Darkness is only the second album in Bruce's catalog to receive a remaster treatment (the first being Born To Run in '05). The original version, despite all its sparseness and dynamic range, still sounded thin and 'weak' at times; you always felt there was that 'thing' missing. I'm glad to say that Bob Ludwig did a fantastic job with this new remaster. Not only is it louder, the music is much more defined. One minor problem is the few number of dropouts (Prove It All Night and Adam Raised A Cain), which can be quite glaring if listened on the headphones.
There is a better separation of instruments, they got more room to 'breathe'. To my ears, the most notable improvement is the bass and drums; they sound richer and fuller, there's a lot of meat to them. And now you can actually hear a clearer difference between the low and high ends. When Max plays those fills at the start of Badlands, the music just hits you like a ton of bricks, right in your face. Just stunning.
There's still a bit of hiss on the softer songs like Something In The Night and Racing In The Street, but it's not a bugging issue. Guitars wise, you can now hear Stevie's rhythm parts clearly. And Bruce's lead solos during Adam Raised A Cain and Streets Of Fire will make your hair stand. In this age of highly compressed and piercing rock music, it's refreshing to hear something like this.