It's worse than I thought.
So I admit that occasionally I like to play with limiters to push a mix. However, even when I do so, I still get a wave form that is visible (unlike these commercial mixes that look like bricks).
So just to see how much it took, I made the attempt today to create a brick. I must say it involved some unconventional mixing with smashing in mind. The drums just thin out too much if you smash, so I found myself smashing the drums in the mix, too. Then I pulled the guitars and vocals waaaay back, and pulled the bass down a moderate amount. Overheads and anything sizzly got pulled back, too - only kick and snare got the limiter in mixing.
BTW, at this point the mix sounded like crap.
Then, I bounced to stereo and hit the mix with the limiters. I like freeware, so I've been using TLs_Maximizer and Classic Master Limiter just a bit. To really crush this bastard I ran two of the TLss into one another adding 7dB to one and 9dB to the other. Then I ran a Classic Master Limiter with 5-6dB on it.
Now the mix starts to balance out and sound closer to how I mixed it earlier, just with no dynamic range at all. Funny, it's approaching the commercial sound. Funny. And disgusting.
That's what it took. A lot of posters smash with a limiter and ask why it's still not there. I had to use three limiters and over 21dB of fat-lady-sitting-on-the-mix.
Herein appears a signature line.