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agogogt
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 10:44 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Spain
PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 1:27 pm 
 

Please help me guys! I will thank you so much!

It was 1981 and Iron Maiden was a relatively large band after editing two very good albums, (Iron Maiden and Killers), they even had backed Kiss on their European tour, they had also toured in Japan in 1981, but the distracted life of vocalist Paul Di'anno was beginning to seriously jeopardize the group's continued ascension, and that was something his founder Harris wasn't willing to consent to. Consequence of all these: Paul Di'anno was expelled from the group. His replacement: the most powerful, energetic and dynamic voice that has given England, Bruce Dickinson (dubbed "Air raid siren").

If there's an album that could be called THE metal album, the one that summed up everything metal was about, and could claim to be the best ever released, this would have to be it. Opinions will vary according to taste, but my taste is for total ass-kicking heavy metal and in my opinion, this is the epitome of it. Every song here is heavy as fuck, and we have to look to albums like these to remember that metal can be heavy without having to be detuned in the guitars, bass, vocals, etc. Sometimes, this album mixes light and shade, or acoustic guitar with shredding electric and amazing solos. Anyone who thinks melodic is soft, would get a right royal shock from this album, the degree of musicianship is amazing on the part of everyone in the band, and Bruce's voice is so pure at this point.

“Invaders” is quite a fine opener, it's a sudden, loud, no-holds-barred starter, and by the time you've realized what's happened there's that luscious bass fill before the guitars kick in again, it's just the ascending and descending scale in the chorus that sounds a bit naff. I think that's what nearly everyone else objects to as well. "22 Acacia Avenue" is sleek and sexy, and Adrian's outro solo coupled with Steve's bass keeps the action going through over six minutes without a letup. The album end with "Hallowed Be Thy Name", another legend that chugs along to Bruce's superb vocals before breaking off and then speeding up, the solos brought in by a pair of seductive pick-slides. Suffice to say the solos are great again, this song features a classic Maiden trick of repeating a riff to saturation point before switching to another, lucky for them it works.

Undoubtedly, everything on this record fits perfectly in both songwriting and a musical performance from its performers, the record would not be the same without Bruce Dickinson, his voice is the revulsive one that band needs. With him, the group rises to another level, to the top of heavy metal world where Eddie would sit his metallic ass, there it is since then. The beast roars!

The album basis is razor sharp guitars with shredding solos, brilliant bass work, pounding drums and incredible vocals, it's quite a simple format (you wouldn't ask for much more, would you?), but is used to perfection here. Simply writing great songs can turn you into a megastar, we know there was more behind success than just that, but every metalhead needs this album. Although The Number of the Beast was a disc of capital importance in their ascent, is not the only one or much less: Piece of Mind, Somewhere In Time, Powerslave and Seventh Son of a Seventh to name a few, were also the milestone. In addition, everyone can have their favorite, but something is sure: without it, your collection is incomplete. And I'm just not talking about a heavy metal collection.

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 577
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:43 am 
 

Corpus47, I've checked out your other, accepted, reviews on the site and notice that the Adastreia one is the shortest, by a large margin. I know that you don't think much of the music, but there is very little description of what the music sounds like, even with the useful inclusion of a couple of extra sentences.

I think the reason it's been rejected up to now is that the reader can't actually imagine what the music sounds like, which is pretty important for a music review. And, yes, while "galloping guitars" and "dramatic synth progressions" give me some idea, it still isn't very specific. Therefore, it might be useful to throw in some comparisons to other bands or at least a couple of relevant genres so we know what area the sound is in. Then, the one song that you've gone into detail about has a few helpful comments about the vocals, but telling us that this one is in time doesn't really explain why you think it's better than the others.

You're a good writer, who obviously has no trouble with using musical vocabulary. Just, you know, put yourself in my shoes - I haven't a clue who this band is and the only thing I can rely on is what you say. You get me?

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Corpus47
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:12 pm
Posts: 7
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:49 pm 
 

Thanks gasmask. My first review was rejected for (among a handful of other things) being too long. So I cut this one down significantly (as in, by around 50% or so in length). Synthesizing your comments with that critique, I'm guessing that it was too long for the wrong reasons or in the wrong way. Your comment is quite helpful. I'm going to think about it a little more and give it another go, adding in some more comparative and other descriptors. Thanks again.

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 577
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:03 pm 
 

Hi there Agogogt, I quite like your review for 'The Number of the Beast' and think it's generally decent, but just a few pointers.

Firstly, you need to do something with your song and album titles, since usually album titles are in italics (use <I> to open and </I> to close italics in the editing box) and song titles have single quote marks, such as 'Invaders'.

Secondly, your writing is very good, especially if you are a Spanish native as your profile says, though there are a few bits of strange grammar that could help make your message clearer.

agogogt wrote:
It was 1981 and Iron Maiden was a relatively large band after editing two very good albums, (Iron Maiden and Killers), they even had backed Kiss on their European tour, they had also toured in Japan in 1981, but the distracted life of vocalist Paul Di'anno was beginning to seriously jeopardize the group's continued ascension, and that was something his founder Harris wasn't willing to consent to. Consequence of all these: Paul Di'anno was expelled from the group. His replacement: the most powerful, energetic and dynamic voice that has given England, Bruce Dickinson (dubbed "Air raid siren").


Here, I have a problem with the word "editing", since we usually say they had recorded or released two albums, while that first sentence is also very long and contains lots of parts, so I would suggest breaking it into two pieces when Di'Anno gets mentioned. Also, we shouldn't call Steve Harris "his founder". A band can be called "it" or "them" (if you are talking about the group of musicians), so that would be "its founder" or "their founder", but here I recommend you to call him something "Iron Maiden's founder" or "the band's founding member". Then, some little things, like changing "consequence of all these" to "consequence of all this" and probably changing the part about "has given England", because I think you mean he came from England or his voice was the best to come from England.

What seems a little strange about your review is that the first paragraph and the last paragraph have the same grammar issues, but the middle is actually incredibly well-written. Maybe two people wrote this together? If that's the case, make sure the review hasn't already been published somewhere else because the Metal Archives staff will punish people who plagiarise others' work.

If you want to publish on this website, first make sure that nothing is copied, then have a look at the grammar in the first and last paragraphs, and finally brush up the album and song titles. I hope it will be accepted then!

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markmental
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:35 pm
Posts: 2
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:04 am 
 

Hello, could someone give me some ideas on how to improve this review?

Diphenylchloroarsine's debut EP The Six Level Purge, brings the brutal sounds of a nuclear apocalypse to your ears. This absolutely brutal and massive sounding release, features the guitarist of Kraanium, Mats Funderud, who along with his band-mates, the vocalist/drum programmer Benjamin and the other vocalist Paul, play self-proclaimed "Biochemical Sludge Slam". Sludgy, slow slam which fits in great with the theme of a nuclear apocalypse. There is even a sample from the Fallout video game series at the end of the track LVL3 Infection!

This is a great brutal death release, the vocals sound absolutely monstrous, akin to the vocals from Martin Funderud (R.I.P) formerly of Kraanium. The vocals are scratchy sounding primitive, guttural grunts, they sound absolutely brutal and disgusting and are pulled off well. The drum machine actually sounds very good on this release, the snare reminds me of Kraanium's drum sound, so if you like the drum sound employed on Kraanium's albums you will probably like this.

One thing absolutely captivating about this band is their ability to stay fresh. Diphenylchloroarsine sticks to the formula of slams and some sporadic blasts, but it doesn't get stale because Diphenylchloroarsine manages to pull off the slams perfectly. They sometimes even accompany them with a bass drop! This EP's sound is groovy, slow and brutal. If someone asked me to describe this album in three words those would be the one's I'd use, groovy, slow and brutal. This is a great release if you love brutal death and slam.

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 12:30 am 
 

Markmental, get your commas in order and give us a ghost of chance at understanding what in the hell slam sounds like. Don't just use the genre name to describe the music. That's not helpful for anyone who has no point of reference. In a similar vein, what does Kraanium's drum sound sound like? This review definitely sounds like an ad as opposed to a review. "They sometimes even accompany them with a bass drop!" I don't even know what that means. Bass drop? Try to be less repetative, self-referential, and hype-y.


agogogt, the first paragraph is entirely irrelevant. This review is repetative and has too much of a track-by-track feel. Edit it down to the necessary elements and give those substantial treatment. Not a bad first draft because useful material is in there, but carve the fat off and give us the good descriptive meat. If you're going to take on a classic, I recommend spending most of the time on saying something that hasn't been said already. Read the existing reviews and consider how many thousands of phrases you don't need to bother with. Ultimately, though, I don't see why this review needs to be written. You must like other albums. Write about one of them. I'm not sure what a beginner gets out of "reviewing" a classic.

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
Hi there Agogogt, ...
What seems a little strange about your review is that the first paragraph and the last paragraph have the same grammar issues, but the middle is actually incredibly well-written. Maybe two people wrote this together? If that's the case, make sure the review hasn't already been published somewhere else because the Metal Archives staff will punish people who plagiarise others' work.

Good eye, Mr. Colostomy. I didn't read it particularly carefully because, unlike you I didn't think it was "incredibly well written." Although, perhaps you were using "incredibly" literally!

Whether or not this is happening, plagiarism is not only punishable, it is complete bullshit. Anyone who commits it is simultaneously ridiculous and useless.

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 577
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 11:41 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Ultimately, though, I don't see why this review needs to be written. You must like other albums. Write about one of them. I'm not sure what a beginner gets out of "reviewing" a classic.

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
Hi there Agogogt, ...
What seems a little strange about your review is that the first paragraph and the last paragraph have the same grammar issues, but the middle is actually incredibly well-written. Maybe two people wrote this together? If that's the case, make sure the review hasn't already been published somewhere else because the Metal Archives staff will punish people who plagiarise others' work.

Good eye, Mr. Colostomy. I didn't read it particularly carefully because, unlike you I didn't think it was "incredibly well written." Although, perhaps you were using "incredibly" literally!

Whether or not this is happening, plagiarism is not only punishable, it is complete bullshit. Anyone who commits it is simultaneously ridiculous and useless.


Hey Wyrm Boy, I kind of get why beginners want to review the old classics, since I guess that this is probably the dude's favourite album and he feels like it's an important part of his musical experience. When I started reviewing, it was the albums I'd had the longest that got reviewed earliest, mostly because I felt more confident in my opinions and "understood" those better. That said, that's the exact reason why I did a double-take over the cracks between the two sections: if Agogogt wants to share his opinion about his favourite album, then so be it, but if anything from that review is plagiarised it just completely undermines the purpose of writing the review for pleasure.

You know, this is a hobby first and foremost, but it's also useful for other metalheads. It's just that if someone has an agenda when they're writing reviews, that's when it ceases to be either a fun hobby or useful to others.

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 10:46 pm 
 

Wyrm Boy. That's a first. Can't say I like it.

I'm not against writing reviews of classics in principle. I am, however, prone to telling people that if they're going to do it, try to do so from a perspective that hasn't been tortured to death, and please, if at all possible, don't hurry through a review just because you're new at it. I'm also all for people expressing their opinions, but freedom of speech can, and should have consequences, i.e., don't get bent when people have heard them before and don't really care much.

My aim here is to try to help the overall quality of submitted reviews improve, not to explicitly create a safe space for people to rehash a first-draft level opinion. I'm a tutor, not a babysitter. I'm not saying "be perfect already," but I am, and will likely continue to say "you can always try harder, and here are some ideas on how to."

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 577
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 11:04 am 
 

Yeah, I'm with you on that I think. There's always something else to say when you review a classic and if a reviewer doesn't have much to add then they either don't need to add it or haven't been listening carefully. "You can always try better" is a good philosophy.

I'm just not sure how to address someone called Grave_Wyrm. Especially 'cos Mr Colostomy isn't exactly my name of choice...guess I should have thought of that back when I joined the site.

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Corpus47
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:12 pm
Posts: 7
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 2:16 pm 
 

Here's a second go at my review of Adastreia's That Which Lies Within. Thanks in advance for any constructive criticism.

Spoiler: show
I'm not sure exactly what Adastreia did when it put <i>That Which Lies Within</i> together, but whatever it was, it didn’t work.

Charitably speaking, the album is a mish-mash of crunchy/grindy, galloping guitars and occasional, dramatic synth progressions, backed by largely drowned-out drums. Combined, the instrumentals are somewhat reminiscent of the heavier parts of mid-1980s Flotsam and Jetsam or Fates Warning. If those bands had added a keyboardist, cranked up the amps enough to overwhelm the drums, and thrown in a ton of rapid and sudden changes of pace in each song. As for those tempo changes, they’re far less organic (i.e., much more jolting) than the type you’d find in a Dream Theater song, for example. Turning to the vocals, (now-discharged) singer Alexandra Martin really belts out operatic, soaring lyrics with a lot of passion and effort. Her vocal style is roughly comparable to Lori Lewis (of Aesma Daeva and Therion), without achieving Lori’s unparalleled enunciation and precision. But the instruments often don't seem to be in the same key as the vocals (or vice versa?), and at many points the vocals seem to be going in a different stylistic direction than the instruments.

In short, the combined effect of it all is quite disjointed and disorganized. The songs lurch forward in fits and starts, rolling seemingly at random from thudding heavily, to keyboarding soaringly, to strumming off-tempo-but-speedily, and so forth. And none of this is in a way that might seem interesting or that might imply that the band did any of it on purpose. Although the songs do seem to get <u>a little</u> better as the album goes along, most of them just go on for way too long. Honestly, I think Adastreia was shooting for “really progtastic prog metal,” but just didn’t know how to put the various pieces together in order to get there.

However, there is one incredible exception in the confusing mess. A glowing candle of a song that Adastreia hid under a bushel, as it were. It's hard to pinpoint what they did on "Tempest" that works so amazingly well there, but failed in every other instance throughout the album. But here, at least, the vocals and the music suddenly click. The timing changes are smooth and interesting, rather than disjointed and confusing. The instruments are unified and driven. The multi-octave vocals twirl effortlessly between soaring majestically to crooning seductively, adding intriguing nuance to the lyrics. Really, this is one of my favorite songs from any band, and it just sends chills down my spine every time I hear it.

Nevertheless, the album as a whole is tepid and uninspiring. And Adastreia's success on "Tempest" only serves to highlight the band’s failure throughout the rest of <i>That Which Lies Within</i>.

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BastardHead
Worse than the PMRC

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 9194
Location: St. Charles, Illinois
PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 8:06 pm 
 

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
Mr Colostomy isn't exactly my name of choice...guess I should have thought of that back when I joined the site.


*14 year old BastardHead laughs at your misery*
_________________
Lair of the Bastard: LATEST REVIEWS: Golgotha - Erasing the Past, Xoth - Interdimensional Invocations
The Outer RIM - Uatism: The dogs bark in street slang

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senttodie
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:38 am
Posts: 2
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 2:49 am 
 

Greetings MA folks!
my review was rejected 2 times, guess im not good enough for the high standards imposed by MA.
Can someone do a proper review of this Band Funeral Hearse ep "Heralding The Deathwinds"
Thanks!
Markus

link to Funeral Hearse Bandcamp
https://funeralhearse.bandcamp.com/releases


Singapore seems to be a hotbed for some excellent, extreme underground music these days.
From the island state now comes a new revelation, Funeral Hearse.

Funeral Hearse is a new band to the scene having formed only in 2015,
but the persons behind this band; Deadwax and Azrael have been around for more than a decade in the Singapore Metal scene.

Funeral Hearse first unleashed a single "Firestorm Majesty" an exclusive Facebook only track in digital format the 3rd March, 2017.
The band then announced a Promo version of their new EP limited to only 66 copies released on the 5th of May 2017,
to be given away for free to those interested in the band's music.

The ep starts with opener "Firestorm Majesty" a very punchy and raw power track.
The vocals on this track are very reminiscent of Celtic Frost's Tom G Warrior at times or even the legendary Ihsahn on Emperor's "IX Equilibrium" album.
The guitars are kept very simple with traditional Scandinavian Black Metal sound done with some originality and quality.
The bass and drums on the track are also top notch, and does not come as very overpowering or under produced.

"Palace of Bones", the second track could easily pass off as a track from any Norwegian Black Metal Bands of old.
Deadwax also comes across as a very proficient Black Metal vocalist with varying vocal deliverance.
The guitars keep building momentum throughout the song and I was expecting some lead breaks or progression but it ends off short and simple.

The third and title track "Heralding The Deathwinds" picks off with a very doomy vocal intro and quickly progresses to a fast and thrashy track with blast beats.

The last closing track "Master Judas Underground" is probably the best song in this ep.
Hateful and heartfelt vocals about backstabbers in the scene, the song breaks into an instrumental interlude with whispering ghostly vocals midway before the guitars break into a "all Hell is loose" Black Metal attack leaving the listener wanting to hear more from this Band.

Overall a very simple, straightforward and impressive release from this band!

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Tanuki
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 12:36 pm
Posts: 336
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:41 am 
 

Hiya senttodie, welcome to MA!

Two big issues with your review. The first is formatting; new sentences shouldn't start on new lines.

This:

Spoiler: show
Singapore seems to be a hotbed for some excellent, extreme underground music these days.
From the island state now comes a new revelation, Funeral Hearse.

Funeral Hearse is a new band to the scene having formed only in 2015,
but the persons behind this band; Deadwax and Azrael have been around for more than a decade in the Singapore Metal scene.

Should look like this:

Spoiler: show
Singapore seems to be a hotbed for some excellent, extreme underground music these days. From the island state now comes a new revelation, Funeral Hearse. Funeral Hearse is a new band to the scene having formed only in 2015, but the persons behind this band; Deadwax and Azrael have been around for more than a decade in the Singapore Metal scene.

The second issue is, the rules (which can be seen here) discourage track-by-track reviews. A review that's just a description of each track usually makes for a boring read. You should instead talk about the music as a whole, using specific tracks to illustrate your point.

Also, information like when promos were released or how many copies were pressed don't need to be in a review. That sort of information is usually covered in the band's info page, whereas reviews are more subjective analyses of what the music itself sounds like. Finally, just some grammar rules to keep in mind, things like "black metal" or "metal scene" shouldn't be capitalized, and album titles should be italicized.

You can find all this and other helpful tips in the rules, so feel free to check them out if you weren't clear on anything. Best of luck getting your review accepted

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 577
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:52 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
gasmask_colostomy wrote:
Mr Colostomy isn't exactly my name of choice...guess I should have thought of that back when I joined the site.


*14 year old BastardHead laughs at your misery*


You know, back in 2010 when I was a new member you rejected some of my reviews and I remember thinking you had chosen the name aptly...er, sorry about that. It's like with real names, you're stuck with whatever curse your original name has.

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BastardHead
Worse than the PMRC

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 9194
Location: St. Charles, Illinois
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 9:13 pm 
 

I mean I wasn't modded until 2012 but I'll take the credit for tempering you into the excellent reviewer you are today!
_________________
Lair of the Bastard: LATEST REVIEWS: Golgotha - Erasing the Past, Xoth - Interdimensional Invocations
The Outer RIM - Uatism: The dogs bark in street slang

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 577
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 9:25 pm 
 

Corpus47 wrote:
Here's a second go at my review of Adastreia's That Which Lies Within. Thanks in advance for any constructive criticism.

Spoiler: show
I'm not sure exactly what Adastreia did when it put <i>That Which Lies Within</i> together, but whatever it was, it didn’t work.

Charitably speaking, the album is a mish-mash of crunchy/grindy, galloping guitars and occasional, dramatic synth progressions, backed by largely drowned-out drums. Combined, the instrumentals are somewhat reminiscent of the heavier parts of mid-1980s Flotsam and Jetsam or Fates Warning. If those bands had added a keyboardist, cranked up the amps enough to overwhelm the drums, and thrown in a ton of rapid and sudden changes of pace in each song. As for those tempo changes, they’re far less organic (i.e., much more jolting) than the type you’d find in a Dream Theater song, for example. Turning to the vocals, (now-discharged) singer Alexandra Martin really belts out operatic, soaring lyrics with a lot of passion and effort. Her vocal style is roughly comparable to Lori Lewis (of Aesma Daeva and Therion), without achieving Lori’s unparalleled enunciation and precision. But the instruments often don't seem to be in the same key as the vocals (or vice versa?), and at many points the vocals seem to be going in a different stylistic direction than the instruments.

In short, the combined effect of it all is quite disjointed and disorganized. The songs lurch forward in fits and starts, rolling seemingly at random from thudding heavily, to keyboarding soaringly, to strumming off-tempo-but-speedily, and so forth. And none of this is in a way that might seem interesting or that might imply that the band did any of it on purpose. Although the songs do seem to get <u>a little</u> better as the album goes along, most of them just go on for way too long. Honestly, I think Adastreia was shooting for “really progtastic prog metal,” but just didn’t know how to put the various pieces together in order to get there.

However, there is one incredible exception in the confusing mess. A glowing candle of a song that Adastreia hid under a bushel, as it were. It's hard to pinpoint what they did on "Tempest" that works so amazingly well there, but failed in every other instance throughout the album. But here, at least, the vocals and the music suddenly click. The timing changes are smooth and interesting, rather than disjointed and confusing. The instruments are unified and driven. The multi-octave vocals twirl effortlessly between soaring majestically to crooning seductively, adding intriguing nuance to the lyrics. Really, this is one of my favorite songs from any band, and it just sends chills down my spine every time I hear it.

Nevertheless, the album as a whole is tepid and uninspiring. And Adastreia's success on "Tempest" only serves to highlight the band’s failure throughout the rest of <i>That Which Lies Within</i>.


The more general musical description has really helped this review and I'm getting the idea of this album's sound much better than before. I think you're pretty close to having a great review, but I'd like to make two more suggestions:

1. The specific descriptive parts are still a bit thin. I'm talking about your paragraph on 'Tempest' (single quote marks are preferred for song titles on MA), which says quite a lot about the song, though I still only know that the time changes work better and the range and stylistic shifts in Alexandra Martin's vocals make it powerful. Perhaps you could mention what part of the song sends chills down your spine (intro, riffs, chorus, a particular musical motif, or powerful combination of the whole band) or how the time changes affect you or maybe even what the "intriguing nuance" in the lyrics is about.

The same goes for the rest of the album, which you said is much worse: there aren't any concrete details about those other songs, which would be useful to back up your point.

2. The second is more of a stylistic point. Sometimes you overuse verbs and adverbs in description, like when you write "rolling seemingly at random from thudding heavily, to keyboarding soaringly, to strumming off-tempo-but-speedily". In this instance, it's probably better to use more nouns, otherwise things become rather metaphorical and harder to grasp for the reader. The subject in that sentence is "the songs", but can songs really roll? Can they strum? Can they keyboard? Is keyboard really a verb? It sounds like you have a specific example in mind, yet I can't quite picture that example from this kind of description.

The quality is definitely improved from the first draft, now I hope changing those two things will help you get the review accepted. Good luck!

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 577
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 9:33 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
I mean I wasn't modded until 2012 but I'll take the credit for tempering you into the excellent reviewer you are today!


Oh shit, maybe there's another guy called Bastard who was randomly rejecting all my terrible early diatribes. Come to think of it, I might be getting confused with some reviews from 2013 (I wrote like 6 in 2010 and then ran off to university) that you rejected, probably one for Witchery 'Restless and Dead'. I remember that one coming back (the second time!) with a comment like, "Don't just submit it again with the same glaring mistakes" and I remember thinking, 'Who is this guy? I'm a literature graduate now!' But I kept that early version and it's track-by-track, plus it frankly sucks compared to the ones I wrote even six months later. So whoever the Bastard was, I'm glad somebody kept sending it back!

Also, thanks for the not-so-subtle me/you compliment :wink:

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:12 pm 
 

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
I'm just not sure how to address someone called Grave_Wyrm. Especially 'cos Mr Colostomy isn't exactly my name of choice...guess I should have thought of that back when I joined the site.

In this thread, Mr. Wyrm will serve. It's just a faux-professionalism convention that I started doing a while back with the regulars here who were helping with the constructive feedback. We're very stuff-shirted and bespectacled and serious around here. Mr. Humanity has abandoned his participation since he was promoted. You I called Mr. Colostomy because, like mine, your name is two words. As a point of comparison, should I reference him, I would refer to your "mentor" simply as Mr. BastardHead.

I can easily call you Mr. Gasmask, if you prefer, although Mr. Colostomy is perhaps more ironic. It's up to you. I won't force annoying nonsense upon an ally.

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 11:01 pm 
 

senttodie wrote:
Funeral Hearse
Guess im not good enough for the high standards imposed by MA.

They're actually pretty low. That might not be encouraging, but it should be noted. Heed Tanuki's feedback on how you can clear the site's reasonable hurdles.

Corpus47 wrote:
Here's a second go at my review of Adastreia's That Which Lies Within.

A substantial improvement. Notes in spoiler.

Spoiler: show
I'm not sure exactly what Adastreia did when it put <i>That Which Lies Within</i> together, but whatever it was, it didn’t work.

Charitably speaking, the album is a mish-mash of crunchy/grindy, galloping guitars and occasional, dramatic synth progressions, backed by largely drowned-out drums. (Right off the bat, we have a strong impression of what we're in for. Good opening) Combined, the instrumentals are somewhat reminiscent of the heavier parts of mid-1980s Flotsam and Jetsam or Fates Warning (Struggling to understand how that's a bad thing, but I haven't heard it yet). If those bands had added a keyboardist, cranked up the amps enough to overwhelm the drums, and thrown in a ton of rapid and sudden changes of pace in each song. As for those tempo changes, they’re far less organic (i.e., much more jolting) than the type you’d find in a Dream Theater song, for example. Turning to the vocals, (now-discharged) singer Alexandra Martin really belts out operatic, soaring lyrics with a lot of passion and effort. Her vocal style is roughly comparable to Lori Lewis (of Aesma Daeva and Therion), without achieving Lori’s unparalleled enunciation and precision. But :nazi: the instruments often don't seem to be in the same key as the vocals (or vice versa?) (Confusing. Clearer if you say "the instruments and the vocals don't seem to be in the same key"), and at many points the vocals seem to be going in a different stylistic direction than the instruments. (Curious. Some more clarification here could be interesting)

(This paragraph has pretty much all the information it needs, but the construction is clunky. Be sure to follow the topic sentence/body construction. The information is essentially there, so now polish the clarity of your communication of it.)

In short, the combined effect of it all is quite disjointed and disorganized. The songs lurch forward in fits and starts, rolling seemingly at random from thudding heavily, to keyboarding soaringly, to strumming off-tempo-but-speedily, and so forth. And :nazi: none of this is in a way that might seem interesting or that might imply that the band did any of it on purpose. Although the songs do seem to get <u>a little</u> better as the album goes along, most of them just go on for way too long. Honestly, I think Adastreia was shooting for “really progtastic prog metal,” but just didn’t know how to put the various pieces together in order to get there. (This paragraph is quite clear. Compare this with the first paragraph for reference)

However, there is one incredible exception in the confusing mess. A glowing candle of a song that Adastreia hid under a bushel, as it were (Confused/mixed metaphor). It's hard to pinpoint what they did on "Tempest" that works so amazingly well there, but failed in every other instance throughout the album. But here :nazi:, at least, the vocals and the music suddenly click. The timing changes are smooth and interesting, rather than disjointed and confusing. The instruments are unified and driven. The multi-octave vocals twirl effortlessly between soaring majestically to crooning seductively, adding intriguing nuance to the lyrics. Really, this is one of my favorite songs from any band, and it just sends chills down my spine every time I hear it. (Good description. I like that you took the time to embellish a positive exception)

Nevertheless, the album as a whole is tepid and uninspiring. And :nazi: Adastreia's success on "Tempest" only serves to highlight the band’s failure throughout the rest of <i>That Which Lies Within</i>.


(Clean up the grammatical issues, work on the clarity a bit more, and integrate the feedback you got from Mr. Colostomy before you submit. It can be tempting to hit the main points and get it in, but I encourge you to use this final push to get a little bit further in your practice than you would if you stopped too early and called it good enough. You're off to a good start. Thanks for taking all this advice to heart. Looking forward to what you work on next time. I'd say just post your next few reviews here first so we can help you out. Treat us like a tutoring center.)

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senttodie
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:38 am
Posts: 2
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 1:17 am 
 

Tanuki wrote:
Hiya senttodie, welcome to MA!

Two big issues with your review. The first is formatting; new sentences shouldn't start on new lines.

This:

Spoiler: show
Singapore seems to be a hotbed for some excellent, extreme underground music these days.
From the island state now comes a new revelation, Funeral Hearse.

Funeral Hearse is a new band to the scene having formed only in 2015,
but the persons behind this band; Deadwax and Azrael have been around for more than a decade in the Singapore Metal scene.

Should look like this:

Spoiler: show
Singapore seems to be a hotbed for some excellent, extreme underground music these days. From the island state now comes a new revelation, Funeral Hearse. Funeral Hearse is a new band to the scene having formed only in 2015, but the persons behind this band; Deadwax and Azrael have been around for more than a decade in the Singapore Metal scene.

The second issue is, the rules (which can be seen here) discourage track-by-track reviews. A review that's just a description of each track usually makes for a boring read. You should instead talk about the music as a whole, using specific tracks to illustrate your point.

Also, information like when promos were released or how many copies were pressed don't need to be in a review. That sort of information is usually covered in the band's info page, whereas reviews are more subjective analyses of what the music itself sounds like. Finally, just some grammar rules to keep in mind, things like "black metal" or "metal scene" shouldn't be capitalized, and album titles should be italicized.

You can find all this and other helpful tips in the rules, so feel free to check them out if you weren't clear on anything. Best of luck getting your review accepted




Thank you!

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Corpus47
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:12 pm
Posts: 7
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 7:11 pm 
 

Gasmask and Grave_Wyrm, thanks for the time you took for feedback. Again, y'all gave me some things to think about.

As for the "grammar nazi" suggestions, here is something to think about: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/can-i-start-a-sentence-with-a-conjunction

I do legal writing for a living (not suggesting that anything I do is without error or otherwise impeccable, just providing context), and most legal writing scholars agree that starting supporting points with "And" or "But" is both easier to read and more persuasive than longer, multi-clause sentences. Again, just providing a different point of view. I'm not trying to start a debate here.

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2017 3:18 am 
 

You can write that way. And if you want to, I can't stop you. But if I were you, I couldn't stand it. I could explain why. But I think the ugliness of this string of sentences makes my point for me.

I'm not debating so much as presenting an alternative to the alternative. I agree that prosaic grammar, if followed precisely, is a featureless prison, a psychological railroad car loping indifferently from some capital letter toward the distant punctuation mark, only to laboriously gain its turgid momentum at the next capital letter. Introduction of interminable clauses to this dreary formula is enough to make us take an axe to the forehead. It's a dim view of the options when the choice is to either begin sentences with conjunctions or to wade forever, compassless in a meandering hellworld of wearying prolixity. The answer is not, as these stylists allow, to grow lax (That's nihilism, Bobby!); it is to grow supple. CONCISION NOW!!

I'm deaf to false stylists trafficking in nonchalance. Only Strunk and White is real.

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Talented Juli
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:36 pm
Posts: 86
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:27 am 
 

Hey everybody, I just submitted my first review (yay me) for Diphtery's Survival Instinct. Wondering if I can get any feedback on it so I can improve future reviews.

Spoiler: show
Title: A Forgotten Gem. Well, Sort Of.

Score: 70%.

Survival Instinct opens with moody, hypnotizing guitar leads playing over plodding drums and a chugging rhythm piece. This is how the album continues for much of its 34 minutes. The good parts, at least. Make no mistake: Survival Instinct is carried by its lead melodies.

And what great leads they are. They are not catchy. Instead, they create a dismal and forlorn atmosphere that reminds of albums like Gorement's The Ending Quest, or Sentenced's Shadows of Past. In combination with the catatonic drumming accompanying many of Survival Instinct's riffs, Diphtery lulls their listener into a state of relaxed melancholy.

Unlike the aforementioned Scandinavian albums, Survival Instinct has an oppressively dry guitar tone that is matched by its vocals. These death growls are less growl than they are wheezes. They are not entirely unwelcome, as they feel perfectly at home and lend a unique sound to the album. If you can get over their weirdness, there is something to appreciate here.

Survival Instinct is at its weakest when it drops the guitar leads and settles into predictable chugging riffs. It is in these moments that I can best describe this album as a bargain-bin Leprosy. For weaving so seamlessly between the derivative and the sublime, Survival Instinct is worth a listen, and maybe a repeat, if you know which tracks to skip.


I really wanted to write a review for these guys, 'cause I really like them and thought it was criminal they'd been on the site for years and still didn't have a review. I feel like I may have sacrificed too much musical description upon the altar of brevity, but let me know what y'all think of it.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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Location: a branch
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:32 am 
 

The description you included is surprisingly evocative for how little there is. Minimalism is fine, but this does feel closer to restricted than to the obvious goal of remaining streamlined. The intro is a little sudden, and occasionally there are points that can be made by combining sentences, but that's a polish that comes with practice. Feel free to loosen up somewhat and let the composition breathe. I support your ambitions of concision, but brevity alone is not its grail. Heed this wisdom:

13. Omit needless words. Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not
that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

- Strunk & White

Italicize album titles. It will contribute to your capable clarity. I encourage you to continue writing.

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 577
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:57 am 
 

Talented Juli, I think that your review is a little peculiar but does justice to the album you're talking about. As Grave_Wyrm has mentioned above, you do pack a lot into a short space, which shows that you've got the writing talent down. Perhaps if you could consider the perspective of someone who doesn't know this album at all, you might want to include a few more details about individual songs or branch out to talk about the contribution of the other instrumentalists (is this a blastbeat album or a doomy fill-laden one?).

The material you've got is fine, it might just need some more on the specifics.

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Talented Juli
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:36 pm
Posts: 86
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:22 am 
 

Thanks for the responses.

Italicizing album titles is easily implemented, so I'll do that in future reviews. Becoming the writer that Strunk & White believe I can be is a worthy goal, but a less easily implemented one. I'll work on it.

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
Perhaps if you could consider the perspective of someone who doesn't know this album at all, you might want to include a few more details


My greatest insecurity with my description is that, in omitting the non-defining details of the album, I may have given a dishonest impression of the music to people who have never heard it—and whom is a review for, if not for them? I suppose that, like improving one's prose, knowing which information to include or omit must be learned through practice. I'll include some descriptions of individual tracks in future reviews, though.

Thanks again for taking the time to help me.
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agogogt
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 10:44 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Spain
PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:05 am 
 

Hi, I left and I was traveling. Yes, we wrote among two the review. Actually, I usually post my reviews in spanish and I send to a friend to correct them. The first and last paragraph was not corrected yet, because I wrote those at the last minute. Anyway, it will take more time, it lacks a lot of substance and I believe it should remain in the standard of the traditional reviewers here. Thanks gasmask.-

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Trashy_Rambo
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:04 pm
Posts: 1448
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:50 am 
 

I just got my first review accepted to the site, but I'd still welcome some feedback on what I could do better.

Spoiler: show
My first exposure to Belgium's Killer was their 1982 release Wall of Sound, a rocking slab of heavy metal that wouldn't have been out of place on the NWOBHM heap. I picked this album up some time later, expecting more of the same, and boy was I surprised!

The first and most noticeable difference is that former vocalist "Shorty" has been replaced by his polar opposite in Paul Van Camp. The playful, lightweight vocals have been replaced by an almost Lemmy-esque howl, and this gives the album a much darker feel overall. Van Camp certainly would have been out of place on songs like Kleptomania! There are a few moments where he switches things up as well, such as the higher shrieks on "Kick Down On Your Ass" or the clean vocals on "Lift Me Up."

The guitars, much like the vocals, generally take a much more rough n' tumble approach. The riffs are certainly choppier, with a lot more speed and palm muting, almost thrashy in their approach at times. Van Camp and Jon Von Springel also provide a bit of flash in the form of some rather Priest-like solos, my favorite of which is probably "Highway Killers."

There's not a whole lot to say about the rhythm section, as the drums are quite low in the mix, and the bass largely seems to follow the guitars. They do their jobs of providing backbone and low-end respectably.

My favorite track on the album is probably the war-themed "Steel Meets Steel", with its menacing lyrics and steely riffs, or the howling "Highway Killers." "Hibernation" has some rather dire lyrics, but a simple and instantly memorable anthemic chorus. "Lift Me Up" is the only track that really fails to move me, as it provides little of interest besides some solid clean vocals. Absolutely recommended if you like heavy metal at all!
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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 577
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 9:29 am 
 

Trashy_Rambo, the review looks reasonably solid, but you should check the formatting on a few parts, like using single quote marks for song titles (e.g. 'the war-themed 'Steel Meets Steel') and italicising the album titles, which you can do by inserting <i>Wall of Sound</i> in the editing box.

Your style is quite terse and fairly descriptive, but you could give more detailed descriptions of one or two songs, such as what "steely riffing" you're talking about on 'Steel Meets Steel' or exactly how 'Lift Me Up' is worse than the others. If you read your review back and can hear the album, that's often a sign that you're doing things right!

Anyway, keep it up :)

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Trashy_Rambo
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:04 pm
Posts: 1448
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 2:47 pm 
 

Much appreciated!
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BastardHead
Worse than the PMRC

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
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Location: St. Charles, Illinois
PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:53 pm 
 

For what it's worth, we have no enforced standard formatting here for this sort of thing, but the way I and many, many others seem to do it is actually "Quotation Marks" for song titles, Italics for album titles, and just regular old Capital Letters for band names. You can do as you please of course, but that's what makes mods the happiest.
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flexodus
Metalhead

Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 4:16 am
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:31 pm 
 

Would anybody mind taking a look at some of my reviews? Never had any rejected but never gotten any sort of feedback either. Everything from 2015 on is written for virgin challenges, so probably minimum amount of editing involved. Earlier reviews probably have some more crafting involved to them, but aren't really reflective of my current writing style/voice.

https://www.metal-archives.com/user-rev ... odusAttack
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Sengion
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:22 pm
Posts: 1
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:27 pm 
 

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!


After releasing an EP, compilation and a series of splits since its formation in 2014, this one man band from Scotland released its first full-length in April.
All of Hellripper’s music and lyrics are written by the ambitious James McBain, who also started the one man death metal project, Lord Rot, back in 2015. Besides having written all the music McBain was also responsible for the recording of all the instruments and vocals, other than various guest appearances mainly as additional vocals.


Coagulating Darkness is everything black/speed needs to be in my book; fast and filthy, without taking itself too seriously. Hellripper takes the concept of black/speed, popularized by Midnight in the early 2000’s and drips an extra layer of black metal filth over it. The result? Fast, distorted, Motörhead inspired riffs, accompanied by raw,
high-pitched growls.
This album never slows down and doesn’t give you a moment of calmness, resulting in 26 minutes of uninterrupted mayhem, perfect for caffeine fueled, late night study sessions, when you just need that extra kick in the balls.

And song writing isn’t where this album stops shining, the production is also superb.
The guitars are coated with heavy distortion, but not to the extent where the actual riffs get drowned out by white noise, and supported by the thundering sound of the double bass. The vocals are higher-pitched than the average death growl and manage to penetrate the cacophony of riffs and blast beats brilliantly.

Finally, one of my favourite aspects of this album is the guest appearance of guitarist Mark Lerche, who provided the solos for Anneliese and Demdike (in League with the Devil). These long and fast solos match beautifully with the rest of the music and thanks to the stellar production rise above the rest of the music as the pinnacle of mayhem and chaos.
This favourite aspect is also my biggest critique, as Mark only appears on 2 of the 8 tracks, while I would have loved to hear more of him. The other solos on Coagulating Darkness don’t nearly jump out as much and pale in comparison to the expertise of Lerche.

I definitely have a weakness for dirty black/speed like this, so it didn’t really come has a surprise when this turned out to be one of my favourite releases of 2017 thus far.
Hellripper finally scratched the itch I’ve had after listening Bewitcher’s 2016 release to death.
A combination of stellar songwriting and great production result in a little over 25 minutes of complete and total fucking mayhem.

https://bloodkvlt.wordpress.com/

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:27 pm 
 

TheExodusAttack wrote:
Would anybody mind taking a look at some of my reviews? ... Earlier reviews probably have some more crafting involved to them, but aren't really reflective of my current writing style/voice.

That's interesting. What do you see as the differences? With regard to the general feedback, it would be easier for me if you selected a handful of the ones you genuinely have questions about.

Sengion wrote:
Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance!

Notes in spoiler.

Spoiler: show
After releasing an EP, compilation and a series of splits since its formation in 2014, this one man band from Scotland released its first full-length in April.
All of Hellripper’s music and lyrics are written by the ambitious James McBain, who also started the one man death metal project, Lord Rot, back in 2015. Besides having written all the music McBain was also responsible for the recording of all the instruments and vocals, other than various guest appearances mainly as additional vocals. (Formatting. Paragraphs have one line only between them.)


Coagulating Darkness (Italicize album titles to distiguish from band names) is everything black/speed needs to be in my book; :nazi: fast and filthy, without taking itself too seriously. Hellripper takes the concept of black/speed, popularized by Midnight in the early 2000’s and drips an extra layer of black metal filth over it. The result? Fast, distorted, Motörhead inspired riffs, accompanied by raw,
high-pitched growls.
This album never slows down and doesn’t give you a moment of calmness, resulting in 26 minutes of uninterrupted mayhem, perfect for caffeine fueled, late night study sessions, when you just need that extra kick in the balls. (To each their own ...)


And song writing isn’t where this album stops shining, the :nazi: production is also superb. (It's bad enough to start a sentence with a conjunction, but I won't stand by and let paragraphs be started with them, too!) The guitars are coated with heavy distortion, but not to the extent where the actual riffs get drowned out by white noise, and supported by the thundering sound of the double bass. (This sentence reads awkwardly. Rephrase for clarity.) The vocals are higher-pitched than the average death growl and manage to penetrate the cacophony of riffs and blast beats brilliantly.

Finally, one of my favourite aspects of this album is the guest appearance of guitarist Mark Lerche, who provided the solos for Anneliese and Demdike (in League with the Devil) (eh? is that an album? Unclear). These long and fast solos match beautifully with the rest of the music and thanks to the stellar production rise above the rest of the music as the pinnacle of mayhem and chaos.
This favourite aspect is also my biggest critique, as Mark only appears on 2 of the 8 tracks, while I would have loved to hear more of him (That's not a critique, really, it's just something you wanted more of. That would be like criticizing the band for not having him as a full member, which is just kind of weird. It's a matter of word choices; I understand what you're saying). The other solos on Coagulating Darkness don’t nearly jump out as much and pale in comparison :nazi: (Confusing and repetative) to the expertise of Lerche.

I definitely have a weakness for dirty black/speed like this, so it didn’t really come has a surprise when this turned out to be one of my favourite releases of 2017 thus far.
Hellripper finally scratched the itch I’ve had after listening Bewitcher’s 2016 release to death.
A combination of stellar songwriting and great production result in a little over 25 minutes of complete and total fucking mayhem. (Formatting again. Figure out what you're trying to do with these sentences and organize them accordingly.)


https://bloodkvlt.wordpress.com/ (What's with this?)


(Sort out the formatting. The review's content and voice don't vary from the basics, but the minimum standards appear to be met. However, it reads a bit like a check-list in places where a handful of aspects receive a single sentence each.

Black/speed isn't a subgenre that gets mentioned very often. Include description early on that gives the reader a reasonable context for its distinctive elements. Considering your soft spot for the style, you could likely manage some brief comparisons to other bands in the genre without much trouble. The current descriptions are passable, but I encourage you to strive beyond minimums. More evocative and personal descriptions would improve the review considerably.)

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Metantoine
Big Beautiful Famgot

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
Posts: 11766
Location: In the Rectory
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:27 pm 
 

Sengion, like in the notice you've received on the website, I'll tell you that you need to read the reviews we approve to see what kind of formatting we're looking for. Your formatting is all fucked up and discordant.

Example: https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... all/192699
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Iron Wizard
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:21 pm
Posts: 135
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:22 pm 
 

Is my review for Bathory's "Hammerheart" too track by track? It definitely borders on being that type of review; I wasn't sure if it would hold up to the track by track rule here:

Spoiler: show
After releasing Blood Fire Death, Quorthon made it his first duty to return to the studio to write and record a follow up. What came out of this session was the lengthy and extravagant concept album Blood on Ice. Fortunately for the majority of Bathory fans, he felt that the album was too far removed from the band's roots, and that it would create a disturbance in the band's so far seamless discography. He retained the album, and luckily was able to release it later when the necessity arose. It's replacement was the monumental Hammerheart album.

Unlike the proposed Blood on Ice, Hammerheart is not too terribly detached from the black metal that Bathory was releasing with albums prior. Rather than a detailed conceit album, we have a heavy piece of Viking metal that combines the black metal and doom metal with the melodic tendencies of power metal. Despite this being a newfound realm for Quorthon, he seems quite familiar with what he's doing, and the songs exude an aura of power and confidence, and everything flows just as perfectly as it did on early albums. A sense of pride is conveyed throughout the first half of the album. We have incredibly powerful and heroic sounding lines such as "Thor of Thunder, way up high! Swing your hammer, cracks the sky", and the riffing, being very energizing is very in sync with this. While "Shores in Flames" gets all of the positive attention, "Valhalla" is the true highlight of this side, with Quorthon's energetic and almost primal shouts driving the music, and the beautiful chorus which almost sounds like a folkish mockery of choral church music.

Quorthon begins experimenting with actual folk music here as well, as expressed in the beautiful tribute piece to Odin, "Song to Hall Up High". After this, the more evil side of Hammerheart makes itself known. Side B is much darker, and it seems to pertain to the christianization of Scandinavia. "Home of Once Brave" is a menacing, foreboding track that combines feelings of darkness and anger. Even the guitars are forced into the background by the beautiful, haunting vocal lines screamed out by Quorthon. He is an excellent vocalist, but not by standard terms. He can hold a pitch just fine, but his voice is gruff and raspy, perhaps from his years of emitting tormented shrieks on earlier Bathory records. While he is trying to sing clean, his past style etches itself in to his voice in more subtle, ghostly manner. He puts a lot of power in his voice, and this really helps to make Hammerheart a masterpiece.

The album comes to its end with the beautiful "One Rode to Asa Bay". The song is a melancholic background to Quorthon's intensely detailed lyrics pertaining to christianization. His lines are powerful, and often quotable. He has the power to write as if he were present 1000 years ago, recounting his tales. The song draws to its close as Quorthon screams out "It's only........just begun". This warning echoes in your mind, and will leave you in shock for a while after listening to Hammerheart.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 10:05 am 
 

Yeah, keep working on it. At first you use individual tracks to illustrate a larger point, but then slip into a track by track mode as the review goes on as if you're losing that point or ungracefully changing topics.

The first paragraph and the "topic sentence" of the second are pretty confusing. There are weird word choices in several places, but that's detail work compared to making sense generally. Keep working.

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Iron Wizard
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:21 pm
Posts: 135
PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 1:47 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
Yeah, keep working on it. At first you use individual tracks to illustrate a larger point, but then slip into a track by track mode as the review goes on as if you're losing that point or ungracefully changing topics.

The first paragraph and the "topic sentence" of the second are pretty confusing. There are weird word choices in several places, but that's detail work compared to making sense generally. Keep working.


I certainly understand what you mean. I think it's great to go track by track if the track descriptors are used in the broader sense, to demonstrate the whole album, but you are right, I sort of fall into a more narrow view point by the end.

The first paragraph is just a bit of background information, I'm not very good at writing introductions and conclusions.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:16 pm 
 

Iron Wizard wrote:
I think it's great to go track by track if the track descriptors are used in the broader sense, to demonstrate the whole album.

Going track by track for any reason is going to have the same dull result. Imagine writing a book review going chapter by chapter. Better to select crucial plot moments, subtle recurring dynamics, or even individual scenes to illustrate a broader point or establish accurate atmosphere. Same with music. Going step by step through anything is redundant. That's what listening to the album is for.

Introduction and conclusion are not simply the respective "beginning" and "end" of your review. The introduction introduces the reader not only to the album, but also to the work they're about to read. It is the "familiarization phase," and its content depends entirely on the point you're going to make with the material you intend to cover. If every paragraph has a topic sentence that the following content must relate to, every review has an introduction that the constituent paragraphs must relate to, each simultaneously building toward the conclusion. By extention, conclusions aren't simply reprises of everything you already wrote; they're the conclusion(s) arrived at by the preceding reasoning, the culmination of those considerations. It's useful to include points in your conclusion that you haven't made before entirely because they require the context of the preceding material. This is the basic architecture of harmonious, thoughtful work.

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ReleaseTheBears
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 4:09 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:22 am 
 

Hi, I was wondering if I could get some constructive feedback on my review of the first Black Sabbath album? I've had a few other reviews accepted, and this one didn't seem particularly different from my other ones, but for a variety of what seemed liked minor reasons to me, this review has now been rejected on 3 separate occasions for 3 separate things. It seems like every time I address the relevant rejection issue and resubmit it, a different moderator comes along and rejects it for a whole new reason that the previous rejection never mentioned. I have fiddled with it a little bit since the last rejection, because the only reason given on the third time was to "read the submission guidelines." Which I have, several times. Cheers.

Black Sabbath-Black Sabbath 93% [I do love this album]

I need to start you off with some necessary context; prior to my first listening to Black Sabbath, I was predominantly a classic rock fan with practically no knowledge of heavy metal. So the first time I listened to Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath on Black Sabbath, I was confused. “Why do they sound like this? Why is this song so slow?” It was clear that I wasn’t getting it. On first listen I found this album hilarious and easy to make fun of from a “sophisticated rock palate” point of view for several reasons: the brutally hilarious drumming, the unexplainable volume drop at the end of Bassically, Iommi constantly ripping off Page, and Ozzy being, well Ozzy. However, after several listens my opinion was transformed from derision and laughter, to utter worship, and it dawned on me; this band was doing something radically different from all the other 70s hard rock/heavy metal bands that I had ever listened to. They were doing something that would directly shape the future of music in a new direction: sustained heavy metal.

Wow, Black Sabbath and A Bit Of Finger are actually truly evil sounding songs. Holy smokes, The Wizard is a rocking good chunk of fantasy funk metal. N.I.B… well N.I.B. was the kind of song that lyrically spoke to the tortured soul of a perpetually single young lad and then backed it up with a spine tingling guitar solo. Sure, Wicked World could still be made fun of for being “jazz Sabbath” but it wasn’t a bad tune either.

Among the best parts of this album are undoubtedly Iommi’s guitar work, and the evil atmosphere. Right from the start we get that evil atmosphere, with the church bell ringing in a storm, and then out of nowhere comes Iommi’s first thundering note, which seems to take an eternity before moving on to the second note. The heavy guitar riffs combined with those evil lyrics sung by Ozzy create such a powerfully evil atmosphere. Even though Ozzy’s voice isn’t for everyone, it really suits the atmosphere on both the evil and non evil songs. Is it a problem that not all the songs have this evil atmosphere? Not at all, because tracks like the Wizard and N.I.B. are still filled with great riffs and vocals. Other highlights include Geezer’s entertaining bass lines, which anchor the songs in varied, meandering ways.

One of my two lingering complaints with this album is the incessant noodly soloing on side 2, punctuated by the constant Led Zeppelin homage/rip offs like some sort of a second rate Heartbreaker. One of the major reasons I consider Zeppelin to be nearly equally responsible for the creation of heavy metal is that without Zeppelin, there would have been no Sabbath as we know them. And finally Bill Ward’s clumsy drumming. If you are a half decent drummer, or have a good sense of taste and know how to keep the beat, you might listen to practically anything that Bill plays on this album and have a hard time not chuckling. Those fills on The Wizard? HAHA! He would definitely improve by Sabbath Bloody Sabbath though…

Still, a dastardly good album, and irreplaceably influential beyond a doubt.

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