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Customer Review

74 of 82 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece slaughtered by the "loudness war", 2 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son (Audio CD)
All Iron Maiden albums from "The Number Of The Beast" to "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son" are absolute classics and timeless masterpieces. I grew up listening to these records, and I know every lyric, every pause, every guitar tone and every tempo change by heart. So, more than sad, I'm really angry to have to say that all the "enhanced" 1998 releases are complete sonic disasters, "loudness war" productions with the audio dynamic range slaughtered by whoever was responsible for doing the remastering. It seems that the idea was to turn all the way up the sound of every single instrument and vocal line with no regard to the equilibrium between them within the music's context. I almost cried in anger when I heard those guitar chords at the start of the song "Moonchild", with the originally carefully distorted tone turned into a mass of just plain annoying, pointless distortion, and all the feeling lost.

Every time I get to write about a dear album destroyed by a "loudness war" remaster, I ask people to go to a search engine like Google and look up the expression (between quotes for an exact match). There are over 47,000 results for it on Google alone. The "loudness war" refers to a trend which started in the late nineties in the music industry to record CD's at increasingly higher volume levels, in an attempt to lure buyers into believing that they were getting a better product because it's a "remaster" and it sounds louder. What happens most of the time is the exact opposite - masterpieces like this album are sonically cannibalized, and often (although not the case here) the audio volume is pushed beyond the limits of the CD format's specitications, which causes parts of the sound to get "clipped" (cut off, lost) because they don't "fit" within the available range. I specially recommend that people at least read an online article called "The Death Of Dynamic Range" and watch to a very popular video available on YouTube called "The Loudness War", both of which explain in an easily understandable way what this thing is all about. Things have reached such an extreme point that you can find people on P2P networks sharing lossless files with digitized versions of the original vinyl recordings of entire discographies of seminal bands like Iron Maiden because the CD's currently available are just unbearable to listen to.

As always, it's hard to tell if the band had any say in these releases, but anyway, they are an unacceptable insult to the band's musical legacy and their fans. If you want to hear Iron Maiden closer to how the original records used to sound, look for the first "non-remastered-nor-enhanced" CD releases of their albums.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Jun 2009 13:39:12 BDT
snooloui says:
Buy the original master then!

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Aug 2010 02:29:42 BDT
better, buy the original vinyl. I always say that... REMASTERED SOUNDS SUCKS!!!

Posted on 19 Mar 2012 23:41:15 GMT
Last edited by the author on 19 Mar 2012 23:41:42 GMT
dj says:
Yes, yes, and yes. Thanks for your review.

Fortunately for me, I still have a copy of what I consider to be IM's last round of SUCCESSFUL remasters - the late 1990s Castle Records releases, complete with bonus discs containing b-sides from the same era. I've got Powerslave, LAD, SiT, and 7th Son in this format, and although "quieter," the dynamics are there. I also own the last round of remasters of these same albums, and I can't take more than 30 seconds of the remasters before bowing down and praising the gods that I still have my rare, now out-of-print Castle Records versions. And if you own the physical product, I always say to myself that I now have the right to go procure an original vinyl rip (in FLAC, of course) of the same album so I can actually ENJOY it.

Keep up the good fight, sir!

Posted on 26 Jun 2013 06:06:37 BDT
Europa says:
Very nice and informative review about an important issue (the loudness war). This is what one can describe as being helpful! Thank you!

Posted on 27 Dec 2014 00:16:53 GMT
iggy patches says:
Buy the original then and stop moaning hell I'm glad they did these re-masters because it means I can frame my original vinyl's and keep them in the condition they are in already

In reply to an earlier post on 27 Dec 2014 04:19:46 GMT
dj says:
Or you could just rip your precious vinyls to lossless FLAC and never have to deal with the CD & downloadable lossy formats ever again, as well as preserve your vinyl records. Two birds with one stone...

Posted on 15 Jun 2015 13:44:12 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Jun 2015 00:57:02 BDT
Justin.B says:
Loudness War ? This Iron Maiden Remaster is not Loud ! Sounds ok
The Iron Maidens Remasters are okay Stop moaning about Loudness War Digitally Remastered albums are ok most of them

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Jun 2015 15:49:28 BDT
dj says:
Ahem, the proof is in the pudding, my friend:

http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list/dr?artist=Iron+Maiden&album=Seventh

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2015 00:53:09 BDT
Last edited by the author on 24 Jun 2015 00:58:27 BDT
Justin.B says:
Baaa Baaa don't be sheep keep going on about Loudness War its getting very tiresome old chaps a lot of people seem to enjoy remastered albums or they wouldn't be sold, if you went to a rock concert the music would be loud. So put a sock in it ! Rock on !!

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2015 02:13:02 BDT
dj says:
You're confusing loudness with volume. Extremely different.
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