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BastardHead
Worse than Stalin

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 10236
Location: St. Charles, Illinois
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:32 pm 
 

Also worth noting that track by track reviews are worthless and full of padding when there are like ten tracks, but if there's only two then you don't have much to talk about musically anyway, and we've never rejected a review for a short 2-3 track demo that goes into detail about each song. All of that outside context can be fluff if it's for Metallica or some shit but for a short demo? Please, fill us in.
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~Guest 282118
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 8300
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:34 pm 
 

This is all very good to know. I'll try to find some more info about the band before doing my write up, then.

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tomeiko
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:12 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Israel
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:26 am 
 

Hi, my review has been rejected 3 times for not discussing the music enough, please give me your advice:

I'm about to break the fourth wall for this review. If there was a fifth wall, I would break it too. I really love it when you can take a metal album, as a whole, and really know what it's about. When it's a concept album, but about an issue you can really relate to. Usually those kind of albums don't get far, like Judas Priest and Nostradamus, but with Ministry it always works. It worked with Bush Senior, it worked with Bush Junior, and now, even 2 years after the release of AmeriKKKant, it works for the voters who are still unable to decide if they should vote for the orange president. Why? Because Ministry are the most vital and coherent and produce their best music, when they write from the heart. About stuff that are actually important to our everyday lives. Just look at the album's cover -- the brilliant art and the "poem" partly consisting of the song titles -- it very simply implies that America will be over if Trump is re-elected.

The Israeli band Salem is always praised for being an extreme metal band that writes songs about the Holocaust, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the kind of lyrics you don't need a prophet or an anthropologist to interpret them for you. No songs about trolls or Vikings, but rather "Angel of Death"-type songs, that everybody can know their topic by glaring at Wikipedia for 3 seconds. I think that Ministry (and Slayer, in the specific-song-level) is perhaps the only band that can stand up to the standards of Salem, in that regard. And it's astonishing that after 38 years of existence, Ministry is still the most lyrically-coherent band in America, in the album level, without any real competition.

The coherent part is also relevant to the music. Ministry sounds in AmeriKKKant just as vicious and accurate as it sounds in the perfect W Bush-trilogy, the best trilogy in the history of recorded music in my opinion. This is an extremely angry album. If you don't listen to it while angry at Trump (and I'm not even an American) then: a. Something is terribly wrong with your morality and b. Why are you listening to a Ministry album while Trump is president? I guess b is the reason for the weak reviews for this album. This was the fourth wall breaking you just heard. Better call Trump and ask him to fix it. This is an absolute industrial classic, in league with Skrew's first album and any other great thing Ministry has released. A ground(wall?)breaking masterpiece, no less. This is the stuff heavy metal was invented for, right there.

Since I've promised you to break walls etc., I will break this encyclopedia's rule to not write track-by-track reviews, as a one-time gig: "I Know Words" is a haunting semi-instrumental about Trump knowing how to say words. "Twilight Zone" is a very groovy Killing Joke-esqe 8-minutes epic about Trump being stupid. An industrial metal classic if there ever was one. I can hear the entire W Bush trilogy during that track alone. So very heavy. I'm excited by this song each time I hear it. I think the "Twi-Twi-Twilight Zone" is a reference to the Trump 卍weets. I can't think of a better way to explain to future generations about the Trump era. The enjoyable songs just keep on coming. "Victims of a Clown" repeatedly quotes Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator, and thus draws a first comparison between T and Hitler (more to come). Personally, I think T is worse, but let's just move on. This song is so cool and bad-ass. Reminds me very much of the most bad-ass song in the W trilogy, "Warp City". This song just makes me eternally happy. "TV 5/4 Chan" is about Fox News and the "Zeig Heil" sample is about Trump being the most famous Austrian non-Terminator politician again.

Next song is "We're Tired of It", I will not review it since I'm pretty fucking tired of this track-by track by now (wall, remember?). Now comes "Wargasm" which crosses boundaries and might very well make many non-metalheads start worshiping metal. I'm in love with this song. I want to have its children. I just love the subject of this song. Next comes "Antifa" which is just so catchy and great, and a perfect example of Ministry's straightforward titles of political song. They want to sing about Palestine? The song will be called Palestina. Dick Cheney? The Dick Song. Antifa? Same. "Game Over" is a song that makes you wonder how you haven't known it for the past 25 years, and it brings Ministry to extreme genres they never experienced with before, that bring Mayhem to mind(?!?). The last song "AmeriKKKa" is a wonder of political metal, it just makes you eternally grateful that metal exists. Like the entire album, which calls for a 100% by my book.

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~Guest 282118
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 8300
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:11 am 
 

I'm fairly certain that your review got rejected because you're blatantly (and knowingly, and loudly) disregarding the ruling against track-by-track reviews.

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tomeiko
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:12 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Israel
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:19 am 
 

Thanks Xlxlx, I was trying to write a funny review and I obviously failed. I deleted the review.

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~Guest 282118
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 8300
PostPosted: Thu Oct 15, 2020 10:05 am 
 

Writing comedic reviews is by no means easy, man. I think it's better to have a strong grasp of analytic writing and the music being scrutinized more than anything, and no offense, but acknowledging fourth-wall-breaking in a review isn't comedic writing, it's just... pointing out what you're doing to the reader. Jokes should speak for themselves, if you have to highlight them with a big neon sign saying "JOKE HERE" then they're not gonna be very effective.

In short, less forced attemps at being metal review Deadpool, more finding your own voice.

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MRmehman
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:34 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Painted World of Ariamis
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:48 pm 
 

Hey everyone! I've come back to writing reviews in my spare time because I've found there's a lot of music I want to talk about and writing a review helps me feel like I'm doing something useful. I recently uploaded 4 reviews for various Batushka projects and I'd be really interested in getting some feedback/criticism. I'm looking to up my game a little and improve my writing style, so please be as harsh and critical as you like. Here's some of my recent reviews:

Batushka - Liturgia (90%) - https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/Batushka/%D0%9B%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%BE%D1%83%D1%80%D0%B3%D0%B8i%D0%B0/546258/MRmehman/352608
Batushka - Hospodi (30%) - https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/Batushka/%D0%93%D0%BE%D1%81%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%B8_-_Hospodi/779460/MRmehman/352608
Batushka - Panihida (95%) - https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/%D0%91%D0%B0%D1%82%D1%8E%D1%88%D0%BA%D0%B0/%D0%9F%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B8%D1%85%D0%B8%D0%B4%D0%B0/779458/MRmehman/352608
Batushka - Raskol (70%) - https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/Batushka/%D0%A0%D0%B0%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%BE%D0%BB_-_Raskol/866549/MRmehman/352608
Winterfylleth - The Reckoning Dawn (70%) - https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/Winterfylleth/The_Reckoning_Dawn/828025/MRmehman/352608
Uada - Djinn (80%) - https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/Uada/Djinn/860155/MRmehman/352608

I'm concerned I don't condense information well, hence why some of these reviews are so long. Again, any feedback on my writing would be absolutely wonderful.
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ᴎostalgiʞK
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:27 pm
Posts: 258
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2020 12:12 pm 
 

Hello people! Long time no see on this thread.
There is something I feel I should improve while writing my reviews.. I mean, I'm still not a very good writer and I wish to know what stuffs may I modify.
Let's put one of my latest review as an example: https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... 9EK/332497

I'm open to any kind of opinion,
"You write like shit" "I like them but they are not solid" "good!" "bad ;(" "your reviews gave me diarrhea" "They are awesome" etc. The thing is that I need help, I would love to make my writing better, besides I would enjoy the teachings from the people who knows the matters! Cheers.
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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: Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:45 am 
 

@tomeiko
Another way that review could be improved is if you look at the structure of it. From an outsider's perspective (I didn't even know what band you were writing about until halfway through), here's my paragraph analysis:
1. Political albums in the past
2. The band Salem
3. Calling this album the best thing ever without backing it up
4. Track-by-track listing (not even description)
5. More unsubstantiated praise.

Your review needs description, reasons, and structure. In that order.
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Vadara
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:14 pm
Posts: 341
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2020 7:31 pm 
 

I wrote this whole review of a pretty mediocre metalcore album in like an hour and a half. I'm wondering if it's too meandering and long. In particular, I feel my musical description of the instrumentals wasn't detailed enough, despite how incredibly bloated the entire review as a whole is.

Spoiler: show
Album: Savage Seas by Feed Her to the Sharks (2013)

Score: 60%

Title: "I have never felt more mixed on an album than this"

Metalcore started in the 90's, but the early version of it was like the early version of any musical genre: an undefined primordial soup of ideas that took a bit to consolidate itself into the form that truly put the genre on the table. With metalcore specifically, this form was the (in)famous melodeath-derived version. You know the bands already: As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall, and the like. These bands played what was a poppy form of melodeath with clean choruses, verse-chorus-verse-chorus song structure, and big ol' chugdowns every song. It was this metalcore that made the genre a household name in the underground music scene, and it was this metalcore that became the absolute mortal enemy of the more traditional metal scene. As a metalcore fan myself, I actually don't like this kind of -core too much. It always feels a bit lacking in my eyes, trapped between trying to be metal and trying to be something else. The guitarwork is constrained by its staunch adherence to melodeath, the vocals feel like they don't embrace their own unique traits, and the breakdowns are limited due to the more traditional metal guitar tones and compositions not allowing them to get at visceral as they could be. No, I got into metalcore very late, in 2016 or so, and the -core I got into was of a different breed. In other words, this kind of "melodeath-core" was shackled by its slavish adherence to its metal father and hardcore mother.

A breed most traditional metalheads are not aware appears to exist, that is. See, in the late 2000's and early 2010's, metalcore finally shed the shackles of its parents, splitting off in roughly two directions. The first was deathcore, taking the brutal and visceral elements of metalcore and then just cranking it up to 11. Funnily enough early deathcore was effectively just more death-metal-ish melodeath-core, but then Suicide Silence and other Myspace bands came along and utterly ripped the metallic roots of the genre from it, creating a truly monstrously heavy genre that was too simplistically chuggy to be metal--but too hideously dark to be hardcore. The scene who remained metalcore did much the same thing: excising the metallic and hardcore roots from -core, focusing on its unique elements, and creating an entirely new genre that was neither metal or hardcore. These new -core bands are the majority of the scene these days. This was what metalcore had to do to survive--it had to be something different from its estranged parents, rather than being just a shallow copy of their most surface level traits.

This history lesson is necessary because Feed Her to the Shark's second album, Savage Seas, is the exact kind of melodeath-core I mentioned in the first part of this review--except it came out in 2013. Savage Seas feels like a weird relic from a long-gone era; by the time this album had come out, djent and progressive/technical metalcore albums like Erra's Impulse (2011) and Augment (2013), Periphery's Periphery II (2012) were dropping; the more chuggy kind of -core like Breakdown of Sanity were firmly established, and the poppier and catchier post-hardcore-influenced stuff like Of Mice and Men, Outline in Color, and Mephis May Fire were doing their own thing. Not many bands did this kind of music by now.

Does that mean that Savage Seas is a unique release, brimming with an old-school energy? Oh god no. It's all downhill from here, folks.

Not totally, mind you, but my god I have never seen an album that leaves me as mixed as this album. This album is nothing but bog-standard melodeath-core, though you'd be hard-pressed to believe it from first spin: the first track (the title one too, for some insane reason) is quite literally nothing but a string of breakdowns with zero riffs. I normally hate when metalheads say that -core is like that, but it fits here. Credit where credit is due though: FHttS manages to make each of these successive breakdowns feel distinct and not awkwardly stapled together. The section at the 2:30-3:00 mark even has a pretty catchy groove in a way that metalcore bands rarely have. The rest of the album, though, is the standard formula of melodeath riffs with catchy choruses and breakdowns. If there's anything notable about the guitarwork, it's that it isn't quite a ripoff of At The Gates as the earlier bands I mentioned--the riffs have a slight hardcore simplicity to them, and frequently sound closer to the more post-hardcore-ish side of metalcore. The riffs remain metallic, but not excessively so. FHttS also know their way around guitar tones and production: their guitar tone works perfectly with their "hardcore-ified metal" riffs and their breakdowns, giving them a pummeling energy that sidesteps the feebleness I always felt in bands like Killswitch Engage and As I Lay Dying. They also use a lot more breakdowns per song, which is fine by me as breakdowns rock and they never sound weak. Solos are also a thing here--the lack of them in modern metalcore is one of my misgivings with it, and I must praise this earlier more metallic variant for keeping them alive. They tend to be rather short, though.

The production fronts the vocals: not a problem in metalcore, as it's a very vocal-focused genre, though it does mean the guitar lines sometimes get buried. The real bad issues are in sections such as Memory of You's clean choruses, where the clean vocals, drums, and rhythm guitar's chugs absolutely bury the lead guitar so much you have to strain to hear the admittedly catchy riff it's playing. This kinda thing is super common in metalcore (in metal proper, the guitar and drums are usually so fronted that they bury the vocals, and metal vocals are nowhere near as important to it as they are to metalcore), and in fact this plagues about every single song in the album. Please let me hear the guitar! The vocals really do bury the lead guitar a lot of the time, whereas the far more chuggy and simplistic rhythm guitar usually remains audible, giving the album the impression that it's a lot dumber and chuggier than it actually is. The riffs are generally nothing amazingly unique, though Shore of Lonlieness is interestingly major-key for a lot of its riffs.

The drums are very bog-standard metalcore drumming. Blast beats appear sometimes, but usually in bursts--otherwise, the drums really only stand out in the breakdowns but are buried by the chugging guitars a lot of the time. The bass is nearly inaudible. There is also absolutely inexplicable light electronic elements. These synths and wubs appear frequently enough that they aren't just some random thing, but not enough that they form an important part of the music, like, say, I See Stars. I truly don't understand why they're there, but they're not bad, just kinda weird. I guess Electronicore was getting big enough that everyone wanted in on the action.

So far so good right? You'll notice that I have not mentioned the vocals because.

Hoo boy.

FHttS's sole vocalist, Andrew Van der Zalm handles both the harsh and clean vocals. In my experience, vocalists doing double-duty like this generally have one side they do better in (an exception would be the vocalist of The Afterimage, but that band imploded after one shitty LP so welp). Now, for the cleans, Zalm's singing is quite good--he has the soaring cleans that make metalcore so catchy, but he never sounds whiny (this is an observation, not a compliment--I for one love Whiny Emo Bullshit, but it doesn't work with these kinds of instrumentals). The cleans aren't as common as most bands of this ilk, though, or perhaps it's his...unique harsh vocals that keep me from realizing the actual ratio.

His harsh vocals are split between two kinds: firstly, and less commonly, he has a very good low guttural. Gutturals this low are not too common in metalcore (they tend to show up more in deathcore, though these would be a little weak in that genre). They sound quite good!

Unfortunately, his most common vocal technique is...utterly indescribable. Rather than the harsh screams, shouts, or otherwise actually sane harsh vocals metalcore bands often use, Zalm decided that his most common harsh technique would be a weird as fuck high-pitched shriek that sounds like a fucked-up mix of black metal shrieks and deathcore highs. But no, he didn't just do that. He also has this gravelly texture to these shrieks that sounds like he is gargling rocks the ENTIRE TIME. It has to be truly heard to be believed. I actually didn't listen to this band for like a year after hearing them for the first time because they sound so bad that I dipped. I finally relistened to them and can barely tolerate them now, but they really are not good. Zalm sounds like he's about to straight-up ruin his vocal cords irreversibly during these shrieks. When a vocal technique is literally painful to listen to, it's not good. I listen to extremely low and guttural deathcore vocals frequently, and even at their most hideous, deathcore vocalists almost never sound like they are hurting themselves. When I think the vocalists of Bound in Fear, Distant, and Sold Soul sound like they are taking better care of their voices than a goddamn melodeath-core album, something has gone seriously wrong.

It cannot be stated enough how goddamn weird these vocals sound. They do not sound like they belong with these middle-of-the-road melodeath riffs and breakdowns--if anything they sound like someone who auditioned for a black metal band (or maybe a deathcore one) but had only heard like, an hour of black metal and did not practice at all. Things get worse when we go to the lyrics. See, FHttS has two specific things they write lyrics about: either they write whiny emo shit or they write super embarrassing tough-guy brocore lyrics about how they're never gonna give into to haters and fuck anyone who thinks different (credit where credit is due though--their third and final LP was far worse, being almost nothing but cringe-worthy brocore trash, but that's another review for another time). This is seriously how this album begins:

We are Feed her to the Sharks!

We've come a long way
Come so far
Won't rest till we get what we deserve
We won't rest, with this breath
I scream from the top of my lungs
We will triumph
From the bottom of my heart
We won't rest

Risen from a Savage Sea
Of broken corpses and treachery
We have a secret, the will to survive
The weak choke and die
But we are still standing...


I have never liked these kinds of lyrics. I can tolerate them best in very hardcore-esque deathcore, but otherwise, metalcore like its parents genres is far too dark of a genre to work with uplifting lyrics like this. At the very least, the kind of metalcore that FHttS plays; a more poppy post-hardcore-leaning kind might be able to get away with this, but probably not even then. But it's not just the kind of music that gets in the way here: Zalm's vocals do not fit this kind of lyrical style at all. Zalm sounds like a 16-year-old black metal kid recording in his room when his parents are away from work--the only kind of lyrics that work with his fucked-up gravel screams are emo shit and embarrassing black metal edginess. Admittedly, the rest of the lyrics are like that, but oof. I am far more critical of the lyrics on this album because the following LP is legendarily worse, and this one laid down the framework for Zalm to write some truly embarrassing trash. His cleans are usually emo whining which is far more bearable.

That's Savage Seas in a nut-shell. It's a bog-standard melodeath core album, with some absolutely baffling decisions. Every good decision, such as the ferocity of the breakdowns, the good clean vocals, and the catchy guitarwork (when the production will actually let you hear it) is undercut by bad decisions: the production fronts the vocals and chuggy guitars so much the lead riffs get buried, Zalm's harsh vocals are 20% good stuff and 80% truly baffling, the lyrics ping-pong between emo whining (good) and embarrassing jack-off brocore (absolutely terrible), and finally...there's nothing really standout about the album, at least not in a good way. Savage Seas if anything demonstrates how this style of metalcore was running out of steam--the fact that this released the same year as the monumental metalcore masterpiece that was ERRA's Augment (effectively the Obscura of the genre if I may be an absurd fanboy) is staggering. Savage Seas is a relic, and was in its time anyway. This kind of metalcore needed to take a step back and get its bearings at the time, and the fact that recent albums such as As I Lay Dying's Shaped By Fire are so amazing is a perfect example of how just a few years away can make a genre feel fresh again. Savage Seas can't even play on nostalgia like those old-school metalcore bands--this came out merely seven years ago! This album is like the gas station pizza of metalcore--sure, it's tasty enough, but come on, at least go to Pizza Hut or Domino's if you want trashy cheap pizza.

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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: Sun Nov 29, 2020 4:59 am 
 

MRmehman wrote:
Hey everyone! I've come back to writing reviews in my spare time because I've found there's a lot of music I want to talk about and writing a review helps me feel like I'm doing something useful. I recently uploaded 4 reviews for various Batushka projects and I'd be really interested in getting some feedback/criticism. I'm looking to up my game a little and improve my writing style, so please be as harsh and critical as you like. Here's some of my recent reviews:

Batushka - Liturgia (90%)
Batushka - Hospodi (30%)

I'm concerned I don't condense information well, hence why some of these reviews are so long. Again, any feedback on my writing would be absolutely wonderful.

Hi MRmehman, I've looked at the 2 reviews that I've left in the quote above. (As a side note, it would be nice not to leave lengthy HTML tags in posts.) Both can be summed up in a similar way, and my thoughts are below. Each number is a main point that you've got right, followed by smaller issues relevant to that point.

1. You explain the "feel" of the albums well. Since you're doing a discography review of sorts, nailing the band's key sound is crucial, and you've placed it fairly well in the context of their uniqueness too.
1.1. On the other hand, those 2 reviews rely quite a lot on their relation to one another. If I hadn't read the first one, some of the points in the second wouldn't make sense, because you're not always stating them objectively, just relative to points in your first review. It should be obvious from any piece of writing what you are talking about, and the second review suffers due to those expectations you had that didn't get fully reiterated.
1.2. The feel of Batushka's work is special, particularly within black metal. As such, other references to black metal bands or albums would also be helpful for outsiders.

2. You offer several insightful thoughts about key aspects of the overall sound, including attention to the mix and certain instruments, especially vocals.
2.1. Although you mention that the debut in particular has similar sounding songs, you rarely give an example of any track to back up general points about the instrumental performances.
2.2. It's difficult to get a concrete idea of what listening to the album would be like. I can picture the atmosphere a bit and know that there's "doomy" stuff going on, though I'd like a bit more detail in a few places.
2.3. The one improvement you can definitely make to tackle the drawbacks of these main points is in structuring. Try to integrate separate parts of the overall picture into single points, probably by choosing specific examples and exploring them thoroughly. If you want to condense information better, try the approach of picking your examples before your points, which will also make more of the review essential rather than superficial. An easy place to start is looking at how predictable the paragraphing is. Aside from the overall intro to the review series, both reviews follow exactly the same paragraph format: 1. personal response; 2. atmosphere (combining two paragraphs of the first one); 3. choral backing vocals; 4. lead vocals; 5. weak points; 6. summary. Play around with that, and don't be afraid to say specific things in the first paragraph or two, which will hook your reader quicker.

3. You have a nice grasp of what flows well in writing and your sentences don't get too heavy with content. It's generally pretty clear too.
3.1. Check your spelling and grammar, man. Even a brief scan reveals quite a lot of mistakes. Two things to really pay attention to are confusion of the words their/there/they're and putting hyphens in weird places. I mean, you're using them correctly in quite a lot of places (they tend to link adjectives/adverbs and verbs like "half-baked" or phrasal verbs that have become nouns like "turn-off"), but what are they doing in "bottomless-well" and "kept-in"? Also, it's probably easier on the eye and the brain to relax them in phrases like "title track" and "court case", which are just two separate words.

I've tried to give you some very specific things to work on, since the overall writing level is pretty decent and the reviews both informative for someone like me without depthy knowledge of Batushka. Hope they will be helpful!
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Vadara
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:14 pm
Posts: 341
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 2:48 pm 
 

I hate how my lack of detailed knowledge of music bleeds through my reviews sometimes. This is a section from a review I'm working on, where I'm trying to explain the weirdness of the production in my eyes, but my descriptions are so vague because I don't have proper knowledge on music mixing terminology.

Spoiler: show
Neqriem play pretty bog-standard technical deathcore, though they have some unique flourishes nonetheless. The <i>tone</i> of their music (not merely their guitar tone) is quite heavily metallic, with a darker and more death metal ambience to their riffs. This also applies to the production, which does sound quite amateurish, but in a more death metal way: the guitars are heavily fronted and sit alongside the vocals, unlike a lot of -core which fronts the vocals and puts the guitars in the background. Unfortunately, the production isn't stellar: it's a bit hard to describe, but these three songs sound as if each instrument is playing besides each other, not coherently mixed into a holistic whole. I won't pretend I know anything about music production, but it's as if each track was mixed in a slightly different way, giving the music a slight "disconnected" feeling. There is almost no background ambience either: this music sounds as if I'm sitting in a cavernous room with the band members right in front of me. This is by no means a deal-breaker, but I am one of those awful people who loves crystal-clean production drenched in ambience, so it does dampen the music a bit for me. Listen to a band like the Hopewell Furnance and you'll see what I mean: their music is incredibly spacious and immersive, and I like my loud guitar music to be like that. One particular instance where it really hampers the music, though, is the breakdown middle of the second track, <i>Forever Enslaved</i>. The band tries to do one of those slooooooow chuggy breakdowns with a big emphasis on the spaces between the notes, and the production means it just comes off as unintentionally goofy as shit (the silly as hell gurgling vocals that are intelligible enough to understand the words and therefore sound like a dude just talking really weirdly and not an inhuman force of nature doens't help). The other main casualty are the drums (which must be programmed, given that MA doesn't list a drummer) which often just kind get buried by the vocals and the guitars doing their stuff--the bass drum is weirdly inaudible a lot of the time since the rhythm guitar is usually chugging along with it way louder.


Did I actually get my proper point across here, or am I being too vague?

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Sean16
Moody Tabulator of Torn Hymens

Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 11:03 am
Posts: 349
Location: France
PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 6:58 am 
 

Vadara - I don't think the issue with this paragraph, as well as with the review you posted above, is the lack of musical knowledge. By reading your text I get a rough idea of how the album sounds like and, most of time, that's enough. You don't need to use technical terms that only specialists of music theory would understand. Take for instance, the production:

Quote:
This also applies to the production, which does sound quite amateurish, but in a more death metal way: the guitars are heavily fronted and sit alongside the vocals, unlike a lot of -core which fronts the vocals and puts the guitars in the background. Unfortunately, the production isn't stellar: it's a bit hard to describe, but these three songs sound as if each instrument is playing besides each other, not coherently mixed into a holistic whole.


Frankly, you've told the essential there about the overall sound. In fact, I even think you should try to condense a bit, rather than expand. Sentences like "I won't pretend I know anything about music production" may not be necessary. Same for what you call the "history lesson" in your review above - it seems like you already feel it's a bit long. A few sentences about the context are nice, and even mandatory, but for what you call yourself "a mediocre metalcore album" it may not be indispensable to go back to the roots of the genre - rather keep this if you're reviewing a classic.

Also, your text is too personal - to many "I, me, I think, I have never seen", etc. Well, we know it's you writing the review, right? :) It gets annoying after a while. Not that you need to be wholly impersonal, of course, but removing a lot of these "personal" sentences would help to make your review lighter (don't get me wrong, I have a tendency to do exactly the same, so I know it's something which needs to be corrected).

Don't forget you certainly don't need to describe every track in detail. The overall vibe of the release is by far the most important point, even if examples taken from particular tracks are always welcomed.

Of course I'm an old guy not writing many reviews these days, so you may want to wait for the advice of a more active reviewer.
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nesphite_bassist1917
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:06 am
Posts: 1
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 1:49 pm 
 

Feedback on my review of
Lord Bootyquake - Ara Ara Entrails - 50%
Let me get this right out of the way, I would have <em>never</em> listened to this album if I wasn't reviewing it. I would
not find myself listening to this, even if it was my thing,


Brutal death metal isn't my thing.


I am gonna try to get straight to the point here. This album is <b>BAD</b>. I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but it isn't very good.


Objectively, this album's production is terrible. The only redeeming thing about it is that the drums sound good, as they were probably done with EZDrummer. EZDrummer is very hard to make sound bad (I have no experience with that specific piece of software, but it is difficult to make sampled drums sound like shit). The guitars and vocals (I doubt there was any bass guitar on this album, and if it was on there, it was mixed so low that it's inaudible) are clipping a <b>lot</b>. I cannot understate how much this album is clipping. It almost sounds like <i>someone's having their fingernails ripped off with a pair of hedgetrimmers</i>, it's clipping that badly.
The album could use with some bass guitar (even if it's a programmed synth bass) and the guitars are single tracked. In the center. They barely stand out.



The songwriting on this album is boring. You get out what you put in, dudes. If you put boring songs in, with terrible production, you get garbage. The drums have no life to them, because there's little to no fills in any songs on the album, the guitars sound lifeless and dull, they may have a "certain sound" to them, but the riffs are your generic "slamming brutal death metal" riffs, and the playing isn't great either. Once again, they barely stand out from the mix. The vocals are good, they would probably the second best part of the album, if they weren't clipping as much as they are, and had an effect of some kind to make them stand out, like echo, or reverb or chorus. The song titles on this album are alright, not the best ones I've seen, but they're passable for gore/porngrind.
<i>For example: "Consent is Hawt", "I Gutted Your Waifu", "Cybernetic Slut"</i>

Now, the songs all start with a "dunk dunk dunk dunk" countoff on the snare drum, and they go into headache inducing slow "boots, cats, boots, cats" beats which then go into mindless blast beats, I get this is grindcore, but you don't need to abuse the blast beat, you aren't Last Days of Humanity. The vocals are these boring "uuuuurrra reee ree ree bree bree ree ree" sort of patterns, without many distinguishing characteristics. The guitars are drop tuned/tuned super low, which can work, (low/drop tunings can be a useful tool for guitarists), but the guitars are tuned low and playing these generic "duuuun dun dun dun dun dun" riffs, which seem like the most beginner guitarist style riffs you could write and consider them "metal enough". All the songs start with a stupid ass sample, usually from a dubbed hentai, or probably some sort of newgrounds flash animation of a porn parody, I have no clue where the dude gets their samples, but I don't like how young some of the girls in the samples can sometimes sound, and I worry if I am gonna be put on a watch list for hearing those. (The girls sound mature, but they sound kind of like those amateurish "loli" voice actors you find on youtube, and it kind of bugs me.)


Some songs are alright, though, the track "I Gutted Your Waifu" is probably the best track on the album because it doesn't slowly drip through your ears like the rest of the album, but the song is still barely listenable to me. It starts with a strange sample that goes "wanna go pick up chicks at burger king? you read my fucking mind, motherfucker" then it goes into a countoff and the rest of the song takes place, etc. By the way, where do you find a sample like that? It's so damn stupid, how do you find a sample like that?



The mixing on this album is not very good. The drums are too loud, the guitars are too harsh (add bass and that problem can be minimized a bit), the vocals are too loud as well. The mix could sound good if there was:
1. Bass (this is a super important instrument in metal, and a lot of people think that turning the bass up on their guitar amp and boosting the lows can cover up the fact you have no bass, which doesn't work, all you get is a super muddy guitar tone that gives you a hug and sticks a post-it note on your back that says "kick me".)
2. Better production (again, you get what you give, shitty music in=shitty music out.) Maybe, watch some spectresoundstudios tutorials, those could help you out.
3. Less clipping/compression. This album is full of clipping on both the guitars and vocals, and I have no clue how anyone could let that slide. The album sounds heavily compressed in a bad way, it's not like Dahmer's album "Dahmerized" where it's heavily compressed in a good way, it's heavily compressed in a super shitty way.
The album lacks any bass from anything, even the drums. I would have expected a bit more bass to be coming from the kick drums, but the drums are honestly too quiet, try a compressor plugin on the drums, bass, guitar, and vocals, and use a bit less gain on your audio interface, especially if you are using a guitar amp or bass amp, it sounds bad when your mic clips. Don't make music that sounds like a punk band recording in a Denny's basement with an Xbox 360 mic over a Call of Duty: Modern Warfare lobby in 2008.
</ul>


Let's be honest with ourselves, with a little bit more time and <b>effort</b>, this album could have been alright, but I don't personally know the person behind the music, so I don't know if they have those skills or not. Whatever, in short, stay away from this album, but I can give you some better drum machine grindcore bands:

Catasexual Urge Motivation
Gore Beyond Necropsy
Slough
Meat Shits (not all the time, but still, they used a drum machine on the second degree of torture)
Godflesh (not technically grindcore, but a good metal band anyways)

Overall, the musicians behind this show promise, but need to improve.

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Sean16
Moody Tabulator of Torn Hymens

Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 11:03 am
Posts: 349
Location: France
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 7:12 am 
 

nesphite_bassist1917:

I don't think your review would be acceptable in its current state, unfortunately. Two big issues I see:

- Formatting doesn't follow the site rules: it has to be a blank line, and a single one, between each paragraph (or, if you prefer, the confusing "hit Enter twice" thing)

- Music description is acceptable, I guess, though I wouldn't personally write like this, but to each his style :) However, this constant "this is how things should instead be done" vibe soon looks arrogant and patronizing. And that's a lot of your review, unfortunately. The overall message wouldn't be much altered if you got rid of sentences like:

Quote:
EZDrummer is very hard to make sound bad (I have no experience with that specific piece of software, but it is difficult to make sampled drums sound like shit).
(...)
try a compressor plugin on the drums, bass, guitar, and vocals, and use a bit less gain on your audio interface, especially if you are using a guitar amp or bass amp, it sounds bad when your mic clips.
(...)
(this is a super important instrument in metal, and a lot of people think that turning the bass up on their guitar amp and boosting the lows can cover up the fact you have no bass, which doesn't work, all you get is a super muddy guitar tone that gives you a hug and sticks a post-it note on your back that says "kick me".)
(...)
I don't personally know the person behind the music, so I don't know if they have those skills or not.

You see what I mean, and they're far from being the only ones.

btw, starting a brutal death metal review by "brutal death metal isn't my thing" may not be the best idea ever, even if that's a minor point compared to the above. That's half-admitting you're not qualified to review the genre - though I occasionally like when people give an external point of view about genres they're not fully familiar with, as long as it's relevant.
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Spider_X
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 12:16 pm 
 

O.k., I think I need to ask for some help/ advice here, as not exactly that I have writer's block, as I def have been busy writing reviews for Zebulon Kosted and Totale Vernichtung (5 reviews in total for end of Nov./ and Dec.). So, it's def not that.

I fell in love with https://www.metal-archives.com/bands/As ... 3540478502 , a good couple of weeks ago, and the moment I heard his new song "Awakening", I knew instantly I wanted to review it, fell in love with it so damn fast!

Now, usually I write reviews for albums or eps, but never for a single before, well, I did do a split review, so there was more to write about, and as far as eps go, all of Hermóðr's are incredibly lengthy, one tracks. So much to say, never has been an issue...

So, with Astralvm's single, I have been doing the usual before actually starting to construct my review, like I do with all reviews, write down thought, feelings, etc, all that. But, all my reviews are kind of long in general, so trying to write up one for a fairly short song is proving to be really challenging (for me) :( ...and, I'm not sure what I need to do.

I try to construct my thoughts and all to start writing and I'm just stuck. Not sure how long, or how to really write a good review for a less than 4 minute song. I even told Egon Gubernatis (band member) that I was going to write one for it, but well.... I still have nothing to show for it, I have so many thoughts, but, I don't want to make it filler material to lengthen out the review, as how I pour more thoughts into a longer review that I normally do, if that even makes sense?

I will link my review tab, so anyone that may can help me, has a better idea of how I write.

Please, any help at all would be greatly appreciated, last time I came here asking for help was I think back in 2017, I think. Thank you so much to anyone that would so kindly take a few moments to help me, appreciate it more than you know! :) ~Spider_X

*My reviews tab: https://www.metal-archives.com/user-reviews/Spider_X
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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: Mon Jan 04, 2021 8:35 am 
 

nesphite_bassist1917 wrote:
Let me get this right out of the way, I would have <em>never</em> listened to this album if I wasn't reviewing it. I would not find myself listening to this, even if it was my thing,


Brutal death metal isn't my thing.


I am gonna try to get straight to the point here. This album is <b>BAD</b>. I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but it isn't very good.

Everything Sean16 wrote is true, but for the love of god please don't start a review like this. You're firstly saying that you've listened to it just to review it, secondly that you don't know what you're talking about because you're unfamiliar with the style, and finally that you have very strong opinions about it. Although actually you gave it 50%, which shows a more mixed view.

My suggestion: read back what you wrote and see if you still agree with it. I think you'll find a few things to change yourself.

Spider_X wrote:
So, with Astralvm's single, I have been doing the usual before actually starting to construct my review, like I do with all reviews, write down thought, feelings, etc, all that. But, all my reviews are kind of long in general, so trying to write up one for a fairly short song is proving to be really challenging (for me) :( ...and, I'm not sure what I need to do.

I try to construct my thoughts and all to start writing and I'm just stuck. Not sure how long, or how to really write a good review for a less than 4 minute song. I even told Egon Gubernatis (band member) that I was going to write one for it, but well.... I still have nothing to show for it, I have so many thoughts, but, I don't want to make it filler material to lengthen out the review, as how I pour more thoughts into a longer review that I normally do, if that even makes sense?

Please, any help at all would be greatly appreciated, last time I came here asking for help was I think back in 2017, I think. Thank you so much to anyone that would so kindly take a few moments to help me, appreciate it more than you know! :) ~Spider_X

Spider, remember that you don't need to do a long review for a single, you just need to give it adequate detail. If I do a single, it's mostly because I'm following the band's activity closely or because it played a significant part in my life. Due to that, I'll give context about the timing of the single or its value as a song. After that, I'll describe the music in as much detail as possible. If you have listened to other recent stuff from Astralvm, definitely compare it to that. If it's a pre-release for a new album, maybe you could predict about the direction the new album will take.

You usually write a lot in your reviews and sometimes there's no need to put it all in. Just pick the important points to describe, edit well, and I'm sure you'll do alright.
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Spider_X
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:34 pm 
 

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
nesphite_bassist1917 wrote:
Let me get this right out of the way, I would have <em>never</em> listened to this album if I wasn't reviewing it. I would not find myself listening to this, even if it was my thing,


Brutal death metal isn't my thing.


I am gonna try to get straight to the point here. This album is <b>BAD</b>. I don't mean to hurt your feelings, but it isn't very good.

Everything Sean16 wrote is true, but for the love of god please don't start a review like this. You're firstly saying that you've listened to it just to review it, secondly that you don't know what you're talking about because you're unfamiliar with the style, and finally that you have very strong opinions about it. Although actually you gave it 50%, which shows a more mixed view.

My suggestion: read back what you wrote and see if you still agree with it. I think you'll find a few things to change yourself.

Spider_X wrote:
So, with Astralvm's single, I have been doing the usual before actually starting to construct my review, like I do with all reviews, write down thought, feelings, etc, all that. But, all my reviews are kind of long in general, so trying to write up one for a fairly short song is proving to be really challenging (for me) :( ...and, I'm not sure what I need to do.

I try to construct my thoughts and all to start writing and I'm just stuck. Not sure how long, or how to really write a good review for a less than 4 minute song. I even told Egon Gubernatis (band member) that I was going to write one for it, but well.... I still have nothing to show for it, I have so many thoughts, but, I don't want to make it filler material to lengthen out the review, as how I pour more thoughts into a longer review that I normally do, if that even makes sense?

Please, any help at all would be greatly appreciated, last time I came here asking for help was I think back in 2017, I think. Thank you so much to anyone that would so kindly take a few moments to help me, appreciate it more than you know! :) ~Spider_X

Spider, remember that you don't need to do a long review for a single, you just need to give it adequate detail. If I do a single, it's mostly because I'm following the band's activity closely or because it played a significant part in my life. Due to that, I'll give context about the timing of the single or its value as a song. After that, I'll describe the music in as much detail as possible. If you have listened to other recent stuff from Astralvm, definitely compare it to that. If it's a pre-release for a new album, maybe you could predict about the direction the new album will take.

You usually write a lot in your reviews and sometimes there's no need to put it all in. Just pick the important points to describe, edit well, and I'm sure you'll do alright.


I truly appreciate your advice, so much! ;) Thank you! I'll be picking it back up and start over in what I was writing, you've def made some very valuable points. Again, thank you.
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Spider_X
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:49 am 
 

@gasmask_colostomy, Egon Gubernatis of Astralvm absolutely LOVED my review for his single "Awakening". I just wanted to come back and tell you that I had heeded all of your advice, and put all of that into my review, and it is a review that honestly means so much to him! So, I just wanted to say thank you so much, you were such an immense help to me, honestly.
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AncientCall
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:57 am
Posts: 5
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 7:09 am 
 

Hey guys,

I recently posted a review for Pesttanz - Silence of the Winter Night, it lacked reasoning on why something was good or bad, so now I edited a lot and I hope it is better.
I would be glad if you guys can help me there, because I think sometimes I am a bit incomprehensible in this regard... So here we go:


I often take a look on what's new and worth listening to in the realm of symphonic black metal and mostly I don't expect to find much to be honest. No disrespect to any new artist and don't get me wrong... I don't dislike the genre, I actually love it, but the reason for this lies in the circumstance that I think symphonic black metal is hard to make properly. It kind of needs to be made with pure dedication and passion so that the spark and magic really transports to the listener.

"The Sunset in the Mountains"/"Silence of the Winter Night" (as it is called on Bandcamp) is a fine example of such craft. First of all I am a sucker for great album artwork (it's part of the experience, everyone who disagrees can stay the f*ck away from me) and I really like the mood and setting the cover artwork promotes. Uncompromising, cold, brutal, yet still a slight nuance of nostalgia and dark beauty.
The main component to underline this beauty musically is the keyboard and I want to start my elaboration on the positives by saying that it is perfectly used here. There aren't many layers of keyboard sounds at once and the tone itself is most of the time quite minimal. It is utilized well to support the mood of the album, no drifting into overreliance or quirky sounds here.
The vocals are varied, sometimes you get a slightly distorted DSBM tone, on other tracks it is a more raspy tone... Even some clean vocals find their way here. Nice!
The guitar is well implemented too with catchy riffs, even though it often takes a step back to let the vocals, keys or drums have the predominant part. Drumming on the other hand is mostly there and noticeable, giving the whole album a faster pace.

It is worth noting, that the mixing is quite different between the original version and the later one by Barbatos Productions. Heard side by side, you definitely hear a difference. Still none of them is bad or anything like that.

There really are no huge issues with this album, the only thing is the songs sometimes seem to drag on somehow, without being bad or anything. It's an impression I get due to the fact that there are quite similar sounding songs... and that really stands out on an album so varied otherwise.

I listen to it alot always enjoying it! It pulls you deep into moonlit forests, embraced by cold and icy winds... creating a mood so savage and aesthetically pleasing all at once. Great!
So considering symphonic black metal you should really give it a go.... or stay with "In the Nightside Ecplise" forever, like a true purist would do... It's up to you.

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Spider_X
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:52 pm 
 

AncientCall wrote:
Hey guys,

I recently posted a review for Pesttanz - Silence of the Winter Night, it lacked reasoning on why something was good or bad, so now I edited a lot and I hope it is better.
I would be glad if you guys can help me there, because I think sometimes I am a bit incomprehensible in this regard... So here we go:


I often take a look on what's new and worth listening to in the realm of symphonic black metal and mostly I don't expect to find much to be honest. No disrespect to any new artist and don't get me wrong... I don't dislike the genre, I actually love it, but the reason for this lies in the circumstance that I think symphonic black metal is hard to make properly. It kind of needs to be made with pure dedication and passion so that the spark and magic really transports to the listener.

"The Sunset in the Mountains"/"Silence of the Winter Night" (as it is called on Bandcamp) is a fine example of such craft. First of all I am a sucker for great album artwork (it's part of the experience, everyone who disagrees can stay the f*ck away from me) and I really like the mood and setting the cover artwork promotes. Uncompromising, cold, brutal, yet still a slight nuance of nostalgia and dark beauty.
The main component to underline this beauty musically is the keyboard and I want to start my elaboration on the positives by saying that it is perfectly used here. There aren't many layers of keyboard sounds at once and the tone itself is most of the time quite minimal. It is utilized well to support the mood of the album, no drifting into overreliance or quirky sounds here.
The vocals are varied, sometimes you get a slightly distorted DSBM tone, on other tracks it is a more raspy tone... Even some clean vocals find their way here. Nice!
The guitar is well implemented too with catchy riffs, even though it often takes a step back to let the vocals, keys or drums have the predominant part. Drumming on the other hand is mostly there and noticeable, giving the whole album a faster pace.

It is worth noting, that the mixing is quite different between the original version and the later one by Barbatos Productions. Heard side by side, you definitely hear a difference. Still none of them is bad or anything like that.

There really are no huge issues with this album, the only thing is the songs sometimes seem to drag on somehow, without being bad or anything. It's an impression I get due to the fact that there are quite similar sounding songs... and that really stands out on an album so varied otherwise.

I listen to it alot always enjoying it! It pulls you deep into moonlit forests, embraced by cold and icy winds... creating a mood so savage and aesthetically pleasing all at once. Great!
So considering symphonic black metal you should really give it a go.... or stay with "In the Nightside Ecplise" forever, like a true purist would do... It's up to you.


I'll def tackle this :) as not only am I a HUGE fan of Pesttanz, but sometime this month plan to review both their Limited cd comp release I have on it's way to me, but also have plans to review their most recent EP Forgotten Land, as that was what had gotten them noticed by me...

O.k., let's see if I may be able to help you out...

First, I def notice spelling errors, you may want to use a grammar- checker, it helps immensely, believe me! ;)

This right here, you are not doing anyone any favors, neither to the sub-genre, any band in that sub-genre, or you for that matter...
"I often take a look on what's new and worth listening to in the realm of symphonic black metal and mostly I don't expect to find much to be honest. No disrespect to any new artist and don't get me wrong... I don't dislike the genre, I actually love it, but the reason for this lies in the circumstance that I think symphonic black metal is hard to make properly. It kind of needs to be made with pure dedication and passion so that the spark and magic really transports to the listener."
^If this were me, completely leave all that out. It's not at all pleasant to read.

In your 2nd paragraph, you're really losing the reader at this point... >>> "everyone who disagrees can stay the f*ck away from me". Also, within taste, it is alright to spell out your cuss words, I have Fuck and Goddamn in quite a bit of my most recent, more passionate ones.

Also, maybe omit the Bandcamp reference, because it Pesttanz Bandcamp page has since been deleted by about a couple of weeks ago, maybe just mentioning that it's digital.

While I can kind of get what you're saying here, I read it as you contradicting yourself... >> "There really are no huge issues with this album, the only thing is the songs sometimes seem to drag on somehow, without being bad or anything." <<< Honestly, just do away with this sentence in it's entirety, as it really doesn't make much sense.

You def need a comma here... "I listen to it a lot, always enjoying it!" Also, space out that "a".... I, myself write "alot" like that in general text, but if in a review either write it as allot, or a lot.

Def need a comma here... "So considering symphonic black metal, you should really give it a go", as well as eclipse is spelled wrong at the end.

I am by no means the world's greatest reviewer, I do make mistakes in all of them and usually takes me quite a few days, if not more to write one up. I make a whole lot of errors, especially with my waning eyesight, especially as of late... :(

Also, instead of just writing about the vocals or whatever, def helps the reader to mention their band names. Also, maybe I'm just overtly, insanely passionate how I write, but while I can sense and feel you do have some passion for the album, how you are writing this, especially your ending paragraph... >> "So considering symphonic black metal you should really give it a go.... or stay with "In the Nightside Ecplise" forever, like a true purist would do... It's up to you." Kind of makes me feel it may be cool if I hear it, but I'm not really pressed to, I'll get around to it, I'm sure, later...

More passion, you def need at least just a touch more of it.... maybe just a little bit... ;)
It really isn't all too bad, by any means, but as a Pesttanz fan myself, it is very lacking.

Feel free to have a look at any of mine, if you like :) Def look forward to you having it up, hopefully soon, I will most def read it! And, I'm sure the band would appreciate that, as well. You're more than welcome to send me a PM, if you think I may can help you out~Spider_X
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AncientCall
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 9:57 am
Posts: 5
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2021 3:23 pm 
 

Great feedback, thanks a lot :)
I thought the artwork and emperor rants eased it all up, but I guess it sounds more edgy then anything... And I will check it properly... Currently I can only use my smartphone and it's confusing to write...
I write you when I need anything! Glad to read from another pesttanz fan

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Spider_X
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 1:48 pm
Posts: 175
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:28 am 
 

AncientCall wrote:
Great feedback, thanks a lot :)
I thought the artwork and emperor rants eased it all up, but I guess it sounds more edgy then anything... And I will check it properly... Currently I can only use my smartphone and it's confusing to write...
I write you when I need anything! Glad to read from another pesttanz fan

Hope you won't mind, I did send you a PM, just now. :)
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Wahn_nhaW
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:34 pm
Posts: 226
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 2:30 pm 
 

I have this review of Marduk - Heaven Shall Burn and I'd like to hear some opinions before I submit it. The thing is, it might ramble on a bit, because I'm not just trying to describe the album, but also explain why the band on the whole does not work for me, so I'm curious to hear how you think it might be edited effectively or if anything else should be changed. Thanks.

Spoiler: show
One of the most reliably “meh” albums/bands of all time - 50%


This album has a bit of a reputation. The conceit is that this is where the dreaded ‘norsecore’ style finally crystalized, the band eschewing a lot of the variety and atmosphere supposedly found on the previous two albums. Now, this appears true at first sight. The general tempo is noticeably higher and Legion’s vocal lines, unlike those of his predecessors, are peppered throughout the album whether the music calls for them or not. Certainly, the nursery rhyme stylings of the infamous “Darkness it Shall Be” are ridiculous. The average riff on this album is ever so slightly less melodic than before. But these elements and their contrast with the band’s previous stylistic elements are often overstated. Aside from some mediocre dabbling in death metal early on, the band never changed that much. Those of the Unlight was not a masterpiece of atmosphere, and by contrast, Heaven Shall Burn is not mere senseless pounding. Instead, it has other problems, but let me not get ahead of myself.

The changes Marduk goes through are incremental. Heaven Shall Burn is slightly more polished than Opus Nocturne. Combine that with the focus shifting, very slightly, from half-hearted attempts to assemble albums that take you on a journey to, I assume, a more honest approach of simply presenting an unrelated collection of songs which are meant to whip you up into a frenzy, and you can tell why the album has gained notoriety as the point where Marduk either goes wrong or simply figures where their strengths lie. The clearer production, although Marduk was never exactly raw, in theory, should bring the riffs to the harsh light of day, do away with the atmospherics for the most part, and make for a more physically imposing release. All fine and well in theory, but does it work?

In reality, even with said changes, this becomes just another Marduk album, but one that’s particularly illustrative of why this band had a reputation of tedious mediocrity for so long, until the Mortuus albums revived them a bit, whether deservedly or not. Heaven Shall Burn displays most of the tricks Marduk has to offer, sitting at a mid-point between their earnest attempts at Nordic black metal and their later intent to provide a Reign in Blood equivalent for the black metal age.

The band has a seemingly bottomless reserve of black metal riffs that are ‘just right’. They’re slightly melancholic, but they also try to be warlike, again, slightly so. A bit ominous, but just so. Imposing and hypnotic – only in theory. In short, the sum total of every black metal riff ever, as if the band was trying to demonstrate the building blocks of the genre, without attempting to actually construct anything meaningful out of them. Throughout the album, nothing sounds off. Marduk is nothing if not competent. But try to focus on any of these riffs and there’s precious little of note. Some are slower than others – the band is notorious for its supposed overreliance on ultra speed and consequently praised whenever they slow down, as if the songwriting quality increases for that reason alone – it doesn’t. Slow or fast, Marduk’s riffs, song structures and album pacing consistently stop short of inducing any response other than “this rocks… I guess”. Because it doesn’t really even rock that much. It kind of jumps around hyperactively in the background, beckoning to you to join and get wild, but all in vain.

Some attempts at making things interesting are there. It must be admitted that “Glorification of the Black God”, though not composed of anything extraordinary in terms of riffs (even with all the notorious borrowing) or vocal lines, is still an effective song overall. Sometimes they stumble onto these songs that just seem to be more memorable than what they’re usually capable of. These are exceptions, though. For example, “The Black Tormentor of Satan” tries to seduce you with a riff that is definitely designed to suck you in with its painstakingly crafted melody, but there’s also a bit of a problem there. The melody is telegraphed from a mile away. It’s as if the band knows the listener might get bored midway through the album, so they’re scrambling to prevent the attention from drifting away. Like so many things on this album, it’s a nice gesture, but the riff fails to make an impact and the song ultimately goes nowhere. Likewise, “Dracul Va Domni…” lowers the pace, but once the novelty wears off, it’s just another Marduk song.

So this album/band is not about variety and what little atmosphere of occult forces being involved in some kind of a medieval battle it manages to conjure is done much better by myriad other black metal bands. That’s fine, but what is it about then? It must be their much-touted and self-professed relentlessness, emphasizing the physicality of black metal at the expense of its more esoteric ambitions? Would that it were so, in the words of Stephen Fry. As I’ve already hinted, this is one of the biggest myths about the band, that the absence of any notable subtleties is compensated for by its sheer aggression, purporting to put the listener into physical submission almost.

It’s a good marketing angle, but, for all the band’s promise to be some kind of an unrelenting black metal machine, a musical equivalent to a constant artillery barrage, even pretty intense albums like this fail to heat up the blood. It’s not a big mystery as to why, either; the players are certainly working up a sweat, but what good is it when the songs never climax or even manage to maintain the intensity throughout? Maybe that is the point? Getting shelled by a faceless enemy, each hit the same as the one before, with the sole purpose of wearing out the target? Yeah, but that’s where the metaphor breaks, because this is not a matter of life and death, it’s music, and all Marduk manages is to lose the listener’s attention. Unless the audience is extraordinarily impressionable, you can’t simply beat them into submission by providing an aural equivalent of a constant beating. You have to communicate something and violence alone is not enough; even if all you want to communicate is violence, you have to find a way to hook the listener in, otherwise their attention is easily turned elsewhere. That’s why I think the common criticism of the band being monotonous for its sheer force is off the mark. It’s not that they are exhausting and that the sound is unchanging; it’s that it fades into the background too easily.

Ultimately, the band’s talent, if it can be called that, is in always being able to keep their head above the water. At no point will they fail so miserably that you’ll be forced to ask “what the hell was that?” There’s a certain standard to the band’s basic sound, which, once it was established, was never allowed to deteriorate, making Marduk as reliable as a bag of chips. The problem is that at some point you might want something more out of music.

And so Marduk goes on to this day, lineup changes and all, having become something of a black metal equivalent to Overkill – a band that initially struggled to gain attention in its native scene among their much more creative and imaginative peers, but also a band that never went away, that persevered by muscle alone and that now, when the originators, innovators and those who perfected the genre are either broken up or changed beyond recognition, serves as a direct link to the ‘golden age’. Points for effort and stamina, but little beyond that.
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robotiq
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:08 am
Posts: 41
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:54 pm 
 

Wahn_nhaW wrote:
I have this review of Marduk - Heaven Shall Burn and I'd like to hear some opinions before I submit it. The thing is, it might ramble on a bit, because I'm not just trying to describe the album, but also explain why the band on the whole does not work for me, so I'm curious to hear how you think it might be edited effectively or if anything else should be changed. Thanks.

Spoiler: show
One of the most reliably “meh” albums/bands of all time - 50%


This album has a bit of a reputation. The conceit is that this is where the dreaded ‘norsecore’ style finally crystalized, the band eschewing a lot of the variety and atmosphere supposedly found on the previous two albums. Now, this appears true at first sight. The general tempo is noticeably higher and Legion’s vocal lines, unlike those of his predecessors, are peppered throughout the album whether the music calls for them or not. Certainly, the nursery rhyme stylings of the infamous “Darkness it Shall Be” are ridiculous. The average riff on this album is ever so slightly less melodic than before. But these elements and their contrast with the band’s previous stylistic elements are often overstated. Aside from some mediocre dabbling in death metal early on, the band never changed that much. Those of the Unlight was not a masterpiece of atmosphere, and by contrast, Heaven Shall Burn is not mere senseless pounding. Instead, it has other problems, but let me not get ahead of myself.

The changes Marduk goes through are incremental. Heaven Shall Burn is slightly more polished than Opus Nocturne. Combine that with the focus shifting, very slightly, from half-hearted attempts to assemble albums that take you on a journey to, I assume, a more honest approach of simply presenting an unrelated collection of songs which are meant to whip you up into a frenzy, and you can tell why the album has gained notoriety as the point where Marduk either goes wrong or simply figures where their strengths lie. The clearer production, although Marduk was never exactly raw, in theory, should bring the riffs to the harsh light of day, do away with the atmospherics for the most part, and make for a more physically imposing release. All fine and well in theory, but does it work?

In reality, even with said changes, this becomes just another Marduk album, but one that’s particularly illustrative of why this band had a reputation of tedious mediocrity for so long, until the Mortuus albums revived them a bit, whether deservedly or not. Heaven Shall Burn displays most of the tricks Marduk has to offer, sitting at a mid-point between their earnest attempts at Nordic black metal and their later intent to provide a Reign in Blood equivalent for the black metal age.

The band has a seemingly bottomless reserve of black metal riffs that are ‘just right’. They’re slightly melancholic, but they also try to be warlike, again, slightly so. A bit ominous, but just so. Imposing and hypnotic – only in theory. In short, the sum total of every black metal riff ever, as if the band was trying to demonstrate the building blocks of the genre, without attempting to actually construct anything meaningful out of them. Throughout the album, nothing sounds off. Marduk is nothing if not competent. But try to focus on any of these riffs and there’s precious little of note. Some are slower than others – the band is notorious for its supposed overreliance on ultra speed and consequently praised whenever they slow down, as if the songwriting quality increases for that reason alone – it doesn’t. Slow or fast, Marduk’s riffs, song structures and album pacing consistently stop short of inducing any response other than “this rocks… I guess”. Because it doesn’t really even rock that much. It kind of jumps around hyperactively in the background, beckoning to you to join and get wild, but all in vain.

Some attempts at making things interesting are there. It must be admitted that “Glorification of the Black God”, though not composed of anything extraordinary in terms of riffs (even with all the notorious borrowing) or vocal lines, is still an effective song overall. Sometimes they stumble onto these songs that just seem to be more memorable than what they’re usually capable of. These are exceptions, though. For example, “The Black Tormentor of Satan” tries to seduce you with a riff that is definitely designed to suck you in with its painstakingly crafted melody, but there’s also a bit of a problem there. The melody is telegraphed from a mile away. It’s as if the band knows the listener might get bored midway through the album, so they’re scrambling to prevent the attention from drifting away. Like so many things on this album, it’s a nice gesture, but the riff fails to make an impact and the song ultimately goes nowhere. Likewise, “Dracul Va Domni…” lowers the pace, but once the novelty wears off, it’s just another Marduk song.

So this album/band is not about variety and what little atmosphere of occult forces being involved in some kind of a medieval battle it manages to conjure is done much better by myriad other black metal bands. That’s fine, but what is it about then? It must be their much-touted and self-professed relentlessness, emphasizing the physicality of black metal at the expense of its more esoteric ambitions? Would that it were so, in the words of Stephen Fry. As I’ve already hinted, this is one of the biggest myths about the band, that the absence of any notable subtleties is compensated for by its sheer aggression, purporting to put the listener into physical submission almost.

It’s a good marketing angle, but, for all the band’s promise to be some kind of an unrelenting black metal machine, a musical equivalent to a constant artillery barrage, even pretty intense albums like this fail to heat up the blood. It’s not a big mystery as to why, either; the players are certainly working up a sweat, but what good is it when the songs never climax or even manage to maintain the intensity throughout? Maybe that is the point? Getting shelled by a faceless enemy, each hit the same as the one before, with the sole purpose of wearing out the target? Yeah, but that’s where the metaphor breaks, because this is not a matter of life and death, it’s music, and all Marduk manages is to lose the listener’s attention. Unless the audience is extraordinarily impressionable, you can’t simply beat them into submission by providing an aural equivalent of a constant beating. You have to communicate something and violence alone is not enough; even if all you want to communicate is violence, you have to find a way to hook the listener in, otherwise their attention is easily turned elsewhere. That’s why I think the common criticism of the band being monotonous for its sheer force is off the mark. It’s not that they are exhausting and that the sound is unchanging; it’s that it fades into the background too easily.

Ultimately, the band’s talent, if it can be called that, is in always being able to keep their head above the water. At no point will they fail so miserably that you’ll be forced to ask “what the hell was that?” There’s a certain standard to the band’s basic sound, which, once it was established, was never allowed to deteriorate, making Marduk as reliable as a bag of chips. The problem is that at some point you might want something more out of music.

And so Marduk goes on to this day, lineup changes and all, having become something of a black metal equivalent to Overkill – a band that initially struggled to gain attention in its native scene among their much more creative and imaginative peers, but also a band that never went away, that persevered by muscle alone and that now, when the originators, innovators and those who perfected the genre are either broken up or changed beyond recognition, serves as a direct link to the ‘golden age’. Points for effort and stamina, but little beyond that.


I quite like this review in terms of musical description, but I think it needs a bit of rearranging as it jumps around a bit.
The first paragraph is doing a lot of heavy-lifting, setting the context and describing the band's music on this album in relative detail. I would save some of that detail for later paras. First para might be better spent talking about the basic differences between this album and the previous one (or three).
Also it could do with a bit of a trim in terms of word-count. Some of it feels repetitive, so I think some paras could be merged together.
I think there are also one or two 'darlings' in there which probably need the chop. The Steven Fry quote doesn't add anything, neither does the comparison with Overkill. I'm not convinced that the Overkill comparison is useful given that Overkill were one of the earliest (some would say the earliest) thrash band, and far more important in the context of the genre than the band you are describing.
Here is a little explainer about the concept of 'killing darlings' which is one of the oldest and most important (yet least understood) pieces of writing advice out there: https://www.writerslife.org/what-it-mea ... -darlings/

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Wahn_nhaW
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Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:34 pm
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Location: Belgrade, Serbia
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 7:21 pm 
 

Much appreciated. Yeah, the Stephen Fry quote is easily discarded. I'll also rearrange the content a bit and trim a few parts.

But I'll keep the Overkill parallel for now. They may have existed as a punk band early on, but there's no evidence that they started playing thrash before they heard other thrash bands. I will grant that they were one of the earliest followers. But Marduk was an early black metal adopter too, and the other points of comparison apply too.

EDIT: Marduk - Heaven Shall Burn review, rewritten, rearranged, tightened up and shortened. I also removed the Overkill part, not because I think the parallel is inappropriate, but because of the "what the hell are Overkill doing in a Marduk review?" factor. It was too distracting.

Spoiler: show
This album has a bit of a reputation. The conceit is that this is where the dreaded ‘norsecore’ style finally crystalized, the band eschewing a lot of the variety and atmosphere supposedly found on the previous two albums. After dabbling semi-successfully with death metal in the spirited, but underwhelming Dark Endless, Marduk produced two albums of pretty standard black metal for the time, now usually seen as some of their most enduring contributions to the genre. The story goes that, when Legion entered, the overall pace went up and some subtleties were abandoned in favor of a more monotonous and, in theory, more intense attack.

Now, this appears true at first sight. The general tempo is indeed noticeably higher and Legion’s vocal lines, unlike those of his predecessors, are peppered throughout the album whether the music calls for them or not. Certainly, the nursery rhyme stylings of the infamous “Darkness it Shall Be” are ridiculous. The average riff on this album is ever so slightly less melodic than before. But these elements and their contrast with the band’s previous stylistic elements are often overstated. The truth is that the band never changed that much. Neither Those of the Unlight nor Opus Nocturne were exactly masterpieces of atmosphere, and by contrast, Heaven Shall Burn is not mere senseless pounding. Instead, it has other problems.

The more polished production of Heaven Shall Burn, combined with said changes in the band’s approach, seemingly aims to whip up the listener into a frenzy, instead of half-heartedly trying to assemble an album that takes you on a journey. Consequently, you can tell why the album has gained notoriety as the point where Marduk either goes wrong or simply figures out where their strengths lie. The clearer production, although Marduk was never exactly raw, in theory, should bring the riffs to the harsh light of day, do away with the atmospherics for the most part, and make for a more physically imposing release.

It doesn’t work, though, because, for all the band’s promise to be some kind of an unrelenting black metal machine, a musical equivalent to a constant artillery barrage, albums like this fail to heat up the blood. It’s not a big mystery as to why, either; the players are certainly working up a sweat, but what good is it when the songs never climax or even manage to maintain the intensity throughout? Unless the audience is extraordinarily impressionable, you can’t simply beat them into submission by providing an aural equivalent of a constant beating. You have to communicate something and violence alone is not enough. Even if all you want to communicate is violence, you have to find a way to hook the listener in, otherwise their attention is easily turned elsewhere. That’s why I think the common criticism of the band being monotonous for its sheer force is off the mark. It’s not that they are exhausting and that the sound is unchanging; it’s that it fades into the background too easily.

The band has a seemingly bottomless reserve of black metal riffs that are ‘just right’. They’re slightly melancholic, but they also try to be warlike, again, slightly so; imposing, but not too much. This failure to push the riffcraft beyond a certain threshold is what holds this album back. It’s as if the band was trying to present the building blocks of the genre, but lacked the ambition to construct anything meaningful out of them. Throughout the album, nothing sounds off. Marduk is nothing if not competent. But try to focus on any of these riffs and there’s precious little of note. Some are slower than others – the band is notorious for its supposed overreliance on ultra speed and consequently praised whenever they slow down, as if the songwriting quality increases for that reason alone – it doesn’t. Case in point, “Dracul Va Domni…”, which lowers the pace, but once the novelty wears off, is just another Marduk song. Slow or fast, Marduk’s riffs, song structures and album pacing consistently stop short of inducing any response other than a tentative “this rocks”, which, in reality, it barely does.

Some attempts at making things interesting are there. It must be admitted that “Glorification of the Black God”, though not composed of anything extraordinary in terms of riffs (even with all the notorious borrowing) or vocal lines, is still an effective song overall. Sometimes they stumble onto these songs that just seem to be more memorable than what they’re usually capable of. For the most part, though, even the more ambitious songs quickly get absorbed into the general mediocrity of the album. For example, “The Black Tormentor of Satan” tries to seduce you with a riff that’s unusually melodic for this band’s standards, but you will probably remain unimpressed, because the melody is telegraphed from a mile away. The admittedly cynical reading is that, for fear of losing the listener midway through the album, Marduk are scrambling to prevent the attention from drifting away. Like so many things on this album, it’s a nice gesture, but the riff fails to make an impact and the song ultimately goes nowhere.

Ultimately, the band’s talent is in always being able to keep their head above the water. At no point will they fail so miserably that you’ll be forced to ask “what the hell was that?” There’s a certain standard to the band’s basic sound, which, once it was established, was never allowed to deteriorate, making Marduk as reliable as a bag of chips. The problem is that at some point you might want something more out of music.

And so Marduk goes on to this day, lineup changes and all; a band that initially struggled to gain attention in its native scene among their much more creative and imaginative peers, but also a band that never went away, that persevered by muscle alone and that now, when the originators, innovators and those who perfected the genre are either broken up or changed beyond recognition, serves as a direct link to the ‘golden age’. Points for effort and stamina, but little beyond that.
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Cosmic_Equilibrium
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 2:03 pm
Posts: 488
PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2021 12:55 pm 
 

Did a review for Judas Priest - Turbo but decided to take a more humorous approach and do it in a Q&A style. I'm not sure though, it seems unwieldy this way?

Spoiler: show
Judas Priest - Turbo - Rating: 29%


Q: What do we have here then?

A: Judas Priest’s 1986 release and career dampener, ‘Turbo’.

Q: Seems you’ve given it a pretty low overall score?

A: Yes.

Q: Why?

A: Because it’s shit.

OK, I’ll fill you in a little. It’s a pathetic and totally unnecessary attempt to cash in on the 1980s hair rock scene. It’s a chronically forced and embarrassing record which nearly killed Priest’s career. It’s an album made by a band who despite becoming arena headliners and breaking the North American market on their own terms with their own sound and image – no mean feat for a British band, incidentally – weren’t satisfied with their already considerable achievements and wanted to push themselves into being the next Def Leppard.

Q: So the band who made ‘Defenders Of The Faith’ just two years before decided to go all party rock, because they wanted a record which would sell zillions of copies?

A: More or less. It should be taken into consideration, however, that this wasn’t the original idea. Initially Priest had wanted to celebrate the occasion of their tenth studio album by making a double record called ‘Twin Turbos’. This was to have been a much more stylistically diverse platter, and would have utilised the band’s recent discovery of guitar synthesizers to showcase a broad mix of styles, ranging from ‘Defenders’ style guitar wizardry to romantic ballads. The record company vetoed this, however, so the band decided to take the ten most commercially viable songs and vie for space on US FM radio with Poison and Cinderella.

Q: What’s wrong with a band wanting to hone their commercial success and get right to the top? A lot of bands do.

A: There’s nothing wrong with it objectively, but when you decide to pretty much abandon the sound and song writing approach (which has already made you pretty successful) for a musical direction that you calculate will make you more money, then you’re usually compromising your integrity to some degree. Especially when your band’s new image results in you all looking like the cast of Star Trek after a heavy night at the disco.

Q: So would the original ‘Twin Turbos’ idea have worked any better?

A: Perhaps, but judging by the quality of the unreleased songs – most of which were released on either the next album ‘Ram It Down’ or as bonus tracks on reissue campaigns over the years – it wouldn’t have been much of an improvement.

Q: So, what exactly makes ‘Turbo’ so nauseating?

A: Well, the overall production and balance in the sound, for a start. Straight away the intro to the first song ‘Turbo Lover’ strikes the wrong approach – it’s a long drawn out guitar synth wash, rather than the pedal to the metal riffage that opened the previous album’s ‘Freewheel Burning’. When the drums kick in, processed and noise gated to the point of no return, the listener realises very quickly that a major sonic shift has taken place here, and not for the better. When the song gets going, it has a certain techno pop-metal groove to it, quite mechanical, actually. Priest had used this kind of approach before in their work with some success, but here it sounds robotic and empty. The production seems to sap a lot of the life from the guitars, emphasising the synthesizer tones more, and there’s just a distinctly radio-ready sheen to the whole thing which sounds incredibly polished and rather contrived, underpinned by the large but empty drum tones which add an extra level of cheese to the whole sound. This particular sonic approach is basically the signature sound of the entire album.

Q: So the main problem is the guitar synthesizers? A band not adapting to technological innovation well?

A: More a misuse of technology, really. It’s interesting to compare this record to Iron Maiden’s ‘Somewhere In Time’, released the same year, which also leans quite a bit on guitar synths and showcases the difference they could make to a band’s sound at the time. But whereas Maiden used the new tools available to them with a sense of taste and innovation, seamlessly working them into their songs and giving their music a new, technological, almost sci-fi edge which still sounds contemporary, Priest’s efforts on ‘Turbo’ resemble an old guy trying to work out how to use social media in order to get “with it” in the computer age. The synthesizers are everywhere on this record, and they’re usually unsubtle, obnoxious and annoying, drenching the few passable riffs in a gleaming, plastic sheen and loudly announcing their presence in various song intros, at times comically so (‘Private Property’ starts with a chirpy synth line that seems to then go out of tune before the song starts). The effect is at times unintentionally hilarious, and in fact the album is an interesting piece of sociological and musical evidence as to how some bands in the 1980s were so taken with the new and emerging technology of the age that they allowed themselves to be completely engulfed by it, resulting in albums that sounded dated from the minute they hit the shelves. Heck, by 1990 ‘Turbo’ already sounded like a quaint relic from a more naive time.

Q: But under all the synth whirrs and dorky noises, is the song writing still good?

A: Nowhere near. This is the major flaw of Priest’s new approach here. Even the most overbearing synth parts would have been somewhat tolerable were the riffs and song compositions on or near the same level as they were on ‘Defenders’, but the band really dumbed down their approach for this one in order to pick up chicks (perhaps not wholly true, but not without some foundation). The riff work on many of these songs is either lame or non-existent, the music turning away from the complex and intricate arrangements Priest were known for towards a much more open and simplistic pop-rock sound. Sometimes this approach works to a degree, adding an epic and cinematic angle to songs like ‘Turbo Lover’ and ‘Out In The Cold’, but at other times it’s just insulting to the listener. ‘Rock You All Around The World’ is the most egregious example of this, starting with an initial riff that is quite tasty and makes you think the album might be picking up a little, before shifting to a chord juxtaposition and song structure so inane that BulletBoys would have been ashamed to bring it into the studio. ‘Wild Nights, Hot and Crazy Days’ (that title!) is lowest common denominator party rock that you’d be embarrassed to play even when driving down the Sunset Strip, not helped by the fact that the guitar tones and drum sounds are at their most overbearing and obnoxious here. ‘Hot For Love’ manages to plumb new depths in terms of synthesizer misuse and makes you wonder if this is really the same band who wrote ‘Dissident Aggressor’ less than a decade before. Only on the closing ‘Reckless’ do the group pick things up a bit, shift through the gears and stretch out a little in a nod to the classic Priest style, but it’s not exactly something you’d put on the same level as ‘The Sentinel’.

It should also be noted that the lyrics are as low-grade and shallow as the music, for the most part. Gone are the tales of sci-fi figures, dystopian worlds and observances on the human condition, to be replaced by generalised romantic yearnings (‘Out In The Cold’), odes to partying all night in the summer heat (‘Wild Nights….’), exhortations for everyone to go crazy to ‘rock and roll’ (‘Rock You All….’), or embarrassing attempts to challenge authority like the band are still 18 (‘Parental Guidance’). Again, the lyrical style is much more in keeping with the idea of a record calculated to sell to the new, younger crowd who were lapping up anything that came out of California as long as it had hairspray and spandex.

The general decline in the music and lyrics would be shocking in most circumstances, but when you consider that just two years previously the band had released one of their all time career high points in ‘Defenders’, it’s mind boggling. It’s one of the most glaring artistic contrasts in any metal band, and even now there’s still an element of bizarreness and unreality about the whole thing.

Q: But Priest had written radio hits before, hadn’t they? What about stuff like ‘Desert Plains’?

A: Yes, it is true that a more radio friendly song writing direction was not without precedent in the band’s history. Priest had made more commercially oriented music before on several of their albums (particularly ‘Point Of Entry’), and a certain accessible and anthemic element had been a part of the band’s sound ever since the late 70s. However, it had never been allowed to truly dominate the song writing and composition across a whole record to the exclusion of nearly everything else in the band’s sound, and certainly it had never been done in such an artificial and contrived way. On ‘Turbo’ Priest sound like they’re conforming to what they think will get them on the radio and confining themselves to those limits, rather than having the confidence to just do it on their own terms. Comparing ‘Desert Plains’ or ‘Living After Midnight’ to anything off this album is like night and day – those songs sound natural and are the product of a band deciding to make less complex and more accessible music because it feels right to them. ‘Turbo’ on the other hand sounds incredibly forced. The closest thing Priest had previously done song writing wise to this was probably ‘Take On The World’, but even that seemed to come from a more genuine place, despite its relative cheesiness and openly commercial leanings. ‘Turbo’ is Priest trying to construct a monster hit album for themselves at the expense of their true artistic inclinations, and result is so artificial and phoney it fools no one. Even as a ‘fun’ or ‘party’ album it doesn’t work – despite the much darker subject matter and approach, ‘Defenders’ is way more fun and exciting to listen to than this.

Q: So it didn’t work?

A: As a commercial ploy and career booster? Not in the long run. The album initially sold quite well, and the new fans attracted by the change of style turned out to see the band on tour that summer. But while the Fuel For Life tour was Priest’s biggest ever, it was also the end of their rise. The new fair weather element of the fanbase soon moved on to Bon Jovi, leaving Priest struggling to regain credibility amongst their older and more loyal fans who were largely disgusted by the ‘Turbo’ debacle. The band would take some years to regain credibility and musical consistency again.

Q: So after all these years, is ‘Turbo’ worth a listen, even just for a few laughs?

A: Well, it’s nowhere near the depths of something like St. Anger. Even under the synthesizers and mundane songwriting, a few bright spots can be found here and there. ‘Turbo Lover’ has an excellent solo from Tipton which lifts the song up considerably and for a few moments the blending of the new musical technologies with the Priest sound coalesces into something quite futuristic. As previously noted, ‘Out In The Cold’ has a certain cinematic feel to it (once one gets past the lengthy synth intro) and sounds quite powerful in places, helped by Halford’s emotive vocal performance. The band as a whole are actually on fairly good form musically, carrying on the tight-knit feel perfected on ‘Defenders’, it’s just that they’re bogged down by playing such substandard material. If you want to hear what the record could possibly have been had the band tried to force things less and take a more genuine approach to the songwriting, it’s worth finding a live version of ‘Turbo Lover’ from the last 25 years or so. In particular the version found on the ‘Live In London’ album from the Owens era sounds much more muscular and organic and has a power and depth the studio version lacks. Additionally, some of the aforementioned unreleased tracks from the ‘Turbo’ sessions were better than what was put on the album, particularly ‘Heart Of A Lion’ which is easily found on Youtube. Had some of these songs been included, this album might get a higher rating.

Q: So this is Judas Priest’s nadir, then? Their greatest embarrassment?

A: Unbelievably, no. The next album, ‘Ram It Down’ is actually worse, though in a different way. ‘Turbo’, though, remains possibly one of the two or three greatest musical errors by a legendary metal band, and while it’s part of the Judas Priest story, it’s important to recognise that this is and was a serious artistic dead end which is not really that rewarding for the listener except as a sociological and cultural point of interest (as noted above).

Q: Thanks for the explanations. Any further things you’d like to say?

A: Buy Stained Class instead.


EDIT: Re-wrote the review in a more conventional style. Works better.

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LuckyLuke
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 2:01 am
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2021 2:47 pm 
 

So my review got rejected and I thought I might as well try posting it here to see what I can do better:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I was really hyped for this album. I discovered Dragony through "Lords of the Hunt" in 2018 and I have been a big fan ever since. Let me say at the beginning, this album did not disappoint my (high) expectations at all.

Let's start at the beginning. The album opens with a cover of Johann Strauss' classic waltz "An der schönen Blauen Donau" (English: "On The Blue Danube") Seeing as the album deals with the last years of the Austro-Hungarian empire, this is a very fitting opener. Also, Dragony's arrangement of this song is just the right mix between the original and the metal touch added by Dragony.

My favourite songs include the singles "Gods of War" and "Golden Dawn", "A.E.I.O.U.", and the title track "Viribus Unitis".
"Gods of War" is a classic straightforward power metal song with a memorable riff, great vocals - including great harmonies coming from backing vocals - and a solid solo.
On "Golden Dawn" on the other hand, you can hear a bigger symphonic metal influence. This is more of the classical Dragony sound, often described as symphonic power metal. While I love the power metal songs on this album, the original symphonic influences are what made me fall in love with this band in the first place. I am very glad to see that they haven't forgotten their roots, even though they transferred to a large and fairly mainstream label for this album (Napalm Records).
"A.E.I.O.U." features guest vocals from Serenity's Georg Neuhauser. These work really well with Siegfried Samer's vocals. Viribus Unitis (with united forces) indeed.
"Viribus Unitis" is probably my favourite track on this album. I love how it is a power metal song, but you can still hear the - above described- original Dragony sound shining through.

As a bonus track, Dragony covers another Austrian classic: "Haben Sie Wien schon bei Nacht geseh'n" (Have you seen Vienna at night yet) by austropop legend Rainhard Fendrich. I love how they outline their Austrian heritage with this album, especially through this song and the - above mentioned - opener, "On the blue Danube"

Textwise, the album tells the story of Emperor Franz Joseph I, his wife Sisi and their son Archduke Rudolph. Dragony put their own spin on the historical events. In this version of the story, Rudolph survives his suicide attempt and starts to meddle with dark magic in order to bring back his murdered mother. This goes bad and she returns as a zombie. I really like that Dragony adds a fun part to the story, yet the music still sounds really good.

All in all, a bunch of great songs that work well together to tell a fun story.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Any help would be greatly appeciated

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Slater922
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:24 pm
Posts: 741
PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:40 pm 
 

Okay, so my St. Anger review was taken back for "referencing Human666's review". I'm not really sure where that is and I don't know which part I should remove. Also, there are probably some grammar mistakes I missed, so if anyone can help me out, I'd really appreciate it.

Spoiler: show
You're not misunderstood. You're just a bad album. - 15%

St. Anger has been out for almost 18 years, and people are still confused by it to this day. But before the album was released, Metallica was killing it in the 90s. Their eponymous album in 1991 officially brought them into the mainstream, and while "Load", "Reload", and "Garage Inc." were met with mixed reception from fans, those albums still sold well. However, things took a turn for the worst for the band at the start of the new millennium when the band, and especially Lars, sued Napster for alleged copyright infringement and made them not only remove their songs, but also banned 300,000 users from their site. But that controversy was just the tip of the iceberg. Their bassist, Jason Newsted, also left the band, accusing them of mistreating him. But the most damaging one was with James Hetfield. After returning from rehab, Hetfield acted like the more wise one in the band and got more personal, leading to several problems during the album's recording.

In fact, when you factor in the controversies with Napster, Jason Newsted, and James Hetfield's degrading personality, it's kinda amazing to see "St. Anger" not come out as a jumbled mess, but rather a fascinating mess. Not only did the band experimented in an alternative and even nu metal sound, but the way the album was composed overall felt more like it came from an amateur teen band that was just getting started rather than from mainstream professionals. But while some consider it a "so bad it's good" album, I personally find "St. Anger" as a "so bad it's bad" album. It has its moments, but for the most part, it sucks.

One notable thing about the album is the instrumentals. Now I'm pretty sure everyone is aware of the poor sound of the snare drums, and that I'm not the first person in the world to joke about how Lars was on a tight budget during recording, so he had to use garbage cans for the drums. But while the snares sound awful and feel out of place with the rest of the instruments, in retrospect, it's actually not the worst part about the instruments. That will have to go to the guitar riffs. An example of this would be in the first track "Frantic". The guitars play some nu metal-like riffs, but they sound very dull and tiresome. In fact, most tracks have the guitar riffs play they terrible riffs that felt like they were poorly stolen from other alternative/nu metal riffs at the time. What makes this even worse is that the poor riffs end up hurting the other instruments in the long run. The drums are having to beat in incoherent patterns and, of course, they sound even worse with the snares. There isn't even a bass guitar to establish a foundation, so the songs feel like they're disorganized. And don't even get me started on the composition and structure of the songs, where these poor instrumentals are dragged on for an unnecessary amount of time. This makes this one hour album feel like two hours instead. The instrumentals on this album are terrible, and this album still has one of the worst instrumentals in Metallica's discography.

James Hetfield's vocals are also affected. Now this isn't to say that the vocals are terrible. As a matter of fact, his vocals have plenty of good moments. In the track "St. Anger", Hetfield starts off with some melodic singing that sounds good and flows with the slow instrumentals well. As the track progresses, his voice gets more aggressive and the tone of the instruments reflect on his voice well. This good contrast between the vocals and instruments make "St. Anger" one of the only good songs off the album. However, even his vocals can have some poor moments. In tracks like "Some Kind of Monster", the production is poor to a point where it makes Hetfield's vocals sound quiet. These quiet vocals are very unfitting to the mad atmosphere of the instruments. And in the track "Invisible Kid", Hetfield's singing actually sounds awful, as his voice feels forced and unemotional, making the lyrics about letting go of fear feel unconvincing. The vocals on this album may be one of the better parts of the album, but it still has plenty of off-putting moments that end up hurting the tracks more than improve them.

And then there's the lyrics. Now Metallica may not be the most lyrical band, but the simple lyrics in most of their songs do offer enough detail to set the tone for the tracks. "St. Anger", however, does not do that. In fact, the lyrics are too simplified to impact the track. For example, in the song "Purify", this verse quotes:

Tear it down, strip the layers off, my turpentine
Old paint, old looks, cover up the past
White heat, white light, super white bones, bones of you and I


The first two lines on that verse are supposedly a metaphor of letting go of the past. However, the third line about bones end up ruining the metaphor. In fact, the main theme in "Purify" is inconsistent, and it makes the lyrics feel random, which won't be a bad thing if it wasn't executed terribly. The song goes for a more abrasive tone, and it makes the lyrics feel unwelcomed in the chaotic atmosphere. But "All Within My Hands" is easily the worst track in the lyrical department. Take a look at this verse, which quotes:

All within my hands
Squeeze it in, crush it down
All within my hands
Hold it dear, hold it suffocate


This verse is about Hetfield crushing the things he hates. The lyrics seem brutal, but Hetfield sings the verse, which makes it seem like he is crushing them very softly. The constant switching of the tone in the instruments and vocals make the lyrics feel worthless, since the listener doesn't know what Hetfield really means about crushing things with his hands. And that's not even mentioning the "Kill!" part near the end. Hetfield's annoying screaming makes these repetitive lyrics sound abysmal and unbearable. The lyrics are terribly written, and the changing atmosphere of the tracks make their execution sound atrocious.

But before I conclude my review, I gotta address those who defend this album. "St. Anger" has gained a cult following in recent years, and its fans are willing to defend it. The main defense I see for St. Anger is that the album's raw and inconsistent sound is a reflection of the band's ongoing drama at the time, making the album feel "authentic". While I can kinda see what they're talking about, at the same time, I don't agree with it. Take Mayhem's "De Mysteriis Dom. Sathanas" for example. The band went through more severe controversy that would've made Metallica's controversy look like child's play. However, the cold and dark atmosphere of the album reflects their problems well, and even without the drama, the songs have some memorable riffs and poetic lyrics that make DMDS worthy of listening. However, as I've stated earlier, the songs aren't that good by themselves, and all that rawness and aggression feels like an exaggeration of what really happened. Now I'm not saying the band members needed to kill each other, but a bassist quitting and James Hetfield acting like a smartass does not equal the album having these feelings anxiety and fear. Therefore, the chaotic atmosphere ends up making the album feel like an exaggeration instead.

So overall, "St. Anger" is a horrible album. The instrumentation is very generic and poor, and the lyrics were better off not being written at all. The only good thing that came from this album is the track "St. Anger", plenty of good vocal moments, and "Death Magnetic" being a massive improvement. But is that to say that St. Anger is the worst album ever? No. Unless stuff like "Turbo", which makes my blood boil at the thought of a band intentionally changing their sound, I just can't blame the band for creating this. They were clearly going through a lot of crap behind the scenes, and the recording sessions of this album felt more like them letting out their stress and coping through one of the roughest times in their career since Cliff Burton's death. However, it probably would've been better if they had scrapped this album altogether, since all that did was further taint their image. Besides the second track, "St. Anger" is an album that you should avoid.


EDIT: Never mind. Found the reference, and fixed up the errors. Hopefully there won't be any issues.
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Sean16
Moody Tabulator of Torn Hymens

Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 11:03 am
Posts: 349
Location: France
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:54 am 
 

LuckyLuke wrote:
So my review got rejected and I thought I might as well try posting it here to see what I can do better:

Spoiler: show
I was really hyped for this album. I discovered Dragony through "Lords of the Hunt" in 2018 and I have been a big fan ever since. Let me say at the beginning, this album did not disappoint my (high) expectations at all.

Let's start at the beginning. The album opens with a cover of Johann Strauss' classic waltz "An der schönen Blauen Donau" (English: "On The Blue Danube") Seeing as the album deals with the last years of the Austro-Hungarian empire, this is a very fitting opener. Also, Dragony's arrangement of this song is just the right mix between the original and the metal touch added by Dragony.

My favourite songs include the singles "Gods of War" and "Golden Dawn", "A.E.I.O.U.", and the title track "Viribus Unitis".
"Gods of War" is a classic straightforward power metal song with a memorable riff, great vocals - including great harmonies coming from backing vocals - and a solid solo.
On "Golden Dawn" on the other hand, you can hear a bigger symphonic metal influence. This is more of the classical Dragony sound, often described as symphonic power metal. While I love the power metal songs on this album, the original symphonic influences are what made me fall in love with this band in the first place. I am very glad to see that they haven't forgotten their roots, even though they transferred to a large and fairly mainstream label for this album (Napalm Records).
"A.E.I.O.U." features guest vocals from Serenity's Georg Neuhauser. These work really well with Siegfried Samer's vocals. Viribus Unitis (with united forces) indeed.
"Viribus Unitis" is probably my favourite track on this album. I love how it is a power metal song, but you can still hear the - above described- original Dragony sound shining through.

As a bonus track, Dragony covers another Austrian classic: "Haben Sie Wien schon bei Nacht geseh'n" (Have you seen Vienna at night yet) by austropop legend Rainhard Fendrich. I love how they outline their Austrian heritage with this album, especially through this song and the - above mentioned - opener, "On the blue Danube"

Textwise, the album tells the story of Emperor Franz Joseph I, his wife Sisi and their son Archduke Rudolph. Dragony put their own spin on the historical events. In this version of the story, Rudolph survives his suicide attempt and starts to meddle with dark magic in order to bring back his murdered mother. This goes bad and she returns as a zombie. I really like that Dragony adds a fun part to the story, yet the music still sounds really good.

All in all, a bunch of great songs that work well together to tell a fun story.

OK, let's have a try.

Your review was probably rejected first for being a disguised track-by-track, where you quickly summarize every song one after the other. And not even a complete one, as you do it only for a few tracks - over twelve. It may have been acceptable in the early days of the site - that's why you'll still find a few reviews of that kind buried in its lowest depths - but it's usually frown upon now. Instead, you should try to describe the sound and atmosphere of the album as a whole: for instance, I haven't listened to it, but there seems to be an interesting take on Austrian history and classical music there, that you might want to develop. Then, of course, you can quote a few songs to make your point, but, again, just listing a bunch of songs one after the other should always be avoided.

Watch the formatting, too - several very short paragraphs, which should be fused in one. Actually, that's another issue, your review is probably too short overall. Not much musical description, even if, at least, we get it's symphonic power metal (if you couldn't already tell it by the name of the band, mind you). Again, there are twelve tracks, it seems to be a concept album, and you hint at the fact the band has somehow changed its sound - plenty of stuff to discuss there, probably. Tell us about the instruments, how they sound (but try to NOT list them, either!). It's power metal, so the vocalist especially must be essential - tell us a bit more about him for people who don't know the band; "great vocals" means little (melodic? high-pitched? operatic? annoying? you see the point - perhaps should you highlight a particular song/part of a song specially representative of his style?). Try to find what is the most salient point of the album (the song structures? vocals? catchy choruses? symphonic parts? etc, etc) and develop around it. From what you write, the symphonic parts seem to be important, please tell us more (are these all programmed, or did the guys hire a few classically-trained musicians? do they mostly consist in strings, or are there some pompous brass instruments as well? how about the general effect, do they sound more epic / melancholic / light-hearted - are there some more nods towards 19th century Viennese music? etc)

You don't tell us at all about the possible flaws of the album. Either it's perfect, and in that case you'll have to prove it :), or, otherwise, you might want to mention them, as well.

Just a few suggestions, of course.
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oneyoudontknow
Cum insantientibus furere necesse est.

Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 6:25 pm
Posts: 5291
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 12:33 pm 
 

Saguzar -- D​.​E​.​A​.​T​.​H.

Spoiler: show
Doors eat all tiny humans
--some low score--

Divulgating of this important aspect should be ignored or cast aside, because one thing is certain.
Exorbitant effects will be the result of neglecting it and some people might even develop an
aversion towards doors or tiny humans. Who knows. Whether people have already an attitude
towards it is unimportant. All should reflect on it, change their behaviour and act accordingly.
Humanity as a whole might benefit from this. Not only today, but maybe also tomorrow.

Dreadful black metal, boring and one pointless barrage after another can be found here.
Even once the release is over nothing memorable will have lingered. So just move
along. Nothing
to see
here.


Just some messing around. Not sure whether the MA would accept this as a review... even if it would be longer.
We need a thread for such stuff ...
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Sweetie
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:19 am
Posts: 996
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 12:52 pm 
 

I mean, I've definitely published some 1-paragraph reviews. What's important is if the description properly describes what's there. In most of my instances, it's been 10-minute EPs or demos. I know nothing about this release, so I won't say yes or no. But something to consider.
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Death By Wall of Text
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:18 pm
Posts: 128
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 1:25 pm 
 

oneyoudontknow wrote:
Saguzar -- D​.​E​.​A​.​T​.​H.

Spoiler: show
Doors eat all tiny humans
--some low score--

Divulgating of this important aspect should be ignored or cast aside, because one thing is certain.
Exorbitant effects will be the result of neglecting it and some people might even develop an
aversion towards doors or tiny humans. Who knows. Whether people have already an attitude
towards it is unimportant. All should reflect on it, change their behaviour and act accordingly.
Humanity as a whole might benefit from this. Not only today, but maybe also tomorrow.

Dreadful black metal, boring and one pointless barrage after another can be found here.
Even once the release is over nothing memorable will have lingered. So just move
along. Nothing
to see
here.


Just some messing around. Not sure whether the MA would accept this as a review... even if it would be longer.
We need a thread for such stuff ...

I think it being short is not so much of a problem (it's actually not bad to have a short review among much longer ones), but the fact that the surreal intro is 3 times longer than the music description will likely be an issue. Describe why it's boring after the "dreadful black metal" part, and this could be a cool review (I do like the surreal intro...).

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Sweetie
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:19 am
Posts: 996
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 1:45 pm 
 

Definitely agree with that ^
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Bodosa
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 4:21 am
Posts: 25
Location: India
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 10:51 am 
 

Derigin Sir had shared this forums link on a rejection note on this particular review of mine & told me that I can get feedback here.

I am very new to reviewing & this is my first attempt at doing so .

The single :
https://www.metal-archives.com/albums/B ... bs_reviews


The Review :

'Pindakaas' is 1st of the three single's released by India's Premier Metalcore act Bhayanak Maut with new vocalist Aman Virdi at helm. The track starts with heavy down tuned riffs barrage followed with Aman's squeaky vocals. As, we slowly progress into the track, we can find that the band has run out of ideas as the riffs sounds quite repetitive and lacks versatility. The same generic styled fast-faced riffs without basic melody is terrible to listen. A little more variations and a proper Guitar solo was lacking. I feel it misses out on the cutting edge heaviness that they are usually known to deliver. The bass parts are pretty decent but nothing too special like their previous releases. I thought he could have played more around with the notes rather then following the same pattern as his guitar counterparts. Also,a bass solo with more groovy chugs would have been recommended. Even though BM has tried their best to come up with a more modern 'Groovy' sound with heavy vocals, I personally feel that their ex-vocal twins - Sunneith & Vinay did a better job with their variations in Vocals. Aman's vocals are not up to the mark as he lacks the killer aggression which BM records previously used to have. His vocals do not add up to the monstrous vocals of his predecessors. I think he needs to work on his vocal texture and aggressiveness (sounds quite timid for a metalcore act). Talking about the Drums now - I think Rahul (Drummer) has also gotten rusty over time. He could have easily improvised more with more Triplets and Semi Blasts but ironically he decided to keep his parts pretty simple and average, much to our disappointment. Lyrics as usual are satirical and sarcastic - typical of Bhayanak Maut but lacks conviction. Very dull themed lyrics and odd Indian slang's. Overall, I would not recommend a new listener to start off with this particular single as this is not what BM is capable of. On their day, they can come up with much better compositions then this.



Your valuable feedback will help me in improving. All are welcome to correct/ respond & criticize.
Thanks!

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TheBurningOfSodom
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:28 am
Posts: 160
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 12:05 pm 
 

The first advices that come to my mind are purely formal - the language itself is decent apart from a few typos.

As it stands, I find the review improvable in:

- too many short sentences and a lot of full stops (".") between them, instead of softer punctuation marks like ";" or ":" ; especially the latter could be useful for expanding on some topics touched in the review. The full stops also don't help the flow of it, it basically feels like a cold checklist of topics ("Guitars are ... . Drums are ... ." etc.), each one given its quick description and nothing more. There are probably also a bit too many sentences without verbs, and they sure give the same impression. Just as a quick example on top off my head, your sentence:

Quote:
Lyrics as usual are satirical and sarcastic - typical of Bhayanak Maut but lacks conviction. Very dull themed lyrics and odd Indian slang's.

could be re-elaborated to something like:

Quote:
The song isn't helped by the lyrics, either - they are satirical and sarcastic like Bhayanak Maut have accustomed us to, but even they seem to lack conviction, revolving around very dull themes (like ...), with the addition of some odd Indian slang words.

I don't know the song and neither the band, so you can surely be more detailed than I was. I assume you can translate from Indian to English, so you might even add a translated excerpt from the lyrics at the end of the sentence, to give the readers an idea of why you feel they are particularly weak. The lyrics reported on the single page read like absolute nonsense and gibberish (if I were you, I'd mention "Slather on a ripe banana, blathering a diorama/Slither is an anaconda, Al Pacino, Maradona" in a nanosecond :lol: ), may want to point that out as well.

- you may want to include some comparisons: the band plays metalcore, okay, but it can be a pretty broad label at times (it's a long way from Killswitch Engage to Trivium to Within the Ruins lol). Try to narrow down the field by pointing out 1 or 2 bands with similar style, or riffing, or vocals, that will help newcomers to the band.

- typos, I said - your vocabulary is decent and there are not many recurrent errors besides capitalizing the instruments: guitars, not Guitars :)

- probably a personal gripe and it won't prevent your review from getting accepted when everything else is fixed, especially because we're talking about a single song so there's not much to write about admittedly, but single-paragraph review never seem appealing to me. You may want to insert a short opening paragraph (~2-3 sentences) about the history/biography of the band, being that only another user had ever reviewed them (so they aren't very well-known to say the least), or move your final comments to a short closing section detached from the main one. Dunno, just talking about aesthetics here.

To sum it up, feel free to experiment and mix up things a bit. And, of course, keep reading reviews by other writers, that will help a lot.

Cheers!
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Bodosa
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon May 18, 2020 4:21 am
Posts: 25
Location: India
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 1:25 pm 
 

TheBurningOfSodom wrote:
The first advices that come to my mind are purely formal - the language itself is decent apart from a few typos.

As it stands, I find the review improvable in:

- too many short sentences and a lot of full stops (".") between them, instead of softer punctuation marks like ";" or ":" ; especially the latter could be useful for expanding on some topics touched in the review. The full stops also don't help the flow of it, it basically feels like a cold checklist of topics ("Guitars are ... . Drums are ... ." etc.), each one given its quick description and nothing more. There are probably also a bit too many sentences without verbs, and they sure give the same impression. Just as a quick example on top off my head, your sentence:

Quote:
Lyrics as usual are satirical and sarcastic - typical of Bhayanak Maut but lacks conviction. Very dull themed lyrics and odd Indian slang's.

could be re-elaborated to something like:

Quote:
The song isn't helped by the lyrics, either - they are satirical and sarcastic like Bhayanak Maut have accustomed us to, but even they seem to lack conviction, revolving around very dull themes (like ...), with the addition of some odd Indian slang words.

I don't know the song and neither the band, so you can surely be more detailed than I was. I assume you can translate from Indian to English, so you might even add a translated excerpt from the lyrics at the end of the sentence, to give the readers an idea of why you feel they are particularly weak. The lyrics reported on the single page read like absolute nonsense and gibberish (if I were you, I'd mention "Slather on a ripe banana, blathering a diorama/Slither is an anaconda, Al Pacino, Maradona" in a nanosecond :lol: ), may want to point that out as well.

- you may want to include some comparisons: the band plays metalcore, okay, but it can be a pretty broad label at times (it's a long way from Killswitch Engage to Trivium to Within the Ruins lol). Try to narrow down the field by pointing out 1 or 2 bands with similar style, or riffing, or vocals, that will help newcomers to the band.

- typos, I said - your vocabulary is decent and there are not many recurrent errors besides capitalizing the instruments: guitars, not Guitars :)

- probably a personal gripe and it won't prevent your review from getting accepted when everything else is fixed, especially because we're talking about a single song so there's not much to write about admittedly, but single-paragraph review never seem appealing to me. You may want to insert a short opening paragraph (~2-3 sentences) about the history/biography of the band, being that only another user had ever reviewed them (so they aren't very well-known to say the least), or move your final comments to a short closing section detached from the main one. Dunno, just talking about aesthetics here.

To sum it up, feel free to experiment and mix up things a bit. And, of course, keep reading reviews by other writers, that will help a lot.

Cheers!


Thank you so much brother for your valuable suggestions. I shall keep a note of these points while attempting to write future reviews.

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TheBurningOfSodom
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:28 am
Posts: 160
Location: Italy
PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2021 5:43 pm 
 

Glad to help! :-D
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MetalMan68632
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2021 5:33 pm
Posts: 3
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 2:00 pm 
 

This is my first review and I need some help with it

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. Now let's get to the songwriting. The riffs are sick and are perfect for crossover thrash. The guitar and bass riffs blend so well with the songs and are honestly some of the best thrash riffs I've heard in a while. The lyrics are well-written and are very good. The lyrics go from having homicidal urges to zombies. they are great. The only problems I have with the lyrics is that they are kind of hard to understand unless you are looking at the lyrics while listening. Overall, this album is great and I absolutely recommend it for hardcore thrash fans.

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Slater922
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:24 pm
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2021 2:38 pm 
 

MetalMan68632 wrote:
This is my first review and I need some help with it

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. Now let's get to the songwriting. The riffs are sick and are perfect for crossover thrash. The guitar and bass riffs blend so well with the songs and are honestly some of the best thrash riffs I've heard in a while. The lyrics are well-written and are very good. The lyrics go from having homicidal urges to zombies. they are great. The only problems I have with the lyrics is that they are kind of hard to understand unless you are looking at the lyrics while listening. Overall, this album is great and I absolutely recommend it for hardcore thrash fans.

The problem with the review is that it's kinda all over the place. Try expanding your review to another paragraph or two, and dedicate each paragraph to one element of the songs (for example, one paragraph can be dedicated to the instruments, and another can be dedicated to the vocals). By having a more structured review, readers can understand the points you're trying to make.
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