsteen is the same, there is no real dynamics and everything is very central.
The contrast when I put on the last Ryan Adam's CD was very clear.In comparison there is very clear seperation and space with a much wider soundstage.
Needless to say neither Springsteen nor Metallica are very relaxing to listen to.
Shame as the music on the new Metallica sounds promising and Magic is a good record
Finally heard a song off the new Metallica album today. In a word the production was TERRIBLE. As I listened I instantly knew exactly what people were referring to when they said it was too loud. If the volume was up enough to get it to the appropriate level, it was annoying. Turn it down and it just kind of faded away. Painful.

I noticed the drums had the same problem as on their St Anger album. That snare drum with the constant beat. Just annoying. I was sitting there asking myself how the drummer Lars could be such a crap drummer. After all he's the drummer for *Metallica*. Go figure.

The bass was barely audible and the guitar was part and parcel of that annoying over loudness. Shame was it sounded like it could be a good song much like their old stuff especially the guitar; the old songwriting was back. But unlistenable. I can see why people are complaining about this boosted up turkey.