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MetalMan68632
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:33 pm
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 6:14 pm 
 

I got the vinyl of this album at a flea market expecting it to be bad. I was wrong about it. Since I'm one of the 7 people that know about this band, I'll give a completely honest review. Lets start with the instrumentation. The guitar tone is great for thrash metal and the overall guitar work is awesome. However, the riffs are kind of sloppily played and have some accidental notes in there, but that is overshadowed by the fact that Scott does incredible work on this album. The bass has some problems like its almost inaudible unless there is a bass solo. However, the bass work is pretty good (when you can hear it). The bass tone is pretty bland but that's not a bad thing as it blends in pretty well. The drums are the things I have the most problem with. The snare is unlatched, which I wouldn't really have a problem with but it sounds like it was ripped straight out of St. Anger. The drum work isn't really that great either, it doesn't really have that much consistency. The toms don't sound great and barely have any dampening. The vocals are... unique? They are pitch shifted but Ruben isn't death metal growling, he's singing regular thrash metal vocals. I'm not saying the vocals are bad, they are just "different". Ruben's vocals are fine and are pretty good for this album and work pretty well.


The lyrics are pretty good. They are written well and they go from having homicidal urges to zombies. Dark Exodus, Prepare To Die, and Zombie Attack have really good storytelling and hold up great. The songwriting is really weird and isn't that consistent and the riffs switch around a lot. The bass solos work well with the songs and sound sick though. Overall this album is great and I recommend it to any thrash fans.

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TheBurningOfSodom
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:28 am
Posts: 160
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2021 2:27 pm 
 

Hey dude, I'd recommend you to refer to the last message I sent to the user before you, since I see kinda similar issues. It reads more like a checklist of topics than a unified writing. I reckon it's a huge problem to overcome since very few of us are natural born writers, but learning to avoid this will surely prevent a lot of rejections in the future since to my eyes it single-handedly renders every review less interesting. Again, I really can't give a better advice than read a lot of reviews and form your idea about it.

Other than that, given that you're talking about a whole album rather than a single track like he was, I'd say that it's a bit more vague for a review. I found the album and, okay, it's a 17-minute long crossover album from the '00s, so by design it likely has few standouts and it has more of a consistent quality, but still, given all the praise you gave it, at least a mention of a song, riff, refrain, section, moment you particularly appreciated and found so memorable that you would recommend to anyone surely wouldn't hurt. As it stands, the musical description is a bit sparse, and being a thrash aficionado myself, I could think of a lot of albums that matched the description you gave. Try getting more in-depth about something, for example following the 'great' guitar tone or the 'awesome' guitar work with some example to back up your claims, and of course making some references to more well-known, similar bands would be appreciated by basically everybody reading, since you would be the first person reviewing the band so far.

Last nitpick: I guess you could skip the 'honest review' sentence, I would expect it as a given :-P
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Gas_Snake
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2020 1:07 am
Posts: 63
Location: Russia
PostPosted: Tue May 25, 2021 10:35 am 
 

Hello, everyone. I want to ask for assistance specifically concerning the beginnings of reviews.

For me, the intro is generally the hardest part of the review to actually write. How I usually write is: Get a bunch of ideas for the main portion of the review, then focus primarily on them while simultaneously brainstorming something for the introductory paragraph. However, I can't find a good linking point into the middle portion, so I generally just write a short little thing about who the band is and what they play and how much they kick ass/suck ass, or I build the description around a musical concept and then write a few dozen words on that.

I'm gonna link a few of my reviews to show you what I mean. Here's what I call the bad ones:

https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... ake/793059
https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... ake/793059
https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... ake/793059
https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... ake/793059
These are ones where I just kinda tried to introduce my opinion on the band and album. I guess it kind of offers context, but still dull.

https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... ake/793059
This one I did for a very well renowned and one-dimensional album and couldn't think of anything so I literally said "fuck it". Am not proud of that as of right now.

Here are a few that I consider to be vaguely okayish:
https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... ake/793059
I did sort of have a thing going here with prog and a bunch of shitty things that it eventually devolved into, and it did flow somewhat consistently because of it.

https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... ake/793059
https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... ake/793059
These are also not exactly underground, and I did cover some things that are rarely mentioned elsewhere, so that gave me leverage to do a decent opening.

Warning: those three are contrarian and will prompt some sort of negative reaction. I can only vow that I'm not pulling the opinions out of my dick and am not saying you should like the albums less than you do.

https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... ake/793059
No one knows what this is and neither did I until a year ago. I did try to describe how I came across it and how the sound evolved, but ehh...

There are others that you can read if you're interested. That time I tried to do a series on Coroner was also kind of iffy, the earlier stuff was pretty bad (I might zap or rewrite a couple later, I dunno). I thank you in advance for any insight that you may offer.

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 1141
Location: Behind the wall of fire v.2
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2021 9:34 am 
 

MetalMan68632: In short, you're missing all the fine points that make a review really worth reading. Check out a selection of reviews from this website and you'll find that the majority have much more specificity than the one you've written. For instance, you've not named the genre of music during your review, not compared this group to other bands, and not named any specific songs from the album except where you talk about the lyrics. Think about how you would write a paper for school or a report for work - every point needs to be backed up by adequate evidence and context. That would certainly flesh your review out more and make it more complete.


Gas_Snake: I actually find no special problem with your introductions, they are certainly very serviceable. However, they don't strike me as that interesting. Perhaps you could approach that problem by being a bit looser with your overall structure, like if you have a strong personal connection to the album then start with that, but if you want to discuss genre issues or history or one outstanding detail just go ahead and begin with that instead. In my own writing I've reduced the intro more and more simply because I find I've said a lot of that stuff before and I don't want to waste time before getting to my main points - that's also fine. One other method I could suggest is to write the beginning last, after you know all the other content. What's missing? What lacks context? Put that information in the introduction.
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ChildClownOutlet
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:52 pm
Posts: 1066
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2021 11:40 pm 
 

So I'm thinking about writing another review. The last 5 reviews I wrote were 7 years ahead of my old ones and I still don't think I improved at all. Sure I'm happy they got accepted but I just think "holy shit is this really all I can do?" Maybe I just don't describe the songs well? I think a big issue is comparing the bands I review to other similar bands and go off on tangents. I suppose I think that fits the review I write but I just can't elaborate. Hell I'm starting to write a Falconer review and my mind goes blank from the introduction. I was planning on talking about the bleakness of medieval times and using that as sort of a branching point on Falconer's lyrics and themes but I'm just stuck.

These two reviews for instance are somewhat similar due to me just talking about if the bands they sound similar to are better or worse than they are, etc. It's grating that I can't do more than this.

https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... let/281437

https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... let/281437
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sssattyrrr
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 2:17 am
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:58 pm 
 

Hi metalheads!
I just made a short review of an Independent release, any suggestion about structure, elaboration, stuff like that, would be much appreciated. Here it is:

"I was very surprised, when scrolling through the bands from Romania, I saw this release, originally right from my hometown!
It is a solo project, and he/she decided to remain nameless, however, according to the fact that in this region, nobody has ever tried to do some black metal, this release is a huge step ahead, so I decided to listen to it more carefully, and of course, to make a short review of it.
From a lot of auditions, it became clear to me that this release has a lot to do with big artists from the beginning of the black metal. I sensed a lot of influences from early Burzum, Mayhem, maybe Bathory, Thorns and even early Enslaved, but still, the musical line remains unclear to me.
There are no huge differences between the tracks.
Mostly in mid-tempo drumming theme, the riffs are well executed, but somehow, they are jumping from here to there incorporating a lot of styles, from raw-black to blackened death, some crust elements, and this is the reason why those theme changes seems to me a little chaotic. I don't know if it is a bad point, probably not.
However, this release has a lot of potential, but the big bad point is the lack of vocals. Ok, I understand, it's an instrumental release, but if I imagine those tracks with the company of a pretty aggressive screaming vocals, it would be a more than decent demo. Without it, it's just an experimental release, full of potential like I said before, but still in need of a better production and development.
Hopefully this review helped, I wish Forest Spirit all the luck and success, on the black metal path!"

Thanks in advance!

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Blackmore Forever
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:43 am
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:48 am 
 

My review of Another Vivid Detail by 3 Dreams Never Dreamt, rejected by Derigin. It's pretty the same kind of my previous (and first, here on MA) review of the last Labyrinth (ITA) album, which was accepted - by the same Derigin - ... so... I don't get the criteria, indeed.

"I've always wondered if this label has ever released a really good band/record, the ones with at least some personality (no one demand and expect originality, that's nearly impossible since long time), longevity and a sense of general solidity both as a band and musically. On the contrary, not rarely are even tacky and surely not challenging or exciting at all.
I came across in several of its releases along the years, and the above-mentioned question still keep on hitting my mind every time. No wonder if I have re-sold or give away for free nearly each of those albums. By the way, most of them had been won in webzines' contests (especially in the early-mid 2000s, in the label's early years), not purchased.

Usually, label releases are gothic or prog metal or something like that, sometimes a mix of them; even if the label and bands themselves (and some reviewers as well) call certain bands not less than "avant-garde"... which make me laugh indeed. Anyway, the outcome is very often - or always? - a bloodless, handbrake applied version of those styles and of really good bands. Also, sounds and/or mix are poor or quite "weird" for great part of the releases. I know these things could be said for most labels and bands ever existed in my country (Italy), in hard rock/metal field, but it's not an excusatory or comfort at all; and the situation of average mediocrity since ever (talking about just musically, not to mention many other problems also in music scene alone), with very few exceptions in every era, hasn't ever helped anyone and never will (how could?).

And here we are again, another band, the same old rhyme. Since the beginning of the first track, especially when the vocals come in, you can realise that the album is going nowhere. Riffs are all the same generic second rate prog/modern/gothic metal without any personality or whatever, and the same goes for the more atmosferic parts, which are great part of the album. Speed is nearly always the same and only one throughout the album. The singer - and the vocals lines - is really very boring and makes worst what was already quite bad and anonymous; the female vocals here and there are decent but without any peculiarity as well and melodies are still boring. All the songs have almost identical scheme and progression, like the same one repeated eleven times. Production is just decent overall - and guitars sound is not the best of all instruments - but like thousands other.

Apart from the bad quality, style-wise not only this stuff has nothing to do with "prog" or "avant-garde", but nor even with gothic metal: I would call band like this "generic demi-slow-metal" or so, among the most boring ones around.

I can't really understand who should be interested in such music (or even pay something for it), and I can't understand the reason - or maybe I know it well - why this bands are taken into the roster by the labels. Also, the case is again of a band that's not really new, but one formed many many years ago and an album was already released in 2013, even if with just two members and some guests.

So, nothing new from MKM, another "classic" band of theirs."

Derigin, this time, says: "This is a good start with your review, but it needs more substance and content towards describing the music of the album. Your review is more focused on describing the band and/or its general style than it is this specific album. We require that reviews focus primarily on the album being reviewed. Please ensure that your review describes the music of the album more than anything else. If you would like to get feedback from others on how to improve your review, please post your review in this thread and ask for feedback: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16487".

Apart from the fact that I see many reviews (both total negative - including "0%" rating, sometimes - or total positive ones) of few lines without really speaking neither of the band nor the album or musicians or production etc., but actually I think that for some band/albums even few lines are too much (losing time etc.), because they are so so so so boring that it's a miracle for the band that someone had given at least a shot listening to their shit.

I, instead, apart from the first part were I talk about that label in general and their average bands - and it's perfectly fit anyway - have described the album, the musicians, the production, and so obviously the band itself (it's the same thing indeed, also because I've listened that second and last album only, I don't know the first one, but nothing strange, anyone can review even just an album of a band which have 23345 album in its history), with the words and lines that I think are more than enogh for such poor band/album.

And, yes, in the case you wondering, I like to review here some of the Italian bands/albums of nowadays that others (especially in Italy) consider good or even very good or "masterpiece", and "original" and blabla, because I sincerly think that they are either totally mad, deaf, without any real experience and knowledge (for the age or other reasons) and/or that their reviews are not sincere and indepentent/free at all but just to get the congratulations, quoting on socials and web etc. by the band and musicians reviewed, so to think they are "famous" and great reviewers, or even worse, they are made under payment from band/labels/promoters, so not real reviews but simply promotion.

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kreuztot
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2005 4:57 pm
Posts: 15
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:29 am 
 

Hi everyone,

Review newbie here who got their first review on a virgin release rejected.

The reason for rejection is "The submission did not properly follow the guidelines. Please read the guidelines carefully next time."

I would appreciate if someone could tell me in particular what would need be to improved as I'm a bit lost with this generic response. My rejected review is below.

Thanks for your help.



https://www.metal-archives.com/albums/V ... ove/945685

"Empire of Love" is in first place a political statement. Its über-woke message might not go well with everyone, yet it is easy to see how Violet Cold's woke identity is compelling and authentic given the cultural background of the artist. I would recommend anyone from either side of the political spectrum to have a deeper look into this, if only to understand the risks and restrictions metal artists around the world are still exposed to.

As for the music itself, Violet Cold is a progeny of post-black metal paths which have been made popular by Deafheaven. This means, the music is rooted in Black Metal but diluted with Shoegaze and Post-Rock. In a typical way, it also attempts to polarise on how listeners conceive metal music by breaking traditional metal sounds and patterns. This can be heard by the EDM influences in "We met during the revolution", raps in "Be like magic", the use of banjo as a lead instrument in "Working class", or the pop vocals in "Shegnificant". Sometimes it works out very well. Sometimes, it doesn't, in particular at the end of the album, ultimately preventing me from giving a higher rating for "Empire of Love".

Highlight of the album is certainly "Pride", which sounds like a mash-up of a black gaze anthem with an electro pop song. At first glance, both styles don't seem to fit together, but the result is surprisingly captivating and uplifting, even happy and euphoric at times. Remember, how you occassionally thought that some Post-Black Metal songs sounds pretty "gay"? Here you find an artist who intentationally made the gayest Post-Black Metal song ever, and it is a total banger. This is an achievement to stay.

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Blackmore Forever
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:43 am
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:44 am 
 

My review already posted above was accepted after some addings, and then, after 2 days or so, rejected again with the same reason: "In hindsight, please fix the spelling/grammar of your review; it is a bit difficult to read and follow. If you're not sure what is wrong with the way your review is written it is recommended that you have another person look over it."

Why at the first reading it was ok? Weird... and why don't you tell the errors and where they are? I think there is no real errors and those above are personal judgement about the easiness or not in reading.

"I've always wondered if this label has ever released a really good band/record, the ones with at least some personality (no one demand and expect originality, that's nearly impossible since long time), longevity and a sense of general solidity both as a band and musically. On the contrary, not rarely are even tacky and surely not challenging or exciting at all.
I came across in several of its releases along the years, and the above-mentioned question still keep on hitting my mind every time. No wonder if I have re-sold or give away for free nearly each of those albums. By the way, most of them had been won in webzines' contests (especially in the early-mid 2000s, in the label's early years), not purchased.

Usually, label releases are gothic or prog metal or something like that, sometimes a mix of them; even if the label and bands themselves (and some reviewers as well) call certain bands not less than "avant-garde"... which make me laugh indeed. Anyway, the outcome is very often - or always? - a bloodless, handbrake applied version of those styles and of really good bands. Also, sounds and/or mix are poor or quite "weird" for great part of the releases. I know these things could be said for most labels and bands ever existed in my country (Italy), in hard rock/metal field, but it's not an excusatory or comfort at all; and the situation of average mediocrity since ever (talking about just musically, not to mention many other problems also in music scene alone), with very few exceptions in every era, hasn't ever helped anyone and never will (how could?).

And here we are again, another band, the same old rhyme. Since the beginning of the first track, especially when the vocals come in, you can realise that the album is going nowhere. Riffs are all the same generic "metal" without any personality or whatever, and the same goes for the soft parts, which are great part of the album. Speed is nearly always the same and only one throughout. The singer - and the vocals lines - is really very boring and makes worst what was already quite bad and anonymous; the female vocals placed here and there are decent but without any peculiarity as well, and melodies are still boring. All the songs have almost identical scheme and progression, like the same one repeated eleven times. Production is just decent overall - and guitars sound is not the best of all instruments - but like thousands other.

What else could I say? It's really hard to listen entire albums like this; I've just done it to make a honest review, but I wanted to stop after the first or second track, even more than for other releases of the label that I listened in the past, and pushed by the fact that I've read some other reviews on the web (or at least in Italian webzine/magazines), where the rating was very high and words like "avant-garde", "originality", "high-quality" or simply "promising" (as they were a band of young kids at first demo...) were used. While I was listening I thought that maybe, before the album's end, at least one really great song was there, but none I've found, not even a good one: just the same boredom, the same bad and useless song repeated until the end, the same anonymous performance by the singer and the other musicians.

There is nothing interesting here: no particular riffs or structures, no good or surprising time-change, no good vocal melodies or refrain, really nothing at all. Both the more "metal" and the "atmospheric"/soft parts are totally generic and second-rate (to say the least).

Apart from the bad quality, style-wise not only this stuff has nothing to do with "prog" or "avant-garde", but nor even with gothic metal: I would call band/albums like this, "generic demi-slow-metal" or so, among the most boring ones around.

I can't really understand who should be interested in such music (or even pay something for it), and I can't understand the reason - or maybe I know it well - why this bands are taken into the roster by the labels. Also, the case is again of a band that's not really new, but one formed many many years ago and an album was already released in 2013 (I've never listened it), even if with just two members and some guests; also, musicians, singer above all, have played not only with this band, but with several others too.

So, nothing new from MKM, another "classic" band of theirs."

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Blackmore Forever
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2016 1:43 am
Posts: 21
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:45 am 
 

"...rejected again with THIS reason..." I meant in the first line of my previous post, not "...the same reason...".

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Masterschiief
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2021 5:15 am
Posts: 2
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 10:26 am 
 

Hey all! I wrote my first review for the site today, but it got rejected for formatting. I read over it again and changed one or two paragraph lines, but I'm unsure how to proceed as it didn't feel like a big change. I have proofread it many times and utilized an online spell checker tool. I would love it if someone gave me some pointers on what to improve. Thanks in advance!

+Review Start+

Akreas first album Lebenslinie hits just the right spot for my taste in the genre.

The mixing is excellent, every part of the instrumentation can be heard and is emphasized at the according times. The drums don't distract from the vocals or guitars. The bass can be drowned out sometimes on lesser quality speakers (earphones) but this can be explained by it usually just doubling the guitars, which works well. In this very melodic record there is little space for straying far from the path the guitars predetermine.

The instrumentation sticks to the classics. There is a bit of piano/keyboard playing in intro and outro (Aufbruch and Verlust, very good framing songs in my opinion), but otherwise all you hear are two guitars, drums, bass and vocals. There are no clean vocals, but sometimes Sebi Panzer uses whispers to emphasize a build-up.

Akrea certainly know how to use their instruments for the genre: There's blast beats (Trugbild and Tribock utilize these very well), fast double bass drumming, tremolo picking, rhythmically grooving riffs (check out Dieser Klang for that especially), tapping and some passionate growls and screams (sometimes both at once). Each band member gets their moment to shine, be it Jonas Nelhiebels excellently diverse drumming, Fabi Panzers and Schaffers awesome riffs and solos or Chris Simmerls rock solid bass performance. And of course Sebi Panzers vocals, which are surprisingly varied. He changes freely between screams, medium and low growls and pronounces the lyrics usually pretty clearly which I like. I'd recommend Sigmea for a good listen at how he utilizes his vocals.

This diversity is also the main reason I keep coming back to this album. There are always parts and bits to a song which breathe new life into the old verse, chorus, bridge formula (which is very present still). Akrea do what they want, what they feel is fun, and you can hear it. Whenever Sebi isn't vocalizing, there is some kind of exciting riffing or soloing going on. No part ever feels unnecessary or stretched out. Sometimes there are short atmospheric parts where guitars, bass and drums go silent, brooding, to set up the next explosion of death metal. Every song has at least one fast, enjoyable solo that sticks ideally to the identity of the song and usually utilizes sweeps, tapping and other finesse techniques. Check out Ein Leben lang, which rocks two really fun solos.

Rarely do Akrea go into atonal or experimental musical territory (mostly just in the outro, Verlust). The melodies and harmonies are usually melancholic, righteously angry and humane - melodic, as the genre name suggests. Sometimes there are chromatic movements, but the musicians never stray from easily enjoyable paths. Which is not to say they are boring or lacking in diversity, rather they incorporate a broad spectrum of possibilities. Akrea ultimately sound aggressive, but nice (especially on this record) - which might or might not be your cup of beverage. But: they are relentless, energetic, and never really stop hitting you in the face with their music, effortlessly stringing together songs, parts, riffs, screams. The album never takes a real break, only stopping for a song intro or two.

The whole thing is over in about 50 minutes (11 tracks), a good time for me to enjoy the whole album in one sitting. You might've guessed that I really like it, and I hope my review conveyed adequately why. If you want to check out one or two songs to get an impression, I recommend Tribock and Schwarzer Kern.

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