Top critical review
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Average album, woeful sound quality
on 19 May 2010
As a long time fan of Billy Talent (I've got all their previous albums including the Pezz - Watoosh album), I was eagerly looking forward to Billy Talent III. Now that I've had it for a bit, I have to say that I'm in two minds about the songs. Some of them such as "Saint Veronika" and "The Dead Can't Testify" are fantastic tracks. Others such as "Sudden Movements" are just way too slow and pedestrian. Overall, I do prefer the musical style of I and II in general to Billy Talent III, but there are some gems on this album.
The biggest problem with this album though is the frankly appalling mastering. It's gob-smacking to think that in 2009, an album can still be released which sounds as terrible as this without a single person listening to it before its release and saying "hang on a minute!". The drums are so woolly and muffled during certain tracks that you'd swear that Aaron had been buried under a pile of cushions when recording his parts. During the heavier parts of Saint Veronika for instance, the drums literally sound like someone in the background hitting a damp pillow with a tent peg they're that empty and muffled.
On top of this, the album suffers very badly from compression pumping as well. Every time the drums are hit, the volume of the cymbals dips alarmingly. During some songs, this is a distraction. During others, it makes the songs almost unlistenable. I honestly cannot listen to the beginning of "Tears Into Wine" for instance due to how horrible and wishy-washy the pumping cymbals sound.
Despite being loud as well, Billy Talent I and Billy Talent II are light years ahead of this album in terms of sound quality. It's possible to master an album to sound fairly loud whilst retaining a reasonable level of sound quality. This album unfortunately fails spectacularly at this.
My advice would be to keep your money in your pocket and wait until this album receives the remastering that it so desperately needs.