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darkeningday
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 1:20 pm
Posts: 1826
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:48 pm 
 

In honor of the stunning new remaster of Nespithe by Svart Records (released in the '20th Adversary of Emptiness' boxed set), I thought I would ask what everyone's favorite/least favorite metal remasters have been throughout the ages. What do you think constitutes a good remaster? What creates a bad one?

Outside of Nespithe, I think my favorite remaster has been the 2009 re-release of Dark Tranquillity's Damage Done. The mix on that album was always inexplicably muddy (despite the fact it was recorded in Studio Fredman and mastered by the same fellow who mastered their crystalline-sounding 'Projector'), and the remaster cleared that up entirely; it's almost like listening to the album completely anew.

I think my least favorite remaster was Nuclear Blast's 1996 "remaster" of Like an Ever Flowing Stream; they compressed the sound and turned down the volume, making it sound noticeably worse. What a waste. At least the bonus tracks are nice?
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Subrick
Metal freak

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:27 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:01 pm 
 

Favorite: Human by Death. The feel and tone of the original master was kept while fixing the problems with it, namely the lack of bass. The bass on the remaster is actually audible, and it's absolutely for the better.

I'll also add the remaster of As the Palaces Burn by Lamb of God. I could never listen to the album versions of those songs because of the super muffled, overly loud mix. The remaster is still really loud, but not as much as the original, and the muddiness has been cleared up. It's nice to hear those songs and not get a headache anymore.

Worst: ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING MEGADETH. Dear fuck, the Megadeth remasters are horrible. They took decidedly not digital sounding albums and forced them to sound incredibly digital, thus they have been turned into unlistenable messes. What's worse is that the original versions of those albums aren't in print anymore, forever replaced by the awful remasters. The originals were absolutely perfect they way they were. There was no need to remaster them.
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darkeningday
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Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 1:20 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:14 pm 
 

Oh, I'd completely forgotten/blocked out/systemically erased from memory those Megadeth remasters. Now that I think of it, the 2001 remasters of Judas Priest may have faired even worse. Compressed, brickwalled and absolutely dogshit sounding.
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CCSaint10
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 10:39 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:26 pm 
 

One of my top favorites is the NHR reissue of Overthrow's "Within Suffering." Everything wrong with the original release was cleaned up, and the volume was left completely alone, and that was absolutely the right thing to do. As a result, it sounds awesome. Any of the gold disc remasters from Audio Fidelity, for example Hell Bent for Leather, are also really well-done, if not too different from the originals to begin with. The remaster of "Interstellar Experience" included with the Assassin compilation from a few years ago is also pretty good - a bit on the loud side, but the murkiness of the album is much removed, and I thought that was pretty nice. Though I don't own any of them, I'm hearing a lot of good things about Earache's Full Dynamic Range remasters. That's the way it's supposed to be done!

As far as bad one go, pretty much ANY remaster that uses too much compression and limiting is on my shit list. The very worst though would include stuff like Metal Mind's version of World Circus, the stealthy (bastards!) 2007 remasters of Slayer's 1986-1990 albums, the 1998 version of Somewhere in Time, and what is probably the objectively worst remaster job of all time, the 1997 version of "Raw Power" by The Stooges. My GOD.

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Flugeldufel
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 4:41 pm
Posts: 213
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:34 pm 
 

I generally hate all remasters because originals always sound like they should have, and remasters always sound worse. The one exception is Sin After Sin. Still overly loud, but quite an improvement over the very flat original. It brings it to life in a great way. All the rest of the Priest remasters sound like ass balls. That said, the performances of the SaS songs on Priest in the East leave nothing wanting. Just awesome.

As has been said, FUCK THE MEGADETH REMASTERS. There was nothing wrong with the originals in any way. A few years ago I was in a record shop and one of the songs from Rust in Peace starts playing. I was digging it and nodded at the clerk. Then it all started going south in a hurry. The vocals were all wrong and the guitars started doing shit I didn't remember. I asked, what the fuck is this? And he showed me it was the "new and improved" RiP CD. I've since heard the rest, and I've never heard any collection of music go from that good to that bad.

All told, originals are always better. You don't even need the Sin After Sin reissue, but it's a cool curiosity. Money is the only reason companies do this.

However, I will admit that I'd like a reissue of Metal from Hell that dosen't sound like shit. To this day I don't know if my bootleg CD is just recorded from a 5th generation tape, or how the real album sounded. I don't have the original LP so I can't say.

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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:48 pm 
 

I remember showing a friend (the original) Peace Sells when I was 16 and he went out and bought it. Said he was liking it but something felt off, so I heard it and he had the 2004 remaster. I got a copy from the city library (yeah, back when I still used the library for albums) and showed him how the original sounded and it blew him away. I distinctively remember him chucking his remastered edition off the top of a parking garage at the community college. It wasn't even about the money being wasted to him. He felt like Mustaine robbed him of quality musically.
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Woolie_Wool
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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 6:56 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:04 pm 
 

CCSaint10 wrote:
As far as bad one go, pretty much ANY remaster that uses too much compression and limiting is on my shit list. The very worst though would include stuff like Metal Mind's version of World Circus, the stealthy (bastards!) 2007 remasters of Slayer's 1986-1990 albums, the 1998 version of Somewhere in Time, and what is probably the objectively worst remaster job of all time, the 1997 version of "Raw Power" by The Stooges. My GOD.

All of Metal Mind's remasters are godawful. Their remaster of Unstoppable Force has a guitar tone that sounds like a car driving down a gravel road.
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Zodijackyl
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Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:10 pm 
 

While it's a remix, not just a remaster, Nevermore's "Enemies of Reality" deserves a mention where some big-name hack butchered the original version and Andy Sneap's version sounded much better.

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SkullFracturingNightmare
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Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:20 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:30 pm 
 

I'd probably hate Metal Mind's remasters and the Megadeth remix/remasters a lot less if the originals of the albums they do were more easily attainable, so at least I'd have a choice and not be stuck with the remasters.

I've managed to snag all of Megadeth's original albums, but I have no choice but to deal with Metal Mind's stuff since most of the albums they remaster are either difficult to find in general, or difficult to find for a reasonable price.
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Smoking_Gnu
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:39 pm 
 

I'm rather fond of Blind Gurdian's remastered Battalions of Fear through Nightfall in Middle Earth (the 2007 remasters, not the 2012 ones.) Unmuddies the production without becoming overloud, though the cymbals in the remastered Imaginations are a bit too bright. I've always hoped the remasters bough more attention to Tales From the Twilight World, which kind of seems to have lived under Somewhere Far Beyond's shadow.
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Mysticaloldbard
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Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:10 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:26 pm 
 

Smoking_Gnu wrote:
I'm rather fond of Blind Gurdian's remastered Battalions of Fear through Nightfall in Middle Earth (the 2007 remasters, not the 2012 ones.) Unmuddies the production without becoming overloud, though the cymbals in the remastered Imaginations are a bit too bright. I've always hoped the remasters bough more attention to Tales From the Twilight World, which kind of seems to have lived under Somewhere Far Beyond's shadow.

I don't have the original Tales from the Twilight World, but the remaster I have is incredibly loud. It's very bass-y and even grating in comparison to the rest of my Blind Guardian CDs, none of which are remasters. Judging from the decent production on Battalions of Fear and Follow the Blind, I'd assume the original Tales... isn't all that bad, so I'll have to track down a copy. I'd also like to compare my copies of the first two albums to their remasters.
Woolie_Wool wrote:
All of Metal Mind's remasters are godawful. Their remaster of Unstoppable Force has a guitar tone that sounds like a car driving down a gravel road.

I don't know too much about Metal Mind's remasters, but they released remasters of the last three Bal-Sagoth albums, which sound excellent.
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SoundsofDecay
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 7:58 am
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:53 pm 
 

Mustaine should be fucking lynched for ruining the Megadeth classics

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Temple Of Blood
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 8:16 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:56 pm 
 

The remix/remaster/whatever of MEGADETH's "Killing is my Business" is my favorite. You can hear all the intricacies a lot better now.
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Axestorm
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:43 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:26 pm 
 

With Rust in Peace in particular, not only does it sound incredibly unnatural, but didn't they lose certain vocal and guitar tracks so they rerecorded some vocals or used inferior takes or something? That's messed up and it sounds ridiculous.

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Subrick
Metal freak

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:27 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:28 pm 
 

I'd say let's hope Mustaine doesn't start riding the "Re-record a classic album in shitty modern quality" train, but he's so fucking insane that he may actually decide that's a good idea.
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scruffziller
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:30 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:31 pm 
 

Has anyone purchased Bolt Thrower's Warmaster Full Dynamic Range version yet? If so, how does it sound compared to the original or even other re-releases?

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scruffziller
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:30 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:40 pm 
 

SoundsofDecay wrote:
Mustaine should be fucking lynched for ruining the Megadeth classics


Mustaine should be lynched period...for being a whiny bastard. :headbang:

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scruffziller
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:30 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:49 pm 
 

Flugeldufel wrote:

However, I will admit that I'd like a reissue of Metal from Hell that dosen't sound like shit. To this day I don't know if my bootleg CD is just recorded from a 5th generation tape, or how the real album sounded. I don't have the original LP so I can't say.


I agree...NO re-release should sound like crap. If the album needs remastering to sound better...do it..or leave it alone. I say this especially since some bands that have been on a loooooong hiatus/break-up coming back together like Protector, Cancer etc. I want GOOD re-leases so I don't have to hunt down and get an original that will run me between $50-$100. I am lucky to have A Shedding of Skin($40) and Death Shall Rise ($50).

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MrMcThrasher II
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2012 6:01 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:37 pm 
 

Axestorm wrote:
With Rust in Peace in particular, not only does it sound incredibly unnatural, but didn't they lose certain vocal and guitar tracks so they rerecorded some vocals or used inferior takes or something? That's messed up and it sounds ridiculous.

I'm not big on the production in the first place, but the remaster certainly didn't help.
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g_k
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Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 1:35 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:30 pm 
 

i think world without god was awesome before the remaster, but it certainly cleaned up a lot of the shit in the background.
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Wilytank
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:52 am 
 

The remastered version of Celtic Frost's To Mega Therion is excellent. The instruments sound a lot more crisp especially the drums
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ancientorder
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Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:38 am
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:31 am 
 

In general I'm not into remasters or any kind of sound enhancements. Or new cover arts. In my opinion the albums should reflect on the vision that was present at the time of making, not what the band or producers could have 20 years later.

Couple favourite ones...

Godflesh - Streetcleaner
- Original CD sounds thin and doesn't do the justice for the amazing songs. Remaster has now the punch and power, almost like the first self-titled EP or the Peel Session tracks.

Slayer - Reign in Blood
- Not sure how much remastering has actually been done with this one, but the remaster sounds clearer and there's a lot more power in the sound.


g_k wrote:
i think world without god was awesome before the remaster, but it certainly cleaned up a lot of the shit in the background.


World Without God reissue is actually sourced from the original Thrash Records vinyl. Original master tapes are apparently gone for good.

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J_Ason
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Joined: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:46 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:51 pm 
 

The shitty, plastic 2008-or-so remaster of Death - Human is, well, shitty and plastic. It sounds like it was made by Disney or something. The especially shitty thing is that I didn't even know it was a remaster until after a period of intense listening to the album when I first heard it. I think I first found out that a remaster existed on either MA or wikipedia (this was before the 2011 remaster, by the way), so it's strange that there's no information available about it on either of those.

Another terrible reissue is the one of Dimmu Borgir - For all tid, which I think is on all issues beyond the first one on No Colours. First of all, who in the goddamn motherfuck came up with the idea to add that bleepy-bloopy noise at the beginning of the first track? It completely fucks the atmosphere to dust before it's even begun, which sucks because the album, and especially that track, is ALL ATMOSPHERE. But don't worry, you're not missing out on anything, because they took away the atmosphere on the rest of the tracks too. The whole thing sounds so damn clean and clear, like they scrubbed it with steel wool. Just listen to the first couple seconds of the second track, vomit, and compare it to the original. It's fucking sterile as shit. Another Disney remaster. They also castrated the bass, which sucks because the bass is actually important on this record.

Dishonourable mention to the remasters of Darkthrone's unholy trinity, just for the absolutely ridiculous idea to touch those records in any way, shape or form. From what I've read they're just slightly digitally compressed and you can't even hear the difference, but I refuse to buy them on principle until I have the time to hunt down some copies from earlier than 2003.

One of the few remasters I know that's actually worth a shit is of Dark Tranquillity's Skydancer, released digitally last August. They said they were gonna release it physically "soon" after, but it seems like whatever label they're working with is busy finding every last dick in the universe to suck because every status update on it has been the same reassuring "soon" bullshit. Anyway, the original master sounded pretty dry, so the new version is a much needed facelift. The bass is also more powerful, which is sweet because it has a role beyond merely following the guitars.

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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:59 pm 
 

The remaster of Lykathea Aflame's Elvenefris is pretty bad. It sounds like a parody, the way it falls victim to everything cited in complaints about the "loudness wars" - the guitars are totally blown out and super-loud; the vocals are buried and got a lot of low end stripped; and the drums are, for whatever reason, made even more awkward and clankier. The cleaner parts of the album feel totally neutered and sterile, rather than airy and gleaming like they used to. Compare the original to the remaster and you'll hear just how cheapened the latter feels.
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J_Ason
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:16 pm 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
The remaster of Lykathea Aflame's Elvenefris is pretty bad. It sounds like a parody, the way it falls victim to everything cited in complaints about the "loudness wars" - the guitars are totally blown out and super-loud; the vocals are buried and got a lot of low end stripped; and the drums are, for whatever reason, made even awkward and clankier. The cleaner parts of the album feel totally neutered and sterile, rather than airy and gleaming like they used to. Compare the original to the remaster and you'll hear just how cheapened the latter feels.

Upon a cursory listen, the remaster sounds to me more like a muddy, dry, low budget original master, like Disincarnate's Dreams of a Carrion Kind or Dark Tranquillity's Skydancer, or to some extent Death's Human, in comparison to their respective remasters (the 2011 one for Human).

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InnesI
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Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:28 pm 
 

I am a huge Megadeth fan so when they decided to remaster and remix the old albums I bought them all just for a complete collection. I am not as down on them as others are even though I prefer the originals in almost all cases. The album that suffered the most, I felt, was Youthanasia. However I actually found the remix/remaster of Countdown to Extinction to be a huge improvement. I never liked the somewhat thin sound of the original and the new version actually made me appreciate the songs a lot more than I did with the original.

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Johnny82
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:15 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:14 pm 
 

SoundsofDecay wrote:
Mustaine should be fucking lynched for ruining the Megadeth classics


I agree. I remember being shocked when I bought the "Remixed & Remastered" issue of Rust In Peace (my favorite in the band's discography). I don't know what the hell he was thinking! I don't get it. What was he trying to accomplish with this sound? Is it for the young/new listeners or something?

I'm seriously afraid to hear any of the others.

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Smoking_Gnu
Chicago Favorite

Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:22 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:45 pm 
 

Mysticaloldbard wrote:
I don't know too much about Metal Mind's remasters, but they released remasters of the last three Bal-Sagoth albums, which sound excellent.


I've been meaning to check those out - how do they sound? IMO the only one that really needs it is The Power Cosmic, which was pretty overproduced and bass-less. And I suppose the growls in Atlantis Ascendant could be louder, but the airy production on the rest of the instrument's suited the album's atmosphere pretty well.
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SoundsofDecay
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 7:58 am
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2014 6:16 pm 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
The remaster of Lykathea Aflame's Elvenefris is pretty bad. It sounds like a parody, the way it falls victim to everything cited in complaints about the "loudness wars" - the guitars are totally blown out and super-loud; the vocals are buried and got a lot of low end stripped; and the drums are, for whatever reason, made even more awkward and clankier. The cleaner parts of the album feel totally neutered and sterile, rather than airy and gleaming like they used to. Compare the original to the remaster and you'll hear just how cheapened the latter feels.

That's quite a noticeable different actually...strangely I am only familiar with the remaster, as for my sins I only became properly aware of this blindingly good record when it was reissued.

Someone's mentioned the Human remaster. That one was brilliant. I did always really like the muddy sound of the original but the wider sound and most importantly AUDIBLE BASS makes it absolutely worth getting. Sadly they completely ruined Thought Patterns, probably my favourite Death album. From what I remember they took all the reverb off the drums and lead guitars and made the wacky and amazing bass playing bassier, yes, but less pronounced sounding....why the fuck would you do that?!?! It was cool to include a complete live performance from the 93 tour though, I'll give them that much.

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Ancient_Mariner
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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 6:20 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:11 pm 
 

Most remasters just seem to make the album sound worse but Nevermore's Enemies of Reality was a good one that helped the music quite a bit. I'm glad I got the Megadeth albums I want in original format. Hopefully I never have to replace them.

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Lord_Jotun
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 5:02 pm
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Location: Italy
PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:27 pm 
 

I'll jump at the chance to point out something that's been bugging me for a while, concerning the digipack remaster of Watain's Casus Luciferi: the record itself sounds fine, but the first track (Devil's Blood) sounds overloud and dangerously close to clipping at times. I noticed something similar on a couple of Helloween remasters (Walls of Jericho and Keeper I, except in that case it occurs on the penultimate track (Metal Invaders - on disc 2, btw - and the alternate version of A Little Time respectively). Did anyone else noticed this or did I score a hat trick of defective copies?
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Turner
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 3:37 am 
 

+1 to the reign in blood mention. the original is great but (and i know this is revisionism) it lacks the punch the remaster gives it, and that punch really highlights the difference between early slayer and RIB-onwards slayer.

i didn't like the nightfall in middle earth remaster (guessing it was the 2008 one?), although this is probably because i bought the original when it came out, have listened to it 1000000x times, worshipped at the BG altar for a few years, etc etc. still, i really don't think that album (or the two before it) needed remastering at all. somewhere far beyond has muddy-ish production, but it's got that atmospheric charm to it. imaginations had good production, so just not needed.

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ancientorder
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Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:38 am
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:19 am 
 

Lord_Jotun wrote:
I'll jump at the chance to point out something that's been bugging me for a while, concerning the digipack remaster of Watain's Casus Luciferi: the record itself sounds fine, but the first track (Devil's Blood) sounds overloud and dangerously close to clipping at times.

Albums like Casus Luciferi have already quite brickwalled mastering in the original. See here: http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/view/41230
Why would anyone want to squeeze the tracks even more with remastering for album with such non-existing dynamics already?

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Lord_Jotun
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Location: Italy
PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:36 am 
 

Unfortunately I couldn't compare it to the original pressing since I don't own the Drakkar version on cd - only on vinyl, which obviously wouldn't make a reliable comparison. I'm still puzzled by the whole "one track sounding worse than the rest" thing.
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Alsandair
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:11 pm 
 

I am a fan of the Blind Guardian remasters which I believe are 2007 (though my cd's are dated 2009) from Century Media. I owned all of the originals and have since swapped them out. NiME benefits especially. TftTW is the runner up, nothing like cranking 'Lost in the Twilight Hall'. :headbang:

I agree the Lykathea Aflame remaster was rather disappointing.

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