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Eruntalon
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:17 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Rio Grande do Sul
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:16 pm 
 

Hails to everyone!

After thinking much about it I tried my hand and wrote my first review last saturday. As I really want to write substancial reviews to other people I think you guys could help me. The review is still pending at the moment I write this but I think I can already have some analysis on it and gather proper opinioin from you.

I don't know if it's necessary to omit some information before the approval/rejection, so I'll put everything in spoiler.


Spoiler: show
Since the announcement of the recordings in 2016 this is an album that was long awaited, and being Immortal my first contact with black metal – probably this is also true for many people – this awaiting couldn’t be different for me. I always put them side by side with great heroes of heavy metal. There’s fierceness, power and gloom in their music, crucial elements of the genre; but there’s also a vivid thrill, a kind of joy that can be felt in the blind euphoria of their dark riffs and lyrics, something I don’t find in other black metal bands.

After Abbath’s exit from the band, and after the issues relating to that, it was plausible that people could be concerned about the future of the band. The announcement of new recordings have happened in December 2016 and just now, July 2018, we have Northern Chaos Gods. For many people Abbath with his outgoing personality was the face of Immortal, but I don’t see as honest the doubts concerning the integrity of the band after his exit. Immortal, since the beginning, has had the lyrical work from Demonaz – which is also a crucial element, though Blashyrkh can be deemed as a creation of both of them – and the musical choices in this new album are evidence that Immortal’s music is not just Abbath’s property. I respect Abbath as a great artist and personality of heavy metal, but Immortal is greater than Abbath.

The first impression you can get from the album is it’s straightness: riffs in a classic thrash pace allied to blast beats make the main tone of the album. Usually it can be taken as a poor option if the band is just waffling out, but this is not the case. You have classic here but it doesn’t sound as more of the same, it’s good metal to listen on a daily basis. I don’t know if someone have come up with a formula, but there are works in which the classical things sounds as new, and this album is a good example of that.

I can feel the presence of Sons of The Northern Darkness and Blizard Beasts in this album, and it also remembers me of At the Heart of Winter – my first contact with Immortal – due to the well constructed arpeggios in Gates of Blashyrkh and in Where The Mountains Rise. These cold and cavernous arpeggios give the tone I wished to feel in this album: for me this the most precious element in their music, for it seems to ignite all the sense of coldness and darkness in the music, therefore giving to the listener a mindscape of Blashyrkh. This also seems to say to the fan that despite the issues the band has faced, good old Immortal is still here.

I also liked to listen to Demonaz’s vocal in this album. It is another piece of classic black metal: a harsh vocal singing in an epic style, truly telling a story and setting a mindscape. The drums from Horgh are quite good too: it’s focused in the tradition of blast beats but it also has something inventive in the composition. The entire album is a good piece but I must point Dark Ravendark as a really great track: it has all of the above plus the inspired tremolos that give the song an epic attitude. It’s hard for me to give an 80 for this album because I really expected something huge, but if they keep composing songs as this last one I will certainly have a good reason to raise my stakes.

With this release I truly hope they start an international tour. I haven’t had the pleasure to see the original set up on stage but I will gladly go to a concert in this new phase of the band. They are here an they keep doing good metal. May they keep like this.



Well you can see I'm a noob here, but I have been reading the forum to get myself mingled as well as the reviews in order to learn more about this art of writing reviews - I just wish I had more time. My main objective is to develop my writing skills, so any honest critique is welcome. Also, I've been visiting MA for a long time but never thought about getting involved. Maybe it's not too late.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:58 am 
 

Not a bad first stab. Musical description needs more fleshing out. There's an over-emphasis on context and history, so that I know more about where the album stands in the chronology than what it actually sounds like. You give us glimpses of the content, but not enough. What description is there relies too heavily on a reader being familiar with Immortal. "Straightness" is an odd adjective.

There are some redundant phrasings, some formatting issues (italicize album names), and some language errors, but overall I think it's a good first draft and you should keep working on it. I'm not quite sure how you felt about the album. Clarify your opinions and use your descriptions to support them.

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Eruntalon
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:17 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Rio Grande do Sul
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:50 pm 
 

Really grateful for you appreciation Grave_Wyrm. I do think there was some redundancy and I didn't know the details about formating.

It was nice to know that the review was approved the way I wrote it. I made some modifications to the text following your suggestions. I'm posting it in a spoiler window but since the original review is already approved I don't know it is worth editing it- I think if it will return to the queue, right? In any case the point was taken, and I will watch these details for the next reviews.

Spoiler: show
Since the announcement of the recordings in 2016 this is an album that was long awaited, and being Immortal my first contact with black metal - probably this is also true for many people - this awaiting couldn't be different for me.  I always put them side by side with great heroes of heavy metal. There's fierceness, power and gloom in their music, crucial elements of the genre; but there's also a vivid thrill, a kind of joy that can be felt in the blind euphoria of their dark riffs and lyrics, something I don't find in other black metal bands.

After Abbath's exit from the band, and after the issues relating to that, it was  plausible that people could be concerned about the future of the band. The announcement of new recordings  have happened in December 2016 and just now, July 2018, we have Northern Chaos Gods. For many people Abbath with his outgoing personality was the face of Immortal, but I don't see as honest the doubts concerning the integrity of the band after his exit. Immortal, since the beginning, has had the lyrical work from Demonaz - which is also a crucial element, though Blashyrkh can be deemed as a creation of both of them - and the musical choices in this new album are evidence that Immortal's music is not just Abbath's property.  I respect Abbath as a great artist and personality of heavy metal, but Immortal is greater than Abbath.

The first impression you can get from the album is it's straightness, and by that I mean a sound centered in plain construction, without bad surprises : riffs in a thrash pace allied to blast beats make the main tone of the album. Usually it can be taken as a poor option if the band is just waffling out, but this is not the case. You have classic here but it doesn't sound as more of the same, it's good metal to listen on a daily basis. I don't know if someone have come up with a formula, but there are works in which the classical things sounds as new, and this album is a good example of that.

I can feel the presence of  Sons of The Northern Darkness and Blizard Beasts in this album, and it also remembers me of At the Heart of Winter - my first contact with Immortal - due to the well constructed arpeggios in Gates of Blashyrkh  and in Where The Mountains Rise. These cold and cavernous arpeggios give the tone I wished to feel in this album: for me this the most precious element in their music, for it seems to ignite all the sense of coldness and darkness in the music, therefore  giving to the listener a mindscape of Blashyrkh. This also seems to say to the fan that despite the issues the band has faced, good old Immortal is still here. I also liked to listen to Demonaz's vocals in this album, which is a true element of black metal: a harsh voice singing in an epic style, truly telling a story and setting a mindscape. The drums from Horgh are quite good too: it's focused in the tradition of blast beats but it also has something inventive in the composition. The entire album is a good piece but I must point Dark Ravendark as a really great track: it has all of the above plus the inspired tremolos that give the song an epic attitude.

What I most liked from Northern Chaos Gods was it's objectivity and tradition. As I stated before some works are constructed under common and traditional arrangements and even so they sound as a novel thing. You listen to the music as if you had already listened to that, but there's still a difference, an essence or force that brings forth this album as the truly fresh work that it actually  is. I can say that this impression is the result of Demonaz's vocals in the album, for the listener is not used to it; even though it's hard to point it this is truly the case. The album sounds as a lost classic to me, a very nice lost classic.

With this release I truly hope they start an international tour. I haven't had the pleasure to see the original set up on stage but I will gladly go to a concert in this new phase of the band. They are here an they keep doing good metal. May they keep like this.



I am also glad that my second review for the site has also been accepted. It is about Left Hand Pass from Cannabis Corpse. It's here, if any of you want to check out:

https://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/ ... lon/365732
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Iron Wizard
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 11:21 pm
Posts: 135
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:45 pm 
 

Heres my draft for Cannibal Corpse's Vile:

Spoiler: show
Without going into a "Cannibal Corpse are so overrated" rant, I will just go ahead and say I've been familiar with Cannibal Corpse for several years and I haven't gotten into them. However, Vile sort of feels like a breath of fresh air for Cannibal Corpse. I wrote a review for its predeccesor, The Bleeding, which was the last album to feature Chris Barnes. I mistakenly raved about it basically because it had 2 cool tracks and honestly I don't even remember the rest of the album.

Vile dosen't represent a major stylistic change for the band, however at the same time it doesn't pick up where The Bleeding left off. Instead of continuing down the accesible path, Vile is sort of a rebirth of Cannibal Corpse's earlier sound, now with clearer production, and more refined riffs. More on that later, now I am going to address the most important aspect of Vile. George "Corpsegrinder" Fischer joins the band. His style isn't far from Chris Barnes's indecipherable growls, and he fits the band quite well. The main difference is that he is louder and easier to understand (part of that may be the production), but Corpsegrinder definately brings something new to the music.

As for the songs themselves, none of them are all that memorable. There is a lot of typical midtempo riffage, and there aren't many deviations from that. While tracks such as "Bloodlands" and "Relentless Beating" are distinctive enough to make a decent name for themselves, I would hardly describe anything on Vile as catchy. That to me is the number one fallback of this album. I like catchy death metal with headbang-able groove riffs; I don't particularly care for constant plodding. At this point I am getting too negative, so lets look at the positive aspects.

The most enjoyable part of Vile is the atmosphere. The way the songs plod along makes everything blend in and seem ominous, which does create a cool effect if one is in the right mindset. Also, earlier I mentioned the production. I fucking love the sound of this album. The mix is almost perfect. I was expecting a more modern production style like that of their latest albums, and while that is partially here, the rawness is still present. This allows the for everything to come through clearly enough to be hear well while keeping a sound that fits the aggressive music.

I am not a fan of Cannibal Corpse so I never plan on actually buying this album, but if you are a fan who already has their classic albums, it is probably worth buying. For me, like every thing else by Cannibal Corpse, I am content with listening to it on YouTube or any kind kf music streaming service.
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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 570
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:24 am 
 

Iron Wizard wrote:
Heres my draft for Cannibal Corpse's Vile:

Spoiler: show
Without going into a "Cannibal Corpse are so overrated" rant, I will just go ahead and say I've been familiar with Cannibal Corpse for several years and I haven't gotten into them. However, Vile sort of feels like a breath of fresh air for Cannibal Corpse. I wrote a review for its predeccesor, The Bleeding, which was the last album to feature Chris Barnes. I mistakenly raved about it basically because it had 2 cool tracks and honestly I don't even remember the rest of the album.

Vile dosen't represent a major stylistic change for the band, however at the same time it doesn't pick up where The Bleeding left off. Instead of continuing down the accesible path, Vile is sort of a rebirth of Cannibal Corpse's earlier sound, now with clearer production, and more refined riffs. More on that later, now I am going to address the most important aspect of Vile. George "Corpsegrinder" Fischer joins the band. His style isn't far from Chris Barnes's indecipherable growls, and he fits the band quite well. The main difference is that he is louder and easier to understand (part of that may be the production), but Corpsegrinder definitely brings something new to the music.

As for the songs themselves, none of them are all that memorable. There is a lot of typical midtempo riffage, and there aren't many deviations from that. While tracks such as "Bloodlands" and "Relentless Beating" are distinctive enough to make a decent name for themselves, I would hardly describe anything on Vile as catchy. That to me is the number one fallback of this album. I like catchy death metal with headbang-able groove riffs; I don't particularly care for constant plodding. At this point I am getting too negative, so lets look at the positive aspects.

The most enjoyable part of Vile is the atmosphere. The way the songs plod along makes everything blend in and seem ominous, which does create a cool effect if one is in the right mindset. Also, earlier I mentioned the production. I fucking love the sound of this album. The mix is almost perfect. I was expecting a more modern production style like that of their latest albums, and while that is partially here, the rawness is still present. This allows the for everything to come through clearly enough to be hear well while keeping a sound that fits the aggressive music.

I am not a fan of Cannibal Corpse so I never plan on actually buying this album, but if you are a fan who already has their classic albums, it is probably worth buying. For me, like every thing else by Cannibal Corpse, I am content with listening to it on YouTube or any kind kf music streaming service.


Hi, Iron Wizard, I've read several of your reviews in the past and this seems like a fairly typical example of your style.

I think you generally manage to say what you think about the album in a succinct manner, though you don't always explain all of your points thoroughly. For example, when talking about Corpsegrinder's impact on the album, you say that he "definitely brings something new to the music", but also that "his style isn't far from Barnes's". Firstly, you obviously haven't checked your draft very carefully because those statements don't match up, while you need to explain what new aspect Corpsegrinder's vocals bring.

Ditto with the "plodding riffs": I don't really understand how they are different from the "headbang-able groove riffs" you prefer, nor do you really explain why they can be at once unenjoyable and atmospheric. Consider adding one or two sentences to fully explain these points and make the review more useful for a general listener.

Two more things: format your album titles (I like mine to be in italics, such as Vile) and check your spelling; there are four spelling mistakes in here, all of which will show up on MS Word spellchecker. They are 'predecessor', 'doesn't', 'accessible', and 'of'. Time to review c/s letter combinations perhaps.

I hope the comments are helpful. I think with a bit more concentration and explanative writing, your reviews could be very good. And definitely make a habit of editing your work before you submit it.

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Swansonandrew3
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:41 am
Posts: 1
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:12 pm 
 

I could use some help on my album review of Prequelle, that got rejected. Any suggestions that could help me with resubmitting it would be appreciated.

I liked the Album, but it's not the ghost I love

The reason I started to listen to Ghost was because of the bands dark, satanic, and cultist messaging that made the band what it was. In some form or fashion, the bands creator Tobias Forge has always maintained this messaging wither if it was from the LP releases to the EP covers the band does. The difference in this album cycle that sets the others apart is how the band is starting to put their traditional metal sound on the back peddle for more of a pop sound. Don't get me wrong, metal still has a presence on this album, but not in the way it did in their previous releases.

When metal is brought into the fold on songs like rats, and faith it gives a reminder of the ghost I was attracted to in the first place. They both have head bopping (Songs not good enough for headbanging in my opinion), and toe taping rifts that accomplish the goal of a dark atmosphere the album set out to make in the first place. Hell rats is the first metal song that makes me want to get up and dance, which was a total shock for me when I first listened to it. The lyrical messaging also works together in a great way with rats covers the inability to escape the plague, and how faith talks about only finding salvation into one group/individual.

The instrumentals on this album were also satisfying to listen to, which comes as no surprise to me since the band has a good track record of instrumentals. The only real disappointing thing with them was miasma wasn't too unique from the instrumental devil church off Meliora. Otherwise, the band does a good job at making the instrumentals off this album powerful.

Now with the actual pop section of this album, I gotta say it wasn't too bad. I say this because I knew at around the time Popstar came out, the next album was going to follow be similar to Popestar. The issue with the pop section is songs that I have some problems with, I realize could be replaced or just not necessary. While we're on this topic lets get pro meliora out of the way. It was not a good song, and the reason why is because of the lyrics. "Don't you forget about dying, don't you forget about your friend death, don't you forget that you will die." When I heard this, I wonder what Tobias Forge was on when he wrote this song. I know well enough what to expect with this lyrical creativity, and besides this line, it was just lazy all the way through. Now the other issue in this section that comes to mind is life eternal. I actually like this song a lot, but it shouldn't have been the end of the album. That should have been left for Helvetesfonster to do. Life eternal was just one of those songs that we could have lived without the 3 extra minutes that the song added.

I liked the album, but it's not the ghost I fell in love with (Hence the title). The band continued to keep its identity in this album that it had before, but it wasn't rich in sound like its predictors were. When I think of this album, I can't help but think of Metallica's black album. Metallica continued to keep some of what made them who they were, but they traded in a lot when they wanted to go commercial. Its the same story for Ghost and I think this album is just the beginning.

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 570
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:21 am 
 

Swansonandrew3 wrote:
I could use some help on my album review of Prequelle, that got rejected. Any suggestions that could help me with resubmitting it would be appreciated.

Spoiler: show
I liked the Album, but it's not the ghost I love

The reason I started to listen to Ghost was because of the bands dark, satanic, and cultist messaging that made the band what it was. In some form or fashion, the bands creator Tobias Forge has always maintained this messaging wither if it was from the LP releases to the EP covers the band does. The difference in this album cycle that sets the others apart is how the band is starting to put their traditional metal sound on the back peddle for more of a pop sound. Don't get me wrong, metal still has a presence on this album, but not in the way it did in their previous releases.

When metal is brought into the fold on songs like rats, and faith it gives a reminder of the ghost I was attracted to in the first place. They both have head bopping (Songs not good enough for headbanging in my opinion), and toe taping rifts that accomplish the goal of a dark atmosphere the album set out to make in the first place. Hell rats is the first metal song that makes me want to get up and dance, which was a total shock for me when I first listened to it. The lyrical messaging also works together in a great way with rats covers the inability to escape the plague, and how faith talks about only finding salvation into one group/individual.

The instrumentals on this album were also satisfying to listen to, which comes as no surprise to me since the band has a good track record of instrumentals. The only real disappointing thing with them was miasma wasn't too unique from the instrumental devil church off Meliora. Otherwise, the band does a good job at making the instrumentals off this album powerful.

Now with the actual pop section of this album, I gotta say it wasn't too bad. I say this because I knew at around the time Popstar came out, the next album was going to follow be similar to Popestar. The issue with the pop section is songs that I have some problems with, I realize could be replaced or just not necessary. While we're on this topic lets get pro meliora out of the way. It was not a good song, and the reason why is because of the lyrics. "Don't you forget about dying, don't you forget about your friend death, don't you forget that you will die." When I heard this, I wonder what Tobias Forge was on when he wrote this song. I know well enough what to expect with this lyrical creativity, and besides this line, it was just lazy all the way through. Now the other issue in this section that comes to mind is life eternal. I actually like this song a lot, but it shouldn't have been the end of the album. That should have been left for Helvetesfonster to do. Life eternal was just one of those songs that we could have lived without the 3 extra minutes that the song added.

I liked the album, but it's not the ghost I fell in love with (Hence the title). The band continued to keep its identity in this album that it had before, but it wasn't rich in sound like its predictors were. When I think of this album, I can't help but think of Metallica's black album. Metallica continued to keep some of what made them who they were, but they traded in a lot when they wanted to go commercial. Its the same story for Ghost and I think this album is just the beginning.


To be honest, I would say the main reason it got rejected was because your writing isn't up to standard for being published on this website. There are numerous spelling errors and instances of lazy word use. For instance, you've spelt "riffs" wrong, which is entry-level criteria for a site on metal. The review also shows incorrect use of the following words/expressions:

cultist messaging (cult image)
back peddle (pedal; but actually you mean "on the back burner")
toe taping rifts (toe-tapping riffs)
messaging (message)
finding salvation into (finding salvation in)
wasn't too unique (wasn't too different from)
off this album/in this album (on this album).

Other than these, you haven't capitalized song and album titles consistently, nor have you even capitalized Ghost consistently, while you've spelt Popestar in two different ways as well. It's better to make a system for naming album titles and song titles, like Prequelle for an album and 'Rats' or 'Pro Meliora' for a song.

Lots of the sentences don't flow very smoothly and use awkward grammar, which makes understanding the points a little difficult. I think you should review the draft after you've finished it and you could spot a lot of these problems yourself.

The content of the review is not so bad, so don't feel like the site administrators have rejected it because your view on the album is being censored. In fact, a lot of people feel like Ghost sounds more pop than they did before and have written negative reviews. Because of that, it would be a good idea to read some of the other reviews for Prequelle before submitting your own, since you might just be saying the same thing as others. Remember that this website is all about providing useful resources for other users.

I hope these comments will be helpful to you.

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SweetLeaf95
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:19 am
Posts: 756
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:31 pm 
 

You also said "Pro Meliora" when you meant "Pro Memoria".
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DividerOfShadows
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:58 pm
Posts: 370
Location: Croatia
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:56 am 
 

Hi, guys. My review has recently been rejected and I would like some tips you can spare on making it good enough for the site. I reckon I may have complimented the band too much or haven't given enough substance to such remarks, but what do you think? What should I work on more? I'd really like to become more proficient at this. Thanks in advance and sorry for poor writing.

Spoiler: show
Ahh... Eld one of the many paramount releases of this skilled and undoubtedly original Norwegian band, often unfairly seen as an album inferior to 1994's Frost. It doesn't seem lucrative or even that much of a good idea to compare the two on terms of quality; they're both great, accomplished pieces of art differing in sonic landscape and atmosphere.

Both Frost and Eld have their share of epic guitar riffs and Grutle's raspy vocals, but atmospheres are a bit different. Frost was appropriately bleak and cold whereas Eld feels warmer, more welcoming in a way, probably due to dissimilar production. You may think "Wait, warm and welcoming black metal album? That's an oxymoron right there," but Enslaved make it work, believe it or not.

Let's finally get to the music. "(793) Slaget om Lindisfarne" is one hell of an intro track. It begins with a synth melody that never feels overlong or out of place. It sets the mood right from the start - to prepare for battle. At 16 minutes and 10 seconds, it remains Enslaved's longest song to date, but never overstays its welcome. Later on the more pummeling riffs begin to inhabit the album and never seem uninspired. Clean vocals in "Hordalendingen" and "Kvasirs blod" are magnificient and hauntingly beautiful, painting these Norwegians' musical canvas with Vikinglike vigor and bravery, sounding ancient and primordial.

Drumming is strong and relentless. How Harald Helgeson managed not to get tired while playing his parts is beyond me. He is an excellent support to Bjørnson's imaginitive riffs. Acoustic touches spread across the album are wondrous and build yet another layer of epicness around tracks speaking of ancient Viking history and mythology. Grutle's growls and clean vocals are both intimidating and strong.

It's a shame really that Eld keeps being largely overlooked by the black metal community that seems to prefer Hordanes land (which I find a bit tedious) and Frost, for Eld is Enslaved at their most monumental, really showing the measureless talent of this awesome Norwegian group.

Oh, and the end of the title track never fails to crack me up.
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Earthcubed wrote:
CradleOfBurzum, about the new Summoning album snippet, wrote:
I was hoping for some material that resembles closer to "Lugburz"


And I'm still hoping for Katy Perry to do another Christian album.


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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:23 am 
 

DividerOfShadows wrote:
Eld

It will come as no surprise that language comprehension is the main hurdle. Because fixing those errors would amount to rewriting the review for you, my feedback ignores the comprehension and focuses on composition.

To quote Lars Ulrich, "It sounds stock. It sounds stock to my ears." Your subject is more interesting than your presentation, and it should really always be the other way around. You obviously like this album a lot. Develop your central theme (the shame of its neglect) with a proper outline and a supported position on what makes it so great and the musical description will be inherent, the flow of ideas will automatically be more organized, and this really excellent band will have another articulate fan giving them the praise they deserve.

Don't be miserly with your love.

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DividerOfShadows
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 1:58 pm
Posts: 370
Location: Croatia
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:44 pm 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
DividerOfShadows wrote:
Eld

It will come as no surprise that language comprehension is the main hurdle. Because fixing those errors would amount to rewriting the review for you, my feedback ignores the comprehension and focuses on composition.

To quote Lars Ulrich, "It sounds stock. It sounds stock to my ears." Your subject is more interesting than your presentation, and it should really always be the other way around. You obviously like this album a lot. Develop your central theme (the shame of its neglect) with a proper outline and a supported position on what makes it so great and the musical description will be inherent, the flow of ideas will automatically be more organized, and this really excellent band will have another articulate fan giving them the praise they deserve.

Don't be miserly with your love.


Thank you for your feedback, mate. I'll keep your advice in mind. By the way, you needn't rewrite my review, but I'm curious to know - what kind of errors did you have in mind when talking about comprehension? Just to get an idea of what else I should work on. Thanks!
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Earthcubed wrote:
CradleOfBurzum, about the new Summoning album snippet, wrote:
I was hoping for some material that resembles closer to "Lugburz"


And I'm still hoping for Katy Perry to do another Christian album.


My Last.fm

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
Location: a branch
PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:28 pm 
 

Well, I take that back. There are a couple awkward sentences (Drumming is strong and relentless), some grammatical stuff ("many paramount", a couple of rambling, clunky sentence), but yeah .. not sure where I was coming from, so strike that comment. Composition needs work, though. The tick-box approach to the band's members is akin to a track-by-track. It lacks a flow of ideas; it's more of a collection of statements that changes topic quickly. Explain the work in a way that supports your opinions.

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 570
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:02 am 
 

DividerOfShadows wrote:
Eld


DividerOfShadows wrote:
Thank you for your feedback, mate. I'll keep your advice in mind. By the way, you needn't rewrite my review, but I'm curious to know - what kind of errors did you have in mind when talking about comprehension? Just to get an idea of what else I should work on. Thanks!


It seems that what Grave_Wyrm is picking up on is that the review is just about the minimum for being accepted (some mods would deem it fine), but there isn't much life in the writing, the structure is very limiting, and the musical description mostly sticks to surface details.

I don't think it's too bad and there are many worse reviews published on this site, but I guess that the mod who rejected it felt like it didn't really say enough about the music of the album, just glossing over general points that have been written about before. You have the general ideas for a review of Eld, but there's no specific examples or useful critique for the reader to learn from. I've never listened to Eld and I'm left with more questions than answers from that review. Answer the questions and it becomes a better review. Remove the "musician-by-musician" formula from the fourth paragraph and scatter those comments where they are really necessary; then maybe it will become a good review.

It's a pretty good draft, just needs honing some more.

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Grave_Wyrm
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:16 pm 
 

You're right, Mr. G. It seems pretty close to the current minimum standard, and with some minor tweaks it would in all likelihood be acceptable.

On a general note, it's not at all hard to make a rejected review passable, which leaves two options: 1) a technical excercise of abiding by site rules and shooting for the minimum standard (in the case of someone with a hell of a lot of enthusiasm, but low English comprehension this is perhaps the best they can accomplish, and that's fine), or 2) a more difficult, but productive exercise of focusing on improvements of craft that will not only carry the piece right past the site minimums, but provide more learning for the writer.

My chosen approach is to focus on helping writers make their reviews more insightful, more personally reflective, more worth the reader's time. Maybe that asks too much of some writers, but I'm comfortable with that. I'd much rather be without those handful of reviews that were written by people who only aspire to a minimum.

Edit- The current parameters of that threshold can be found here: https://www.metal-archives.com/board/vi ... =4&t=44482

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Guitarist3000
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:18 am
Posts: 45
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:53 am 
 

Hey everyone,

I was curious if I could get some feedback on how I can improve this review so that it doesn't get rejected?

It was stated that there wasn't enough information within my review & that I need to add more. I could detail it song by song as it is only a 3 track album, however it stated on the rules & guidlines that this isn't something I should do, so I'm looking for some pointers & it would be very appreciated.

Here's the review:

"When I first grabbed this cassette I was pretty interested from the start, it's not very often that you see a cover art that is only a single image with no band logo or writing of any kind. When I got the chance to listen to it I was floored! The sounds that these three people produce is quite this, murky and has a ton of atmosphere to it!


As others have mentioned it would seem that the atmosphere these Quebec natives of the cascadian variety have a unique type of feeling. There isn't quite as "open" of a sound, it feels more as if your underneath the earth in a huge warehouse style chasm that has walls which have seen tons of erosion from decades of ground water seeping over them. I know this is all descriptive, however they just nail this form of atmosphere so well and it really floored me!


Despite the lack of a bassist at this time the two guitars and drums on this release are very thick and come across quite well on the tape. There are moments where the atmosphere is so thick you could have it spilling over you, then there are times where they open up a bit and really let the riff / lyrics pull you in. This album is three long tracks which seamlessly flow through one another, I feel like this was done on purpose and it really works wonders! Each time I put this on I end up listening to the whole thing which is a great feeling.

I totally recommend this if you are into black metal and especially if you're into atmospheric black metal. I could even see this help get more people interested in the genre, and am honestly surprised you don't hear more about these dudes or this band."
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SweetLeaf95
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:05 pm 
 

Well, two things.

1. The description of the atmosphere is pretty solid, but what it lacks is description of the music itself. Talk about the riff styles, song subjects, vocal style, types of rhythm and how the melodies sound. Or, if it's void of melody. Things that make it stand out to you, or things you dislike. What you have on the atmosphere is good, now add to it with musical description.

2. As for the track by track thing, typically if it's a release of only a few songs, then a track by track is fine. Especially if you're still able to connect all of the songs into the overall point.
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gasmask_colostomy
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 570
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:05 am 
 

Hello all,

I'm in a bit of a reviewing rut because I really don't have much time or energy to put into my writing at the moment. I hope that someone could give me a few suggestions about where a review like the one below could be improved. To me, it just feels so lifeless and like hard work to write something like this right now.

I gave Infrared's Saviours 71% and called the review 'Steel-Toecapped Resurrection' if that helps. Content in spoiler.

Spoiler: show
How many “original era” thrash metal bands have reformed this side of the millennium? I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a lot, possibly too many, which does make one wonder whether there were really so many underground thrash groups in the ‘80s or whether they are simply making up demos that sound old as a means for promoting their comeback albums. Infrared hung around for five years at the end of the ‘80s, but only managed to squeeze out a four-track demo that later become the basis for 2016’s reformation release No Peace. Two years later and here we are again with a totally new set of songs.

As thrash comebacks go, this second album from the Canadians is at least slightly welcome due to the fact that it doesn’t make a habit of throwing out familiar tropes willy-nilly and hoping they will be accepted. Comparisons to Saviours could be drawn from Metallica’s late-‘80s period of mild experimentation, as well as Testament or Forbidden’s pace and vocal style, which comes out most clearly on closer “Genocide Convention”. That should be a hint that this isn’t a straightforward attempt to revisit youthful speed and aggression, but a more roundabout trip through technicality and plenty of melody. In fact, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that Saviours doesn’t really become a thrash release at all until its second half, when “All in Favour” and “Genocide Convention” bury that particular hatchet with the past in formidable style. As those song titles might be enough to guess from, political frustration and social ills take up the majority of Armin Kamal’s lyrics. Of course, that doesn’t preclude a set of songs averaging over six minutes apiece from taking plenty of time building up to certain high points and heavy moments on each of the eight cuts.

A minor issue with such a lengthy approach is that this kind of hard-hitting steel-toecapped thrash isn’t meant to hang around for too long, so the repetitive chugging during “They Kill for Gods” or the drawn-out balladic structure of “The Fallen” won’t tickle the pickle of anyone looking for a more thorough beating. Some similar techniques in the build and release sections on “Father of Lies” might also prove frustrating for those in search of action rather than atmosphere. That said, there are benefits to taking some pace off the previous album’s more direct approach, not least that the anthemic nature of the choruses get full support, especially when “The Demagogue” drops the speed for a driving chorus or “Project Karma” invites the listener to roar out the climax of its refrain. That means that some of the middle of the album would benefit from trimming down, but the overall effect is of enough detail and highlights to sustain the experience.

The sticking point for anyone on the verge of investing in another thrash group is the durability of the songs and perhaps also the tastiness of the musicians’ chops, on which points Infrared can’t absolutely swing the balance. It’s true that there is enough replay value in the explorative virtues of the relaxed mid-section to “All in Favour” and the rhythmic technicality on display during the title track, while a few details will seep into the consciousness as familiarity is built up; for example, the tasty classic melody inserted into “The Demagogue”, which is only played twice as if to tempt listeners to return. The musicianship, on the other hand, won’t blow any minds even if Infrared resist rehashing familiar re-thrash tropes, such as slam riffs and too many gang vocals, though the latter suit “All in Favour” on a thematic level. Essentially, the group offer a competent showing from each instrument without pushing anything particular to the fore, forming a careful balance between lead playing, thick groove, and mild atmosphere. As such, Saviours won’t be at the top of the reunion thrash pile, but you could do a lot worse than taking a chance on the Canadians.


Thanks for any suggestions or criticism.

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Grave_Wyrm
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:04 pm 
 

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
'Steel-Toecapped Resurrection'

Notes in spoiler.

Spoiler: show
I hear ya. Luckily, it's a good draft. Some sentences get convoluted, and your points are frequently sidetracked by qualifications. Streamline word count, and be sure your ideas connect.


How many “original era” thrash metal bands have reformed this side of the millennium? I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a lot, possibly too many, which does make one wonder whether there were really so many underground thrash groups in the ‘80s or whether they are simply making up demos that sound old as a means for promoting their comeback albums (... people do this?). Infrared hung around for five years at the end of the ‘80s, but only managed to squeeze out a four-track demo that later become the basis for 2016’s reformation release No Peace. Two years later and here we are again with a totally new set of songs.

(The main point diffuses, and by the end I don't get it. I have no context for this dynamic in the thrash scene, so already I'm questioning both the point and thinking, "what does this have to do with the album if these guys don't do that"? Thus far, I know it's a thrash album by a band that's had a sporadic output. Learning that was too hard.

Introductory paragraphs are low-stakes abstracts. It's the first thing people read when they find their way to the piece. A well-crafted introductory paragraph will generally summarize the thrust of the piece without rendering the body redundant. )



As thrash comebacks go, this second album from the Canadians is at least slightly welcome due to the fact that it doesn’t make a habit of throwing out familiar tropes willy-nilly and hoping they will be accepted (Speculation that seems unnecessary. It's enough to give a band the compliment they deserve. Without a clearer picture of the trend they're avoiding, reference to that trend is confusing). Comparisons to Saviours could be drawn from Metallica’s late-‘80s period of mild experimentation, as well as Testament or Forbidden’s pace and vocal style, which comes out most clearly on closer “Genocide Convention”. That should be a hint that this isn’t a straightforward attempt to revisit youthful speed and aggression, but a more roundabout trip through technicality and plenty of melody. In fact, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that Saviours doesn’t really become a thrash release at all until its second half (What is it like in the first half?), when “All in Favour” and “Genocide Convention” bury that particular hatchet with the past in formidable style (Confused about what hatchet they're burying, seeing as I wasn't clear on the related conflict. Subject gets vague). As those song titles might be enough to guess from, political frustration and social ills take up the majority of Armin Kamal’s lyrics. Of course, that doesn’t preclude a set of songs (How would lyrical content preclude substantial arrangements? It's almost as if .. something's missing ... ) averaging over six minutes apiece from taking plenty of time building up to certain high points and heavy moments on each of the eight cuts.

(Oh here it is. This point is the context for the point above. Work on merging these paragraphs and finding a topic point at which to break.)
A minor issue with such a lengthy approach is that this kind of hard-hitting steel-toecapped thrash isn’t meant to hang around for too long, so the repetitive chugging during “They Kill for Gods” or the drawn-out balladic structure of “The Fallen” won’t tickle the pickle of anyone looking for a more thorough beating (This, on the other hand, is a long sentence that works fine). Some similar techniques in the build and release sections on “Father of Lies” might also prove frustrating for those in search of action rather than atmosphere. That said, there are benefits to taking some pace off the previous album’s more direct approach, not least that the anthemic nature of the choruses get full support, especially when “The Demagogue” drops the speed for a driving chorus or “Project Karma” invites the listener to roar out the climax of its refrain. That means that some of the middle of the album would benefit from trimming down, but the overall effect is of enough detail and highlights to sustain the experience.
(This paragraph is a good one to compare all of the others to. It sticks to its theme, reliably developing its relevant points.)

The sticking point for anyone on the verge of investing in another thrash group is the durability of the songs and perhaps also the tastiness of the musicians’ chops, on which points Infrared can’t absolutely swing the balance (Starting to lose me again.). It’s true that there is enough replay value in the explorative virtues of the relaxed mid-section to “All in Favour” and the rhythmic technicality on display during the title track, while a few details will seep into the consciousness as familiarity is built up; for example, the tasty classic melody inserted into “The Demagogue”, which is only played twice as if to tempt listeners to return (Crazy huge. What's going on). The musicianship, on the other hand, won’t blow any minds even if Infrared resist rehashing familiar re-thrash tropes, such as slam riffs and too many gang vocals, though the latter suit “All in Favour” on a thematic level (Meandery, probably best in two sentences). Essentially, the group offer a competent showing from each instrument without pushing anything particular to the fore, forming a careful balance between lead playing, thick groove, and mild atmosphere (Good sentence. Try putting it in the introduction. It's concise and evocative). As such, Saviours won’t be at the top of the reunion thrash pile, but you could do a lot worse than taking a chance on the Canadians.


At its heart, it's a straightforward, capable review. While you work on it, be sure to preserve the parts that work well. Good draft.

At some point you'll want to look into commas. I had to look up some usage the other day when I was editing a proposal for my boss. Nothing really helps it click like a good example does: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writ ... ommas.html



Guitarist3000 wrote:
unnamed album

Notes in spoiler.

Spoiler: show
"When I first grabbed this cassette I was pretty interested from the start, it's :nazi: not very often that you see a cover art that is only a single image with no band logo or writing of any kind. When I got the chance to listen to it I was floored! The sounds that these three people produce is quite this, murky and has a ton of atmosphere to it!


As others have mentioned it would seem that the atmosphere these Quebec natives of the cascadian variety have a unique type of feeling. There isn't quite as "open" of a sound, it feels more as if your underneath the earth in a huge warehouse style chasm that has walls which have seen tons of erosion from decades of ground water seeping over them. I know this is all descriptive, however they just nail this form of atmosphere so well and it really floored me!


Despite the lack of a bassist at this time the two guitars and drums on this release are very thick and come across quite well on the tape. There are moments where the atmosphere is so thick you could have it spilling over you, then there are times where they open up a bit and really let the riff / lyrics pull you in. This album is three long tracks which seamlessly flow through one another, I feel like this was done on purpose and it really works wonders! Each time I put this on I end up listening to the whole thing which is a great feeling.

I totally recommend this if you are into black metal (This is the first time you say what kind of music this is) and especially if you're into atmospheric black metal. I could even see this help get more people interested in the genre, and am honestly surprised you don't hear more about these dudes or this band."

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 570
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 3:56 am 
 

Grave_Wyrm wrote:
gasmask_colostomy wrote:
'Steel-Toecapped Resurrection'

Notes in spoiler.

Spoiler: show
I hear ya. Luckily, it's a good draft. Some sentences get convoluted, and your points are frequently sidetracked by qualifications. Streamline word count, and be sure your ideas connect.


How many “original era” thrash metal bands have reformed this side of the millennium? I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s a lot, possibly too many, which does make one wonder whether there were really so many underground thrash groups in the ‘80s or whether they are simply making up demos that sound old as a means for promoting their comeback albums (... people do this?). Infrared hung around for five years at the end of the ‘80s, but only managed to squeeze out a four-track demo that later become the basis for 2016’s reformation release No Peace. Two years later and here we are again with a totally new set of songs.

(The main point diffuses, and by the end I don't get it. I have no context for this dynamic in the thrash scene, so already I'm questioning both the point and thinking, "what does this have to do with the album if these guys don't do that"? Thus far, I know it's a thrash album by a band that's had a sporadic output. Learning that was too hard.

Introductory paragraphs are low-stakes abstracts. It's the first thing people read when they find their way to the piece. A well-crafted introductory paragraph will generally summarize the thrust of the piece without rendering the body redundant. )



As thrash comebacks go, this second album from the Canadians is at least slightly welcome due to the fact that it doesn’t make a habit of throwing out familiar tropes willy-nilly and hoping they will be accepted (Speculation that seems unnecessary. It's enough to give a band the compliment they deserve. Without a clearer picture of the trend they're avoiding, reference to that trend is confusing). Comparisons to Saviours could be drawn from Metallica’s late-‘80s period of mild experimentation, as well as Testament or Forbidden’s pace and vocal style, which comes out most clearly on closer “Genocide Convention”. That should be a hint that this isn’t a straightforward attempt to revisit youthful speed and aggression, but a more roundabout trip through technicality and plenty of melody. In fact, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to say that Saviours doesn’t really become a thrash release at all until its second half (What is it like in the first half?), when “All in Favour” and “Genocide Convention” bury that particular hatchet with the past in formidable style (Confused about what hatchet they're burying, seeing as I wasn't clear on the related conflict. Subject gets vague). As those song titles might be enough to guess from, political frustration and social ills take up the majority of Armin Kamal’s lyrics. Of course, that doesn’t preclude a set of songs (How would lyrical content preclude substantial arrangements? It's almost as if .. something's missing ... ) averaging over six minutes apiece from taking plenty of time building up to certain high points and heavy moments on each of the eight cuts.

(Oh here it is. This point is the context for the point above. Work on merging these paragraphs and finding a topic point at which to break.)
A minor issue with such a lengthy approach is that this kind of hard-hitting steel-toecapped thrash isn’t meant to hang around for too long, so the repetitive chugging during “They Kill for Gods” or the drawn-out balladic structure of “The Fallen” won’t tickle the pickle of anyone looking for a more thorough beating (This, on the other hand, is a long sentence that works fine). Some similar techniques in the build and release sections on “Father of Lies” might also prove frustrating for those in search of action rather than atmosphere. That said, there are benefits to taking some pace off the previous album’s more direct approach, not least that the anthemic nature of the choruses get full support, especially when “The Demagogue” drops the speed for a driving chorus or “Project Karma” invites the listener to roar out the climax of its refrain. That means that some of the middle of the album would benefit from trimming down, but the overall effect is of enough detail and highlights to sustain the experience.
(This paragraph is a good one to compare all of the others to. It sticks to its theme, reliably developing its relevant points.)

The sticking point for anyone on the verge of investing in another thrash group is the durability of the songs and perhaps also the tastiness of the musicians’ chops, on which points Infrared can’t absolutely swing the balance (Starting to lose me again.). It’s true that there is enough replay value in the explorative virtues of the relaxed mid-section to “All in Favour” and the rhythmic technicality on display during the title track, while a few details will seep into the consciousness as familiarity is built up; for example, the tasty classic melody inserted into “The Demagogue”, which is only played twice as if to tempt listeners to return (Crazy huge. What's going on). The musicianship, on the other hand, won’t blow any minds even if Infrared resist rehashing familiar re-thrash tropes, such as slam riffs and too many gang vocals, though the latter suit “All in Favour” on a thematic level (Meandery, probably best in two sentences). Essentially, the group offer a competent showing from each instrument without pushing anything particular to the fore, forming a careful balance between lead playing, thick groove, and mild atmosphere (Good sentence. Try putting it in the introduction. It's concise and evocative). As such, Saviours won’t be at the top of the reunion thrash pile, but you could do a lot worse than taking a chance on the Canadians.


At its heart, it's a straightforward, capable review. While you work on it, be sure to preserve the parts that work well. Good draft.

At some point you'll want to look into commas. I had to look up some usage the other day when I was editing a proposal for my boss. Nothing really helps it click like a good example does: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writ ... ommas.html


Really, thanks for the feedback, I know that took some time for you to do. I do have a problem with rambling at times and I definitely qualify the heck out of some of my points, but it's also interesting to see which parts you were following closely and where the writing started to lose you. I'm not sure that I'll rewrite the same review, seeing as it's already been published on another website, but it might be good practice anyway. I'll certainly keep track on those issues when I'm writing in the near future.

The points on commas are also useful and I'm aware that I tend to err on the side of too many. I was wondering if you could point me out a sentence where I've had a particular problem with them?

Also, I'd be really interested to hear what your job is. You seem to have lots of experience with grammar and editing.

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Grave_Wyrm
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:44 pm 
 

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
...commas

On a second read, nothing's standing out to me as bad. There are a couple out of place, but nothing a peek at the OWL won't fix. I think I was getting overwhelmed by the number of them, considering how many hinges they provided to the interjections.

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Aydross
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:21 pm
Posts: 480
PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:03 am 
 

Hi, I would like some feedback on my review. I'm usually more of a numbers guy, so just recently started writing some reviews every once in a while just for the sake of it. Negative criticism encouraged, I really want to improve and I know I am lacking if certain areas (I have trouble writing entertaining stuff).

Spoiler: show
Prog era <b>Holocaust</b> is an interesting story. They started as a NWOBHM band back in the early 80’s with their debut. Ten years later they released this album titled “Hypnosis of Birds”, which I’m sure is exactly what an A.I would vomit out if you fed it every single thing Deepak Chopra has ever written. Something must have happened inside the mind of lead member John Mortimer between that period, because the music here is fundamentally different from previous records: more complex, acoustic at times and progressive at heart.

First two songs are excellent, the title track starting with prog/doom inspired riffs that don't let go for the duration of the whole album. Transitions here are smooth, changing between mid-paced riffs to mid-paced riffs with ease, giving of the slight sense that the music wants to break free of its own slow tempo, but seemingly never really able to do so. “The Tower” amps the complexity just <i>very</i> slightly, with a more prominent bass, showcasing a dose of technicality with the instrument and always sounding like a ton of fun. Seriously, the bass work on the album is really great, good inflection and cool use of it overall, very enjoyable.

Although this guys are from the U.K, the album is very reminiscent of USPM of the “white collar” type, which is the more melodic, romantic and mystical variety. Think something along the lines of <b>Crimson Glory</b>’s debut in terms of sound production, even though this gives off a different vibe altogether. More airy, serious and esoteric in nature. Add in some small <b>Voivod</b> influences on the riff department and you can maybe begin to describe this record.

One thing you’ll notice is the weird approach to the vocals here. Mortimer uses a sort of minimalistic, very clean and at first seemingly emotionally detached singing style, and almost never breaks out of character throughout the album. He sounds vulnerable, very tired and almost hopeless. Not unlike the music, his vocal style seems to have a deep longing, always trying to break free of its own restrictions, looking up for a better place. Some of my favorite sections from the album are when he briefly deviates a bit from the monotony and shows signs of anger and even a sort of fleeting hope, making those moments even more emotional and lasting.

“Book of Seasons” is very cool, with a very creepy flute and weird drumming, and the chorus is also quite chilling, with the repeating mantra of “sun and moon, sun and moon, sun and moon” being an album highlight. “Summer Tides” is a gorgeous acoustic instrumental.

Special mention to the final song “Caledonia”, you can feel the whole album was leading into it. It’s a powerful ballad and is the culmination of all the oppression and gloom building up and finally setting our protagonist free at last. It’s a very cathartic moment, even though Mortimer still has this lack of confidence in his singing, vaguely unsure of what this journey will have in mind for him. Good stuff.

The song “The Small Hours” is my least favorite song in here. It sounds really out of place and breaks the atmosphere of the album quite a bit. It’s not even a bad song, it’s just doesn’t feel at home in this album. Everything I praised about the album is not present here. It’s a rocking tune, with some bit of sleaze on the vocals. Would have liked this song either as a bonus track at the end or removed completely.

Overall, this is a great album that I can’t recommend enough. If you are looking for something different, with an arcane air to it, and some subtle undertones, look no further.

<i>We cross the Rubicon at birth, the point of no return, no return…</i>
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 11:06 pm 
 

The review meanders. Tighten it up by making your points without the padded, floury presentation. Third and fourth paragraphs are ok, but the review over all sounds too stream of consciousness and lacks organization.

I can tell you're trying to pass the musical description hurdle, but you can do that without listing off the different tracks. If the fat was trimmed, it would end up being too much of a track-by-track. Feel free to generalize more, referring to songs without listing them.

The opening paragraph makes it sound like this review will compare the current work to the past, but it doesn't. I think the review needs a direction. Currently it's pretty blurby with vague language.

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Aydross
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Posts: 480
PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:32 am 
 

Thank you, those are some good points and will take those in mind next time.
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Vadara
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 11:14 pm
Posts: 151
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:47 am 
 

Hi guys. I decided to try actually writing a review for the first time--this is honestly the first time I ever wrote a review of any album ever, honestly--and chose to review a Metalcore album that had no reviews at all. I'm aiming to be positive without just mindlessly slobbering over it and acknowledging the flaws of the genre.

The problem is I'm not used to this so what I wrote ended up being a very long mess. I just don't know how I can express these thoughts more succinctly and have interesting prose at the same time. The end is also pretty weak and light on content.

Spoiler: show
Matriarch is Illinois -core band Veil of Maya's fifth release, and it marks a rather drastic change in their style--adopting a new vocalist (though I swear it sounds like there's two vocalists working together in classic -core fashion at times), the band also went for a much more melodic sound this time around, enough to be more Metalcore than Deathcore. As a Metalcore album, Matriarch embodies its genre quite well--to a fault at times, even.

Production-wise, this is pure squeaky-clean Metalcore. The guitars use a very punchy Djent-style, especially given the prevelance of palm-muting in classic Djent fashion. The drums however, are mixed so low that they're damn near impossible to hear unless you're looking for them, which is strange not only in and of itself, but also because the two songs where they're actually audible are also the two best songs on the album. To be fair, they are never doing anything interesting at all, most just regularly keeping time while the guitarists chugga-chugga to the point of the guitars being borderline percussion instruments themselves. The vocals are very standard Deathcore highs and lows, but they sound nice and powerful. The all-dreaded clean singing is...actually quite rare, only really being prominent on a few songs like Mikasa, and it is quite good, unless you absolutely despise high-pitched -core cleans.

The bass is utterly inaudible, but fuck it, if Metal and Metalcore/Deathcore share anything it's nigh-inexistent bass guitar.

Structure-wise, Matriarch relies on a very particular progcore/djent method of songwriting: songs are not so much driven by riffs that are repeated and expounded upon, but rather rely on a chaotic and messy set of chugs and technical tapped notes to create sort of "micro-riffs" that are quickly discarded and then replaced. Almost no lick or "riff" in this album is brought back, and most are but 1-3 seconds long at that, interspered with djent chugs. At best, this style excites a listener into anticipating what new idea a band can come up with next; at worst, however, it results in chaotic and messy noodling where a good idea is quickly thrown away and lies in a sea of obnoxious wankery and chugs.

Veil of Maya generally remains on the good side of things, but the lack of riffs in this album are indeed a problem, exemplified in track 10, Teleute. This song is the only one in the album to actually be anything close to riff-driven, utilizing a straight-up death metal riff starting from a minute in, and returning to it multiple times. The result is probably the strongest one of them all (though unfortunately the song uses its riff for only about a third of its runtime), and makes it very clear that Veil of Maya could easily retain a riff-driven structure alongside their chaotic djent style noodling and chugs. The other standout song besides Teleute is Mikasa, a song which does the exact opposite of the former: it's absurdly cheesy and poppy Metalcore wankery for three minutes straight, and while it embodies every flaw of the album, it's cheesy enough to work--"ALIIIIIIIIGN THE STONES" is an affectionate meme amongst -core fans for a reason, after all.

The lack of noticeable and lengthy riffs in the other songs is painfully noticeable, meaning that the album runs into a very common problem amongst -core albums: everything runs together into a long indistinguishable set of chugs and djent noodling. The songs are good, mind you. They just lack core identities, having no distinct riffs amongst each other to feel unique, instead being chaotic mashes of mathy/technical sections. Each song has to be remembered in full, because any one section in a song usually isn't terribly rememberable on their own. Each song is also has 1-2 of the dreaded breakdowns. There's not much of note. They're -core breakdowns.

There is one solo in the album. One. It's on Teleute (wow, guys, almost like the more Metal elements you bring in the better your songs get!), and it was done by a guest guitarist. This album came out in 2015, guys. ERRA, August Burns Red, and Carnifex had all released albums with strong solos by then. Being -core does not mean you get to skimp out on the solos. You clearly have the skill to make some and Teleute's is pretty kickass so you can clearly write them too.

In the end, an album should feel almost like a musical journey...and Matriarch just doesn't. It's final song, Lisbeth, is basically identical in length to every other song and just ends without any feeling of denouement. You could put it nearly anywhere else in the album and it would fit (in fact that's true of basically every song on it). There's no epic final solo, intense melodic emotion, or even pure epic length. Matriarch just...ends.

It sounds like I'm slagging on the album, but I did enjoy it. VoM clearly knows how to play their guitars, and when they're chaotic song structure works, it works quite well. Matriarch simply embodies many of the flaws of its genre at the same time, and shies away from incorporating more straight Metal elements that could help it--all the more odd when the song that did is also by far the most memorable. More songs like Teleute, please, or just go full -core cheese like Mikasa.

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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:32 pm 
 

I don't have much to add to your own analysis. It meanders, it's over-talk-y, it needs organization. That said, it gets right to the point, which is nice -- abruptly, that is, it actually starts a little too fast. But I appreciate the effort.

As far as getting it more succinct, start by reading it out loud to yourself. You'll fix a lot of that right away doing that. Get it pared down and organized, and then we'll talk about how to make the prose more interesting.

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Mean_Machine
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2018 4:12 am
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Location: Palestine
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:11 am 
 

Hello everyone. This is my first attempt to write a review and it is honestly way more difficult than I thought it was. I would love to read your suggestions and remarks.

Honestly, when you are in your thirties, you would expect most of your favorite bands to water down their new releases and even disappoint you with their recent material. Deicide was always one of my favorite bands who never disappoint, yet I was unenthusiastic about a new album considering the departure of Jack Owen. I expected them to want to "try new things" or "let loose their creativity" and some other nonsense you hear quite a lot nowadays. However, and after almost 30 years, Deicide’s sound is still as brutal and original as the day they started. It does not look like that is going to change. This brings me joy.

"Overtures of Blasphemy" is a solid follow-up to their previous album ‘’In the Minds of Evil’’, both albums were produced by the same producer. You can easily find the similarities in both productions, but it is still noticeable the production in Overtures of Blasphemy is better than its predecessor is. Steve's drumming sounds more old school with lively drum blasts, and the somewhat modernized production has given a rougher edge to their guitars and drums’ sound.


The band delivered a variety of tracks, some of which are groovy and catchy like Seal the Tomb Below and Defying the Sacred. Both sound a bit melodic with their technical and harmonic themes. Still, they are far from being mellow or less fierce than others are. The rest of the tracks are a modernized version of their earlier works with the original line-up; from Steve’s good old drum blasts with more incredible double bass to old-school riffs and tremolo picking, and Glen’s psychotic blasphemous rant. Excommunicated is a perfect example of that. You can also definitely sense Mark English's influence on the album, and we have to give it to the man being involved in two of the best albums released in 2018 in my opinion.

Glen's brutal vocals are raging more than ever. This man's growls just keep on getting deeper, fiercer and more fulfilling over the years, despite the fact that he is a middle-aged man now. I am glad he decided to drop the screeching and stick to growling. Of course, the lyrics are as blasphemous as you would expect from Deicide. I used to find their lyrics amusing to some extent and sometimes funny. I still do: "Birth from the virgin mother, spread your holy legs", but I do appreciate them more nowadays given the fact that Glen kept at it as if it is day one.

Overall, the delivery from the band is outstanding and full of energy, heavy elements and dark passion with old-school vibes. It does not look like it is going to change especially with this lineup. It is safe to say that Deicide is finally doing well without the Hoffmans.

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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:02 am 
 

Sure. It's ... fine. It's written from an insider's point of view, though, meaning that if I didn't know Deicide already, I wouldn't know what kind of music they play. Not being much of Deicide fan, I don't really know what their body of work is like, so referencing it without describing it that much leaves me at a loss. You do describe the music, but even so, I don't know ... what it's going to sound like. I guess Deicide fans are who this is written for?

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meshigene
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:43 pm
Posts: 92
Location: neverwhere
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:11 pm 
 

This review for Peste Noire's 2018 album got rejected due to spelling and grammar mistakes that make it hard to read. I'm obviously not a native English speaker, but I'm willing to learn, so I'd really like some help here.
Spoiler: show
came [seventh] and lost the job - 49%

Let's start with a nonsensical little conspiracy theory thingy. I have a feeling that after the release of Peste Noire's debut album, La Sanie des siècles, Famine decided to celebrate it. And celebrate he did, and thoroughly so, so thoroughly in fact, that the big fat inspiration came to him and inspired him to write the next album, Folkfuck folie, the morning after. I mean, why else would it be such a hangover after the masterful Sanie and sound like one as well? And then, some time later, between the summer of 2007 and the fall of 2008, a terrible accident happened - a barrel of eau-de-vie (read: moonshine) fell on the shiny chrome dome that Famine seems to always carry on his noggin. But you can't drink your glass away, and neither could Famine, instead pouring it drop by drop into some usually pretty good and always pretty whimsical music - or, as it were, ungodly noise, if you're not into that kind of thing. Oh well, I don't blame you if you aren't.

And now, four albums, countless drops and almost 10 years down the drain, the inspiration is almost gone. Why almost? Well, as evident by the fact Famine signed to the Ukrainian label Militant Zone and shot the music video for "Le dernier putsch" in Kiev, he switched from the good old eau-de-vie to the not-so-good old Ukrainian beer. Well, why, even beer can inspire the guts out of you, especially in large amounts and/or combined with something a little stronger. And Ukrainian beer is, to say the least, hard to consume without large amounts of something a lot stronger. And it shows, since the music here is still characteristically Peste Noire and there are a few moments here that recall Famine and company's previous works - at least on the traditional part.

That's right, the traditional part. See, this album is, by concept, supposed to be a split between the Famine we all know and love (or don't know and don't love, your choice) and the same old Famine cosplaying some chain- (no, I'm talking about a different kind of chain) and blackface-wearing, in Famine's own terms, degenerate, with the "traditional part" on the A-side and the "degenerate part" on the B-side. And although it doesn't come first, I'd like to gloss over the degenerate part now, since bad news are supposed to delivered first. So, let's drink to the birth of a new genre - French NS horror blackened trap! Well, "new"... there isn't really that much new about it, you know, or interesting, for that matter. It's just Famine spewing bile in his trademark "goblin gangster on his period" manner over some frankly anemic and plodding grooves (that aren't really groovy, no less), sometimes sampled and other times "played" on the good ol' TR-808. It's just... no. I may not be the biggest fan of hip hop, but the fact Peste Noire, a band I like a lot, ventured into the realms of bars and beats actually got me excited, especially given that I like "Le dernier putsch" and the ending of "Dans ma nuit", where Famine experimented with rapping, but this excitement lasted precisely until I heard the teaser single "Aristocrasse". It doesn't suck enough to be actively bad, but I doubt it's really worth your while if you don't speak French, aren't really into rap, and don't endorse the NS ideology. See how the last two things amusingly contradict each other - I feel like this "degenerate part" a troll move from Famine, but flippancy should be backed up by some music that either kicks at least seven asses or sucks at least seven blue whale penises, not used as an excuse to be mediocre. Here's hoping Famine succeeded in taking the piss out of his Nazi comrades, but hip hop isn't all like that, while this trash can't even pass for a good experiment for reasons already described above. And the brutal butchery of "Des médecins malades" is nothing if not unforgivable, approaching Russian rap in terms of both music and awfulness. Oh well, at least "Turbofascisme" sort of made me nod my head a little bit.

Now onto the traditional part, and it doesn't save the day either. It's supposed to be some sort of a return to the roots - no connection to the Roots as in the great hip hop group, or the Czech dark metallers Root, although I'd rather listen to and recommend both of those bands over this - but although it's the "blackest" Peste Noire has ever been, the roots it returns to seem to be rotten, and so the result ends up sharing more than a few things in common with the aforementioned Folkfuck folie. It's also predominantly fast and aggressive, manages to come across as monotonous, unremarkable and tiring, and has a majorly annoying production. But while Folie was noisy and chaotic, and its production ground my gears because of how noisy, buzzy and tinny it was, and not in a typical raw black metal sense, more like some old punk recording, the production here does the same by being overly polished and tinny, and the chaos present on Folie, and all other Peste Noire recordings for that matter, is absent, with careful consideration taking its place, so much so that even the rare "wacky" moments sound predictable and like they're supposed to be there. And isn't that a mortal sin for a band like KPN?

On the other hand, at least there still are some moments here that can be called good without . Hell, "Songe viking" and "Raid éclair" are actually pretty nice if I abstain from comparisons. The former has a pretty nice clean-sung bit towards the end, and the latter features a little of Peste Noire's characteristic oddness and Alexei from M8L8TH, also the head of Militant Zone, "singing" his lines probably better than he does in his main band. Accordingly, the riffs in those tracks are the best on the album, even though they're played in that same old dissonant-yet-melodic arpeggiated manner, the guitar tone reminds me of mosquitoes more than ever, and the first riff of "Raid éclair" sounds quite similar to that of Burzum's "Dauði Baldrs". As for the other two tracks, discounting the interlude, they're pretty boring, "666 millions d'esclaves et de déchets" sounds a lot worse than on the raw and energetic Macabre transcendance demo, but at least both "666 millions..." and "Aux armes!" have some pretty nice solos, and the samples and trumpets in "Aux armes!" make me think of The Ruins of Beverast's "Summer Decapitation Ritual" for some inexplicable reason. But, of course, this album doesn't have the dark, experimental and mechanistic yet organic brilliance of TRoB or the endless but sensibly restrained and beautiful solos of, say, Pagan Altar, so it's not like you can get a lot of juice from this squeeze. But at least it's passable.

So to sum it up, Split turned out half "okay" in a mediocre way and half bad in a mediocre way, a six out of ten for the traditional part and a four out of ten for the degenerate part respectively. If you want something in the vein of the charmingly offbeat, boozy and kitschy older KPN albums that doesn't resort to mindless copying, there's this Swiss band called Ungfell, the fusion of black metal with hip hop has been done better by Diapsiquir, and for your fix of French folk-tinged melodic black metal you might as well come to Aorlhac - who, moreover, have released another awesome album in 2018, although Peste Noire fans would find more to enjoy on Aorlhac's 2010 album, La cité des vents. And regarding Split, well, a Peste Noire album that can be replaced is definitely a pretty disappointing one to say the least. And this disappointment is more bitter still given that Split is far from hopeless, instead seeming like a half-hearted effort and like Famine could obviously do way better but simply didn't care.
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Grave_Wyrm
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:54 am 
 

meshigene wrote:
Peste Noire


Notes in spoiler.

Spoiler: show
came [seventh] and lost the job - 49%
(Unfortunately, I don't know what this means .. lost the job)

Let's start with a nonsensical little conspiracy theory thingy. I have a feeling that after the release of Peste Noire's debut album, La Sanie des siècles, Famine decided to celebrate it. And celebrate he did, and thoroughly so, so thoroughly in fact, that the big fat inspiration came to him and inspired him to write the next album, Folkfuck folie, the morning after. I mean, why else would it be such a hangover after the masterful Sanie and sound like one as well? And then, some time later, between the summer of 2007 and the fall of 2008, a terrible accident happened - a barrel of eau-de-vie (read: moonshine) fell on the shiny chrome dome that Famine seems to always carry on his noggin. But you can't drink your glass away, and neither could Famine, instead pouring it drop by drop into some usually pretty good and always pretty whimsical music - or, as it were, ungodly noise, if you're not into that kind of thing. Oh well, I don't blame you if you aren't.

(It's pretty difficult to follow the train of thought. It veers into a truly confusing metaphor at the end. What are you trying to say here, without any metaphor at all?)

And now, four albums, countless drops and almost 10 years down the drain, the inspiration is almost gone. Why almost? Well, as evident by the fact Famine signed to the Ukrainian label Militant Zone and shot the music video for "Le dernier putsch" in Kiev, he switched from the good old eau-de-vie to the not-so-good old Ukrainian beer. Well, why, even beer can inspire the guts out of you, especially in large amounts and/or combined with something a little stronger. And Ukrainian beer is, to say the least, hard to consume without large amounts of something a lot stronger. And it shows, since the music here is still characteristically Peste Noire and there are a few moments here that recall Famine and company's previous works - at least on the traditional part.

(I'm just not clear on what's going on in the beer metaphor. Also, what kind of music is this? Two paragraphs in and we still aren't sure.)

That's right, the traditional part. See, this album is, by concept, supposed to be a split between the Famine we all know and love (or don't know and don't love, your choice) and the same old Famine cosplaying some chain- (no, I'm talking about a different kind of chain) and blackface-wearing, in Famine's own terms, degenerate, with the "traditional part" on the A-side and the "degenerate part" on the B-side. And although it doesn't come first, I'd like to gloss over the degenerate part now, since bad news are supposed to delivered first. So, let's drink to the birth of a new genre - French NS horror blackened trap! Well, "new"... there isn't really that much new about it, you know, or interesting, for that matter. It's just Famine spewing bile in his trademark "goblin gangster on his period" manner over some frankly anemic and plodding grooves (that aren't really groovy, no less), sometimes sampled and other times "played" on the good ol' TR-808. It's just... no. I may not be the biggest fan of hip hop, but the fact Peste Noire, a band I like a lot, ventured into the realms of bars and beats actually got me excited, especially given that I like "Le dernier putsch" and the ending of "Dans ma nuit", where Famine experimented with rapping, but this excitement lasted precisely until I heard the teaser single "Aristocrasse". It doesn't suck enough to be actively bad, but I doubt it's really worth your while if you don't speak French, aren't really into rap, and don't endorse the NS ideology. See how the last two things amusingly contradict each other - I feel like this "degenerate part" a troll move from Famine, but flippancy should be backed up by some music that either kicks at least seven asses or sucks at least seven blue whale penises, not used as an excuse to be mediocre. Here's hoping Famine succeeded in taking the piss out of his Nazi comrades, but hip hop isn't all like that, while this trash can't even pass for a good experiment for reasons already described above. And the brutal butchery of "Des médecins malades" is nothing if not unforgivable, approaching Russian rap in terms of both music and awfulness. Oh well, at least "Turbofascisme" sort of made me nod my head a little bit.

("I doubt it's really worth your while if you don't speak French, aren't really into rap, and don't endorse the NS ideology"
Well there goes any likelihood of me listening to this..

It's hard to follow what you're saying because it takes a long time for you to get to it. Preamble isn't all that interesting unless you tell one story in order to lead to another, and the two somehow connect. If you aren't doing that, just get to the point: The split isn't between two bands, but one band doing two kinds of music. Think of the simplest way to say what you mean, and then figure out clear ways to add any thoughts you want to be sure you cover. Sentences can basically handle one idea, at most two. Qualifications to the main ideas have to be short, or else it's really easy for readers to get lost. If you were saying all this out loud, I'd probably be able to keep up. The focus is too swingy and the sentences are trying to cover too much ground.)


Now onto the traditional part, and it doesn't save the day either. It's supposed to be some sort of a return to the roots - no connection to the Roots as in the great hip hop group, or the Czech dark metallers Root, although I'd rather listen to and recommend both of those bands over this - but although it's the "blackest" Peste Noire has ever been, the roots it returns to seem to be rotten, and so the result ends up sharing more than a few things in common with the aforementioned Folkfuck folie. It's also predominantly fast and aggressive, manages to come across as monotonous, unremarkable and tiring, and has a majorly annoying production. But while Folie was noisy and chaotic, and its production ground my gears because of how noisy, buzzy and tinny it was, and not in a typical raw black metal sense, more like some old punk recording, the production here does the same by being overly polished and tinny, and the chaos present on Folie, and all other Peste Noire recordings for that matter, is absent, with careful consideration taking its place, so much so that even the rare "wacky" moments sound predictable and like they're supposed to be there. And isn't that a mortal sin for a band like KPN?

(Better. Compare this to the paragraph above it, and you'll see a big difference in clarity.)

On the other hand, at least there still are some moments here that can be called good without . Hell, "Songe viking" and "Raid éclair" are actually pretty nice if I abstain from comparisons. The former has a pretty nice clean-sung bit towards the end, and the latter features a little of Peste Noire's characteristic oddness and Alexei from M8L8TH, also the head of Militant Zone, "singing" his lines probably better than he does in his main band. Accordingly, the riffs in those tracks are the best on the album, even though they're played in that same old dissonant-yet-melodic arpeggiated manner, the guitar tone reminds me of mosquitoes more than ever, and the first riff of "Raid éclair" sounds quite similar to that of Burzum's "Dauði Baldrs". As for the other two tracks, discounting the interlude, they're pretty boring, "666 millions d'esclaves et de déchets" sounds a lot worse than on the raw and energetic Macabre transcendance demo, but at least both "666 millions..." and "Aux armes!" have some pretty nice solos, and the samples and trumpets in "Aux armes!" make me think of The Ruins of Beverast's "Summer Decapitation Ritual" for some inexplicable reason. But, of course, this album doesn't have the dark, experimental and mechanistic yet organic brilliance of TRoB or the endless but sensibly restrained and beautiful solos of, say, Pagan Altar, so it's not like you can get a lot of juice from this squeeze. But at least it's passable.

(The points are decent. I feel like the comparisons you're making work rhetorically, but again, pare down the narration and get to your points. The musical descriptions work well here.)

So to sum it up, Split turned out half "okay" in a mediocre way and half bad in a mediocre way, a six out of ten for the traditional part and a four out of ten for the degenerate part respectively. If you want something in the vein of the charmingly offbeat, boozy and kitschy older KPN albums that doesn't resort to mindless copying, there's this Swiss band called Ungfell, the fusion of black metal with hip hop has been done better by Diapsiquir, and for your fix of French folk-tinged melodic black metal you might as well come to Aorlhac - who, moreover, have released another awesome album in 2018, although Peste Noire fans would find more to enjoy on Aorlhac's 2010 album, La cité des vents. And regarding Split, well, a Peste Noire album that can be replaced is definitely a pretty disappointing one to say the least. And this disappointment is more bitter still given that Split is far from hopeless, instead seeming like a half-hearted effort and like Famine could obviously do way better but simply didn't care.

(I think there's decent work here, it just has to be edited down to be more direct. The conversational approach makes it meander around whereas your description is pretty good and I think your critique will work ok once you render out the redundancies and banter. Keep at it, it's not a bad start. Don't hack and slash, either, just take out the useless bits, keep the description and your main points, and see what you end up with.)

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meshigene
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Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:43 pm
Posts: 92
Location: neverwhere
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:17 pm 
 

Thanks! I did have a feeling that the problem is in the overlong rambling style and all I've got to do is make the review a little more technical. But what's wrong with the penultimate paragraph?
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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3909
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:26 pm 
 

meshigene wrote:
what's wrong with the penultimate paragraph?

Mainly grammar, but it also meanders. The points are fine, they just need to be made clearly. Run-on sentences and a general "stream of consciousness" flood with no breaks is both stylistically and grammatically troubled.

Just use periods and make distinct sentences. Commas are valuable, but they aren't periods.

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Raw Ride
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:42 am
Posts: 15
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:31 am 
 

Hi. Just wondering if I'm on the right track with this one. It's for Nightrage's Descent into Chaos.

Spoiler: show
Descent into Decency - 60%

First impressions are everything – you tend to get a pretty good idea of the album’s sound and whether it’s worth listening to within the first two or three tracks. Nightrage’s Descent into Chaos is an album that kind of fucks this all up, with its first four tracks sounding like In Flames knock-offs. Like, they’ll start off on this cool lead or this somewhat ripper of a riff, but then they degenerate either into repetitive drudgery as they ride that riff much longer than it was interesting for, or it just turns to shit as they decide to chug along for much of the rest of the song. About the only semi-interesting parts are Gus G’s short neoclassical solos. Other than that, it’s largely just Whoracle/Colony songs with Tomas Lindberg’s vocals instead of... whatever Anders Friden calls vocals.

Once Frozen kicks in, however, the songs start to become more enjoyable. It’s a shame that it takes five tracks before they decide to play something that has some kick to it, but... better late than never, I guess? The overall structure doesn’t really change, but the compositions are generally better. They riff a bit harder (fuck, one of the songs tremelos for a while), the leads are either a bit bouncier or they lead to something genuinely melodic. But I can’t really go out and say that they ever really reach greatness, because they don’t. I guess if you’re somebody who loves In Flames’ early stuff, this is something you’ll really dig, especially when Gus G decides for a hot minute to just solo out or play a cool lead for more than just the intro of the song. Otherwise, it’s largely listenable melodeath when you get past those first four tracks.

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gasmask_colostomy
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 570
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:15 am 
 

Raw Ride wrote:
Hi. Just wondering if I'm on the right track with this one. It's for Nightrage's Descent into Chaos.

Spoiler: show
Descent into Decency - 60%

First impressions are everything – you tend to get a pretty good idea of the album’s sound and whether it’s worth listening to within the first two or three tracks. Nightrage’s Descent into Chaos is an album that kind of fucks this all up, with its first four tracks sounding like In Flames knock-offs. Like, they’ll start off on this cool lead or this somewhat ripper of a riff, but then they degenerate either into repetitive drudgery as they ride that riff much longer than it was interesting for, or it just turns to shit as they decide to chug along for much of the rest of the song. About the only semi-interesting parts are Gus G’s short neoclassical solos. Other than that, it’s largely just Whoracle/Colony songs with Tomas Lindberg’s vocals instead of... whatever Anders Friden calls vocals.

Once Frozen kicks in, however, the songs start to become more enjoyable. It’s a shame that it takes five tracks before they decide to play something that has some kick to it, but... better late than never, I guess? The overall structure doesn’t really change, but the compositions are generally better. They riff a bit harder (fuck, one of the songs tremelos for a while), the leads are either a bit bouncier or they lead to something genuinely melodic. But I can’t really go out and say that they ever really reach greatness, because they don’t. I guess if you’re somebody who loves In Flames’ early stuff, this is something you’ll really dig, especially when Gus G decides for a hot minute to just solo out or play a cool lead for more than just the intro of the song. Otherwise, it’s largely listenable melodeath when you get past those first four tracks.

I'd say you're on the right track, but it will take a little more work to get this accepted. You have focused on this album very consistently and provided a useful comparison, while there are no problems with spelling or grammar, even if it feels a bit informal in places.

What I suggest you think about next is how to put some flesh on these bones. I know that the music is melodeath, sounds like early In Flames, and has nice solos, but beyond that I don't have much information. As for your opinion, I understand the album starts out poorly. However, your reasons for the opening songs being poor seem to be the same reason you said people would love it (if they are In Flames fans), so you need to focus your criticism and praise. Also, do all the songs sound the same? Did anything particularly stick out for you?

This is a generally good start and a template for a thorough review, but it needs a bit more specificity to really be worth reading.

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Raw Ride
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:42 am
Posts: 15
PostPosted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 3:10 am 
 

Thanks man! Interestingly enough, when I gave it another listen and expanded on it, I found myself realizing some things about it that might've lead me to that initial opinion. Here's what I managed to work it more into:

Spoiler: show
At the Gates with no crown - 60%

First impressions are everything – you tend to get a pretty good idea of the album’s sound and whether it’s worth listening to within the first two or three tracks. In fact, you can often get the idea within the first few seconds, and this is what Nightrage tries to take advantage of. Nightrage’s Descent into Chaos sets the scene for each song rather well. In most cases, it’s this cool ass lead that gives the impression that the song will be hyper melodic – the sort that stays in your head like bubblegum tar. But – like Whoracle-Clayman era In Flames – Nightrage either recycle the lead to a tiresome point, or it just ends up slowing down and turning into non-descript background noise. In some cases, though, they open up with this ferocious fucking riff – like, the main guitarist here is Gus G, the guy behind Firewind, and Firewind is a fairly traditionally-oriented power metal band; and yet, here’s Gus G with some riffs that rip ass.

Anyway, you’d be thinking that it’d maintain the momentum and be like... you know, death metal with melody. Well, besides Tomas Lindberg’s ripping tearing melodeathy growls, the riffs quickly degenerate largely into chug chug chug after the intro, losing their bite until maybe the chorus when they get a fair bit of it back. They all come back with Gus G’s neoclassical solos that, while quick, sound really fucking sick – like some air guitar shit right there – before the song picks back up where it left off and peters out before the next song starts. Man, when you hear Gus G just solo out like an unrestrained animal, the songs pick up some serious steam, like maybe the song will get more energetic afterwards... nope, it just kind of relies on hoping you’re still hyped up on Gus G goodness while essentially repeating the chorus or just the main recycled melody you’re tired of by that point.

There are times where Descent into Chaos breaks that mold. The titular song’s verse riff has some oomph to it that’s initially just as good as its intro and it’s only until towards the end of the song that it loses its luster – which still puts it well in advance of the three preceding it where 10-25 seconds plus the solo is all that’s good. Frozen has a simple riff it rides on with some quick clean vocals, and its overall bounciness makes it work well even if it shouldn’t be all that great on a technical level. Drug picks up the pace with tremelos during the verses, and it’s got a real ripper of a solo to boot. Ditto for Reality VS Truth. On that note, Solus is a pretty solid instrumental with this smooth composition and a fairly sweet lead that culminates into a somewhat melodious suite.

There’s a fairly good EP you could make out of the album’s standout songs. The whole of Descent into Chaos is mediocre to decent melodeath, only with a much better vocalist and terrific soloing. It wants so badly to be the next Slaughter of the Soul – even so far as to have the same vocalist – but it instead just comes across as a continuation of In Flames’ Clayman sound... which is great if you’re a big fan of In Flames! In that case, up the score by like 10 or 20 if you want. Otherwise, eh, it’s okay.

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gasmask_colostomy
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:27 am 
 

Raw Ride wrote:
Thanks man! Interestingly enough, when I gave it another listen and expanded on it, I found myself realizing some things about it that might've lead me to that initial opinion. Here's what I managed to work it more into:

Spoiler: show
At the Gates with no crown - 60%

First impressions are everything – you tend to get a pretty good idea of the album’s sound and whether it’s worth listening to within the first two or three tracks. In fact, you can often get the idea within the first few seconds, and this is what Nightrage tries to take advantage of. Nightrage’s Descent into Chaos sets the scene for each song rather well. In most cases, it’s this cool ass lead that gives the impression that the song will be hyper melodic – the sort that stays in your head like bubblegum tar. But – like Whoracle-Clayman era In Flames – Nightrage either recycle the lead to a tiresome point, or it just ends up slowing down and turning into non-descript background noise. In some cases, though, they open up with this ferocious fucking riff – like, the main guitarist here is Gus G, the guy behind Firewind, and Firewind is a fairly traditionally-oriented power metal band; and yet, here’s Gus G with some riffs that rip ass.

Anyway, you’d be thinking that it’d maintain the momentum and be like... you know, death metal with melody. Well, besides Tomas Lindberg’s ripping tearing melodeathy growls, the riffs quickly degenerate largely into chug chug chug after the intro, losing their bite until maybe the chorus when they get a fair bit of it back. They all come back with Gus G’s neoclassical solos that, while quick, sound really fucking sick – like some air guitar shit right there – before the song picks back up where it left off and peters out before the next song starts. Man, when you hear Gus G just solo out like an unrestrained animal, the songs pick up some serious steam, like maybe the song will get more energetic afterwards... nope, it just kind of relies on hoping you’re still hyped up on Gus G goodness while essentially repeating the chorus or just the main recycled melody you’re tired of by that point.

There are times where Descent into Chaos breaks that mold. The titular song’s verse riff has some oomph to it that’s initially just as good as its intro and it’s only until towards the end of the song that it loses its luster – which still puts it well in advance of the three preceding it where 10-25 seconds plus the solo is all that’s good. Frozen has a simple riff it rides on with some quick clean vocals, and its overall bounciness makes it work well even if it shouldn’t be all that great on a technical level. Drug picks up the pace with tremelos during the verses, and it’s got a real ripper of a solo to boot. Ditto for Reality VS Truth. On that note, Solus is a pretty solid instrumental with this smooth composition and a fairly sweet lead that culminates into a somewhat melodious suite.

There’s a fairly good EP you could make out of the album’s standout songs. The whole of Descent into Chaos is mediocre to decent melodeath, only with a much better vocalist and terrific soloing. It wants so badly to be the next Slaughter of the Soul – even so far as to have the same vocalist – but it instead just comes across as a continuation of In Flames’ Clayman sound... which is great if you’re a big fan of In Flames! In that case, up the score by like 10 or 20 if you want. Otherwise, eh, it’s okay.

I think you've produced more this time from a critical point of view and have described the music better. Mentioning the general song structure, as well as the tracks that break the mold, will really give your readers a feel for the album.

Some points are still a little confused, such as what kind of "ferocious riffs" Gus G is playing. From your writing, the idea that I take away is that the riffs are heavier than Firewind, but as a reader it doesn't tell me much about what Descent into Chaos sounds like. Maybe mentioning wider influences than the two very obvious melodeath bands would help. Your description of Tomas Lindberg's "melodeathy growls" is also unhelpful, because you've already said the genre is melodeath. Do you mean his vocals are generic and boring? It sounds like you think they're pretty good. On the other hand, phrases like "bubblegum tar" tell me a lot about how catchy this is, without losing the aggression.

Since you've fleshed this out, it's become more obvious that your writing style is very informal. This is a music review, not you talking to your friend about the album. Try to change those oral phrases ("rips ass", "sound really fucking sick", "has some oomph", etc) to a written style. If "has some oomph" means "sounds like Cannibal Corpse" or "is played at a thrashy pace", I'd like to know.

That last point is probably what will currently hold the review back from being published on the site. If you can make your enthusiasm more focused on why it's good, this review will improve vastly. You're already doing fairly well at describing the negative issues. Keep it up!

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SweetLeaf95
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:35 pm 
 

Ya know, aren't reviews just another word for feedback on an album? So couldn't we also call this the feedback feedback workshop? Is giving feedback on a review just basically reviewing a review? Yikes Nick, get a hobby!
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gasmask_colostomy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:02 am 
 

SweetLeaf95 wrote:
Ya know, aren't reviews just another word for feedback on an album? So couldn't we also call this the feedback feedback workshop? Is giving feedback on a review just basically reviewing a review? Yikes Nick, get a hobby!

We could also make a thread for giving feedback on our help here... What would that one be called?

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SweetLeaf95
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:49 am 
 

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
We could also make a thread for giving feedback on our help here... What would that one be called?


The feedback feedback feedback thread. My God!
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ᴎostalgiʞK
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Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:27 pm
Posts: 171
Location: Argentina, Brazil
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:23 pm 
 

Hi there people, how are you? I need to improve my review 'cause it sucks... I'm wondering if I may have a hand here? Thanks! :)

https://www.metal-archives.com/albums/H ... iento/6895
This album is the essence of the Argentinian Thrash Metal, it contains old school Heavy Metal/Speed tints and also breakdowns moments.
Víctimas del Vaciamiento has a unique and refreshing sound with really indescribable compositions in terms of its recording; this release has frenetic, powerful riffs, and solos that I have never heard being composed before. The drums alternate much more the tempo and the compositions are really varied. The particular thing about this album is the amount of diversity that each song has and how the melodies change suddenly, but at the same time they never stop recreating a heavy environment that really stands out (even if the song starts calmly, like track 2, 4, 7 and 9)
In the album O’Connor is not the only singer, Iorio is also and this is where we have the great contrast of voices that in Hermética has always remained masterful; Claudio has a high-pitched voice more in the vibe of classic Heavy Metal style, on the other hand, Iorio’s voice is more in the Hard Rock/Blues (I dare to say); the beauty of this release is that not only we have Thrash Metal, we got also a folklore song (Moraleja) that has only guitars making folk chords being accompanied of O’Connor and Iorio’s clean vocals

Basically is my first review, the other one is even worse, I eliminated all the track-by-track thing and more..
Cheers people! :)
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gasmask_colostomy
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:37 am 
 

ᴎostalgiʞK wrote:
Hi there people, how are you? I need to improve my review 'cause it sucks... I'm wondering if I may have a hand here? Thanks! :)

Spoiler: show
https://www.metal-archives.com/albums/Herm%C3%A9tica/V%C3%ADctimas_del_vaciamiento/6895
This album is the essence of the Argentinian Thrash Metal, it contains old school Heavy Metal/Speed tints and also breakdowns moments.
Víctimas del Vaciamiento has a unique and refreshing sound with really indescribable compositions in terms of its recording; this release has frenetic, powerful riffs, and solos that I have never heard being composed before. The drums alternate much more the tempo and the compositions are really varied. The particular thing about this album is the amount of diversity that each song has and how the melodies change suddenly, but at the same time they never stop recreating a heavy environment that really stands out (even if the song starts calmly, like track 2, 4, 7 and 9)
In the album O’Connor is not the only singer, Iorio is also and this is where we have the great contrast of voices that in Hermética has always remained masterful; Claudio has a high-pitched voice more in the vibe of classic Heavy Metal style, on the other hand, Iorio’s voice is more in the Hard Rock/Blues (I dare to say); the beauty of this release is that not only we have Thrash Metal, we got also a folklore song (Moraleja) that has only guitars making folk chords being accompanied of O’Connor and Iorio’s clean vocals

Basically is my first review, the other one is even worse, I eliminated all the track-by-track thing and more..
Cheers people! :)

Hi there, I'd like to offer some comments on the review. In the other thread, you mentioned you are worried about using English to write reviews, but your use of language is not a problem here. It is mostly the lack of exact description and detail in your review that is causing the problem.

For example, you mention the riffs and solos. I know that they are thrash metal with some speed/heavy influence, but that is a very broad area. Are they mostly fast? Do they chug a lot? Are they technical? Can you name any songs with special riffs? Also, which other bands would you compare them to? Is it Megadeth speed thrash or Razor? Mentioning any or all of these things about the riffs, solos, drumming, or vocals would be helpful to your reader.

When you talk about diversity, the same problem occurs. You need to mention some examples, or at least two or three of the styles used. You also say the melodies are very important, but your reader won't know much about how they sound. Don't be afraid to say how these things make you feel or which songs you think the band play best.

Finally, on a style point, you shouldn't use capital letters for genre names (thrash metal, speed metal). That's a rule for all the reviews on this website.

I hope you can make some improvements to the review and have it published after some more work. Feel free to post it again here if you need more comments!

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