I love it when bands go back and remaster an earlier album, especially when something so perfect is held back by sub-par production.
To be clear, I should first declare that I am a pretty big audiophile, so clarity and good production are big issues for me. However, When I first heard the original version of this album, I listened to it over and over, even though it sounded muffled and somewhat muddy. Now, hearing it in its full potential is beyond amazing.
The best analogy I can think of is this: Remember when HDTV first came out, and you watched football in full HD, and couldn't believe how much you were missing before? That is what the jump from the old mix to this one feels like.
Overall, the clarity is sharper, but not by too much. The largest improvement is the bass guitar/drum mix is much more powerful. For example in the song Ruin, the drum solo and the riff that follows hit a lot harder. In vigil, there are notes that I swear I hadn't heard before that add to the eerie effect the song has.
I have been waiting for a remaster of this album for a long time, and now that it is here, I can tell you it has been well worth the wait.
Let's get this out of the way: As the Palaces Burn is easily one of the best metal albums of the 2000s and I would argue one of the greatest metal albums of all time. If you're reading this, you probably already know that. The question is, do you want to buy it again?
The answer is yes you do. Quality of songs aside, the mix is incredible. The original mix never bothered me. Yeah, it was a bit minimal and had a sort of a metallic sound. Yeah, sometimes the instruments got drowned out. But we listen to metal, those types of problems are common, especially with underground bands or early releases. There are far more glaring examples out there, like Megadeth's original mix of "Killing is my Business..."
That said, once you listen to this remix of the album, you wonder how you ever lived without it. I read a reviewer mention the difference between watching a sports game on a standard TV vs an HD one, I think that is a great example. Everything is so vibrant and clear that you realized you were looking at things through a fog. The remix is incredible, everything pops, you can hear all the instruments at all time. Sections you didn't even know existed, because you couldn't hear them before, spring to life and alter a song to the point where it is fresh and exciting.
If you're a fan of this album, you should definitely pick it up. Especially since the digital download is only $5 (comes with the inside booklet, so you're not missing anything).
There are very few albums on which every track is a good song. The songwriting for this album is so good that you can't tell what "the good songs are supposed to be" other than if you look the singles that were released (Ruin, 11th Hour, Vigil). I can't go 2 minutes of listening to any song on this album without feeling a rush of adrenaline and optimism. Lyrically, each song paints a picture of the harshest unfiltered reality faced by the artists at the time of they were written. The thoughts shared by vocalist Randy Blythe are effectively confrontational, destructive, and full of clear purpose for the listener. LoG provide zero shortage of offerings to their audience on this album from start to finish.
About the mixing of the 10 year edition, I will say this: If you listen to a lot of underground music, then your ears will be adjusted to the original and you may view this remix as unnecessary and possibly a Pandora's Box opened to a "volume war" within the loudened mix. Those of you who don't listen to a lot of underground music but are looking to expand their catalog of heavy music should really hear this mix. It will sound more like how people have come to expect this kind of music to sound. The key to figuring out which version you will like is that expectation is everything. Underground music recordings don't give much in the way of production and instead leave their audience blown away by the songs. The new mix allows the listener to be blown away by both the production and the songs.
Ive known LoG for a few years now; heard Burn the Priest on MP3.com (RIP may I add) and was immiadiately impressed. wasnt the greatest metal ive ever heard, but it was good enough for me to do some research on them, as they seemed to have dropped off the planet. Thats when i discovered they had changed their name to Lamb of God and had released "New American Gospel", one of the best metal albums of all time. most metal fans at least acknoweledge the fact that all faces of metal are changing. no one can deny that Burn the Priest/LoG are on the forefront. they, along with Shadows Fall, Blood Has Been Shed, and more recently Killswitch Engage (now with BHBS' Howard Jones on vocals) are changing extreme metal as we know it. all aforementioned bands have OUTSTANDING vocalists, as mentioned in other reviews, easily on par with Slayer's Tom Araya and Pantera's Phil Anselmo in their own rights.
bottom line: LoG is amongst the new metal bands, the bands that are changing metal as we know it, and the bands that will be here for a long, long time. if their current popularity is any indication, the bands we're hearing now will be mimiced for years to come (those ignorant to screaming, heavy, screatching metal will say they mimic each other, which couldnt be further from the truth), and you know what they say: If you're gonna copy someone, make sure to copy someone who knows what they're doing.
This album, has an awkward spot in my heart. I will always love it, and sometimes it's exactly what I want to listen to. That said for me its comparable to really rich food, its amazing in small doses, and not for everyone all the time. To a lot of people its LoG's best work, to others its something they forget about. Some songs on here can scratch itches nothing else can, but I feel the muddled sound brings it down slightly. I'm aware of the Remastered version though I feel its not much help. Don't let this stop you its a good album with some amazing songs on it that I have listened to countless times over many years. It's still LoG and still a beastly album.
I bought this thinking it would just be a little bit different, cleaned up mix of a great album with a bonus DVD thrown in. Man was I wrong. I listened to the CD once and I hated it so much I immediately had to listen to the original. This mix is very different from the original. Before completely writing this off as a waste of money I wanted to watch the DVD. It goes into great detail about how much work they did in the studio on making sure every note was exactly the way it was intended to be. And then how disappointed they were to hear the final mix and all that work buried in a murky distorted wall of sound. So, I listened to it again, a few times. All of a sudden I started thinking a few of the songs actually were better in this version. I listened a few more times and I gradually started to get really used to it. I am not about to throw away my original CD, but this re-issue deserves a chance.4 stars because this album is a real metal classic and this re-issue is an interesting companion piece.
Dear Epic Records. First off, please don't abuse LOG like other bands that have signed to major labels. These band suck now! ATPB along with NAG needs to be reproduced to show the TRUE power of this band. Mark, Will, John, Chris and that other guy (Randall Blythe) Roaring Randy have pounded it out on this cd. When I bought Ashes, I was blown away by the sound and knew that they should reproduce the previous 2 cd's with the blessings of Epic Records. For those who have not of Lamb of God, what a disservice to your sound holes! AMAZING guitars (Mark and Will)with solos, John abd that freakin' bass! Torture on the frets! Chris POUNDING away with perfection on the drums! And Randy. Hummm, what can I say...... Still thinking.... AMAZING!!!!!! What a mouth piece! AMAZING CD! Get this cd because you do have something to die foooooorrrrrr!Draped in the flag that you fell foooorrrrrrr! And so it goooess! THE ASHES OF THE WAAAAAAAKE! Dammit, gotta go get the 3 cd's and Piss my wife off!
Various LoG albums have comprised part of my workout mix since first hearing them in 2004. When I hears this was remastered, I honestly questioned how different (or how much better) it could sound than the original mix.
"A relentless, pummeling assault on the ears" is the only way I can think to describe it. I love the original, but this is truly like listening to a new album.
I've read the criticism of how this or that element takes a back door to others, but I'm not hearing anything being suppressed....it's quite the opposite actually. Likewise, I agree with the reviews that mention hearing completely new things that are not heard on the original.
There is so much speculation as to what really happened with the original recording, which allegedly was mastered and sounded great only to have quality degradation in transit to be pressed or somesuch. Regardless, the original is a muddy mess. The remaster allows you to actually hear these songs the way they were intended (or closer to it anyway). If there was ever a case to be made for the advantages and validity of a remaster, this album would be it. A clear demonstration of why an album should be remastered, and an excellent way to allow you to better enjoy this amazing album.
This remastered classic is just perfection. I came in on LOG after Ashes of the Wake, which, in my opinion, was their best album to date. I listened to this (the original version) after falling in love with Ashes back in the day. It was just too rough and choppy as a whole. Sacrament was a little overproduced , but still good, and everything after was merely okay... I am relieved that I can get a new fix of the old album with better production and clarity. If you liked Ashes of the Wake, this is a MUST BUY ALBUM.