3 best sounding albums you own

Cosmiceddie

Back From The Edge
What are your 3 best sounding (production/mix/mastering) albums?

1. AC/DC - For Those About To Rock (2003 remaster)
2. Marillion - Script For A Jester's Tear (2020 remix/remaster)
3. Def Leppard - Def Leppard (2015)
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Don't know if I could be bothered thinking about all the albums that I own and ranking them but 3 albums that immediately spring to mind as being albums that sound the way a rock album should sound:

Rage Against The Machine - first album
Killers
Metallica - Load
 

Poto

Ancient Mariner
Killers definitely. The best sounding Maiden album IMO. Not sure about the rest.
 

Magnus

Pica Serdica
I suspect a pick from my Burzum, Darkthrone and Gorgoroth albums wouldn't be appreciated - even though they sound the way a black metal album should sound - so maybe, off the top of my head,

Arcturus - La Masquerade Infernale
Dark Millennium - Diana Read Peace
Sentenced - North From Here

Killers is great too obviously.
 

Yax

Ancient Mariner
Best sounding Rock/Metal albums I own:

Judas Priest - British Steel. This is a great sounding record (not talking about the nuked remaster here). Big, reverberant guitar sound, natural drum sound with a fat low mid bass sound married together with scorching vocals.

Metallica - Black Album. This album requires a certain sonic taste, but it's a milestone in terms of Metal production.

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon (1988 CD rerelease). This is a sonic masterpiece. Wide, perfectly sonically balanced. It hits all the nails right on the head, and the earliest example of a sample being used as a rhytm (Money intro), as far as I know anyway.

Honorable mention: AC/DC, Back in Black.
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
AC/DC - For Those About To Rock (2003 remaster)
The original 1980s CD, mastered by Barry Diament, is better! Agree with the AC/DC albums produced by Mutt Lange, the original vinyl and CD masterings are terrific. Some the the later digital remasters are overly compressed though. I recall reading that, when Diament was mastering CDs for Atlantic Records/ATCO, he was stunned when he got the original master tapes for Back In Black, because they were so perfect. I have also read that high-end audiophile folks use that as one of their reference recordings to test the quality of equipment, it sounds so good.

My best-sounding CD (non-classical) is either the Steven Wilson remix/remaster of Aqualung or the DCC Gold edition of Hotel California. For each, it sounds like you're in the room with the band. Tough to pick my best-sounding vinyl LP, maybe my copy of Rumours. My original Powerslave (I bought it on the release date and still have it) is pretty sweet too.

But my favorite-sounding recording of all is this:
 
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Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
Tool - 10,000 Days
Deftones - Koi No Yokan
Dream Theater - Awake

The Tool and Deftones albums are two of the best mixed albums I've ever heard. Awake I always thought was the best sounding DT album.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
Guitar sound
Bloodbath - Resurrection Through Carnage

Bass sound
Control Denied - The Fragile Art Of Existence

Drum sound
Dream Theater - Images & Words (original, not the shitty remasters or remixes)

Keyboard sound
Star One - Victims Of The Modern Age, or pretty much any album with Arjen involved
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Going to echo the For Those About to Rock pick. Lange’s AC/DC albums are amazing.
Also really like the sound of British Steel.

From those not listed, Moving Pictures always sounded so perfectly balanced in my ears, with a mixture of power and clarity.

Good topic. Have to give this some more thought.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Guitar sound
Bloodbath - Resurrection Through Carnage

Drum sound
Dream Theater - Images & Words (original, not the shitty remasters or remixes)
Both of these are pretty intriguing choices.

The former is full on that Entombed-style buzzsaw guitar tone achieved with a Boss HM-2 pedal on max settings. I like it as well, but more as a niche thing - as it doesn't have much range to it.

The latter is a very odd and amusing choice. The snare and bass drums on that record are triggered samples from different albums - they were used at the behest of the producer against the wishes of Mike Portnoy and the drum sound of the album was essentially denounced by Portnoy.
 

Midnight

The sun sets forever over Blackwater Park
The latter is a very odd and amusing choice. The snare and bass drums on that record are triggered samples from different albums - they were used at the behest of the producer against the wishes of Mike Portnoy and the drum sound of the album was essentially denounced by Portnoy.
Oh, so that's why I thought they sounded odd.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
The former is full on that Entombed-style buzzsaw guitar tone achieved with a Boss HM-2 pedal on max settings. I like it as well, but more as a niche thing - as it doesn't have much range to it.
I agree that it doesn't have much range, and it probably doesn't fit most of the bands, but I love that buzzsaw sound. IMO not even Entombed got the sound as good as this album did. That opening riff of Ways To The Grave at 00:44

The latter is a very odd and amusing choice. The snare and bass drums on that record are triggered samples from different albums - they were used at the behest of the producer against the wishes of Mike Portnoy and the drum sound of the album was essentially denounced by Portnoy.
I heard about that from someone in chat years ago. Still love that sound :p
 

MrKnickerbocker

clap hands
I'll echo @Yax in saying Metallica - The Black Album (although the drum mix is still too loud). Pretty much revolutionized modern metal production in that it added tons of low end for guitars and put the drums front and center (a la pop music).

Opeth - Blackwater Park is pretty incredible in terms of creating a really genius ambient soundscape while simultaneously having pummeling heavy sections.
 

The Flash

Dennis Wilcock did 9/11
Opeth - Blackwater Park is pretty incredible in terms of creating a really genius ambient soundscape while simultaneously having pummeling heavy sections.
I agree with you on the brilliance of the ambient soundscape angle, it does have one production flaw though: The drums are a bit too buried in the mix. Martín López puts on a show throughout the album but it doesn't come across as punchy as the playing is.
 

Night Prowler

Customer Deathcycle Manager
Staff member
I agree with you on the brilliance of the ambient soundscape angle, it does have one production flaw though: The drums are a bit too buried in the mix. Martín López puts on a show throughout the album but it doesn't come across as punchy as the playing is.
Yep. I would say that the drums are awfully mixed on that whole album, which makes the choice of remastering Deliverance to sound like Blackwater Park even more buffling.
 

Dityn DJ James

A coma stole my name.
Always absolutely adored the bass tone on Sodom's M-16. That whole album has a great sound design too. Exactly the way I want my thrash to be heard. Other ones that spring to mind immediately are Death's Symbolic and Darkthrone's Transilvanian Hunger.
 

srfc

Ancient Mariner
All the AC/DC albums mentioned sound great, but I prefer them with a bit more rawness a la Powerage.
 
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