It still baffles me that Alan Parsons did not use compression for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album. The beauty of that sound is unquestionable. I actually do not use compression most of the time, because I just don’t like how it sounds. I don’t understand it. Maybe with some tracks it works, but it just seems to make the sound bland and muddy. I’m no expert though. However, I don’t think I’m an idiot, and I love to mess around with mastering techniques and my own ideas. I believe if someone has enough ingenuity, there is no need to do some of the things which are so accepted and expected in the industry. I think sometimes, when you hear mantra so much you start to believe it. It doesn’t make it true though.
That kind of music is usually listened to at high volumes so if you had wider dynamic range it would mean higher perceived loudness (but not in a good way). You would have to lower the volume on loud parts and push it up on the quieter parts. So wide dynamic range isn’t always a good thing.
Another IMHO – I think that some audio producers have the photographic approach – take a poor picture and then Photoshop will fix it…do a bad mix with audio and a limiter will make it sound good. Mixing without EQ and Compression takes time to learn – but do we really have time. I personally do not use EQ as my audio is all VST based and there would have been some EQ at the point of source anyway. I just rely on individual levels and automation in Cubase for a mix.
Listen to any Trevor Horn produced track and remember that if it takes a month to find the right snare sound to sit and cut through a mix then why leave things to the mastering engineer?