Does Heavy Metal sound bad or is it my speakers? Reply #25 – 2013-07-16 23:31:55 Thanks for mentioning us ferday! The truth is that the vast majority of metal records sound mediocre to appalling. Issues with room setup can definitely exacerbate the problem, but the recordings themselves are still a huge part of the issue. That's the reason I helped start Metal-Fi. Metal usually sounds like garbage and it doesn't have to. Every album we review we measure with the TT Dynamic Range meter. 99% of them are DR5 or DR6 - loudness war casualties. A really good sounding album needs to be a minimum of DR8, and what we really like to see are double digits. Unfortunately what this means if you're a metal fan is that you pretty much have to buy a turntable. Not because of any "analog warmth" nonsense - these albums are cut from 24/48 or 24/96 digital masters, but because the vinyl versions aren't brickwall mastered and thus typically have double the amount of dynamic range as their CD counterparts. Full dynamics usually improves even poorly mixed metal albums, and when you have a really well recorded and mixed album like Enslaved's RIITIIR that's been completely squashed, when you take that away on the vinyl which is DR11 instead of DR6, the results are fantastic. If you think a particular metal band's album sounds like crap, tell them. A lot of bands still don't really understand this issue, and they think that people genuinely want an album where everything is stupid loud and sounds horrible. I used to blame the mastering engineers for smashing everything to hell, but in many cases they don't like it any more than I do, but they have to earn a living and the customer is always right.