Happy New Year!
The mastering trend of the last decade or even longer seems to be driven by the idea to create the ultimate listening experience at moderate levels on mediocre equipment - like laptops or kitchen speakers.
Anyway, recording digitally and mixing in DAWs certainly doesn't make the sound more enjoyable either...
There is of course mangling that goes on in mastering, but these days most of the volume is coming from parallel compression during mixing.
For what its worth... Andrew Scheps mixed both the chili peppers and the metalica albums you're referring too, and hes said many times he does not check on anything other than his main speakers, he mixed it that way because he liked it like that.... Personally, its over the line for me, but I do love some of the sounds that are achievable with modern mixing techniques... I just think it tends to go a bit too far....
Be it limited to death or mastered crap, if a band is sh*t then it will sound sh*t (Metallica)
Thank You for the response to the comment about digital recording and computer as tool their-of AKA DAW. It was implied along the way that it is inferior to other approaches. I am assuming meaning analogue? I agree with the sentiment that it (DAW) is not and that it is in many ways better and more accurate then any and I mean any analogue storage medium! Tchad Blake's work is one of the best examples that can be given for the debate!They are all just tools in the hands of craftspeople and nothing more!
I have said this before; for success in the music business you need:1. Real talent2. Catchy melody3. Well constructed arrangement4. Capable musicians5. Quality recording gear6. LuckCheersIan
"Success"suc·cesssəkˈses/nounnoun: success; plural noun: successes the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.So I say that any project started, toiled on in the middle and then completed, is by definition a success! Emphasis on completed!