It took me a while to finally get this one (first time I received the regular CD that I already had, I'm still amazed by the fact that people are unable to distinguish both formats...), but I've been playing the SACD version for some days and I gave it a 8.
At first I was afraid that the rear speakers were only receiving a duplicate from the front speakers, but in fact not. The way the percussive elements are spread around is very subtle and it gives you the impression that you're with the band around a camp fire. Very cool.
The acoustic guitars are quite lound in the rears and it envelops you totally. The choirs are powerful too.
I looked closely at the booklet which is strictly no different than the CD's one, so I'm still wondering who did the 5.1 mix ? Is it Bottrill, like the stereo mix ?
I'm a big, big fan of Bottrill and if I'm not mistaken, this would look like his first 5.1 mix...
It's a nice disc, to be sure; and a worthy addition to one's collection. However, I went with a rating of six. Overall, the surround mix is a little bit too subtle for my tastes. The last couple of tracks have a little more surround action, which is more to my liking. The recording itself seems a little on the cold side. It doesn't give me that warm, fuzzy feeling.
Yep, 5.1 mix by David Bottrill. AFAIK, he only did mix Mudvayne's The End of All Things to Come (DD 5.1 only, 2005 DualDisc).
I wish this is how Alice In Chains' acoustic stuff would translate into surround... but that obviously didn't happen. Overall, a little bright and shiny sounding (ok, still punchy too!) for my taste, but that's about the only complaint I have. Good use of the rears, although you can't do much with this kind of acoustic stuff, so it's mainly percussion, vocals and ocassional guitars in the back complete with really wide soundstage. And some big sound envelope as well.
Godsmack is really not my thing musically, but if it works for you, you can't go wrong with this release. Solid 7 from me.