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 Believer & Seventh Angel: Comparing different pressings

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Infinite
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PostSubject: Believer & Seventh Angel: Comparing different pressings   Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:03 pm

Last night I decided to load up the old CD changer with all the different pressings I own of Seventh Angel's Lament for the Weary, and the first three Believer album to compare the sound quality. Here's what I found:

Seventh Angel- Lament for the Weary: I don't own the original pressing (but I have heard it back when it came out), but I have the Retroactive remaster and the Metal Mind remaster. I've had the Retroactive version for a couple years (I also have their remaster of The Torment) and never thought it sounded very good. Then I read an Amazon review where someone said the Retroactive version of both SA albums sounded even worse than the original, so I picked up the Metal Mind reissue. Man, what a difference. The Retroactive is shrill with no bottom end, and way too much midrange. Very harsh. The Metal Mind is a bit louder, has a nice fat bottom end, and a smooth midrange.

Believer- Extraction From Mortality: I have the original REX pressing, the M8, and the Metal Mind versions. The original was the quietest (no surprise there) with no bass and sort of a tinny sound. I noticed the news reports at the beginning had static that both the remasters don't have. The M8 version was slightly better; it was a little louder with a bit more bottom, but not a drastic difference. The Metal Mind, once again, was worlds better than the others. Louder, crisper sound, and as much bottom end as you could pull out of this recording. It sounds great.

Believer- Sanity Obscure: I have the original REX and the Metal Mind. The original is okay, but lacks bass. Again, the Metal Mind was a big improvement. Louder, crisper, with more bass.

Believer- Dimensions: I have the original REX with the funky aqua cover and the Metal Mind version with the violin on the cover (same as the Roadrunner version; don't know if any REX versions had this cover?) This one was a surprise. The original was actually louder than the Metal Mind remaster. The original is also slightly more aggressive sounding. The remaster is a tad smoother. Not a huge difference, but it's there. Honestly, this album didn't need a remaster anyway.

I have the Retroactive version of the The Torment and should have the Metal Mind version in a few days, so I'll update when I compare those pressings.

Just thought some of you collectors might find this comparison interesting.
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Sutekh
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PostSubject: Re: Believer & Seventh Angel: Comparing different pressings   Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:19 pm

Interesting. I have the original CD releases of each of those bands, and have played them a lot over the years, but never bothered to chase down the reissues. Were the SA albums on Retro remastered? If so, I'd suspect that someone other than Ciffy did them, as his work is outstanding. Anyway, interesting to read about the differences between them!
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Infinite
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PostSubject: Re: Believer & Seventh Angel: Comparing different pressings   Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:35 pm

Yeah, the Retroactive SA albums are remastered by someone known simply as "Rev".

I couldn't find any credits for who did the Believer Metal Mind remasters, but they are great. The Metal Mind version of Seventh Angel's Lament was done by Jeff Mortimer in London. I suspect he probably did The Torment as well. I'll know soon.
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thejokeriv
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PostSubject: Re: Believer & Seventh Angel: Comparing different pressings   Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:50 pm

My copy of Extraction doesn't play anymore, it stopped playing about 1 year after I got it... Itwas the original REX pressing
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Infinite
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PostSubject: Re: Believer & Seventh Angel: Comparing different pressings   Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:29 am

thejokeriv wrote:
My copy of Extraction doesn't play anymore, it stopped playing about 1 year after I got it... Itwas the original REX pressing

Huh... weird. Well, I'd highly recommend the Metal Mind version, if you don't mind digipacks (I'm not a fan, but It's worth it for the improved sound). Also, it's worth noting that the M8 version has a couple of bonus tracks, so you might want to snag that one just for those, and the sound is a slight improvement. Then again, maybe you're an original pressing kind of guy (I generally am, because most remasters suck, but these examples are an exception).
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kmorg
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PostSubject: Re: Believer & Seventh Angel: Comparing different pressings   Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:39 pm

Glad I own the Metal Mind reissues of the Beleiver albums then. I think I've owned all the versions over the years.


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Infinite
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PostSubject: Re: Believer & Seventh Angel: Comparing different pressings   Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:07 pm

Got my Metal Mind remaster of The Torment today. As I suspected, it was remastered by Jeff Mortimer (this guy apparently mastered the original versions of the SA albums. I'll bet he was stoked to get another crack at it with today's technology).

No surprises, really. The Metal Mind version is louder with a fuller, deeper sound. That said, there's only so much you can do to this album's sound quality. It's not a great production job. But the Metal Mind version is much better than the Retroactive version.
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JeffM
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PostSubject: Re: Believer & Seventh Angel: Comparing different pressings   Thu May 31, 2012 1:12 pm

Hi Guys,

A friend of mine was trawling the internet and came across this discussion passed it on to me.....I had to join the forum!

I am the same Jeff Mortimer who did the metal-mind remastering for both Seventh Angel releases. I did not however, work on the original releases. If The Torment was released in 1990 then I would have been about 14 years old! lol. I just wanted you to know that!

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Orion Crystal Ice
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PostSubject: Re: Believer & Seventh Angel: Comparing different pressings   Thu May 31, 2012 5:09 pm

Thoughts here....

I owned the Metal Mind "remaster" of 'Dimensions'. That original recording is compressed to death and is mega quiet on that original format. The Metal Mind issue is not remastered in any way shape or form. I compared on various systems. I was vastly disappointed because this recording would actually benefit from being louder, the way it is and how compressed some of the tones are, the whole mix sounds tinny unless you blow your speakers cranking the bloody thing. It could have been done and it could have been done without any clipping or loss of dynamic. And that is why I have not purchased the other two Believer remasters either. I have also ran into this issue with a few other Metal Mind re-releases that advertise remastering. The only one I own which is actually improved in sound is the Crimson Glory self-titled (which supposedly was not even authorized by the band, go figure), and it sounds amazing, so I don't know why they would label every reissue the same and actually give only a few the treatment.

Somebody is in charge of a lot of $$ to pick up these rights and sway to get stuff like this into the FYEs, and they apparently don't have any clue what they're doing when it comes to 'as advertised'. End rant.


One more thing on a related note: Many remasters are not near as compressed or horrible as most would have you believe. The good majority of them offer wonderful sound and no the vinyl does not make any factual difference except there are pops and other artifacts. The one clear, clear exception that immediately comes to mind if I have to think of a HORRIBLE remaster is that of 'Painkiller' by Judas Priest. Arguably the most popular of the catalog, and it's the single one that is completely screwed up, there is distortion absolutely everywhere.
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Infinite
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PostSubject: Re: Believer & Seventh Angel: Comparing different pressings   Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:22 am

You may be right about Dimensions, OCI. I do hear a slight difference, but that may just be from whatever method or equipment MM used to transfer. However, I would encourage you to pick up the other Believer albums from Metal Mind, because there is a VERY noticeable difference on those. Dimensions is the only MM release I've run into that was inferior to the original (of course, I haven't heard them all).

And I agree, the Crimson Glory S/T remaster sounds fantastic.
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