Pummelled by Metallica, Embraced by Sabbath...

Pummelled by Metallica, Embraced by Sabbath...
Authored By John Nicholson

I had an interesting sonic experience the other day and it was very revealing. I listened to Metallica’s new album 72 Seasons and then I played Black Sabbath’s Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, it being surely an influence on Metallica and let me tell you the new record sounded very different to the old. The Sabbath album was much heavier in a profound way, it had a deep, rich layer underpinning everything. The title track riff absolutely takes your head off in a way that nothing Metallica played did. Their music was compressed I think, and that made it loud and aggressive but thinner. Dawn reckoned it was designed to cut through on a car radio and it did work in that context. The Sabbath album was warmer and sounded like a band in a room (which it probably wasn’t), the two records were like chalk and cheese sonically. It showed me that when we call something heavy, it can mean very different things. I felt pummelled by the Metallica sound, but embraced by the Sabbath album.
It’s hard talking about sound, hard to know what words to accurately use. But I bet I’m not the only one to notice this difference, because many modern rock albums sound like this. They are mixed super loud, but somehow keep you at arms length.


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