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Loudness War / Aversions

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Note: exactly what counts as the healthy dynamic range can vary for person to person. For the sake of consistency, an aversion will be considered a release that comes in at a dynamic range of 8 or higher. If you want to add a particular release to this list, use this site to verify the dynamic range first; note that while DR8 is listed there as being in the red zone, it still counts here as passable.


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  • Classical Music as a whole is almost entirely untouched by the Loudness War, which is thankful considering that it is very dynamic by nature. Classical producers welcomed the invention of CDs, in large part because their lower noise floor allows them to master recordings quieter than they could for vinyl.
  • Given the substantial role played by dynamics in Post-Rock, it's not surprising that many releases in the genre avert this. Crescendocore doesn't exactly work if there's no room for a crescendo.
  • Primarily acoustic genres tend to have more aversions since there's more incentive to capture a natural environment with the recording.
  • There are several engineers who outright refuse to brickwall anything they touch. Steve Hoffman, Doug Sax, Vic Anesini, recent Bob Ludwig, and Kevin Gray are some of the best known. Any remaster by one of these, you're probably good.
    • George Marino's work was, for the most part, anything but brickwalled. Sadly, Marino died in 2012.
    • Colin Marston and Damian Herring's mastering jobs are almost always incredibly dynamic by modern metal standards, usually being around DR8-DR10.
  • Most records produced by Steve Albini tend to avoid this. This is probably in large part because he outright hates digital sound (for instance, he derided CDs as "the rich man's eight-track tape" when the format was becoming dominant).
  • Alan Parsons released a whole video explaining the detriments of brickwalling and the importance of dynamic sound, as well as interviewing other engineers like Niko Bolas and Richard Dodd for their thoughts.
  • Record label Analog Africa, which focuses on releasing obscure music from Africa and South America (usually from the 70s and 80s) has almost completely avoided the loudness war. One of their earlier compilations, African Scream Contest, has a couple tracks that go as low as DR 7 (not bad, but still fairly loud), all their releases since buck the trend entirely. Considering that many of the songs needed a proper remaster, it's admirable just how good these sound.
  • Country producer Dave Cobb has some wonderfully mastered albums for the likes of Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton. His sound is very organic and neotraditional, which comes across in very natural-sounding recordings. Overall, a great change of pace from excessively compressed mainstream country.
  • The Luaka Bop label, owned by David Byrne of Talking Heads, has a consistently dynamic mastering for its wide variety of releases, which include compilations of artists from Africa and Latin America as well as new albums in many different genres. They were responsible for the 2021 release of Promises by Floating Points and Pharaoh Sanders, which is one of the most dynamic and best-sounding of the year.

  • Rivers Cuomo of Weezer once made the observation that Weezer's first record (The Blue Album) was mixed low, so as to sound better when turned up through a stereo, and said that it "sounds like crap if you have it low". This was most likely due to the influence of audiophile producer Ric Ocasek.
  • The Cure's Disintegration mentions in its liner notes how it was mixed to be played loud and that one should start turning up the volume. The remastered version was much louder than the original, which was criticized on its release.
  • The Seldom Seen Kid, along with most of Elbow's discography, has managed to roughly keep the volume at a reasonable level. This may have something to do with the fact they've self-produced all their albums since 2005.
    • In fact, it has a message on the back saying to play it loudly.
  • The 2011 remasters of The Smashing Pumpkins' Gish and Siamese Dream averted this. They're plenty loud while preserving the dynamics and original mixes while being brighter.
    • Siamese Dream and Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness also averted this trope upon their respective releases by being mastered with the intent of having a good amount of headroom left while the band's contemporaries were content to hammer the 0 line with each snare hit.
    • The remasters of the Pumpkins' actual albums have tended to be pretty dynamic - most of them are no lower than DR8. Unfortunately, a lot of the bonus content wasn't treated so well, often coming out to around DR5. This includes the mono mix of Adore, which is one of the last albums you'd think of as being likely to receive the Loudness War treatment. (Oddly, the concert included on the DVD of the Adore box set is one of the most dynamic things in the entire package - if memory serves, most of the tracks are around DR12.)
  • Soundgarden's career (before their reunion) ran its course before this trope really came into its own, but it was beginning to creep up. Superunknown, the band's first major mainstream hit, has a higher overall volume than any previous Soundgarden albums — which is to be expected — but also higher than that of the follow-up, Down on the Upside. This makes sense when you find out that DOTU was largely self-produced and that the band members generally favored minimalistic production (they frequently mentioned their annoyance with Superunknown's producer Michael Beinhorn, calling him "anal" about sounds and being frustrated at taking days to record a single song).
    • Superunknown is actually a rather notable aversion to this trope in that it was a few decibels below the surrounding rock albums of the time. Whereas most had been amplified to the point where they would consistently peak, Superunknown stayed true to the standards of the past several years with noticeable headroom and minimal clipping.
  • My Bloody Valentine. Their concerts may be ear-splittingly loud, but their albums not so much. It probably came as a relief to millions of fans when MBV came in with actual dynamics (DR11, to be exact, which is almost unheard of for an album in 2013). The LP was mastered separately but still comes in with similar dynamics.
  • Jeff Buckley's recordings, for the most part, are nicely dynamic, although there was a 2004 remaster of Grace that dialed down the dynamics somewhat and featured some clipping. There have also been vinyl editions that avert this nicely. Most notable, however, is the compilation So Real, which on many tracks has more dynamic range than the original releases (more info here).
    • Then we have the problem of his live albums, all of which are too quiet. Students who study record producing have been able to find very simple ways to fix this problem, which has left them asking questions as to why Sony doesn't try to boost the volume of Buckley's performances.
  • Diary of Dreams' 2007 album Nekrolog 43 has a DR of 12, which is almost unheard of in contemporary music, much less darkwave or industrial.
  • Against expectations, the 20th-anniversary reissue of Nirvana's In Utero is actually slightly more dynamic than the original. That goes for the 2013 mix, too.
  • After the disaster that was Stitches of Eden, Helalyn Flowers' dynamics were surprisingly improved on White Me In/Black Me Out. Sonic Foundation is somewhat louder than White Me In, but still far better than Stitches.
  • Echo & the Bunnymen's 2008 remaster of Ocean Rain measures a whopping DR12.
  • Shellac have never released anything below DR 9. Not that surprising, since it's Steve Albini's main band.
  • The Super Furry Animals remasters including Mwng, The Best of 1995-2016, Fuzzy Logic and Radiator have been remastered in the true sense of making a new master and haven't had any additional compression or EQ applied.
  • Nick Cave has struggled in the past with brickwalling, but his 2021 collaboration with Warren Ellis, Carnage, sees him fully embrace dynamic range, coming out at a DR11.

  • Jerrod Niemann and producer Dave Brainard mixed Judge Jerrod & the Hung Jury analog. Between the lower mixing and heavier reliance on acoustic instruments, the album is noticeably quieter and less processed than most other country music.
  • Gillian Welch's Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg (2016) measures an amazing DR12.
  • Mark Chesnutt's albums for MCA/Decca Records in The '90s have exceptionally strong dynamics. These include Too Cold at Home through What a Way to Live. All of these were produced by Mark Wright, who is known for this.
  • Jason Isbell has been impressively dynamic in his post-2010 releases, both solo and with the 400 Unit. Southeastern and Something More than Free are especially incredible, with a track on the latter album at a whopping DR17! Unfortunately, the 2020 album Reunions is an awful lot louder.

  • OverClocked ReMix demands a reasonable level, regardless of whether the song was produced by instruments or computers, to the point that high-demand piano mixes have been delayed\rejected due to distortion problems. That said, there are still occasional examples of this on their albums (the version of "Metamorphosis" on the Final Fantasy VI album was pretty bad about this), but on the whole, they tend to be pretty dynamic by modern standards.
  • All but the last 2 remastered Depeche Mode albums avoid this...partially. Like the Beatles remasters, they're louder, but still have their dynamic range. The clipping is minimal...for the most part. This is presumably thanks to Alan Wilder supervising the remastering of the albums from when he was in the band.
  • The 2008 expanded remaster of The Prodigy's Music for the Jilted Generation.
  • Binary Finary averted this with their Lost Tracks digital compilation and their recent collaboration singles.
  • Squarepusher CDs are always mastered at a sensible level. Many electronic artists (or their mastering engineer or label) simply assume their "real" fans wouldn't buy a CD.
  • All of Kraftwerk's remasters avert this.
  • Daft Punk:
    • Their 2013 release Random Access Memories has an album gain of -6.11dB and a DR of 9. Insanely good sounding for a (somewhat) mainstream release, and a definite improvement over Human After All. The vinyl is even better, with a DR of 13.
    • Discovery had a comparatively reasonable DR of 10 while its vinyl version boasts an even better 14.
  • Orbital, despite an increase in volume starting with The Middle of Nowhere, has mostly retained their dynamic range. Same goes for Paul Hartnoll's solo project 8:58.
  • Deee-lite's World Clique has an amazing DR of 14.
  • Covenant's Leaving Babylon appears to mark the end of their participation in the loudness war. Although there is clipping on a few tracks, the album is definitely clearer and more dynamic than their previous three albums. Better still is The Blinding Dark.
  • John '00' Fleming's 110 WKO does a good job at maintaining dynamics and avoiding clipping, although minor compression is used.
  • THYX's Below the City is almost completely free of clipping and has excellent dynamics.
  • Pride and Fall's Of Lust and Desire.
  • All of Front242's discography avoids brickwalling for the most part; the loudest they have reached is DR 8 on Headhunter 2000.
  • Most productions by Travis Stebbins, AKA Odyssey AKA Mortimer AKA Eurobeat Brony, have decent to crystal-clear dynamic range.
  •'s Memories, although it uses some compression on the loud sections, has a fairly clear dynamic range with only slight transient clipping.
  • The Eurobeat studios/labels Hi-NRG Attack and SCP Music have begun to avert the loudness war as of late. While still somewhat loud, their own recent releases don't suffer from the severe clipping found on the Super Eurobeat and Toho Eurobeat series.
  • Highway Superstar's Endgame has dynamics comparable to most early '90s albums.
  • Xeno & Oaklander's Topiary is a major improvement over their previous album, Par avion, which, while far from the worst offenders, had severe clipping issues.
  • All of Assemblage 23's material is reasonably mastered.
  • zerO One is generally good at having reasonable levels within his tracks, given the mellow nature of his music. However, the bonus tracks on his pSy-fI album oddly shoot the loudness back up.
  • Ambient music by its nature is meant to help you zone out and relax, not bang your head or dance wildly, so most ambient music producers have excellent dynamic range to let you appreciate every second of the way. Between Interval's Legacy album, in particular, has only one track with a negative ReplayGain value, which is still a very reasonable -1.55 dB. The rest all have positive values!
  • Lazerhawk, following the painfully brickwalled Visitors and Skull and Shark, escaped the loudness war in earnest with Dreamrider.
  • Boards of Canada have managed to avert the loudness war throughout their career and done so splendidly. The tracks on their albums with the lowest DR's are actually the quiet interludes, which aren't very dynamic due to them being ambient and mastered at a lower level. Considering that their brand of IDM is focused on hazy (if slightly uncanny) childhood memories, the sense of space does wonders to the atmosphere.
  • Autechre are an interesting example. Some of their releases, especially their later live releases and the Elseq series, play the trope straight. However, most of their releases even into the new millennium have some very dynamic tracks on them. Untilted measures a DR 12, which is almost unheard of for a modern electronic release, especially this dense and complex.
  • Austrian Euro-synthwave artist Wolfram (Eckert) completely averts the loudness war on his 2019 album Amadeus.
  • Ulver, after making the loudest album ever at the time with Nattens Madrigal, managed to make a synthpop album with a DR11 in 2020.

  • The Can remasters. Compressed? Definitely. Brickwalled? Definitely not. Lacking in dynamics? Hardly. The SACD layer is quieter without being much more dynamic.
  • Swans. Loud enough to get banned from Switzerland, yet always recorded with perfectionistic clarity, thanks to front-man/producer Michael Gira. Some of their albums have brickwalling issues, but knowing Gira, it was almost certainly an intentional attempt to create a harsher, more abrasive sound.
  • Frank Zappa's 2012 remasters wonderfully avert this, to the point that some are even more dynamic than the much discussed 1987 Rykodisc remasters.
  • Scott Walker's output in the CD era, both new albums and remasters, is generally pretty dynamic, the only glaring exception being his collaboration with Sunn O))) Soused. Bish Bosch measures DR10, and that includes a song that measures DR5 (it's not especially compressed, but rather just not inherently dynamic on account of its repetitive nature).
  • Experimental rock band Squid's debut album Bright Green Field mostly averts this. Though some tracks like "Narrator" are still loud, others are mastered very quietly. The album averages out to a respectable DR9, which is even more impressive considering that their associates Black Country, New Road and Black Midi are much louder.

  • Laura Marling's A Creature I Don't Know averted it narrowly, getting a DR10. That's pretty awesome, considering that her former boyfriend (and fellow folk singer) Marcus Mumford got a DR7 a year later for Babel. The album Once I Was an Eagle is even better, with a DR11 or 12 depending on the version and a song that measures DR15.
    • According to YouTube, her record store single "To Be a Woman" got a DR13. Now THAT'S unheard of for a modern song. Kudos to Ethan Johns for mastering it really well, (whose own song Whip Poor Will has an DR11.)
  • Neil Young has never released an album that measures below DR 8, which is interesting considering he doesn't even like CDs. For the last decade or so his albums have been released in HDCD format and in special versions that include an accompanying DVD, and these tend to be slightly more dynamic.
  • Joanna Newsom's recordings tend to be in the DR9-DR11 range. This includes, Divers, which is DR10.
  • Bob Dylan's 2020 album Rough and Rowdy Ways has an absolutely incredible dynamic range of DR14, which only accentuates one of the best-recorded (and brilliantly written, it's Dylan after all) albums in recent memory.
  • The Glow Pt. 2 was released in 2001, at the height of the loudness war. Despite this, it manages a DR11 while still maintaining a lo-fi sound throughout. Even the loud, abrasive tracks like "Map" and "Samurai Sword" manage to keep a healthy DR of 9 and 10 respectively.
  • Japanese folk artist Ichiko Aoba's critically acclaimed albums 0 and Windswept Adan have DR ranges of 12 and 10 respectively. The latter's aquatic soundscape benefits massively from being given the space necessary to breathe, which led to massive acclaim and a newfound western following.
  • Clairo's 2021 album Sling sounds wonderful at a DR10, which makes sense considering that it's pulling heavily from 70s folk and soft rock.

  • Stevie Wonder's recordings have excellent DR's, usually ranging from 10 DB or higher, including most remasters.
  • Jamiroquai's first two albums have really good DR's.
  • Janelle Monáe's music is, for the most part, not brickwalled at all: no tracks below DR7; albums at DR8 and DR9 for CD/digital versions (higher scores for vinyl editions, as usual). This is probably a Foregone Conclusion given the many layers in her music; if it were more dynamically compressed, it would be much more difficult to differentiate all the elements. Unfortunately, Dirty Computer has started to fall into this a little bit, though it's still not terribly extreme by modern standards. Oddly, the CD has a slightly higher dynamic range (DR7) than the digital download (DR6).

  • 65daysofstatic were inspired by this article on dynamic range compression to produce their album The Destruction Of Small Ideas much more quietly than their previous two, as mentioned in this interview with the band by the author of the aforementioned article. As a result, while the production on The Destruction Of Small Ideas is harder to get a grip of, the overall sound quality is much better.
  • Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon works really hard to make sure that the albums he records are only mixed/mastered by him as to avoid this. Seeing as how he owns his own record company now, it doesn't even seem to be an issue. Caldo Verde Records has been acclaimed for holding a very high standard towards its mixing and mastering process and Kozelek has been considered as a godsend towards record producers in the 21st Century. For reference, listen to Sun Kil Moon's April and notice the great use of the dynamic range.
  • Beach House was widely recognized for escaping clipping with their albums, creating an amazing dynamic range with their music, and refusing to work with producers that brickwall production... that is, until 2012 when Bloom was released with some of the worst clipping ever heard on an indie-pop album.
  • Hot Hot Heat have songs such as "Jingle Jangle" with impressive dynamic range, going from a quiet acoustic feel to a loud, jangly, catchy-as-hell song and back again. They've said in the past that they try to take control of their albums to avoid having any label-induced sourness.
  • Mexican psych/shoegaze band Lorelle Meets the Obsolete's third album measures DR4, but none of their other four albums are below 8.
  • Throwing Muses' last four albums don't vary significantly from each other in dynamic range. This means the last two (released in 2003 and 2013) hold up pretty well.
  • Justin Vernon's projects, including Bon Iver, are pretty healthily mastered, with compression used to bump up the quiet parts of the song without brickwalling the tracks. Each album clocks in an average of around 10 or 11 DR, which isn't incredible but perfectly serviceable. The vinyls, as usual, outdo them. The album 22, A Million tends to veer in and out of brickwalling, but as this particular work is inspired by industrial and experimental music, it my be stylistic.
  • The Radio Dept, after having three albums with heavy brickwalling (though at least partially for stylistic reasons), released Running Out of Love in 2016, which measures at a DR 9.

  • Skinny Puppy's The Greater Wrong of the Right is fairly loud, but retains decent dynamic range, in contrast with most contemporary industrial albums, which are brickwalled to hell, as mentioned above. Mythmaker, while not totally brickwalled, is somewhat more compressed. Also averted with the remasters of their '80s albums, including Rabies, whose original was accidentally mastered with Dolby Noise Reduction (not so much the "re-remaster" from the early 2000s). Likewise for OhGr's solo albums.
    • Even better are Handover and Weapon.
  • Nine Inch Nails, for the most part. Trent Reznor has always walked a fine line between audiophilic auteur and pop musician, so most of his 1990–2010 output is compressed enough to maintain consistent loudness and maximize the potential of the CD format without brickwalling or distorting anything (that wasn't supposed to be distorted). There was, however, some controversy over the 2010 re-master of 1989's Pretty Hate Machine, supervised by Reznor and Tom Baker (no, not that Tom Baker). First impressions of some of the preview clips suggested that it may have been brickwalled. But it turned out that while it was undeniably louder on average, and a select handful of moments were made less dynamic (like the twice-as-loud-as-everything-else synth burst in "Sanctified"), Reznor & Baker were still careful to ensure that it didn't become an indistinct, brickwalled mess.
    • To be fair, while Trent does like to keep the overall dynamics of his songs intact, he also likes to boost them to clip-happy levels. Broken and The Downward Spiral averted this somewhat due to the more modest standards of their time, but once time for The Fragile came around, boy did he let loose.
    • The European vinyl edition of Hesitation Marks (2013), which was cut from an alternate version of the "audiophile version", comes out to DR10. The downloadable audiophile version is DR6.
  • Frontline Assembly's Improvised Electronic Device, like the previously mentioned Skinny Puppy albums, is loud, but avoids clipping for the most part, unlike Artificial Soldier. They somewhat slipped back into the loudness war with the heavily dubstep-influenced Echogenetic, but backed out with Wake Up The Coma.
  • Faderhead is also surprisingly dynamic for a contemporary industrial artist.
  • Abbey Nex's Zondustrial has unusually clear production, despite mostly consisting of very harsh Industrial Metal.
  • Savage, Anger, Revenge by ± The Violen[t] Vocation[s] ±, although many of its songs are rather heavy, has some of the best dynamics in modern industrial.
  • Ayria's Paper Dolls is noticeably more dynamic than the preceding albums Hearts for Bullets and Plastic Makes Perfect, and has little if any clipping.
  • Decoded Feedback's Dark Passenger (2016) is a surprise break from their prior streak of brickwalled and/or clipped albums.
  • KMFDM's 2017 album Hell Yeah is their most dynamic in nearly two decades.
  • Interface has maintained decent to superb dynamic range on his 2010's releases, namely The Perfect World, Where All Roads Lead, and its companion album Dystopia.

  • Gavin Harrison's Cheating the Polygraph from 2015 is a lovely DR12.
  • Diana Krall generally (but not always) averts this. In particular, Turn Up the Quiet is very aptly named, with a strong DR of 12 on the CD version.

  • Iced Earth, a heavy metal band, has thankfully bucked this trend. Their album remasters do not have any compression applied (but minimal normalization to make the sound even) and have improved sound quality due to being recompiled from the original multi-tracks, with previously subdued being made louder in the mix, but the overall tracks not being that much louder than the original recordings.
    • Horror Show and The Glorious Burden have it, but the rest of their albums, including remasters, are ok.
  • Sunn O))), in order to retain fidelity at their substantial low end, defy their live reputation by mixing their albums quiet. Their mantra, "Maximum Volume Yields Maximum Results", is basically an instruction to the listener to turn the CDs up themselves.
    • A couple of their older releases play the trope straight; 00 Void comes in at DR3, as does White 2, while Flight of the Behemoth and The Grimmrobe Demos both come in at DR4 (true to form, the tracks on Behemoth that are Merzbow collaborations have by far the highest dynamic range, with some of the other tracks going as low as DR2). Strangely, White 1 comes in at DR7. Altar is a borderline case at DR5. Most of the others are in the DR6-DR8 range, which is not great overall but acceptable by modern metal standards.
  • While Reinventing the Steel by Pantera is your standard brickwalled and clipped fare, the vinyl edition of the album has totally different mastering to it, which picks it up from a DR 6 to a flabbergasting DR 15! Even in the '80s and early '90s, Pantera's never sounded so clear before.
  • All of Running Wild's material up until Masquerade is mastered remarkably well, with Port Royal and Death or Glory notably all the way up at DR15 and DR13 respectively. Unfortunately, Masquerade's original master took a drastic turn with a range of DR8, and the following albums were even more squashed.
    • Also unfortunately, the 2017 remasters of the original albums mostly smash their perfectly wide and clear dynamic range down as low as DR7, but strangely the one for Masquerade is actually an improvement, bumping it up to DR10.
  • Necrophagist bucked the trend of modern death metal by mastering Epitaph at a reasonable level. At DR8, it's not the most dynamic album ever, but by modern metal standards that is astounding. Almost no clipping to be found.
  • For an album released in 2001, Demolition by Judas Priest is remarkably dynamic, scoring a pretty decent DR 10. In particular, the song In Between doesn't even clip at all.
  • Origin has done much the same thing with Antithesis and Entity; while Antithesis still had issues with the production (it had dynamics but was quite muddy), Entity increased the clarity without sacrificing space. (Antithesis comes out to DR9 but, amongst its other problems, still clips constantly. Entity was given a bit more compression, coming out to DR8, but care was taken to avoid clipping on this album, and it sounds pristine).
  • Timeghoul is another case of a death metal band's material being released with enough space for the instruments to breathe. The band's material was mostly recorded from 1992 to 1994, but it was recently remastered for its first official CD release. People were afraid that the remaster would be a typical modern brickwalled shitfest, but when it came out, it had a staggering DR10. If only all modern metal releases were so lovingly mastered.
    • Unfortunately, this trend did not continue on the bonus disc of the reissue. The songs were all clipped and the disc came in at a DR5. Even worse, they also appear to have been sourced from mp3s, which is particularly vexing since the material is all sourced from analogue sources which could easily have been recorded to full FLAC.
  • Technical Death Metal band Gorguts' 2013 album Colored Sands is mastered at DR9. Good luck finding a more dynamic album in that genre, particularly in recent times. For comparison, their 1998 album Obscura was mastered at DR5, which makes this a huge improvement. (Note that War on Music's vinyl editions of Obscura and From Wisdom to Hate are both a much more sensible DR10). Since Colin Marston is a member of the band and presumably did the mastering for Colored Sands, though, the increased dynamic range probably isn't terribly surprising to anyone already familiar with his other work.
    • To be fair, Obscura very well might have been intentionally loud to have an even more abrasive, confrontational sound.
    • The band's 2016 EP Pleiades' Dust continues the trend of well-mastered Gorguts releases at DR8.
  • Although still produced loudly, A Twisted Christmas by Twisted Sister still has a fair amount of its dynamics in place, with its songs scoring anywhere from a DR 8 to as high as a DR 11. It sounds quite light on the clipping too.
  • Most releases of material by Finland's Demilich have been free from loudness war shenanigans. Their 20th-anniversary compilation 20th Adversary of Emptiness, released in 2014, comes out to DR11 on CD, which is staggering for a death metal release these days. (The LP version comes out to DR12).
  • Artificial Brain's debut full-length, Labyrinth Constellation, is another modern death metal album with a very agreeable mastering job. With an average of DR8, it manages to be loud and clear without sacrificing dynamics or coming anywhere close to clipping. Once again, it was a Colin Marston job, so it's up to his usual standard of quality.
  • Morbus Chron's 2014 effort Sweven is another example of a modern DR8 death metal album that doesn't have much/any clipping. The vinyl is even better.
  • Swiss blackened death metal band Bölzer have been pretty good about this, too. Their demo Roman Acupuncture is questionable at DR6, but their first EP Aura is a much nicer DR11 and their second EP Soma is a still respectable DR8.
  • Wintersun's Time is another example of a modern metal album that was mastered at a decent level (again being DR8).
  • Progressive Metal band Orphaned Land. Their metal passages have a moderate amount of dynamic range compression applied to them, but by today's standards they're pretty light, and it's nowhere near enough to clip. The acoustic passages have pristine mastering with apparently no dynamic range compression whatsoever. Mabool comes out at DR9, although that's mostly due to a mix of metal songs coming at DR7 and DR8 and acoustic songs coming in at levels like DR10 and DR16. ORwarriOR appears to be a bit less dynamic on CD (DR6), although it also got a vinyl release that was incredibly dynamic. ORwarriOR was mastered separately for vinyl; Mabool was not.
  • British Black Metal band A Forest of Stars' first two albums have amazing dynamic range. The Corpse of Rebirth is DR10 and Opportunistic Thieves of Spring is DR11. The band's third album, A Shadowplay for Yesterdays, was a bit louder, coming in at DR7, although the vinyl was a much more reasonable DR11.
  • Fellow British Black Metal band Fen are notorious for having all their early CDs horribly clipped, but the frontman of the band personally remastered the band's first full-length album, The Malediction Fields, for its vinyl release. It is a tremendous improvement, being largely shorn of clipping and coming in at DR11. The LP of Epoch, mastered by Greg Chandler of Esoteric fame, is even better, as it has no clipping at all on the master, although it only comes out to DR10. (From Dustwalker onward, while Fen's CDs are still pretty loud, they no longer have the conspicuous clipping issues.)
  • American Black Metal band Panopticon has always had good dynamics. Colin Marston has done the mastering for the recent releases, so this probably isn't surprising, but even before he was involved there were lots of dynamics (the band's self-titled début is DR10).
  • Norwegian Metal band Kvelertak, though they're plenty loud and don't have a lot of dynamic range, mix and master their albums clearly and free of clipping or brickwalling.
  • In one of the more surprising aversions of the loudness war, metal band Avenged Sevenfold's Hail to the King (2013) is mastered at DR11. All their other albums are at the DR6-DR7 range. Seriously though, this is one of the best sounding commercial metal releases in years. Same goes for the following album The Stage in 2016.
  • American Black Metal band Vattnet Viskar have been pretty good about mastering. Their demo was pretty clipped and came out to a rather questionable DR6, but after that, they wised up to the audio quality and started mastering their albums with care. Their self-titled EP is DR8 on CD and either DR10 (12") or DR11 (10") on vinyl, while their album Sky Swallower is DR9 on CD and DR12 on vinyl. (Then again, the high dynamics on the vinyl of the latter shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, since their record label from Sky Swallower onward is Century Media, which is well known for putting out high-quality vinyl releases). Settler, released in 2015, is a more borderline case at DR7 on CD, but it was given a separate master for the vinyl edition and comes out to a staggering DR13 - one of the most dynamic metal recordings in recent memory.
  • Canadian Technical Death Metal band Quo Vadis has albums "Forever..." (1997) averaging at DR10 and "Defiant Imagination" (2004) averaging at DR9, a highly impressive feat in the world of brickwalled death metal tracks.
  • Convulse's 2013 effort Evil Prevails comes in with a DR of 11 and looks like this. This is absolutely AMAZING. Finally, a modern "Old School Death Metal" record done the right way.
  • Most editions of Super Collider by Megadeth are clipped and brickwalled as expected, hitting a measly DR 6. But shockingly, the HD Tracks version of the album clocks in at a DR 11.
  • U.S./Colombian Black Metal band Inquisition has mostly been good about avoiding loudness war shenanigans. 2013's Obscure Verses for the Multiverse, comes in at DR9. 2011's Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm isn't bad either at DR8. Some of their material from the mid-Noughties plays this trope straight, however.
  • Since band member Colin Marston (mentioned above under producers) usually does the mastering for Krallice albums, this tends to be an averted trope on their recordings. Albums tend to come out around DR8 (Dimensional Bleedthrough is slightly louder at DR7, while Orphan of Sickness is slightly quieter at DR9), with vinyl versions often being more dynamic. Note that "Litany of Regrets" intentionally uses compression as an artistic element, but it's still not compressed enough to be an example of this trope. The band's recent albums Prelapsarian and Go Be Forgotten are even better than the band's previous output at DR10 (Loüm is also DR9). There's also The Wastes of Time, a 2019 collection of remastered versions of the band's first four albums that also comes out to DR10 overall, with no track scoring less than DR9, making it a rare case of modern metal remasters that are more dynamic than the originals.
  • Folk Metal band Moonsorrow have been notorious for using compression as an artistic element of their music, so it's quite a surprise that Jumalten aika, comes in at DR9. One possible reason for this is that unlike their last several albums it's been released on Century Media, which has been noted (including several times above in this very article) for caring more about audio quality than most other metal labels.
  • Black Metal band Vanum's debut Realm of Sacrifice comes out to DR10 even on CD. It's very, very rare for a metal album to be this lovingly mastered these days. The follow-up EP, Burning Arrow, is also very nice at DR9.
  • Most of tool's work averts it, although Salival and 10000 Days are a bit compressed. Ænima is an offender on a few tracks, but is overall very dynamic. Fear Inoculum clips a bit, but is DR9 overall and only has two tracks coming in at below DR8.
  • The two releases of Death/Doom Metal band Inverloch have been very well mastered. The EP Dusk | Subside comes in at DR8, and the full-length Distance | Collapsed is even better at DR9.
  • German Black Metal band Nagelfar's second album Srontgorrth is a glorious aversion of this trope at DR10, with no noticeable clipping problems anywhere in its seventy-minute running time. The band's other releases, unfortunately, fall into the trope a bit (Hünengrab im Herbst is DR6 and Virus West is DR8, both with clipping problems), and when Srontgorrth was reissued with a bonus disc, the bonus disc was DR3 with extremely audible clipping. Fortunately, the original album still kept its dynamic range even in the reissue. Successor project The Ruins of Beverast has also averted this trope on some of its releases (Rain Upon the Impure is particularly noteworthy at DR11, although that album was given a deliberately lo-fi production and may not even have been mastered, while the EP Takitum Tootem! is DR10, and Blood Vaults is around DR8 or so without any noticeable clipping problems. The other albums play the trope fairly straight on CD at DR4 for Unlock the Shrine and DR6 for Foulest Semen of a Sheltered Elite and Exuvia, but are fairly dynamic on vinyl, though the vinyl masters still clip).
  • Also from Germany, Progressive Black Metal band Nocte Obducta have averted this with some of their releases, but not others. Their albums since their reformation have been mastered quite well, with minimal clipping and decent dynamic range by modern metal standards. Most of their early releases are also well mastered. Schwarzmetall, Stille, both parts of Nektar, and Sequenzen einer Wanderung play the trope straight, with audible clipping in all of the loud parts, although there are still passages with dynamics in most of them due to the nature of Nocte Obducta's music.
  • Neurosis has mostly avoided this. Fires Within Fires, their latest as of 2016, comes in at DR8, which is quite respectable by modern metal standards. Given to the Rising is their only album that fell into this much.
  • Zhrine's 2016 debut Unortheta is also very dynamic by modern black and death metal standards at DR8; while one would assume that this would be a requirement based on their prominent post-rock influences, this is not always the case, as Ulcerate and Deathspell Omega (two major influences) can attest (as both bands have heavily brickwalled releases).
  • Midnight Odyssey's 2015 release Shards of Silver Fade is DR9, with no track falling below DR8 and very minimal clipping.
  • First Fragment's 2016 debut Dasein is another DR8 release, which is particularly rare given how ridiculously common heavy brickwalling is in technical death metal, especially more conventionally flashy acts.
  • Given that the original version of Death Magnetic became a byword for terrible mastering, it’s kind of surprising that, when Metallica remastered it in 2016, the remaster averted the loudness war. It’s not completely free of clipping, and at DR7, it’s not the most dynamic record ever released, but even non-audiophiles should find the improvement obvious almost immediately. Perfectly respectable by modern standards, and it would raise the question of why the band didn’t release the album like that in the first place, but given Rick Rubin’s history of this kind of thing, there’s really no need to ask.
  • Endlichkeit, an anonymous black metal band from either the Czech Republic or the United States (there is conflicting info about this), hasn't yet released a track that scores below DR10 (and on their second EP, all three tracks score at DR11).
  • American black metal band Falls of Rauros also tends to have very good mastering. Their side of Brotherhood (their split with Panopticon, mentioned above) comes out to DR9, as does Vigilance Perennial. The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood is even better at DR10.
  • While a lot of their music has fallen into the loudness war somewhat, Істина/Verity by Ukraine's Nokturnal Mortum comes out to DR7 with scant clipping anywhere on the master. This was likely necessitated by the many layers in this album - as with Janelle Monáe's music, mentioned above, if the album were louder, it wouldn't be possible to differentiate all the layers in the music. Even then, some listeners have reported that the mix is much clearer on good headphones than it is on speakers. (It may be worth noting that this album was mastered by Greg Chandler of Esoteric, also noted above for his work on Fen's vinyl releases, who doesn't seem to have much time for loudness war stunts.)
  • Most albums by their fellow countrymen Drudkh have good dynamic range, though a few of the more recent ones are a bit louder (the dynamic range compression is still pretty mild by modern standards, though). The remasters of their early albums on Season of Mist are a bit louder and less dynamic, but they're still acceptable. (Also, for technical reasons unrelated to dynamic range, vinyl releases of Лебединий шлях/The Swan Road and Кров у наших криницях/Blood in Our Wells sound much better than the CDs and digital releases - to simplify the explanation slightly, upper frequencies that are absent in other versions are present in the vinyl edition.)
  • Like Drudkh, most of Blut aus Nord's music doesn't fall too heavily into this trope. Many albums clip a bit, but it's rarely excessive, and few of their releases fall below DR8. Unfortunately, their more recent material does fall into the trope a bit more.
  • Alcest has only released one album that falls below DR8 (Shelter, which is oddly their least metallic and most Post-Rock-influenced album), although a few of them still clip a bit. Kodama doesn't clip at all (except, oddly, on the bonus track), nor do Souvenirs d'un autre monde or the original recording of Le Secret (the latter of which probably didn't have any dynamic range compression applied at all, as it comes out to DR13). Amesoeurs' work falls into the same category as most of Alcest's music (somewhat clipped, but still pretty dynamic).
  • Avant-garde black metal band Imperial Triumphant's Vile Luxury, comes in at DR10. Unsurprisingly, this was a Colin Marston production.
  • Progressive death metal band Horrendous has two albums, 2015's Ecdysis and 2018's Idol that both come out to DR10.
  • Avant-Garde Metal band Sigh's 2018 release Heir to Despair is their best mastered release in years, coming out to DR8 with very little clipping. Additionally, the lowest any track on the album scores is DR7.
  • Mexican-American Progressive Death Metal band The Chasm’s 2002 album Conjuration of the Spectral Empire is DR9. Strangely, this came between two of their loudest albums, 2000's Procession to the Infraworld (DR5) and 2004's The Spell of Retribution (DR4). Most of their other albums hover in the DR6-7 area.
  • Avant-garde/progressive black metal band Victory Over the Sun's 2020 album A Tessitura of Transfiguration comes in at a staggering DR12. Good luck finding another recent metal album with such fantastic dynamic range.
  • Abiotic's 2021 release Ikigai is shockingly dynamic for a technical death metal release, coming in at DR10.
  • Ad Nauseam's Imperative Imperceptible Impulse, also released in 2021, is even more so, coming in at DR11. Their 2015 album, Nihil quam vacuitas ordinatum est, was also pretty good, with a DR8 range.

  • Yuki Kajiura's music is usually relatively loud, but it does employ dynamic range and its loudness is a conscious artistic choice that's accounted for by other elements of the production.
  • Mark Morgan's soundtracks to Fallout and Fallout 2 were remastered in 2010 as the compilation soundtrack Vault Archives. The volumes were boosted, but the dynamics remain intact.
  • The OST to the legendary Ori and the Blind Forest is perfectly mastered and entirely eschews clipping or compression.
  • Music games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band have their music separated into multitrack stems. And this means that a large number of these tracks, when mixed, are more dynamic than that of the official albums. Guitar Hero III's DLC release of Death Magnetic is the most notable example of this. Another example is Dream Theater's song, Panic Attack. The album version comes in at DR 7, while the Rock Band 2 version comes in at DR 12, making it warmer and more lively.

  • While Vlado Meller is reviled by many audiophiles nowadays due to his excessive brickwalling, it's interesting (and almost hard to believe) to note that he was responsible for mastering 1994's The Sweetest Illusion by Basia. Pretty much no clipping to be found. Example here.
  • Another very surprising aversion: Jessie J's album Alive has a DR of 9, which is quite impressive for a pop album released in 2013, and almost twice the DR of her debut Who You Are. Some of the songs, like "It's My Party," have some slight clipping, but the album sounds quite clear compared to other pop music these days. However, it was likely this reason why the album wasn't released in America until 2 years later.
  • Kate Bush's output has done a consistently good job of maintaining excellent dynamics, never dipping below DR10; in particular, the 2018 remasters of her back-catalog sound gorgeous, with DR11 being the lowest any album in the set will go on average.
  • A Walk Across the Rooftops and Hats by The Blue Nile have amazing DRs.

    Prog Rock 
  • Porcupine Tree. Singer-Songwriter-Guitarist Steven Wilson is a self-producer and is adamantly opposed to this. He considered putting "Please note that this record may not be mastered as loudly as some of the other records in your collection. This is in order to retain the dynamic range and subtlety of the music. Please, use your volume knob" on the sleeves of the Deadwing album. Unfortunately, the CD version of the album got fucked in mastering, and only the DVD-Audio version is properly mastered (this also affected the CD of In Absentia). All other PT albums since have been mastered at lower levels.
    • It is worth noting that even the DVD-Audio version of In Absentia is horribly clipped. Seriously, who the hell thinks clipping a 5.1 DVD-A mix is a good idea?
  • With Devin Townsend's new(er) album Ki (which he also produced), he announced: "I officially pull my hat out of the loudness wars."
    • He's still making good on that promise with the follow-up, Addicted!, despite it being a ton heavier than Ki.
    • I find these claims kind of strange, because Addicted and Deconstruction in particular are brickwalled, and in fact audibly clipped. They're less clipped than a lot of his earlier recordings, but Deconstruction has a ReplayGain value of -10.14 dB, which indicates quite a bit of compression. Addicted is -9.86. Ki is -7.57, which is better, but there is still clipping on a few parts. Even the "ambient" album Ghost (ReplayGain -6.23) has clipping on a few tracks, although it's nowhere near as prevalent. Ki and Ghost at least actually have dynamics. Most songs on Deconstruction and Addicted, by contrast, do not.
    • While Ki is at times dynamic, as its worst, it is far worse than even Deconstruction. The ReplayGain on the last 45 seconds of the title track comes in at -13.47 dB!
    • Sadly, Epicloud is, as the name suggests, loud. Just listen to the first few seconds of the remake of Kingdom
    • He finally actually averted the Loudness War with Casualties of Cool which is a DR10 master and sounds great.
    • Empath is also DR10 (the bonus disc is DR9). Some of this other recent releases have also played the trope straight, however.
  • Cult pomp-rock band The Enid generally avoid brickwalling, although some of their more recent remasters have used a bit of it on peaks. The CD reissues of their first two albums from 1976-7 (long-delayed for legal reasons) avoid it altogether.
  • One weird early example: the 1973 album Wizzard Brew by Roy Wood’s Wizzard was deliberately subjected to heavy amounts of compression and distortion, with VU meters pushed heavily into the red. Early consumers thought this was some sort of audio defect, not an artistic choice. It actually sounds less distorted than many commercially produced CDs these days!
  • The 2011 Pink Floyd remasters avert this trope almost as adeptly as the 2009 Beatles remasters.
    • So, putting the obvious joke out of the way: The Wall isn't brickwalled.
      • They're still compressed, though. "When the Tigers Broke Free" on CD has much less dynamic range than the version used on the DVD of Pink Floyd: The Wall.
    • They've continued averting the loudness war with The Endless River, which comes in at a glorious DR11.
  • None of the 2007 remasters of The Alan Parsons Project are brickwalled, all favouring incredible dynamic range and sound clarity. As to be expected of Alan Parsons, who dissected exactly why the Loudness War harms music in a video for the Art & Science of Sound Recording website.
  • The 2009 Procol Harum remasters pretty much go the Pink Floyd route, compressed but not brickwalled, although their later albums appear to have less dynamic range.
  • King Crimson and associated projects, probably not a surprise as Robert Fripp hates modern recording industry practices. Fripp & Eno's third record is actually quieter than their previous two.
  • Jethro Tull have never released anything below DR8, not even their remasters.
  • A number of recent Rush releases have fallen prey to the loudness war, but Snakes and Arrows and Feedback were both remastered in 2016. The remasters come out to around DR12. Vapor Trails Remixed is a borderline example; the original was DR5 and had horrible clipping problems, but while Remixed doesn't clip, it nonetheless comes in at about DR7. Remixed is still a huge improvement, though. Now we just have to hope they subject Clockwork Angels and their recent live material to a similar treatment.
    • Speaking of Rush, the 40th-anniversary edition of Hemispheres clocks in at a healthy DR 12, exactly the same as some of the original vinyl pressings of the album.
  • Wobbler's From Silence to Somewhere (2017) is a staggering DR11, with no track coming below DR10. Hinterland (2005) and Rites at Dawn (2011), similarly, come out to DR10, with no track on either release below DR8. This is likely in no small part because they're aiming for a classic '70s sound, and you can't get that with brickwalling; plus, as they're a symphonic prog band, dynamics are absolutely crucial to their music. Still, it's absolutely astonishing - it's a rare case of a retro '70s sound that's done completely right. From Silence has some of the best production you'll have heard on a rock album in years, and it's likely been a crucial component to the album's unanimously rapturous reception on progressive rock sites (for example, it's currently the highest rated album of the entire century on Prog Archives, and several sites ranked it the best prog album of the year).
  • Similarly, Änglagård haven't released anything that comes out to less than DR8, and most of their albums have ranges of DR10 or higher - with likely the same explanation as for Wobbler. (One song on Epilog has a range of DR4, but it's a fifteen-second interlude that's nearly silent. No actual song on any of their albums has a range below DR8.)

  • We all know that the 1997 remaster of The Stooges' Raw Power is atrocious, but the 2010 Legacy Edition is a hell of a lot better. It's a remaster of the original David Bowie mix. The remix Iggy Pop made for the 1997 remaster turned everything up to match the lead guitar, after which everything was turned up even louder. The original mix has the lead guitar standing out in the mix in order to be intentionally unpleasant, but with a merciful master, it's audio ambrosia compared to the 1997 version. There are times when it sounds like you're listening to a skilled cover band. An ideal version would turn the lead guitar down and use the 2010 master.
    • The 2012 vinyl remaster of Iggy's mix removes all the clipping while keeping its improvements (better levels for the instruments, more punch to the guitars, better midrange, and bass presence, etc.). This is now the definitive version.
  • The 2012 remaster of Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols has excellent dynamics and is generally considered the best sounding version of the album available. Only one song on the entire album drops below DR9 (the bonus disc's second version of "Problems").
  • All the original multi-tracks for American Idiot by Green Day are floating around on the Internet, making it easy to create a custom remix of every song on it. In fact, it's possible to pick the album up from a DR 5 all the way up to a DR 14!
  • The Velvet Underground reissues have, for the most part, been extremely dynamic. 2015's The Complete Matrix Tapes (DR11) is easily the best any live recording of the band has ever sounded, and it's not even close.

  • Kendrick Lamar's untitled unmastered. measures DR 10, which is almost unheard of in modern rap. Sadly, a number of his other releases (good kid, m.A.A.d city and To Pimp a Butterfly among them) play the trope straight, even on vinyl releases, with highly audible clipping throughout.
  • The Roots' eleventh album ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin (2014) bucks the group's long trend of low dynamics. It's their most dynamic album since the 90s, measuring DR 9.

  • The 2011 Legacy Editions of the Peter Tosh albums Legalize It and Equal Rights avert this by retaining all their dynamics and having waveforms that look like they come from 80s CDs.

  • Guns N' Roses, of all bands, managed to mostly avert this trope. Other than "The Spaghetti Incident?",note  their studio albums were always a healthy DR9 or higher. It helps that Axl began working on Chinese Democracy before the loudness war reached full steam, and only finished when there was a strong backlash against it.
  • The 2009 stereo Beatles remasters received a minimal amount of peak limiting: not to make the songs louder, but to keep a consistent overall volume across the albums while maintaining the original dynamics. The mono remasters did not have any peak limiting used on them.
  • Spinal Tap. Their speakers may go to eleven, but their albums? Less so.
  • Averted by Los Lonely Boys on their debut album. Producer John Porter intentionally tried not to make it too loud, and it worked. Their later albums, on the other hand...
  • The Doors' 40th Anniversary remasters generally avoid it, although there are one or two odd exceptions like "The Wasp".
  • The 2015 HDTrack remasters of Van Halen's first 6 albums are absolutely stunning. Several of them actually outdo most previous releases in terms of dynamics (particularly on Fair Warning) with overall values of DR 12 and DR 13 across the board, and not a speck of clipping or limiting in sight. However, it should be noted that this only applies to the 192kHz-24bit versions of these albums on there. The 2015 CD remasters are still brickwalled, and supposedly even HDTracks still curiously retains that in the 96kHz/24bit versions.
  • The Cult's Beyond Good and Evil may appear to have only the vocals mixed high in the mix, but listeners who turn up the volume even more to really feel the bass will have their ears ringing the next day.
  • For the most part, the 2011 Queen remasters try to avoid this, trying to remaster the albums in a similar manner to The Beatles, and they are mainly bought for the newly discovered demos on the second discs on each album. Most reviews are favorable because of the way the sound clarity in the older albums are now.
  • While their career had already ended by the time this trope became a serious problem, most reissues (and new releases) of The Grateful Dead's music have continued to avert this trope. A strange exception is the Warner Bros. vinyl box set, which had audible clipping on some of the masters despite being marketed as an audiophile treatment of their music; considering how supposed immunity to the Loudness War was a huge selling point of the vinyl revival, this is especially confusing. On the other hand, 2017's Cornell 5/8/77 has an average DR score of 12 on CD (the digital download, for unexplained reasons, is even higher at DR14).
  • The 1998-2000 EMI Gold remasters and 2008-2009 Definitive Edition remasters of Ultravox's Midge Ure-era studio discography is surprisingly competent considering that they were made while the Loudness War was reaching its peak; all five albums come in at a healthy DR10 or higher (with the bonus discs on the Definitive Edition releases never dipping below DR9). The 2006 remasters of their John Foxx-era material are also pretty decent by the standards of the time, ranging from DR8 to a healthy DR11.
  • The 2003 remasters of The Police's studio discography is amazingly competent for its time, with 4 out of the band's five albums averaging at around DR11. The only album that dips below this is their debut, Outlandos d'Amour, and even then it still has a fair amount of headroom at DR9. And yet, despite this praise, the original CD versions sound even better to this day. The 'latest' remasters, from 2018, are as good as the originals, though the mixing is a little different.
  • The 2005 DVD-Audio remasters of Talking Heads' studio discography are downright beautiful to listen to, with many dubbing them to be on par with, if not better than, the original 1980s CDs; the CD version of the remasters don't get off quite as kindly, with noticeable compression and volume-boosting, but still go no lower than DR8. Sadly, it doesn't seem likely that we'll ever get a re-release of the remastered CDs with the quality of the audio DVDs, as Sire has since opted to issue repressings of the original 1980s CDs (thankfully, the repressings sound just as good as the original discs).
  • Despite David Bowie's output having not received the kindest treatment dynamic-wise since 1997, Parlophone Records' remasters of his material are surprisingly competent; his albums from Space Oddity to Station to Station are the primary high points of this bunch, almost consistently exceeding DR10.note  The remasters for Bowie's albums between Low and Never Let Me Down are a step down, ranging from a passable DR8 to a decent DR10, but are devoid of any brickwalling or clipping, and as a result sound quite pleasant in spite of their lower dynamic range.note  Because of this, Parlophone's remasters have been considered to be the greatest Bowie's catalog ever received over the years (remastering error on the A New Career in a New Town (1977-1982) version of "Heroes" aside), and are nowadays regarded as the definitive digital audio releases of his music.
  • Psych Rock band Khruangbin has some of the best D Rs in the genre at the moment, with their lowest being a 10 and the highest being a 13. Considering that their style is heavily 70s-influenced, it's probably intentionally quieter to sound more like the albums of the period.
  • Synthpop-turned-post-rock band Talk Talk has mostly averted this trope, with the exception of "The Collection" compilation and the 1997 remaster of their first album, The Party's Over. Everything else is very dynamic.
    • Mark Hollis's solo album measures an absolutely astounding DR15 despite being released in 1998, where the Loudness War was really beginning to ramp up. Considering how sparse and acoustic it is, it likely would not even be possible to brickwall it.