The CD is deliberately distorted. This was the choice of the band .. go figure that one but presumably they were eating the same magic mushrooms when they decided to use a dustbin lid for a snare drum on St Anger. That said I like the CD but the distortion is going to take a hell of a lot of getting used to for an audiophile like me and it sounds pretty bad in earphones. I guess the theory is that one cranks it up on the stereo and the fake distortion is there to maximise the effect. What's ironic is the DJ/radio stations pre releases were special EQ massaged versions that allegedly toned down the distortion for live play. A contradiction right there however I like the CD. It rocks. Lots of riffage and double bass drums, solos, time changes etc.
I've posted this elsewhere but it does bare repeating...
>>Worth noting that the Guitar Hero III version of Death Magnetic is available from er... certain... ah... unauthorised sites and it sounds, to be blunt, freaking awesome. Astonishingly better than the CD, vinyl, mp3 and ltd. edition releases.
So buy Metallica's best CD in years and then avail yourself of a download of the GHIII version.
I too love the songs on this CD but I dare say i'll never play it again. There is no musicality to the sound. It can't breathe. Listen to The Black album and the dynamic range is brilliant. You can turn that one up and really hear everything in the mix. This new one is just a saturated wall of sound. The guy who mixed this should be ashamed - why hide the performances behind a wall of distortion. No talent. The louder you turn this up the worse it sounds. If Metallica think this is what music should sound like they should retire. I, for one, will never buy another Metallica disc ever. And i'm also limiting the amount of new releases I buy because the majority sound rubbish. CDs made in the mid to late 80s can blow modern recordings away quality-wise. With modern technology that ain't right. No wonder people are not buying CDs.
Metallica have always been panned for the production on thier better albums, however I love the production on And Justice... Master of Puppets, although try as I might I can't get over the snare sound on St Anger. This maybe what sets Metallica out from the rest?? The songs on Death Magnetic are awesome and in 10 years time I think they'll hold up, because they never sound like anyone else! Long may they continue...
Anyone who thinks the distorted sound on the cd was purposefully done just has to listen to either the Guitar Hero version or a vinyl copy - no distortion on either of them.
It was a balls up in the mastering process and, because to admit to this would cause HUGE problems for the band/label, they've decided to front it out and pretend they meant it to sound this way.
But where is the distortion on the other versions available? I really like the album, but cannot listen to the cd version. And because I bought the cd I figure it's fine for me to download a copy of the GH mix ;)
NOISE NOISE NOISE.....................such a pity.
The sound in the cd is appalling. I don't care how the band say they wanted it to sound, I just can't beleive a group of professionals went for such terrible distortion. The distortion completely ruins the listening experience. You need to turn it down to try to listen to it, as soon as you turn up the volume any bit you get this terrible noise coming through, the cd is just so NOISY!!!!!!. Great album really really terrible sound!!!
I strongly recommend that anyone who's interested enough in the album for them to have bothered to post here (or even just read these posts) try to track down a "fixed" version of the album sourced from Guitar Hero.
Since the album was released, I've tried to give it a fair go. I even thought I could sort of see the point in the way the album sounds on CD, even if does annoy me and give me a headache. But once you've heard the tracks with a more conventional (i.e. good!) sound, you'll want to throw the retailed CD version away. "Fixed", the album sounds fantastic!
That's the sadness of the whole thing: I didn't really care how "St Anger" sounded because I thought it was a really poor album in terms of composition and performance, whereas "Death Magnetic" has excellent songs and excellent performances ... it was just painful to listen to (literally).
"Death Magnetic" CAN sound like the excellent album it could have been - in fact, is. Do yourself a favour and find a way to listen to it the way it can sound, and you'll like it ten times as much as you do already.