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The Official Review Discussion Thread
https://forum.metal-archives.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=7444
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Author:  Empyreal [ Sun Mar 20, 2016 11:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

DoomMetalAlchemist wrote:
Read Empy's review of Kings of Metal from 2010, and it's funny, it seems what he hates the most about the album are what I like the most about it. :lol: I love the atmospheric stuff Manowar throw in their music, so I eat up The Crown and the Ring with a spoon. And I really like A Warrior's Prayer. I think the narrator's voice is really engaging, eventually it gets into reeeeeeally subtle keys that work great, and I really love at the end: "Grandfather?" "Yes?" "Who were those four men?" "Who were they? THEY... WERE THE METAL KINGS!" That makes a great intro to the last track. I also really like Pleasure Slave, I think the guitar riffing and Eric Adams' vocals are great on it, though the lyrics are stupid, and I agree with with Empy that the moaning is really dumb.

It's just funny that almost everything Empy listed as the worst parts of the album happen to be my favorite parts of it. :lol:


I'm always baffled by how much people like that album. I always thought it pretty much was crap with like three or four excellent tracks. The only Manowar I really love is the debut though!

Author:  DoomMetalAlchemist [ Sun Mar 20, 2016 12:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Empyreal wrote:
DoomMetalAlchemist wrote:
Read Empy's review of Kings of Metal from 2010, and it's funny, it seems what he hates the most about the album are what I like the most about it. :lol: I love the atmospheric stuff Manowar throw in their music, so I eat up The Crown and the Ring with a spoon. And I really like A Warrior's Prayer. I think the narrator's voice is really engaging, eventually it gets into reeeeeeally subtle keys that work great, and I really love at the end: "Grandfather?" "Yes?" "Who were those four men?" "Who were they? THEY... WERE THE METAL KINGS!" That makes a great intro to the last track. I also really like Pleasure Slave, I think the guitar riffing and Eric Adams' vocals are great on it, though the lyrics are stupid, and I agree with with Empy that the moaning is really dumb.

It's just funny that almost everything Empy listed as the worst parts of the album happen to be my favorite parts of it. :lol:


I'm always baffled by how much people like that album. I always thought it pretty much was crap with like three or four excellent tracks. The only Manowar I really love is the debut though!


Kings of Metal isn't one of my favorite Manowar albums or anything. I do think that the album, as well as The Triumph of Steel, have some AWESOME stuff mixed in with some mediocre stuff. I think we just disagree on what the good stuff on that album is. :lol: Though I do like most of the more metal tracks on Kings of Metal, I don't think they are anything that special for the most part.

Battle Hymns and Hail to England are to me the most consistent Manowar albums. But there's definitely gold to be mined elsewhere in their discography.

Author:  Dungeon_Vic [ Sun Mar 20, 2016 4:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Into Glory Ride > Hail to England > (the two songs from Battle Hymns) > Sign of the Hammer >> Kings of Metal > (oddly) Fighting the World > The Triumph of Steel > Warriors of the World >> everything else

Defender should have been included in Into Glory Ride instead of Warlord...

Author:  MikeyC [ Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Nice review of Pissing Razors' Evolution from Diamhea. I have that one but it's definitely inferior to the previous album, which are the only 2 albums I have from the band. I might need to check out the self-titled. Also I didn't know they had reformed. I wonder how that'll go.

Author:  Napalm_Satan [ Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I see that stainedclass2112 has taken the plunge into Buckethead's vast discography - good reviews, by the way. I don't know a whole lot about his work, having only heard Colma... but seriously check out Colma if you haven't done so already. Holy shit is it good.

Author:  stainedclass2112 [ Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Yup, I've been a massive fan of Buckethead since childhood, so I'll definitely be reviewing a lot more of his stuff in the future. I've been working on improving my reviewing by the way, thanks for the compliment. I'm making progress, and I will continue to take things more seriously in the future. Also, Colma is an absolute masterpiece, it was my first experience with his music. I've been hooked on his work ever since. You should give a listen to A Real Diamond in the Rough, that one is my personal favorite Buckethead album.

Author:  Napalm_Satan [ Tue Mar 22, 2016 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Hey, that is actually very good - he seems to be very good at relaxing material. Another Buckethead album to find. I've noticed your improved reviewing, keep it up!

Author:  MutantClannfear [ Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

New Demigod review, in addition to being incorrect, may just have the dumbest sentence to ever exist:
Quote:
It is by no means generally unrecommended to not hit the breaks on a death metal album

A triple negative? Just say what you actually mean, ugh...

Author:  caspian [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Lich Coldheart wrote:
Such a bummer... :( People should care much more about their efforts and their spending hours writing...


:???: people spend hours writing reviews?

Author:  Lich Coldheart [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

caspian wrote:
Lich Coldheart wrote:
Such a bummer... :( People should care much more about their efforts and their spending hours writing...


:???: people spend hours writing reviews?


Some of them do. And I didn't say people necessarily spend hours writing just one review; a review may take them just 15-20 minutes. But when we talk about 50 reviews we do talk about several hours.

Author:  UnholyCrusada [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

It usually takes me at least a couple of hours to write a review I'm happy with. In fact, I'll typically start one on one day, step away for a while to take my mind off it, and then come back a day or two later so I have a fresh perspective. Any of the ones I've forced myself to write in one sitting I usually look back on as subpar. Maybe some people can just spit out quality stuff on the spot, but I personally need to take my time to refine everything so it hits all the right notes.

Author:  Lich Coldheart [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 8:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

UnholyCrusada wrote:
It usually takes me at least a couple of hours to write a review I'm happy with. In fact, I'll typically start one on one day, step away for a while to take my mind off it, and then come back a day or two later so I have a fresh perspective. Any of the ones I've forced myself to write in one sitting I usually look back on as subpar. Maybe some people can just spit out quality stuff on the spot, but I personally need to take my time to refine everything so it hits all the right notes.


It takes me several hours to write a review, too. The difference is my reviews aren't very good even after spending hours. :( That's why I've been having a break.

EDIT: Congrats to Diamhea for his latest review, which is well-written, in detail and, very important, it is concise. Sure, long reviews aren't bad; it's just I don't always feel like reading a monster review like autothrall and hells_unicorn used to write.

Author:  ingmar birdman [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I liked iamntbatman's two recent Taake reviews, he pretty much hit the nail on the head regarding Stridens hus -- it's a pretty enjoyable album with a handful of great moments that unfortunately feels like a weird jumble of ideas rather than a cohesive piece of music, and it's definitely a disappointment after the very solid Noregs vaapen.

Author:  Smoking_Gnu [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

That new Sepctiflesh review is...something. To be honest, I don't mind Revolution DNA myself and spin it time to time (a 75%-er, maybe), but any review that opens with an entire paragraph of "but seriously guys, this isn't a sellout" tends to get under my skin a bit.

And yeah, batman's Taake reviews are spot-on.

Author:  Thumbman [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I can't imagine spending several hours doing a review. The only times I did that was for my reviews of Dystopia's self titled and Neurosis's Souls at Zero and both reviews were bad and pointlessly overlong. Can sometimes take over an hour if it's 750 words plus, but still usually not by much.

Author:  Jophelerx [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 4:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Yeah maybe an hour to 90 minutes maximum is the length I spend for reviews of albums that are really important to me or really unorthodox and I need to spend time explaining in detail, for more orthodox/generic albums or demos it's usually around 20-30 minutes. I'm sure I've never ever spent more than 90 minutes on a review, if I got to the point where I was that deep in and still writing, I'd probably scrap it and wait until I was more focused to write a more concise review later.

Author:  Felix 1666 [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

All you native speakers can write reviews with great ease in a matter of minutes. I needed almost 45 years for my first review on M-A. Although I have become a little bit more efficient, it is still a challenge - wish I could write in German.

Author:  UnholyCrusada [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

It's not a matter of conciseness vs. deep explanation that makes it take so long for me. It's more a matter of trying to figure out the optimum way to word each phrase, or how to make sure the writing flows well as a collective whole. I also am constantly trying different approaches based on what I've found works and what doesn't, and always write with the intention of trying to get 8-pointers (it's only actually happened twice though).

The last time I spent only like 20-30 minutes on a review, it got rejected, so I guess it's just something I personally need to do. Hell, figuring out the best way to word this very post just took me about 10-15.

Author:  TheStormIRide [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Felix 1666 wrote:
wish I could write in German.


Well you're doing a damn fine job in English, sir. Keep it up!

Author:  raspberrysoda [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Felix, I can totally understand you, as a non-native English speaker. It could be a great pain is the ass when you begin, but as you progress and write more reviews it is much easier, I guess. The syntax of my native language is different in so many ways from English (or any Indo-European language), and it's pretty confusing at times.

Author:  TheStormIRide [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

So I was reading over the general rules of the site again, because, really, I have no life. I'm wondering if the archives hosting reviews really coincides with the general idea of "we're just an encyclopedia that only documenting the facts". That's something that gets said a lot and we (mods) really strive to keep opinion out of the band and artist pages.

That being said, it really struck me as odd, or even silly, that we would host thousands of reviews that are chock full of opinions; especially when the site holds itself to such a high regard in keeping information neutral. A little food for though, I guess. Any opinions on this? I'd like to hear from some of the longtime, more prolific reviewers, or users who have been around for a while, but any opinion is welcome.

I know back when the site started, there weren't a lot of outlets for reviews, but nowadays there are thousands upon thousands of review blogs out there. It's just a bit strange that we strive for such a neutral stance and then allow so much opinion to enter the site through the reviews.

Author:  androdion [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I guess it depends on how you look at it. Metal Archives is a place where metal knowledge is compiled impartially, as to what it refers to facts. And opinions shouldn't influence the way facts are displayed. What facts are displayed then? Neutral information like what bands there are, what albums have been released, etc. Can opinions exist as long as they don't alter the facts? I guess so, I don't see any wrong in that. It's not like people look at a review score and say it's the best album ever (oh wait but they do...). Alas, it's a a bit of a double edged sword in that respect, but I also think that people have to think first and look at scores later. Isn't that the general consensus regarding reviews in the site, that the content matters more than the numeric score?

Maybe it's late and I'm not making any sense, or maybe it's because I just submitted a near 1500 words review which is my first in a year and a half (drum roll). But honestly speaking, mate, I think you're reading too much into it. As much as I get your point of view I think that not everything needs to be black and white. ;)

Author:  TheStormIRide [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

androdion wrote:
Maybe it's late and I'm not making any sense, or maybe it's because I just submitted a near 1500 words review which is my first in a year and a half (drum roll). But honestly speaking, mate, I think you're reading too much into it. As much as I get your point of view I think that not everything needs to be black and white. ;)


I completely get what you mean by that. I just wonder about the difference between when the site started and now. IIRC there weren't many webzines back in the day. Now, you can't shake a stick without running into five million blogs giving 10 out of 10 to every album that gets sent their way.

Author:  stainedclass2112 [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I personally think that it balances both information and reviews pretty darn well. I'm new here and I love how I can go to the band's page and read about them, see all of their releases and when they came out, and even read additional facts about them; and everything is factually neutral (for the most part). If, however, I would like to read some opinions about it, I can hop over to the review section and see what the members think about it. I guess it just depends on what you're looking for. I love how well organized, easy to use, and easy to navigate it is. I wish the progarchives was this nice, yikes, is that a poorly designed place.

Author:  caspian [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I think it works quite well. I guess you could say that the archives has two aims: to be super factual, and to be comprehensive, right? And I think the reviews lend a bit to the comprehensive side. Otherwise it's basically another discogs, just a fairly dry accumulator of lists. I'd also add that it's really obvious that the reviews aren't factual, they're somewhat segregated, etc, so I don't really see it a problem.

Author:  iamntbatman [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

They're only *sort of* segregated, though...the average review score is right there on the main discography page. Not to mention the fact that probably half of the bitching and moaning people do about M-A as a website stems from the fact that disgruntled users can't often seem to figure out that the reviews here are user reviews and not the official opinions of the Archives itself. The number of times I've seen people say things like, "Metal-Archives thinks this album is shit but what do they know" or whatever is mind-boggling.

That said, I know mods like Azmodes put tons of effort into returning reviews to their authors when a band or release gets nuked, but doing that for every single review on the site would be a massive undertaking. Not to mention how many old reviews we've got for people who've no doubt dropped off the face of the planet. Those reviews would surely be lost to the void, no?

Author:  caspian [ Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

man I kinda like the idea of forming a seperate-but-linked site, "metal-archives-reviews.com" or something of that ilk (might as well keep the hyphens rolling). Freed from the restraints of trying to be encyclopedic it could be pretty cool, would take a lot of work of course. It seems like MA is in a lot of ways one of (if not the main) social hub for metalheads on the internet, and perhaps the reviews could facilitate that more while the main state stays as a bonedry encyclopedia. I dunno, just thinking of the top of my head- I'm pretty happy with how it all sits now really.

Author:  Antioch [ Thu Mar 24, 2016 9:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

iamntbatman wrote:
They're only *sort of* segregated, though...the average review score is right there on the main discography page ...
the reviews here are user reviews and not the official opinions of the Archives itself.

Why not separate user reviews from staff reviews? Most film and music databases do that. I'm not big on reviews myself, but I do appreciate a good one. However, give me the chance and I'll delete half of what's on the Archives, not only because
Zodijackyl wrote:
Most reviewers have no respect for your time and will waste as much of it as they can
but also because the reviews are way below acceptable by most review outlets' standards, yet you - I'd like to use "we" here because I feel involved as do many others who are reading this, but I know I'm not allowed to - choose to publish them. I've never understood why.

iamntbatman wrote:
Not to mention how many old reviews we've got for people who've no doubt dropped off the face of the planet. Those reviews would surely be lost to the void, no?

That reminds me of what Derigin wrote the other day
Derigin wrote:
...we live in a time when music is more accessible than it ever has been, but the fact that music is accessible (or is once accessible) does not necessarily translate into it remaining as accessible or available . . . If you value reviews as a way of giving you a glimpse into the features, sound, and style of an album, that value holds true regardless of the accessibility of that album. Not to presume that any one reviewer is objectively correct, however, a single person's glimpse into an album is better than none at all.

and he seemed to be in favor of having reviews here, because sometimes albums, not reviews/writers per se, could indeed be "lost to the void".

Author:  BastardHead [ Thu Mar 24, 2016 6:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

It's one of those things I've always silently worried about but never brought up because I didn't want it to get too much spotlight or gain traction. Honestly, this is an encyclopedia, so it's a little strange to have reviews. BUT WITH THAT SAID, I will seriously fight to the death to keep them around. They've grown to be such a huge part of the site, it'd be insane to just turn around and axe it after all this time. It's one of the things that makes this site the weird little entity it's become over the last 14 years. Not to mention it's a great breeding ground for intelligent discussion and flexing one's creative muscles. Some people are lame, but lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Author:  Zodijackyl [ Fri Mar 25, 2016 12:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I like the idea of at least having reviews being better curated. Throw the babies out with the bathwater, sustain the ancient mariners and hardened sailors.

Author:  Diamhea [ Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

TheStormIRide wrote:
So I was reading over the general rules of the site again, because, really, I have no life. I'm wondering if the archives hosting reviews really coincides with the general idea of "we're just an encyclopedia that only documenting the facts". That's something that gets said a lot and we (mods) really strive to keep opinion out of the band and artist pages.

That being said, it really struck me as odd, or even silly, that we would host thousands of reviews that are chock full of opinions; especially when the site holds itself to such a high regard in keeping information neutral. A little food for though, I guess. Any opinions on this? I'd like to hear from some of the longtime, more prolific reviewers, or users who have been around for a while, but any opinion is welcome.

I know back when the site started, there weren't a lot of outlets for reviews, but nowadays there are thousands upon thousands of review blogs out there. It's just a bit strange that we strive for such a neutral stance and then allow so much opinion to enter the site through the reviews.


It doesn't coincide with the "general idea of the site" because it was never intended to be a major sector of it, to say nothing of the juggernaut it has become today. Coming from the one who moderates most of what comes through the review queue, I'm fine with removing this feature of the site altogether. People have other mediums they can submit their reviews to without dealing with our strict(ish) submission guidelines. It results in a lot of frustration from well meaning ESL speakers, and a ton of misguided hate at the staff for being "draconian" and the fact that we almost have to tell the submitters what to write... it just feels strange to me (and them I'm sure) on a site that values objectivity and all that jazz. Furthermore, it simply complicates the workload in a manner that we honestly can't handle at the moment. Every day I am not only working the queue, but removing older reviews that no longer meet current criteria, it feels like an exercise in tail chasing to me. I say toss it.

Author:  Lich Coldheart [ Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

People got used to MA having reviews. I don't have the authority to decide anything but my opinion is that MA without reviews would feel incomplete.

Author:  PorcupineOfDoom [ Fri Mar 25, 2016 7:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I think it'd be a shame to get rid of reviews on the site. The site itself is incredibly useful for discovering new bands, but a large part of that is down to the reviews. You could argue that there are a hundred other websites that offer the same thing, but to have it all in one place makes locating things very easy, especially given how organised MA is. stainedclass2112 hit the nail on the head, if you're after factual information then you'll most likely find that, but if you want opinions then usually someone else will be able to provide an insight into the actual music. Without reviews then I fear MA would suddenly feel just like other websites that solely list releases. As caspian said, they add some depth that you just don't get with other encyclopedic sites.

Author:  Thumbman [ Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I'm all for stricter standards for what reviews could be accepted, but getting rid of them completely would be really disappointing. It would suck for people who have hundreds of reviews to no longer have their platform and essentially have their hard work erased. Reviews are a big part of why I love this site. While it doesn't add to the subjectivity of the site, it does give an idea into the public opinion of the album and makes finding good albums a hell of a lot easier. If it is a strain on the current mods, I'm sure there are lots of reliable users here who would be willing to help handling the review submissions.

Author:  GuntherTheUndying [ Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Is this a real conversation? The reviews are one of the paramount points of this site. I can't believe some of you would even be open to the idea of removing them. Might as well take the touchdown from football.

Author:  Ilwhyan [ Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

In my opinion, reviews - as currently implemented - are perfectly in line with the philosophy of Metal-Archives as an encyclopedia. The only standards imposed on user reviews are substance (enough description), language and soundness of grammar and spelling. They are quite obviously reviews by users. When a member of the staff decides to review an album, they are quite obviously doing so as metal enthusiasts, as opposed to staff members. This has never been unclear to me or anyone else I know.

Author:  Empyreal [ Fri Mar 25, 2016 3:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Having the reviews doesn't affect the site's encyclopedic nature. This is a community for metalheads as much as it is a database, and the reviews are part of that. I guess some of the mods like Diamhea or Zodi deal with a lot of crap going through the reviews, and yeah, some of em are very poor. But honestly, it's still a voluntary thing to help with those reviews anyway, is it not?

Author:  Metantoine [ Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

I'd be pissed if the reviews were to be removed, I don't think it's even considered anyway though.

Author:  BastardHead [ Fri Mar 25, 2016 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

The more I think about it, the more I realize removing the reviews actually probably removes the most helpful part of the site. We're all about being factual over everything else, and that's what we ask for in the reviews, more than the opinion itself. Autopsy and Deicide are both just "death metal" but are still worlds apart in terms of sound, we need the reviews in order to accurately reflect that.

This entire conversation is retarded.

Author:  TheStormIRide [ Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Official Review Discussion Thread

Well, obviously, I really like having my reviews on the site, so I would be against removing reviews, but it was just something in the back of my mind, like Bastard said. I can't imagine MA without the reviews, but, as I mentioned, it was more of a thought that reviews aren't quite encyclopedic in nature.

The responses are not overwhelmingly surprising, but I'm glad that just about everyone is on board with keeping them around!

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