Interview: Bob Ludwig of Gateway Mastering Studios

Bob Ludwig of Gateway Mastering Studio is a living legend and has mastered practically ever big name rock and pop star you can think of. Some of his clients include Led Zeppelin, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen and Daft Punk to name just a few. But he is also no stranger to metal. In fact, he was Metallica‘s go-to engineer for many years, mastering many of their early classics and EPs including Kill’Em All, Ride the Lightening, and In Justice For All. He has also mastered Tool and Megadeth as well. Recently, Bob has taken over mastering duties for another big name metal act, Avenged Sevenfold,...

Review: Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct Nov25

Review: Metallica – Hardwired…To Self-Destruct

A little context: I’m a big Metallica fan. I have been for over twenty years now. What’s funny is unlike most fans, I discovered Metallica through Megadeth in a sort of six degrees of Kevin Bacon moment; it took me three Megadeth records to finally arrive at Puppets. Sad but true. But the truth is I lost track of Metallica right after 1996’s Load, an album that completed their transition from being everyone’s favorite Bay Area thrash metal band to a full-fledged hard rock one, bifurcating their fanbase in the process. Since then these retired thrashers have fallen under hard times, with the band probably hitting rock...

Schiit. In. Stereooooooo! Nov18

Schiit. In. Stereooooooo!

Since its inception, Schiit has been focused exclusively on the headphone market. Of course there was never anything stopping you from using one of their DACs with a home stereo, and the Ragnarok can drive speakers perfectly well, but home based two channel just wasn’t what Schiit was after. Well, for those of us that have been clamoring for Schiit to put their engineering might into a genuine, dedicated power amp and line-stage preamp, the wait is finally (almost) over. The amp, which Schiit calls Vidar, puts out 100W into 8 Ohms, doubles that into 4 Ohms, and doubles that in bridged mono mode into 8 Ohms. The price? $699. You might be...

L’Orfeo Nov07

L’Orfeo

Orpheus. You know I’m a big fan of Claudio Monteverdi‘s L’Orfeo, which is considered by most music historians as the first great operatic work, and certainly the oldest opera still part of the modern repertoire. It recounts the famous Greek myth of Orpheus and Euridice. The tale briefly goes something like this: Orpheus’ wife, Euridice, is bitten by poisonous snakes while running away from a satyr. After Orpheus finds his wife dead in the fields, he plays a variation on a theme from Opeth‘s Damnation and vows to save his wife by retrieving her from the Underworld. When he finally arrives in the land of the dead...

Dynamics With A Vengeance Nov01

Dynamics With A Vengeance

When Avenged Sevenfold finally saw the production light in 2013, I honestly thought it was the band going through some kind of mid-life crisis. You know, when a <insert your favorite big market band here> suddenly looses all inspiration and find themselves reevaluating everything and anything in order to get those creative juices flowing again. Regardless, Hail to the King proved that a high dynamic metal record (DR10) could be the best selling album in the nation, landing the top spot on the Billboard chart the very first week it was released. Well King was no fluke, since A7X have done it again by dropping yet another stellar...

Review: Sojourner – Empires of Ash Oct30

Review: Sojourner – Empires of Ash

Summoning. For the last two decades Summoning have not only been churning out some of the most epic black metal ever conceived by man, but their body of work has pretty much codified the genre. However, after 2001’s Let Mortal Heroes Sing Your Fame, their output had slowed down considerably, with new album release cycles measured in Valian years instead of solar ones (alright, not quite that long but still). Consequently, this has opened up the flood gates for others to show off their best Summoning idolatry and at the same time, pick up the slack. A prime example is Caladan Brood’s 2013 epic, Echoes of Battle, which executed...