Deliverance & Damnation Remixed
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Deliverance & Damnation Remixed
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New Stereo and 5.1 mixes by Steve Wilson (Damnation) and Bruce Soord (Deliverance). Liner notes from Mikael Akerfeldt from Opeth and Jerry Ewing of Prog Magazine. New unseen photos. Redesigned artwork from original designer, Travis Smith. Loving presented in a beautiful 32 page book set.
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Lets get one thing straight, Opeth are the premier prog rock band of our age - it's just beautiful music. But one of the vinyl pressings (on Deliverance of all tracks) is just poor, the sound distorted and the left channel has reduced volume so you have an unbalanced mix ( I can't believe Steve Wilson intended it this way). Luckily the other 2 pressings are ok. The actual packaging is really nice if a little sparse but for the money this is a very good value purchase.
So 5/5 for music, 3/5 for quality of product.
I took me ages just to prise the top cover of the first sleeve enough to get a grip on the first disc, and in the end I had to grip it tightly with fingernails to get a hold on it. No surprise then, that when the disc eventually came free it was scratched to hell. It looks like most of the damage occurred when the product was being packaged with the discs having been forcefully rammed into its sleeve.
Why? After all the care taken with the quality of the music and the quality booklet, it amounts to nothing when the discs are all damaged because the record company is too tight-fisted to stump up for sensible plastic trays to protect the discs.
Knowing how obsessive Mikael Akerfeldt is with the care of his own record collection, he'd be seething if he could see how poorly the discs have been treated!
If you're lucky enough to get undamaged discs, you'll enjoy the music on them. I could hear lots of subtle differences in these remixes, with the Deliverance songs sounding slightly more 'trippy' and atmospheric, and the Damnation songs having added warmth to their sound.
If you're a casual listener, perhaps avoid the grief and buy the previous versions separately?
If you're a true believer, then approach with caution....
You don't have to have surround to listen to it (though it sounds fantastic in surround) and can use free software tools widely available to down mix 5.1 to stereo flac or mp3. To me down mix hassle was totally worth it - new sound and new life for these 2 great albums!
I wish more artists followed Opeth and let us listen to the music without corruption of loudness compression.
The paper packaging is awful though, I totally agree with the other reviewer. I even had difficulty of extracting discs from the package.. but well you can't have it all. And after I ripped and down mixed the albums I am not going to take it from the shelf often.