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orloff2000
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:05 am
Posts: 4
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 1:13 am 
 

Hi there!
For the last weeks I worked hard on my first review for Metal Archives about the Evertale album "Of Dragons and Elves". In fact, it is my first review at all! It was really hard, because I'm a little perfectionist.
First I wrote it in German, then translated it to English, which was also challenging because I'm no English native speaker.
I tried to be factual and decent, checked all the vocabulary, used a spell checker.
I talk about other albums this album reminds me of. I talk about how the band members generally perform, the genre where it fits in, the album's production, the lyrical content.

BUT: I have to admit that I did not read the review rules before I began writing. So I fear, I bend (if not break) one of them: I added a track-by-track part at the review's end.

Usually it would never come to my mind to do a track-by-track review for the obvious reason: They tend to be totally boring.
But let me tell you why, in this case, it felt completely natural for me to do so:
I'm a heavy metal fan for over 30 years now and, I guess, I listened to more than 5,000 albums from all metal genres up to now. And, of course, I listened to all the "older" classics out there: Priest, Maiden, Motörhead, Manowar, Metallica, Slayer, Sabbath, Saxon, Accept, Running wild. And the "newer classics", too: Blind Guardian, Hammerfall, Primal Fear, Iron Savior, Night Demon, Visigoth, and so on. And yes, there are some albums (maybe 10-20) where I can say: They are almost completely packed full of very good songs or even hits. But only one or two of those albums have been released in the last 20 years.
And then, 2013, Evertale released their debut album and I was stunned with my mouth open! Three vocalists, good lyrics, a superb production and, most important, great songs. No song is like the other. They are varied and full of details, which includes changing tempo, changing mood, changing atmosphere.
I know, music is always a matter of taste, but even after hundreds of run-throughs this album does not bore me. It's crazy! There are two songs that are none of my favorites, but the rest is very good or even a hit and I just felt the urge to explain why (in my opinion) these songs are so good. And therefore I also added a track-by-track part to my review.
I just do not know how I should describe this album's quality and variety without using the songs as concrete examples. I know, for most albums a track-by-track review just doesn't fit, but I hope in this special case you share my opinion!

Now, here it is:

-------------------------------------------------------------
Holy shit! What the hell is that? Sounds like Blind Guardian when they were at their best! Something like that shot to my mind when I first listened to "Of Dragons and Elves".
And the comparison to Blind Guardian is definitely meant as a compliment! I love their albums from the late 80s to the early 2000s, especially the phase "Tales from the Twilight World" / "Somewhere far beyond" / "Imaginations from the other Side". And that is exactly what Evertale's debut album reminds me of. Unconventional verse structure, great melodies and catchy choruses, strong and rough vocals from main vocalist/guitarist Matthias Graf, who gets considerable backing vocal support from his colleagues Marco Bächle (Bass) und Matthias "Woody" Holzapfel (lead guitars) on many occasions during the album. Especially Marco Bächle stands out in this - on this recording as well as at the live front. And last but not least drummer Martin Schumacher does not have to stand back behind his colleagues and is laying a solid foundation to this masterpiece.

The genre in which this album moves is "Melodic Power Metal", I guess. There are some orchestral parts, too, but they are mainly used for the short instrumentals and can barely be noticed in the real songs (with a few exceptions... but more of that later).
Regardless of that the album is dominated by fast-paced Power Metal, fantastic melodies and massive choruses. But this does not mean that these guys keep their foot on the accelerator pedal the whole time: There are some mid-tempo songs and even the fast songs have their little breathers from time to time. So surely you won't suffer from boredom here.

I guess, we have some fantasy fans and/or role-players in the band, because for the lyrical content they got inspired by the Dragonlance Chronicles, a classic of fantasy literature. I know what you think: Boring concept album! But don't worry, there is no strict concept; they got only inspired by the books. The songs are truly varied and the album's flow never feels to be forced into the corset of a concept. Furthermore, the lyrics/vocals often change perspective/protagonists which is expressed very well by the different vocalists in the band. That keeps the lyrics really interesting and you will feel the need to go to your favourite lyrics site (Metal Archives, of course) for all the details. Or just buy the album, guys! You won't regret it.

What can I say about the album's production? Well, just my highly subjective non-professional opinion after 30 years of Heavy Metal experience: The album sounds great to me! All instruments and vocals are well balanced and can be heard clearly, a fact which is really essential in this genre with all its bombast and tiny details.

But now to most important thing of all: The songs!
When I rate songs I like to classify them into five categories: "Fillers", "nothing for me", "OK", "very good" and "hit". And when I say hit, I mean it! You know that kind of songs that you have to hear over and over again: "The Trooper", "Painkiller", "Ace of Spades", "Hail and kill", "Black Hand Inn", ... you just get addicted! Here we go:

01. Paladine's Embrace (1:24): An epic orchestral intro that directly clings into your ears. Very good. By the way: Paladine is the main deity of Krynn's Pantheon.
02. In the Sign of the valiant Warrior (5:12): Fast-paced beginning, great chorus, some tempo variations in the middle, awesome ending. Very good!
03. Tale of the Everman (9:06): Unconventional Song with much lyrical content. Epic mighty stomping entry with some spoken words. Down-tuned guitars. A long chorus followed by an orchestral part with canon-like vocals from the different vocalists. Fast solo in the middle! Mighty stomping again at the end. A Song you have to work into. Very good.
04. Into the Dragon's Lair (5:26): The mid-tempo guitars at the beginning try to deceive you for some seconds until the vocals start with the great (and fast!) chorus about the black dragon Khisanth. The chorus gets slightly varied throughout the song, which is quite interesting. Tempo changes, vocalist changes, speed solo, slow solo, and then full throttle into the final chorus. A diversified song with (again) interesting lyrics. Very good.
05. Of Dragons and Elves (4:01): Acoustic guitars, some orchestra, multi-vocals. Short bombast outburst in the middle. A nice ballad in the way of "In the Forest". Very good.
06. Elventwilight (5:48): A quite varied mid-tempo song with good melodies and much lyrical content again. Unfortunately this one is not thrilling enough for my taste, despite the nice chorus, and thus I rate it "just OK".
07. As Tarsis falls (7:03): A song about the burning of the city of Tarsis. Mainly in mid-tempo, except the powerful multi-vocal chorus which is much faster. A longer instrumental part in the middle, then chorus, fast solo, slow solo (with a great melody!) and another chorus, this time much slower. A sad acoustic outro finishes this epic song that despite of its seven minutes running time always stays intresting. A stirring story, many multi-vocalist parts, great melodies... Bow to the Might of the Dragonlord or die!
08. My Honor is my Life (1:43): With this short instrumental breather we start into four songs about the Knights of Solamnia. It starts with acoustic guitars, no orchestra this time. Then the electric guitars set in and the quite sad atmosphere changes to a more defiant one. A good transition into the next song. Very good.
09. The Crownguard's Quest (6:12): Now the hits are coming, guys! An energetic song, somewhere in the upper mid-tempo, about the beginning insanity of Derek Crownguard. The first (long) verse is followed by a great pre-chorus which finally leads to the gigantic chorus (2x). Then another long verse, pre-chorus, chorus (2x). A solo with great melodies, verse, chorus, done. Flawless victory! Many tempo changes, the best parts get repeated some times (but not too often), and we have an extremely catchy sing-along-chorus for the live gigs. Intresting lyrics, changing atmosphere, an instant classic!
10. The last Knight (7:46): A great mid-tempo melody at the beginning, then it gets fast! Great bridge, pre-chorus, chorus, whatever. They are not so easy to separate this time. These really cool parts get repeated in different order. Quite energetic. Then a solo... and a sudden stop! An acoustic guitar play sets in with yet another great melody and fantastic multi-vocals, climaxed by an epic electric part with Matthias Graf's best vocal performance on the entire album (imho). Highly emotional part this one (Sturm's Sacrifice!). Then the final chorus and we're done. My favorite song on the album.
11. Sturm's Funeral March (1:59): After his sacrifice Sturm Brightblade gets a funeral with electric guitars and orchestra. Very good.
12. Firestorm (5:52): Fast. Very fast. Great verses, great bridge, great chorus. A positive and defiant atmosphere, very welcome after the more tragic parts about the Knights. Up-tempo solo, great emotions in the last verse (goosebumps!), chorus, solo, wow! Another hit that leaves us breathless and full of adrenalin.
13. Brothers in War (Forever damned) (7:49): An epic about the brothers Majere and their love-hate relationship. The acoustic intro leads us directly to the sing-along bridge. Most parts of the lyrics are performed again by all the bands vocalists and for the brothers' dialogue the band won Ralf Scheepers for a great contribution as Raistlin. A catchy chorus and a short solo get us to epic mid-tempo stomping part with downtuned guitars. The arrangement of the lyrics in the next verse (again a dialogue between the brothers) is really awesome. Chorus, solo, stomping part again, and a long finale with bridge and chorus repetition. An epic Hit!
14. The final Page (7:51): This last song is the only one where the orchestral parts stand out noticeably. Mainly in mid-tempo. Nice bridge, nice chorus. Not bad at all, but none of my favorites on this album. But because the album ends as it has begun, to the grand melody of "Paladine's Embrace", this song is absolutely OK for me.
15. Dragonriders (5:21): This one has nothing to do with the Dragonlance context and thus it has just been released as a download bonus only. Intense ballad inspired by the Eragon story. Acoustic guitars and great vocals at the beginning lead us to a fantastic chorus. Then the electric guitars set in and the following verse & chorus are far more energetic. Goosebumps! - Great melodies, great emotions. Very good!

That's it. 15 Songs, 12 without the instrumentals. And of that (for me) five songs are hits and five are very good. 64 minutes of excellent music! How long has it been that we had such an album? In the last 20 years one had to be pleased with five hits PER YEAR on all released albums!
True: The album is quite long and some may criticize that. Not me. You don't like one or another of the songs? So what? Just skip it!

You like Power Metal? You're fed off with that superficial party metal bullshit? Then you will love this album!
-------------------------------------------------------------

Could someone please give me some feedback before I try to submit my review on the album site?

Thank you!

orloff2000

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:48 am 
 

Wow. A literal track-by-track.

The best feedback I can give you is to start at the beginning. The rules are reasonable and well presented. Please follow the link below.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=44482

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orloff2000
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:05 am
Posts: 4
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:48 am 
 

Hi Grave_Wyrm,
thanks for the feedback!

OK, I'll do a rework. It will last some weeks (propably months) because summer holidays are over now and I'm quite busy with my job :(

Do I really have to start at the beginning or can I at least re-use those paragraphs that have nothing to do with the songs? Any feedback on those paragraphs?

Thanks again!

orloff2000

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 574
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:43 am 
 

orloff2000 wrote:
Hi Grave_Wyrm,
thanks for the feedback!

OK, I'll do a rework. It will last some weeks (propably months) because summer holidays are over now and I'm quite busy with my job :(

Do I really have to start at the beginning or can I at least re-use those paragraphs that have nothing to do with the songs? Any feedback on those paragraphs?

Thanks again!

orloff2000

I think the main body of your review is pretty good, but it will get rejected immediately because of the track-by-track part. I suggest you delete that and choose 3-4 important songs (ones that are representative of the album or differ from the others) to mention. The best way to do that would be to include those songs into other paragraphs, such as talking about the general musical style or your opinion on the album.

You’ve done well to include the basic review material about the musical style, the way the bandmembers interact, and the lyrical themes. However, your approach comes across a little formulaic, because there’s a paragraph for style, a paragraph for production, etc. It would be better to associate those ideas with each other, especially since the effect of listening to the album presents them all at once.

A couple of unintended English things remained in the writing, such as these 2 from the first paragraph. You mention that “Schumacher...is laying a solid foundation”, but it’s more natural to express that as “Schumacher lays a solid foundation.” Also, an ‘und’ has remained in the text when you were translating.

Finally, I would suggest that you read the rules and stop aiming for perfection. By trying to write a perfect review, the tendency is to write too much and include too many details, which isn’t helpful for the reader. Instead, choose the important things, let ideas flow naturally, and think of your reader while you are writing. Good luck with the resubmission!

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orloff2000
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:05 am
Posts: 4
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:53 am 
 

Wow, thank you!
This is really helpful and I will do my best to implement your tips.

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:24 am 
 

orloff2000 wrote:
Do I really have to start at the beginning or can I at least re-use those paragraphs that have nothing to do with the songs?

Mr. G has given you good feedback on the portions that aren't auto-death. What you do with the rest is up to you. Read the rules, reflect on them, and find your way to the next draft. It doesn't matter how long it takes. Just heed the rules and strive for better. Once you're basically ready to resubmit, post it here and we'll have another crack at it.

Happy hunting.

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ChildClownOutlet
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:52 pm
Posts: 710
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:57 am 
 

Hello, me again. I'm STUCK. I literally dont know how to proceed with this reiview for a Tales of Evening album(I gave it a 94)

"Footsteps of light" is what google translate has graciously provided me for the english translation of this albums title; it's an apt description for any first time listeners to this album. A warning though; if you're expecting anything revolutionary then I'm afraid you would be disappointed. Tales of Evening do not reinvent the wheel, but they have perfected it.

"A fény nyomában," is the third album of these Hungarians.They play a style of symphonic/power metal that's somewhat similar to Sirenia and Xandria, but with less thematics and flair. On "A fény nyomában," compared to their previous albums, there is a bigger emphasis on the keys rather than the riffs and leads but it works extremely well.
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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 574
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:03 am 
 

ChildClownOutlet wrote:
Hello, me again. I'm STUCK. I literally dont know how to proceed with this reiview for a Tales of Evening album(I gave it a 94)

I don't have much to say about the content you posted, but it doesn't seem like you need to write this review. If you have nothing to say, the best thing to do is not say anything. Save it as a draft and come back to it when you feel like you have a point of view about the album.

Also, I find it weird to decide your review score before you've decided what you're going to say about the album. Surely you should work out why it's good before you say it's good?

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ChildClownOutlet
Metalhead

Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:52 pm
Posts: 710
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:08 pm 
 

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
ChildClownOutlet wrote:
Hello, me again. I'm STUCK. I literally dont know how to proceed with this reiview for a Tales of Evening album(I gave it a 94)

I don't have much to say about the content you posted, but it doesn't seem like you need to write this review. If you have nothing to say, the best thing to do is not say anything. Save it as a draft and come back to it when you feel like you have a point of view about the album.

Also, I find it weird to decide your review score before you've decided what you're going to say about the album. Surely you should work out why it's good before you say it's good?


It's like I have something positive to say, then I get disheartened about what I wrote and just delete it because I feel like it's not descriptive enough. It's been in my drafts for like a week and I'm just skimming through other reviews from people to get the gist but I get stuck :/
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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 574
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:26 am 
 

ChildClownOutlet wrote:
It's like I have something positive to say, then I get disheartened about what I wrote and just delete it because I feel like it's not descriptive enough. It's been in my drafts for like a week and I'm just skimming through other reviews from people to get the gist but I get stuck :/

Ok, if you’re going to start from what you’ve already written, I think you need to focus on explanation. You open the review by saying that the title is very suitable. As a reader, I want to know why. What gives you that feeling?

Next, your references to other bands are in place. But even as someone without much knowledge of Sirenia, I’m aware there are several different periods that sound different. Which one are you talking about? Your mention of “thematics” could be clearer too. Obviously, that final comment that the style works extremely well needs a lot of explanation.

You’ve set up the introduction fine, but now you need to make sure the reader understands your main points.

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:45 pm 
 

ChildClownOutlet wrote:
Hello, me again. I'm STUCK. I literally dont know how to proceed with this reiview for a Tales of Evening album(I gave it a 94)

"Footsteps of light" is what google translate has graciously provided me for the english translation of this albums title; it's an apt description for any first time listeners to this album. A warning though; if you're expecting anything revolutionary then I'm afraid you would be disappointed. Tales of Evening do not reinvent the wheel, but they have perfected it.

"A fény nyomában," is the third album of these Hungarians.They play a style of symphonic/power metal that's somewhat similar to Sirenia and Xandria, but with less thematics and flair. On "A fény nyomában," compared to their previous albums, there is a bigger emphasis on the keys rather than the riffs and leads but it works extremely well.


Is this the review, or a summary of your thoughts that you're trying to get into shape for a review?

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nbhertzberg
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:51 pm
Posts: 2
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:07 am 
 

So, I'm new to the Metallum and I've had this review get rejected a few times. I've looked at the various threads, and grammar seems to be a problem. Thing is, spell-checkers, grammarly, etc, don't say anything. Can you all suggest what needs to be changed specifically?
Here's the review:

We all know about the monstrosity known as tech-death.

An endless pattern of shredding guitars, constant fast drumming, shitty vocals (due to vocals being much less important than instruments in Prog and tech death), and generally shitty songs.

Some artists considered tech-death don't suck, often due to not just jerking off onto their instruments. Think Nile- while it's very technical, the songs are still brutal, have a meaning to the technicality, and still have low, headbanging riffs with none of the shitty high-note wanking you see in tech death.

Allegaeon? You can consider them the *embodiment* of wanky tech death, instrumentally they fit the label perfectly. Each song is based on higher notes shredded on a guitar. Look, Greg, we know you can play the fucking guitar, but the guitars are probably the weakest point of the release. There aren't any lower note structured riffs, which makes every.fucking.riff.boring. Albeit there are mid-tone- type riffs, which do make up for the shitty high notes used the rest of the time. But to make it all worse, Greg (leads) has a horrible, overly clean, overly dry tone. The rhythm guitars don't suck as much, but the tone is still an issue.

The drums are not so bad- I have had issues with tech death bands having shitty drum tone (think saint anger but gravity blasts) but that isn't a problem with this release. Wanking on the guitars is what annoys me, but technical drums have never been an issue with anything in my opinion. There are constant blast beats, sometimes with multiple types of blast beats being done at the same time. As I said, wanky guitars get annoying fast, but technical drums add a great aspect to the song. No complaints there.

Then, of course, are the vocals- which aren't *so* horrible. In a lot of technical bands, vocals get pushed to the wayside and suck. Riley McShane's growls aren't bad but aren't good. His lows sound overly clean, possibly digitally edited like hell, which annoys me. His highs are somewhat decent, they aren't terribly unique but definitely don't suck.

Then, of course, the songs- and I have to say the songs have great structure, catchiness, and headbanging. The album starts off with "Parthenogenesis," a nice, almost Cynic- esque instrumental track. The next highlight is "Extremophiles-B", and "Extremophiles" illustrates what Allegaeon are as a band. Technical yet melodic, catchy, and interesting. It is in this track that Riley McShane's clean vocals are unveiled, and they add an interesting dynamic to the song. Another highlight is "Exothermic Chemical Combustion," opening up fast and aggressive with high screams. Then you have "Metaphobia" and "Stellar Tidal Disruption." "Metaphobia" is a hyper-technical track with 3 guitar solos, while "Stellar" is a faster track with a very power metal-esque chorus. My second favorite track on the album (to "Extremophiles") is "Apoptosis," a monumental closer. Clocking in with nine minutes, it has a progressive song structure interlaced with both cleans and harsh vocals. It has a gigantic Opeth vibe to it and I love it. In the end, however, the amount of filler on the album makes for a subpar listen. If you're like me, and listen to albums in order, the filler really splits the good songs apart and interrupts you every time a nice vibe starts.

In terms of lyrics, the science-themed lyrics are fun but become a drag and are boring as you go on. While this is only a small bit, the nerdy lyrics don't make you feel brutal like Gore will do to you, and don't make you hate the human race, like Cattle Decap songs will do to you. It may be just a me thing, though, I generally enjoy hard- hitting lyrics. So the lyrics fit the band perfectly in this case.

In the end, while the album is a lot better than most wanky tech-death, it's still a subpar release.

7/10. Mediocre, but not bad.

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 574
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:42 am 
 

nbhertzberg wrote:
So, I'm new to the Metallum and I've had this review get rejected a few times. I've looked at the various threads, and grammar seems to be a problem. Thing is, spell-checkers, grammarly, etc, don't say anything. Can you all suggest what needs to be changed specifically?
Here's the review:
Spoiler: show
We all know about the monstrosity known as tech-death.

An endless pattern of shredding guitars, constant fast drumming, shitty vocals (due to vocals being much less important than instruments in Prog and tech death), and generally shitty songs.

Some artists considered tech-death don't suck, often due to not just jerking off onto their instruments. Think Nile- while it's very technical, the songs are still brutal, have a meaning to the technicality, and still have low, headbanging riffs with none of the shitty high-note wanking you see in tech death.

Allegaeon? You can consider them the *embodiment* of wanky tech death, instrumentally they fit the label perfectly. Each song is based on higher notes shredded on a guitar. Look, Greg, we know you can play the fucking guitar, but the guitars are probably the weakest point of the release. There aren't any lower note structured riffs, which makes every.fucking.riff.boring. Albeit there are mid-tone- type riffs, which do make up for the shitty high notes used the rest of the time. But to make it all worse, Greg (leads) has a horrible, overly clean, overly dry tone. The rhythm guitars don't suck as much, but the tone is still an issue.

The drums are not so bad- I have had issues with tech death bands having shitty drum tone (think saint anger but gravity blasts) but that isn't a problem with this release. Wanking on the guitars is what annoys me, but technical drums have never been an issue with anything in my opinion. There are constant blast beats, sometimes with multiple types of blast beats being done at the same time. As I said, wanky guitars get annoying fast, but technical drums add a great aspect to the song. No complaints there.

Then, of course, are the vocals- which aren't *so* horrible. In a lot of technical bands, vocals get pushed to the wayside and suck. Riley McShane's growls aren't bad but aren't good. His lows sound overly clean, possibly digitally edited like hell, which annoys me. His highs are somewhat decent, they aren't terribly unique but definitely don't suck.

Then, of course, the songs- and I have to say the songs have great structure, catchiness, and headbanging. The album starts off with "Parthenogenesis," a nice, almost Cynic- esque instrumental track. The next highlight is "Extremophiles-B", and "Extremophiles" illustrates what Allegaeon are as a band. Technical yet melodic, catchy, and interesting. It is in this track that Riley McShane's clean vocals are unveiled, and they add an interesting dynamic to the song. Another highlight is "Exothermic Chemical Combustion," opening up fast and aggressive with high screams. Then you have "Metaphobia" and "Stellar Tidal Disruption." "Metaphobia" is a hyper-technical track with 3 guitar solos, while "Stellar" is a faster track with a very power metal-esque chorus. My second favorite track on the album (to "Extremophiles") is "Apoptosis," a monumental closer. Clocking in with nine minutes, it has a progressive song structure interlaced with both cleans and harsh vocals. It has a gigantic Opeth vibe to it and I love it. In the end, however, the amount of filler on the album makes for a subpar listen. If you're like me, and listen to albums in order, the filler really splits the good songs apart and interrupts you every time a nice vibe starts.

In terms of lyrics, the science-themed lyrics are fun but become a drag and are boring as you go on. While this is only a small bit, the nerdy lyrics don't make you feel brutal like Gore will do to you, and don't make you hate the human race, like Cattle Decap songs will do to you. It may be just a me thing, though, I generally enjoy hard- hitting lyrics. So the lyrics fit the band perfectly in this case.

In the end, while the album is a lot better than most wanky tech-death, it's still a subpar release.

7/10. Mediocre, but not bad.

It's not grammar. Before you resubmit the review, make sure you read this thread. You should check out the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th points in the thread, but I'll explain what went wrong here:

1. The review focuses too much on your general views on tech-death rather than what this album sounds like.

A simple, short paragraph explaining that you dislike tech-death bands would set up the contrast nicely with this album. You don't need to keep reminding us which features of other bands you don't like. After reading your review, I only know that you don't like "wanky tech-death" yet you do like this album... Seem confusing to you?

2. You need to focus on specifics of the music without listing the songs one by one.

Your review may have been rejected because it shows a track-by-track comment on most of the songs. That's in the long paragraph near the end of your review. Some of the comments in this part were helpful, such as mentioning that clean vocals come in to change the atmosphere, influences from Opeth and Cynic become apparent, and songs vary from super-technical shredding to almost power metal fast material. You should try to take comments like that and expand on the useful review content for readers, meaning that you should explain more about how the diversity affects the album or what influences/techniques/songwriting methods are used. To avoid listing songs one by one, try to describe the general sound of the album using some examples of representative songs, then note which songs differ from the trend.

3. Choose your words better and stop repeating meaningless adjectives.

The first thing that struck me about your review was how many times you used the word 'shitty' to describe something. Look also at how many times you've used the words 'suck' and 'wanky', or some derivative of them. Admittedly, most metalheads probably know what 'wanky' refers to (overuse of flamboyant lead guitar), but you could have used that once in the review and made the criticism just as impactful. The important thing about these adjectives is that they don't describe the music at all. Your review needs to give the reader a good idea of what the music sounds like. Not only are you talking about other tech-death bands most of the time when you use them, but you never clarify what is shitty about "high-note wanking" or why the singers vocals don't suck. Reading your review, I'm not interested in knowing which song is good or bad and which instrument sounds best - I want to know what the music is like and whether I'd like to listen to it. Use objective adjectives to tell me that, and occasionally share your opinion.

4. Make the subject clearer, especially when talking about the band and album.

I'm not really sure what band you're reviewing. I think it's Allegaeon, but that might have been a random opinion about another tech-death band. Sure, it will appear on the page when you get the review accepted, but it's common to name the subject you are writing about more often and more clearly. You also don't mention the album by name, you don't give any context about the band, and your manner of referring to the bandmembers is confusing. You talk directly to the lead guitarist Greg (in the second person, no less). You say we know he can play the guitar, but it's my first time to read about the band and I really don't know. Tell the reader what he's good at, because you're making us guess that he's skillful but somehow uses his skills inappropriately. You are much clearer when referring to the vocalist, but the paragraph about drums splits a sentence or two of comments on drums with two sentences about the fact that you usually dislike guitars. At the end, it's no clearer what the drums sound like, except that they employ a lot of blastbeats.

5. Take a step back. Read some other reviews on this website.

My final piece of advice to help you assimilate the requirements for reviews on MA is to read a few other reviews and compare the effect to yours. I think the reason why the review has turned out rather unhelpful for the reader is because it's too focused on your opinions and your personal standpoint. Sure, you can give your two cents on the album, but don't overvalue your opinion - you don't need to convince anyone of your view. Just try to describe the music, listen a bit deeper, and think about how your writing comes across to others.

Feel free to keep posting drafts in this thread. Hopefully, you'll end up with a review that satisfies you more and that the site would like to include. It tends to take a few tries to get the feel of that.

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nbhertzberg
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:51 pm
Posts: 2
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:36 pm 
 

Thanks man! I will definitely take that into account. I have to say that I do read a lot of reviews on this site, but I guess I'm not taking an in-depth look at the formatting. Thank you!

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mikey22
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:13 pm
Posts: 62
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:00 pm 
 

Could someone help me out I haven't written a review in a while

Spoiler: show
I bought this album recently and to be frank it is a mixed bag. While some songs are excellent some are just terrible flat out terrible.

The positives outweigh the negatives, but the negatives are bad enough to bring this album down to a C grade. The positives; the first two songs are outstanding, “unintelligent design” opens up with very technical riffage and grind like blast beats. It has this old school death metal riff that sounds extremely similar to Deicide's Metistopholes but with better more crushing production. The next song “Success is hanging by the neck” is another highlight, excellent start, great breakdown in the middle which leads into an e flat harmonic minor third interval (an interval is the difference in pitch between two sounds) tapping by the guitarist.

Let’s get into the negatives the songs “total gore” and “thousand hanging” are Just absolute messes of songs the former being by far the worst song on the album fast for the sake of being fast, sloppy, and terrible. Total Gore is disjointed as hell with some very awkward guitar playing choices one second it’ll be grind blast beats with random guitar notes hit, the next minute it’ll be a thrash break, then one second later with no transition whatsoever more fast chaos with no meaning or buildup. The guitar solo on this song is also incredibly sloppy and bad. What's sad is these guys know how to write really good solos as demonstrated on “success is” and “landfill” so why they decided to write/play that terrible solo makes no sense.

The instrumentals are good at times but disjointed and too unorganized at other times. The drummer is very technical but sometimes his transitions into a different tempo are unclear and abrupt, other times he flows very well in the context of the song. Guitarists; same exact thing. One second they'll play a great memorable riff then, two seconds later a very sloppy riff that had no reason to be there. To be honest this could've been a lot better if they brought up the bass sound because it is drowned out completely and the bass guitar has almost no presence on the album. Also, if they cut out some songs completely such as “total gore” and “one thousand times decapitation” it would be a much stronger overall album. The last song to close out the album “Of Human Pride & Flatulence” is pretty bad as well; some ambiance and random screams come from Travis but it is a poor way to close out an album. The double tracking vocals can get overbearing at times but Travis is an excellent death metal vocalist for being so thin compared to guys like Jon Vesano, corpsegrinder, or Matti Way who are far bigger and more massive it's quite impressive he can keep up with them.

Overall, a very mixed bag of an album with some moments that are brilliant and some that are just disastrous. Would I recommend this album as a whole? Personally not, I would only recommend a couple of tracks on the album The first two tracks, Alone at the Landfill, Karma Bloody Karma and The New Dawn.

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:47 pm 
 

It's pretty lazy. The grammar and formatting need attention, but that's secondary compared to the ambivalent approach to the description. But more than anything, it seems like you're talking to someone who already knows the album. It's pretty disjointed and rambling. And colons are colons; semi-colons are not colons.

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 574
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:11 am 
 

Mikey22, many of the same things apply to you as I wrote in the long comment 3 posts up. Of course, the examples won’t be relevant, but you should focus on your reader much more. Like Grave_Wyrm says, you aren’t describing this to someone who already knows the album - it’s for people with little to no context.

Specifically, you really need to sort out how you write song titles. They should always use initial capital letters, and probably choose either a single quote mark (‘) or double (“). I had to work extra hard to find where you were talking about a song compared to another band.

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Kerrick
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:02 pm
Posts: 1183
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:09 pm 
 

I was offered an advanced listening of one of my favorite bands' upcoming album (due out October 31st) so I could review it. Having not written many proper reviews, I'd love to get y'all's feedback before I post it. (If anyone's interested, you can listen to the band's previous two releases via their bandcamp page https://eptaastera.bandcamp.com/) Thanks much!

The review:

Spoiler: show
Epta Astera’s album Feste Burg is an absolute masterpiece. For those unfamiliar, Epta Astera is a one man project headquartered out of New York by C Hardwick, seamlessly combining elements of black metal, Gregorian chant, doom metal, and post rock – among others – to create some rather unique and breathtaking music. (As a note, Epta Astera has been combining black metal and ancient church styled chanting long before the popular but drama filled/self-parody Batushka ever existed.) Epta Astera has released two full length albums and one EP prior to Feste Burg, though this new album is the first to get a proper physical release (via Mourning Light Records). Stylistically, these new eight songs continue in the trajectory of the previous works but it’s clear that Hardwick has been rigorously honing and expanding his skills for the past six years since Epta Astera’s previous release.

Feste Burg begins with atmospheric instrumentation and the Gregorian chanting vocals which have helped set Epta Astera apart from other acts, setting the tone for the rest of the album appropriately: dark, mysterious, foreboding, epic. It’s clear upfront that this album will be a journey and best experienced by offering one’s full attention and listening to it in its entirety. The second track is slow to build but offers a good indication of the overall feel and style of what’s to follow in the subsequent tracks. It ebbs and flows from somber clean vocals to crushing black/doom metal, then allows the listener to breathe some during a delicate section of primarily clean guitar before it closes with a crescendo of black metal intensity. The rest of the album follows suit by remaining ever eclectic and diverse, yet somehow never losing its cohesiveness. This cohesiveness is aided by the fact that lyrically, the album’s eight songs are tied together to recount the famous story 502 years ago of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses onto one of the offending churches’ doors, igniting the Protestant Reformation – quite possibly the most significant event in the Christian church’s history since Christ’s resurrection. The gravity of Luther’s actions is transferred well into Feste Burg’s music: the invoked emotions of the weighty significance and inevitable violent consequences are palpable throughout the album. As Feste Burg comes to its rather intense end, the listener is transported back into the present time, most likely somewhat weary from the journey but wishing it wasn’t over just yet. It’s an incredible album that deserves one’s full attention – and is sure not to disappoint.

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