Category Archives: Ramblings
Thoughts about all things metal, from metal truisms to thoughts about the music we hear.
When we Metal State reviewers gave the round table treatment to Opeth’s “Pale Communion” earlier this year I was less than flattering about the album. I said it wasn’t hard enough to be good metal or inventive enough to be good prog.
It isn’t metal. It is, however, damn fine heavy prog rock. That is what Opeth intended it to be, I believe, and that’s what it became.
Opeth and their industry associates haven’t said anything about the review. Nor have my fellow reviewers or any Opeth fans. It’s my conscience that’s been smacking me on both earholes.
I did update my comments and rating of the album in our published review, but such things tend to go unnoticed. If we’re wrong — not necessarily when we’re told we’re wrong but when we know it deep inside ourselves — we should retract and correct. It gives me the greatest of pleasure to concede how very wrong I was about “Pale Communion”. The more I listen to it, the more I know it’s one of the best prog albums of the year.
Thus far, metal has remained largely immune to Auto-Tune, the insidious technology that does what this poster says. Auto-Tune is now standard equipment in just about every recording studio. In brief, it is used to turn an off-key note into an in-tune note. As a result, the bands and singers who use Auto-Tune on their recordings sound nothing like they do in live performances… unless they mime their singing to an Auto-Tuned track.
There have been accusations — or maybe they’re just unfounded suspicions — that a couple of metal bands have used the technology to make their albums sound better. That could be very risky since metal fans who know anything about Auto-Tune are united in their hatred of it.
More and more bands are releasing limited editions of their albums on vinyl. This is not just to meet a demand from the nostalgic who enjoy the physical packaging and feel of an LP more than a CD. These days it is generally true that music sounds better on vinyl than on CD.
It shouldn’t. With the great advances in digital sound technology, a CD or high-quality digital music file should sound identical to the best-quality analog recording on vinyl – to the human ear, anyway.
There’s a big problem with a lot of digital music, though. It’s called Dynamic Range Compression (DRC).