Producer Kevin Shirley (IRON MAIDEN, DREAM THEATER) has posted the following message on his official web site:"Got my copy of the new IRON MAIDEN album ['A Matter of Life and Death'] — well, a reference disc — and took off early this morning in my car to check it out, top down on an uncrowded ocean highway, and I must say, I'm pretty happy we (well, Steve [Harris], really) decided against using the mastering! I dig it! For all the little extra hi-fi nuances they add in mastering, the raw attack and bite of the original mixes is quite refreshing to hear! It is EXACTLY as I mixed them in the studio, EXACTLY what the guys in the band heard! In the mastering process, the mastering engineer sometimes takes it upon himself to be creative, say to add certain frequencies which boost vocals or the bass, which makes the balance between the kick and bass guitar change, and on many occasions I've got a mastered CD back, and then have been unhappy — but usually blame myself! Even when we mastered this album (which we didn't use), it had a little analog compression added, which brings the guitars up a tiny bit, and knocks the transients off the snare drum, thus diluting the attack and impact of the snare. Now what you'll hear on the MAIDEN album is the way it sounded in the studio, and while it may not be as loud as some other CDs, who gives a fuck! Turn the volume up then... My three fave tracks are 'Longest Day', 'For the Greater Good Of God' and 'Lord Of Light' — although that may well change tomorrow!" "A Matter of Life and Death" is scheduled for release in North America on September 5 via Sanctuary.