It's been a year?! I remember our pre album thread on here. Doesn't seem like a year ago
I agree with you on the number of quality songs on disc 2 but I don't like SOTV as much as DOG.I like Empire of the Clouds.
I'm not a fan of DoG though and I really think disc 2 gets bogged down with two slow ballads back to back with tears of a clown and man of sorrow, if there were just one ballad on the whole album, I think I might take it as something special. But with two, they seem to drag each other down. I actually quite hate it when either one of these songs comes up in my play list.
So that leaves only two good songs from the second disc.
Shadows of the Valley and Empire of the Clouds.
While disc 1 has 6 good songs out of 6.
I don't get it either. That opening after the intro verse is awesome.I don't get the hate for River. It has the catchiest verse melody and it has this cool, hard rock feeling... A short Maiden song done completely right. I just can't wrap my head around how so many people like DoG and hate River. It's an utterly alien thought to me.
I think Shirley mentioned it in the DoD making of thing that he apparently doesn't work out a drum "sound" as such. He says he just mics up the drums and if they're tuned properly then they sound good.
Of course, that's completely absurd thinking since that's definitely not how it works but it does neatly explain why Maiden's drum sound has been consistently terrible on albums after BNW. But then again, that's modern Maiden production for you. Things don't have to sound good if they have that unquantifiable live feel or whatever they call it.
But see, the problem is they don't take those steps. From what we've seen of studio footage, Nicko shows up with his usual touring kit and they mic the stuff up and seemingly don't really pay much attention to how it sounds. I'm saying that's not how it should go.
You have to take time to get it right, get the microphones and their placement right and yes, even play with EQ and/or effects to get definition in the drum sound without making it sound too sampled. Otherwise you end up with muddy-sounding drums that don't really have that punch people desire in their mixes. Instead they sort of ring hollowly in a room that doesn't really provide any natural reverb, or then its reverb has been dampened artificially.
And I'd even go as far as say that the lack of a punchy, defined drum sound is probably the biggest contributor to the muddiness present in Maiden mixes these days. Everything just seems to blend together, nothing stands out and details are lost.