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Another classic album victimized by the "loudness war"
on 19 August 2008
After reading this comment's title you'll probably be thinking: "but I do want to listen to Manowar as loud as possible!". Sure, we all do. The expression "loudness war", however, refers to a trend in the music industry to master CD's with the volume too loud, often beyond the limits allowed by the technical specifications of the CD format. This process will almost always cause unwanted distortion and even "clipping" on various parts of the audio. In other words, parts of the audio are often irreparably damaged in the mastering process because they don't "fit" within the CD format's dynamic range limits.
I did a full audio analysis of this remastered "silver edition" of the album, and on the first track alone, "Blood Of My Enemies", there are at least 254 clipped (that is, cut off, LOST) samples on the left channel and 312 on the right channel. Please note that this is something completely different to listening to a correctly mastered CD as loud as you want - the sound will be intact in that case, and the loudness limit will be defined only by your audio equipment and your taste. On the other hand, an album that has been victimized by the "loudness war" will be missing parts of the sound even when played at a low volume.
It's a real shame that a band that's known for their perfeccionism when it comes to their music, and specially Joey DeMayo, allowed this absolutely classic album to be released this way. If you don't have "Hail To England" on CD, make sure you get the original release, which was mastered correctly.
For more information on the "loudness war", just Google the expression between quotes.