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orloff2000
Mallcore Kid

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

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

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

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

Now, here it is:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you!

orloff2000

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:48 am 
 

Wow. A literal track-by-track.

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

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=44482
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orloff2000
Mallcore Kid

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

Hi Grave_Wyrm,
thanks for the feedback!

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

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

Thanks again!

orloff2000

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 726
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 1:43 am 
 

orloff2000 wrote:
Hi Grave_Wyrm,
thanks for the feedback!

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

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

Thanks again!

orloff2000

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

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

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

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

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orloff2000
Mallcore Kid

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

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

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3917
Location: Across the croggy plain
PostPosted: Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:24 am 
 

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

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

Happy hunting.
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ChildClownOutlet
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Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:52 pm
Posts: 722
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:57 am 
 

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

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

"A fény nyomában," is the third album of these Hungarians.They play a style of symphonic/power metal that's somewhat similar to Sirenia and Xandria, but with less thematics and flair. On "A fény nyomában," compared to their previous albums, there is a bigger emphasis on the keys rather than the riffs and leads but it works extremely well.
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gasmask_colostomy
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:03 am 
 

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

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

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

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ChildClownOutlet
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Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 4:52 pm
Posts: 722
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:08 pm 
 

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

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

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


It's like I have something positive to say, then I get disheartened about what I wrote and just delete it because I feel like it's not descriptive enough. It's been in my drafts for like a week and I'm just skimming through other reviews from people to get the gist but I get stuck :/
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gasmask_colostomy
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:26 am 
 

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

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

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

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

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3917
Location: Across the croggy plain
PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:45 pm 
 

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

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

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


Is this the review, or a summary of your thoughts that you're trying to get into shape for a review?
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nbhertzberg
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:07 am 
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7/10. Mediocre, but not bad.

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gasmask_colostomy
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:42 am 
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7/10. Mediocre, but not bad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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nbhertzberg
Mallcore Kid

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

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

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mikey22
Metal newbie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Grave_Wyrm
Metal Sloth

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 3917
Location: Across the croggy plain
PostPosted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 10:47 pm 
 

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

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 726
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:11 am 
 

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

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

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Kerrick
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:02 pm
Posts: 1282
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:09 pm 
 

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

The review:

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

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

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 726
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:45 am 
 

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

The review:

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

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

This is not bad. It's pretty tight in terms of writing and gets a fair bit of content in despite being a little short. You give a decent context about the release and themes, as well as the band as a whole, though I don't get a very detailed picture of the songs.

To improve it, you'll probably want to cut back a bit on the unqualified praise ("absolute masterpiece", "an incredible album that deserves one's full attention") or make sure that those claims are backed up by sufficient examples and analysis to make them credible. For instance, you make a disparaging comment about Batushka, but never justify why Epta Astera is the better band. You say that the ending is intense, yet we don't know how; you say that the listener will be "somewhat weary" after listening, but not why; you say that "the weighty significance and violent consequences" of the Reformation are invoked, but as a reader I want to know how the music achieves this. This doesn't mean that the points in your review are confusing, it's more the fact that I'm hesitant to believe them without evidence, and I have an incomplete picture of the music on Feste Burg. The review should focus on the music and give a clearer description of how these broad ends are achieved by the music itself.

Other than that, you have a few odd phrases from a grammatical/lexical point of view, such as "headquartered out of New York", calling Batushka "self-parody", and the weird informality of "breathe some" in a fairly academic and well-structured sentence.

In short, your review will probably get a bit longer (due to explaining more fully the points you make) and read smoother when you edit it.

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Kerrick
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:02 pm
Posts: 1282
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2019 12:09 pm 
 

Wow, thank you so much for your critique; this is extremely helpful and I don't disagree with any of your suggestions. I'll get cranking on the second draft now.

Yeah the opening sentence was more of a placeholder but I was having trouble coming up with anything else. I might just nix that completely. As for the Batushka comment... I should probably take that out too. The main reason of having that in there is to prevent the inevitable thoughts of "oh just another Batushka copy" when the readers see my description of EA's music - when in fact EA predates Batushka by a fair bit.

Thanks again!

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 726
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 12:11 am 
 

Kerrick wrote:
As for the Batushka comment... I should probably take that out too. The main reason of having that in there is to prevent the inevitable thoughts of "oh just another Batushka copy" when the readers see my description of EA's music - when in fact EA predates Batushka by a fair bit.

Well, the point is relevant, but it seemed more like a cheap shot at Batushka than just a contextual/analytical statement. It has its place, but probably needs a different tone. Glad to be of help!

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Kerrick
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:02 pm
Posts: 1282
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2019 11:17 am 
 

Right on. I reworded it some and will post soon. Would you recommend the review to include song-by-song analysis? I modified the review yesterday to go that route but I'm having second thoughts... Most songs change styles and are quite eclectic and thus describing their numerous changes got a little repetitive IMO. (Usually I skim or skip over reading song-by-song sections of reviews because I'm more interested in the album as a whole.)

Here's the song-by-song draft portion I have currently... I'm considering cutting it down significantly and instead use a spattering of what is written below to emphasize specific characteristics of the album as a whole.

Spoiler: show
Feste Burg begins with Salva Regina: incorporating atmospheric instrumentation, Gregorian chanting vocals, and tasteful usage of the digeridoo which have all helped set Epta Astera apart from other acts. This first track sets the tone for the rest of the album appropriately: dark, mysterious, foreboding, epic. It also signals upfront that this album will be a journey and requests the listener’s full attention throughout its entirety. The second track Noche Oscura is slow to build but offers a good indication of the overall feel and style of what’s to follow in the subsequent tracks. It ebbs and flows from somber clean chanting vocals to crushing black/doom metal, then allows the listener to breathe some during a delicate section of primarily clean guitar before it closes with a crescendo of black metal intensity. Noche Oscura then gives way to the third track Metonia which softly begins with the xylophone – another trademark of Epta Astera – and more clean vocals before it shifts to a plodding and somewhat triumphant pace, complete with some emotive lead guitar work. Epic keys and distorted guitars make for an intense mid section before it softens back down with more refrained vocals, clean guitars, and minimal xylophone. The album’s fourth track Aletheia begins with some elements reminiscent of more traditional black metal with its tremelo picking lead and distorted rhythm guitars but once the alternating and overlapping black metal shrieks/Gregorian chanting emerge, the listener is reminded that there is little here that could be considered “traditional” – especially as the song breaks way to whispered vocals, prominent drums, and an almost-groovy bassline with upbeat/hopeful keys and clean guitars. Then the digeridoo and black metal vocals return for a tense climax before the song ends on a softer note once more. Acoustic guitars and a soaring lead guitar drive the first half of Feste Burg’s next song Exsurge Domine, continuing with the almost hopeful feel of the previous song… until the track gets about to its halfway point where it shifts to chanted vocals, heavier guitars, and a driving beat that brings back the gravity and pressing weightiness that permeates throughout the album. But before the album fully commits to its darker and heavier elements, the sixth track Ich Kann Nicht Anders serves as a sort of interlude of layered Gregorian chants which serve to take the listener briefly out of harm’s way as if they were transported into an isolated monastery high in the mountains. Then as the penultimate song Die Mordischen und Reubischen Rotten der Bawren begins, the Gregorian chants turn to pained wailing, the drums and guitars pick up speed to make this song probably the most intense and sorrowful sounding portion of the album. It then transitions to a driving, more mid pace instrumental section and fades out before the closing track Augsburg begins. Feste Burg’s final song starts off mid-paced with chanted vocals then shifts to a quieter section with acoustic guitars and keys which slowly builds before the song drastically changes to furious black metal mixed with more Gregorian chants and mournful wails, making for a climatic closing of the album.

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Kerrick
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:02 pm
Posts: 1282
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Sep 26, 2019 2:20 pm 
 

Well I went ahead and posted it on a couple sites. Here's the final (for now) review.

Spoiler: show
For those unfamiliar, Epta Astera is a one‑man project of C Harwick, seamlessly combining elements of black metal, Gregorian chant, doom metal, and post‑rock – among others – to create some rather unique and breathtaking music. (As a note, Epta Astera has been combining black metal and ancient church‑styled chanting long before Batushka ever existed and popularized this style.) Epta Astera has released two full‑length albums and one EP prior to Feste Burg, though this new album is the first to get a proper physical release (via Mourning Light Records). Stylistically, these new eight songs continue in the trajectory of the previous works but it’s clear that Hardwick has been rigorously honing and expanding his skills for the past six years since Epta Astera’s previous release. It also incorporates more doom elements than prior releases and is more cohesive/expansive than pre‑existing fans may be used to.

Feste Burg begins with Salva Regina: incorporating atmospheric instrumentation, Gregorian chanting vocals, and tasteful usage of the didgeridoo – which have all helped set Epta Astera apart from other acts. This first track sets the tone for the rest of the album appropriately: dark, mysterious, foreboding, epic. It also signals upfront that this album will be a journey and requests the listener’s full attention throughout its entirety. The second track Noche Oscura is slow to build but offers a good indication of the overall feel and style of what’s to follow in the subsequent tracks. It ebbs and flows from somber clean chanting vocals to crushing black/doom metal, then allows the listener to breathe some during a delicate section of primarily clean guitar before it closes with a crescendo of black metal intensity. Noche Oscura then gives way to the third track Metonia which softly begins with the xylophone – another trademark of Epta Astera – and more clean vocals before it shifts to a plodding and somewhat triumphant pace, complete with some emotive lead guitar work. Epic keys and distorted guitars make for an intense mid‑section before it softens back down with more refrained vocals, clean guitars, and minimal xylophone. The album’s fourth track Aletheia begins with some elements reminiscent of more traditional black metal with its tremelo picking lead and distorted rhythm guitars but once the alternating and overlapping black metal shrieks/Gregorian chanting emerge, the listener is reminded that there is little here that could be considered “traditional” – especially as the song breaks way to whispered vocals, prominent drums, and an almost-groovy bassline with upbeat/hopeful keys and clean guitars. Then the didgeridoo and black metal vocals return for a tense climax before the song ends on a softer note once more. Acoustic guitars and a soaring lead guitar drive the first half of Feste Burg’s next song Exsurge Domine, continuing with the almost‑hopeful feel of the previous song… until the track gets about to its halfway point where it shifts to chanted vocals, heavier guitars, and a driving beat that brings back the gravity and pressing weightiness that permeates throughout the album. But before the album fully commits to its darker and heavier elements, the sixth track Ich Kann Nicht Anders serves as a sort of interlude of layered Gregorian chants which take the listener briefly out of harm’s way as if they were transported into an isolated monastery high in the mountains. Then as the penultimate song Die Mordischen und Reubischen Rotten der Bawren begins, the Gregorian chants turn to pained wailing, the drums and guitars pick up speed to make this one of the most intense and sorrowful sounding portions of the album. It then transitions to a driving, more mid‑pace instrumental section and fades out before the closing track Augsburg begins. Feste Burg’s final song starts off mid-paced with chanted vocals then shifts to a quieter section with acoustic guitars and keys which slowly builds before the song drastically changes to furious black metal mixed with more Gregorian chants and mournful wails, making for a climatic closing of the album.

The above song‑by‑song rundown only scratches the surface of all that is going on in each track; this is an album from which subtle melodies and nuances will boil to the surface through repeated and careful listens. And for an album as musically eclectic and diverse as Feste Burg, it somehow never loses its cohesiveness which is quite a feat in itself. This cohesiveness is aided by the fact that lyrically, the album’s eight songs are tied together to recount the famous happening 502 years ago of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses onto one of the offending churches’ doors, igniting the Protestant Reformation – quite possibly the most significant event in the Christian church’s history since Christ’s resurrection. The music’s combination of intensity, depth, broadness in scope, and heaviness makes for a fitting platform to tell a story such as Martin Luther’s. It’s a rich and captivating album that will be especially rewarding to historically‑mindful listeners willing to give it their fullest attention.

Feste Burg is due to be released October 31st (Reformation Day) and can be pre-ordered here:
https://eptaastera.bandcamp.com/

You can follow them on FB, along with Mourning Light Records.
https://www.facebook.com/eptaastera/
https://www.facebook.com/MourningLightRecords/

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 726
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:41 am 
 

Kerrick wrote:
Well I went ahead and posted it on a couple sites. Here's the final (for now) review.

Would you recommend the review to include song-by-song analysis?

Spoiler: show
For those unfamiliar, Epta Astera is a one‑man project of C Harwick, seamlessly combining elements of black metal, Gregorian chant, doom metal, and post‑rock – among others – to create some rather unique and breathtaking music. (As a note, Epta Astera has been combining black metal and ancient church‑styled chanting long before Batushka ever existed and popularized this style.) Epta Astera has released two full‑length albums and one EP prior to Feste Burg, though this new album is the first to get a proper physical release (via Mourning Light Records). Stylistically, these new eight songs continue in the trajectory of the previous works but it’s clear that Hardwick has been rigorously honing and expanding his skills for the past six years since Epta Astera’s previous release. It also incorporates more doom elements than prior releases and is more cohesive/expansive than pre‑existing fans may be used to.

Feste Burg begins with Salva Regina: incorporating atmospheric instrumentation, Gregorian chanting vocals, and tasteful usage of the didgeridoo – which have all helped set Epta Astera apart from other acts. This first track sets the tone for the rest of the album appropriately: dark, mysterious, foreboding, epic. It also signals upfront that this album will be a journey and requests the listener’s full attention throughout its entirety. The second track Noche Oscura is slow to build but offers a good indication of the overall feel and style of what’s to follow in the subsequent tracks. It ebbs and flows from somber clean chanting vocals to crushing black/doom metal, then allows the listener to breathe some during a delicate section of primarily clean guitar before it closes with a crescendo of black metal intensity. Noche Oscura then gives way to the third track Metonia which softly begins with the xylophone – another trademark of Epta Astera – and more clean vocals before it shifts to a plodding and somewhat triumphant pace, complete with some emotive lead guitar work. Epic keys and distorted guitars make for an intense mid‑section before it softens back down with more refrained vocals, clean guitars, and minimal xylophone. The album’s fourth track Aletheia begins with some elements reminiscent of more traditional black metal with its tremelo picking lead and distorted rhythm guitars but once the alternating and overlapping black metal shrieks/Gregorian chanting emerge, the listener is reminded that there is little here that could be considered “traditional” – especially as the song breaks way to whispered vocals, prominent drums, and an almost-groovy bassline with upbeat/hopeful keys and clean guitars. Then the didgeridoo and black metal vocals return for a tense climax before the song ends on a softer note once more. Acoustic guitars and a soaring lead guitar drive the first half of Feste Burg’s next song Exsurge Domine, continuing with the almost‑hopeful feel of the previous song… until the track gets about to its halfway point where it shifts to chanted vocals, heavier guitars, and a driving beat that brings back the gravity and pressing weightiness that permeates throughout the album. But before the album fully commits to its darker and heavier elements, the sixth track Ich Kann Nicht Anders serves as a sort of interlude of layered Gregorian chants which take the listener briefly out of harm’s way as if they were transported into an isolated monastery high in the mountains. Then as the penultimate song Die Mordischen und Reubischen Rotten der Bawren begins, the Gregorian chants turn to pained wailing, the drums and guitars pick up speed to make this one of the most intense and sorrowful sounding portions of the album. It then transitions to a driving, more mid‑pace instrumental section and fades out before the closing track Augsburg begins. Feste Burg’s final song starts off mid-paced with chanted vocals then shifts to a quieter section with acoustic guitars and keys which slowly builds before the song drastically changes to furious black metal mixed with more Gregorian chants and mournful wails, making for a climatic closing of the album.

The above song‑by‑song rundown only scratches the surface of all that is going on in each track; this is an album from which subtle melodies and nuances will boil to the surface through repeated and careful listens. And for an album as musically eclectic and diverse as Feste Burg, it somehow never loses its cohesiveness which is quite a feat in itself. This cohesiveness is aided by the fact that lyrically, the album’s eight songs are tied together to recount the famous happening 502 years ago of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses onto one of the offending churches’ doors, igniting the Protestant Reformation – quite possibly the most significant event in the Christian church’s history since Christ’s resurrection. The music’s combination of intensity, depth, broadness in scope, and heaviness makes for a fitting platform to tell a story such as Martin Luther’s. It’s a rich and captivating album that will be especially rewarding to historically‑mindful listeners willing to give it their fullest attention.

Feste Burg is due to be released October 31st (Reformation Day) and can be pre-ordered here:
https://eptaastera.bandcamp.com/

You can follow them on FB, along with Mourning Light Records.
https://www.facebook.com/eptaastera/
https://www.facebook.com/MourningLightRecords/

The Metal Archives will not accept a review that contains song-by-song analysis. See the rules here. This is not going to be accepted exactly due to that. Speaking as a reader, that massive paragraph in the middle is tiring to read and pretty useless as a flavour for the album. Try harder to describe the general style before you highlight some examples that differ from it. There's a bit too much telling and not enough showing.

Honestly, I thought the first draft was much stronger and more interesting to read too. The end of the review turns into an advert too, which has never suited this website. I'm not sure if you are acting as a promoter for the album, but a good review will make people find the links by themselves.

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Kerrick
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2015 5:02 pm
Posts: 1282
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 12:25 pm 
 

Thanks again for the good feedback. I was hesitant to do the song-by-song portion and should've listened to my conscience haha. If I end up ever posting it on the MA, I'll be sure to take that out and go back to something more similar to the first draft but just a bit more expanded. And I'd definitely take out the links too for any review posted here too. This is originally for a couple other online forums where IMO links like that are more fitting/appropriate. I'm no official promoter or anything, but I've been a fan of the band for a while and am always happy to get the word out about bands I like so others might enjoy 'em too. :) How would you recommend making a better ending? I struggled with that... I wanted something that'd sum up my thoughts on the album and of course not be too pushy, but then again at the end of the day, any review is just one person's (in this case, my) opinions anyways. That's a fine line, though I'd like to find a good balance nonetheless...

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gasmask_colostomy
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 27, 2019 8:15 pm 
 

Kerrick wrote:
How would you recommend making a better ending? I struggled with that... I wanted something that'd sum up my thoughts on the album and of course not be too pushy, but then again at the end of the day, any review is just one person's (in this case, my) opinions anyways. That's a fine line, though I'd like to find a good balance nonetheless...

Actually, I was referring mostly to the links at the end, which I personally find a bit distasteful outside promotional reviews, but the ending does seem a little anticlimactic. I think that might have something to do with the style you’re writing in. I understand that you’re going for the formal approach without too much personal input, and I’ve struggled to make a definite ending in reviews like that. If you feel comfortable, a more personal comment to finish might work better, or something that situates the band in the bigger picture of metal at the moment. You know, good analytical writing will often start big, then zoom in to look at details, and zoom back out to get the whole perspective at the end.

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snarebotox
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Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:28 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 10:14 am 
 

hi there i've done a review for abigail willaims it's not going to be the most amazing review out there but i wanted to get a bit of feedback and see if it was post worthy, here it is.

I like writing about EP’s like this as it unlocks a bit more about the work whilst reviewing it and where it stands now and retrospectively how it stood when it came out. My view is this is a solid melodeath EP with equal parts black metal and metalcore influence, I intentionally didn’t look at other reviews of this EP considering it has probably being written to death about and how contentious a subject Abigail Williams can be. I do remember, back in the day, when this was a free download on itunes in 2006, ah how times change…

Notably the production has a clarity to it in comparison to the claustrophobic woodland production typical to black metal, which when listening makes you think “yeah fair enough”, listening to clean vocals that are a bit muddy may make you want more in terms of black metal influenced production but on a whole it’s made more accessible to new comers, it doesn’t lose it’s integrity which I assume makes it appreciable to even the most seasoned black metal fan.

Now getting to the music I’ll start with the vocalist who’s high’s are like a scythe, pretty faultless in my opinion, the clean vocals I’m a fan of they remind me of dimmu borgir’s clean vocals, there not on vortex’s level, they are however valiantly done and do not take away from the tracks at points you can hear the, the lows could do with a bit of work as it just sounds like there isn’t enough wind in the belly to really drive those lows to where they need to be. Drumming is rapid, aggressive and precise really bringing that black metal vibe to tracks such as “like carrion birds” and the cosmic angst of “procession of the aeons” showcase this. Guitar solo’s like in the “watchtower” have metalcore written all over it but it’s not out of place and There’s riffs that are in that bracket of metalcore and melodeath, for me leaning more to melodeath, but progress the track and aren’t out of place next to dizzying black metal piano melodies or being proceeded by a wall of synth.

With regards to tracks I could listen to them all in equal amount but my stand out track has to be “from a buried heart” which merges everything that makes the EP great, irresistible guitar melodys and deadly tremolo picked riffs, backed up by the double bass pedals and blackened blast beats, deadly vocals not dissimilar to death’s vocalist, beautifully morbid pianos and synth for me this is a melodic death metal classic.

All in all I think this EP has stood the test of time and no matter what angle you look at it, it will continue to be an underrated and inspired product of it’s time.

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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 1:47 am 
 

Kerrick wrote:
Here's the final (for now) review.

Notes in spoiler

Spoiler: show
For those unfamiliar, Epta Astera is a one‑man project of C Harwick, seamlessly combining elements of black metal, Gregorian chant, doom metal, and post‑rock – among others – :nazi: (What is this?) to create some rather unique and breathtaking music. (As a note, Epta Astera has been combining black metal and ancient church‑styled chanting long before Batushka ever existed and popularized this style.) (Why is this relevant? If you're making a point, make a point. This makes no point and does nothing to educate people who do not know Batushka. I encourage you to focus on the revelatory and educational parts of identifying a little-known precedent instead of being seduced by the temptation to take unnecessary digs at bands. Maybe I'm biased because I'm tired of elitists breaking artists down for cool points, or maybe I just think it's a petty way to sound "with it", who knows. I can't see the point in missing an opportunity to point out something interesting or overlooked. There's enough of that kind of thing already. Lean into education, bring something new to our attention. If someone obsure as fuck was doing this before this obscure-as-fuck band, then that means there are two bands I've never heard of who are doing something similar and apparently interesting. Music isn't a fucking competition. Anyway .. what do I know? Snark is better, obviously. It's popular, so it's better. It's not even worth the effort of struggling onto this soap box when there's just that one guy with his dog there, and they already live in this park, so it's not like they're there to listen to me anyway, and the dog doesn't care, he just wants my gyro.) Epta Astera has released two full‑length albums and one EP prior to Feste Burg, though this new album is the first to get a proper physical release (via Mourning Light Records). Stylistically, these new eight songs continue in the trajectory of the previous works but it’s clear that Hardwick has been rigorously honing and expanding his skills for the past six years since Epta Astera’s previous release. It also incorporates more doom elements than prior releases and is more cohesive/expansive than pre‑existing fans (They're just fans.) may be used to.

(Please use commas at some point. They're really helpful.)

Feste Burg begins with Salva Regina: incorporating atmospheric instrumentation, Gregorian chanting vocals, and tasteful usage of the didgeridoo – which have all helped set Epta Astera apart from other acts. This first track sets the tone for the rest of the album appropriately: dark, mysterious, foreboding, epic. It also signals upfront that this album will be a journey and requests the listener’s full attention throughout its entirety. The second track Noche Oscura is slow to build but offers a good indication of the overall feel and style of what’s to follow in the subsequent tracks. It ebbs and flows from somber clean chanting vocals to crushing black/doom metal, then allows the listener to breathe some during a delicate section of primarily clean guitar before it closes with a crescendo of black metal intensity. Noche Oscura then gives way to the third track Metonia which softly begins with the xylophone – another trademark of Epta Astera – and more clean vocals before it shifts to a plodding and somewhat triumphant pace, complete with some emotive lead guitar work. Epic keys and distorted guitars make for an intense mid‑section before it softens back down with more refrained vocals, clean guitars, and minimal xylophone. The album’s fourth track Aletheia begins with some elements reminiscent of more traditional black metal with its tremelo picking lead and distorted rhythm guitars but once the alternating and overlapping black metal shrieks/Gregorian chanting emerge, the listener is reminded that there is little here that could be considered “traditional” – especially as the song breaks way to whispered vocals, prominent drums, and an almost-groovy bassline with upbeat/hopeful keys and clean guitars. Then the didgeridoo and black metal vocals return for a tense climax before the song ends on a softer note once more. Acoustic guitars and a soaring lead guitar drive the first half of Feste Burg’s next song Exsurge Domine, continuing with the almost‑hopeful feel of the previous song… until the track gets about to its halfway point where it shifts to chanted vocals, heavier guitars, and a driving beat that brings back the gravity and pressing weightiness that permeates throughout the album. But before the album fully commits to its darker and heavier elements, the sixth track Ich Kann Nicht Anders serves as a sort of interlude of layered Gregorian chants which take the listener briefly out of harm’s way as if they were transported into an isolated monastery high in the mountains. Then as the penultimate song Die Mordischen und Reubischen Rotten der Bawren begins, the Gregorian chants turn to pained wailing, the drums and guitars pick up speed to make this one of the most intense and sorrowful sounding portions of the album. It then transitions to a driving, more mid‑pace instrumental section and fades out before the closing track Augsburg begins. Feste Burg’s final song starts off mid-paced with chanted vocals then shifts to a quieter section with acoustic guitars and keys which slowly builds before the song drastically changes to furious black metal mixed with more Gregorian chants and mournful wails, making for a climatic closing of the album.

(Mr. G already covered the track-by-track insta-death and linked you to the rules. I merely add this to remind you to read them. The description isn't bad, just organize it more generally to describe the movements of the album at large.)

The above song‑by‑song rundown only scratches the surface of all that is going on in each track; this is an album from which subtle melodies and nuances will boil to the surface through repeated and careful listens. And for an album as musically eclectic and diverse as Feste Burg, it somehow never loses its cohesiveness which is quite a feat in itself. This cohesiveness is aided by the fact that lyrically, the album’s eight songs are tied together to recount the famous happening 502 years ago of Martin Luther nailing his 95 theses onto one of the offending churches’ doors, igniting the Protestant Reformation – quite possibly the most significant event in the Christian church’s history since Christ’s resurrection. The music’s combination of intensity, depth, broadness in scope, and heaviness makes for a fitting platform to tell a story such as Martin Luther’s. It’s a rich and captivating album that will be especially rewarding to historically‑mindful listeners willing to give it their fullest attention.

(This paragraph is essentially your introduction.)

Feste Burg is due to be released October 31st (Reformation Day) and can be pre-ordered here:
https://eptaastera.bandcamp.com/

You can follow them on FB, along with Mourning Light Records.
https://www.facebook.com/eptaastera/
https://www.facebook.com/MourningLightRecords


This is a) Inappropriate: reviews on this site are not promotional material, and b) Redundant: the site offers merchandise links in any band profile. Remove.

Considering how much of this review has to be revised, it's pretty hard to give you direction until you re-post it after an overhaul. Looking forward to seeing what it turns into.)
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Trashy_Rambo
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:42 am 
 

It's been quite a while, so I can't recall where to view the reason for my review being rejected. It was a review for Universe's self titled album. I would also love some feedback on how to improve it! Thanks.
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gasmask_colostomy
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
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Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:07 am 
 

snarebotox wrote:
hi there i've done a review for abigail willaims it's not going to be the most amazing review out there but i wanted to get a bit of feedback and see if it was post worthy, here it is.

Spoiler: show
I like writing about EP’s like this as it unlocks a bit more about the work whilst reviewing it and where it stands now and retrospectively how it stood when it came out. My view is this is a solid melodeath EP with equal parts black metal and metalcore influence, I intentionally didn’t look at other reviews of this EP considering it has probably being written to death about and how contentious a subject Abigail Williams can be. I do remember, back in the day, when this was a free download on itunes in 2006, ah how times change…

Notably the production has a clarity to it in comparison to the claustrophobic woodland production typical to black metal, which when listening makes you think “yeah fair enough”, listening to clean vocals that are a bit muddy may make you want more in terms of black metal influenced production but on a whole it’s made more accessible to new comers, it doesn’t lose it’s integrity which I assume makes it appreciable to even the most seasoned black metal fan.

Now getting to the music I’ll start with the vocalist who’s high’s are like a scythe, pretty faultless in my opinion, the clean vocals I’m a fan of they remind me of dimmu borgir’s clean vocals, there not on vortex’s level, they are however valiantly done and do not take away from the tracks at points you can hear the, the lows could do with a bit of work as it just sounds like there isn’t enough wind in the belly to really drive those lows to where they need to be. Drumming is rapid, aggressive and precise really bringing that black metal vibe to tracks such as “like carrion birds” and the cosmic angst of “procession of the aeons” showcase this. Guitar solo’s like in the “watchtower” have metalcore written all over it but it’s not out of place and There’s riffs that are in that bracket of metalcore and melodeath, for me leaning more to melodeath, but progress the track and aren’t out of place next to dizzying black metal piano melodies or being proceeded by a wall of synth.

With regards to tracks I could listen to them all in equal amount but my stand out track has to be “from a buried heart” which merges everything that makes the EP great, irresistible guitar melodys and deadly tremolo picked riffs, backed up by the double bass pedals and blackened blast beats, deadly vocals not dissimilar to death’s vocalist, beautifully morbid pianos and synth for me this is a melodic death metal classic.

All in all I think this EP has stood the test of time and no matter what angle you look at it, it will continue to be an underrated and inspired product of it’s time.

Hi there mate, sorry that you didn't get a reply for a long time. The main thing with your review is that the grammar and phrasing is quite poor, because you've written it like you're speaking to someone on the phone. I suggest you copy it and put it into Microsoft Word, where you will see a lot of green lines under those very long sentences. You need to use full stops much more often. Microsoft Word is also going to show you some red lines for spelling errors and places where you use apostrophes incorrectly, such as writing "EP's". When there's more than one EP, it's EPs. Just add s.

In terms of review content, you have written some good description of the sound in places (second to last paragraph is probably the best part) and some poor description in others. For instance, where you describe the production and sound of the vocals: I have no idea what you mean when you say that it "makes you think, 'Yeah, fair enough'". That's not helpful at all. It's so vague. Read the review over and think about what your reader will understand. Remember that they might not be an Abigail Williams fan.

Finally, you need to use capital letters properly. Every band name should have a capital letter, so should song titles and album titles. However, you are right that genre names don't have capital letters on this website. Maybe you could also write album titles and song titles in a different form, such as "Like Carrion Birds" for a song and 'Legend' or Legend for the name of the EP. I suggest you name the EP more often, instead of just saying "this EP", since it will help the reader remember what you're talking about.


Trashy_Rambo wrote:
It's been quite a while, so I can't recall where to view the reason for my review being rejected. It was a review for Universe's self titled album. I would also love some feedback on how to improve it! Thanks.

Could you post a link or copy it here? We are very lazy in this thread.

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Trashy_Rambo
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Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:04 pm
Posts: 1463
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:11 am 
 

Spoiler: show
I've never been much of a rock and roll guy, so quite a few heavy metal bands from the 80's (Particularly from the NWOBHM) don't do a lot for me. I generally need my riffs a little bit more on the aggressive side, my vocals a bit more histrionic. There are, however, a handful of bands that walk the line between rock and metal that manage to stay in my rotation for various reasons. Despite displaying some softer, more laid back tendencies, Universe's lone full-length offering is one such album.

The first thing you'll notice are the somewhat odd but warm and welcoming vocals of Kjell Wallén. He really doesn't sound like anyone else I can think of, and while he won't ever be confused for a Dickinson or Halford, he's very effective. He generally stays in a fairly high range, while also adding some well-placed shrieks (Such as the climax of <i>Rollin' On</i>), as well as some solid lower register work. He clearly knew how to write and perform a solid hook, because most of the choruses will stick in your head for days! The lyrics are fairly typical, lighter 80's fare, dealing with themes like dreams, love, personal issues and the like. <i>Woman</i> is honestly pretty silly, but it's also quite short, so it's forgivable.

While the guitars aren't exactly the pinnacle of heaviness, they have just enough crunch to get by, and the riffs are generally good enough that it isn't really an issue. It's no speed metal, but uptempo palm muted riffing is the order of the day. Per Nilsson provides plenty of pleasing rhythms, with the electric main riff of <i>Stories From The Old Days</i> being a particular highlight, but it's Michael Kling on lead guitar that really elevates this album. Virtually every lead guitar section is perfectly placed, and they're always flashy without ever being superfluous or overly self-indulgent. Nowhere is this more evident than <i>Weekend Warrior</i>, with his frequent lead guitar interjections adding some welcome flair to the proceedings.

There's not a whole lot to say about the drums and bass. The drumwork is mostly just simple timekeeping stuff, which is fine. The bass is more or less invisible the entire time.

This album certainly puts its best foot forward, with the first three tracks being incredibly obvious standouts. <i>Rollin' On</i> has a simple, but propulsive main riff, an excellent chorus, and an absolutely glorious climax. <i>Weekend Warrior</i> has solid riffs and some really nice lead guitar interjections during the chorus, and the main riff to <i>Stories from the Old Days</i> absolutely smokes. The middle of the album is merely solid, with <i>Woman</i> being a relative lowlight, but it picks back up and closes strong after that.

It's a shame that this is the only material released with this lineup, because they clearly had something good going. What could have been. At any rate though, I'd consider this an underrated minor classic that every fan of trad metal should have in their collection, especially with it being re-released in 2018!
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 12:35 am 
 

gasmask_colostomy wrote:
Could you post a link or copy it here? We are very lazy in this thread.

*slow creaking as attention is piqued*
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gasmask_colostomy
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 5:42 am 
 

Trashy_Rambo wrote:
Spoiler: show
I've never been much of a rock and roll guy, so quite a few heavy metal bands from the 80's (Particularly from the NWOBHM) don't do a lot for me. I generally need my riffs a little bit more on the aggressive side, my vocals a bit more histrionic. There are, however, a handful of bands that walk the line between rock and metal that manage to stay in my rotation for various reasons. Despite displaying some softer, more laid back tendencies, Universe's lone full-length offering is one such album.

The first thing you'll notice are the somewhat odd but warm and welcoming vocals of Kjell Wallén. He really doesn't sound like anyone else I can think of, and while he won't ever be confused for a Dickinson or Halford, he's very effective. He generally stays in a fairly high range, while also adding some well-placed shrieks (Such as the climax of <i>Rollin' On</i>), as well as some solid lower register work. He clearly knew how to write and perform a solid hook, because most of the choruses will stick in your head for days! The lyrics are fairly typical, lighter 80's fare, dealing with themes like dreams, love, personal issues and the like. <i>Woman</i> is honestly pretty silly, but it's also quite short, so it's forgivable.

While the guitars aren't exactly the pinnacle of heaviness, they have just enough crunch to get by, and the riffs are generally good enough that it isn't really an issue. It's no speed metal, but uptempo palm muted riffing is the order of the day. Per Nilsson provides plenty of pleasing rhythms, with the electric main riff of <i>Stories From The Old Days</i> being a particular highlight, but it's Michael Kling on lead guitar that really elevates this album. Virtually every lead guitar section is perfectly placed, and they're always flashy without ever being superfluous or overly self-indulgent. Nowhere is this more evident than <i>Weekend Warrior</i>, with his frequent lead guitar interjections adding some welcome flair to the proceedings.

There's not a whole lot to say about the drums and bass. The drumwork is mostly just simple timekeeping stuff, which is fine. The bass is more or less invisible the entire time.

This album certainly puts its best foot forward, with the first three tracks being incredibly obvious standouts. <i>Rollin' On</i> has a simple, but propulsive main riff, an excellent chorus, and an absolutely glorious climax. <i>Weekend Warrior</i> has solid riffs and some really nice lead guitar interjections during the chorus, and the main riff to <i>Stories from the Old Days</i> absolutely smokes. The middle of the album is merely solid, with <i>Woman</i> being a relative lowlight, but it picks back up and closes strong after that.

It's a shame that this is the only material released with this lineup, because they clearly had something good going. What could have been. At any rate though, I'd consider this an underrated minor classic that every fan of trad metal should have in their collection, especially with it being re-released in 2018!

Thanks for making it easy to find :-P

It's a decent review as it stands, and quite readable because your grammar and expressions are very clear. As a small note, when talking about the 1980s, you should shorten to '80s, because the apostrophe signals the missing content at the beginning.

Looking for ways to improve the review, I'd say there are 2 points of equal importance to consider. The first one is probably the reason for rejection, though I expect it was a borderline case, since this isn't bad.

1. Musical description
Personally, I think you did alright with this, but you could definitely give a clearer and slightly more detailed description of the music. You pick out certain points on each of the musicians' performances and I can imagine the vocals especially precisely. Your genre description benefits from the introduction, though I'd like to see another comparison or two of bands that sound similar to universe. Saying that the singer isn't a Dickinson or Halford is fine, but remember to say what he does sound like too. However, the song description is what lets the review down, since you pick highlights without attempting to be specific at all. Saying that a song has a nice riff is all very well for recommending it to your mate in the pub, but in the review you've got to do the work for the reader. So 'Rollin' On' has a glorious climax? What happens? 'Stories from the Old Days' has a smoking riff? What sort of riff is it? Pick some details and describe them well, but make sure you don't review track-by-track.

2. Structure
You won't get your review rejected for this, but your structure is really boring. Writing a paragraph for the singer, one for the guitars, one for the rhythm instruments, then one for the songs is lame and predictable. No one listens to music one instrument at a time! You should try to choose some more general points about the album and talk across songs and across musicians about those points, such as one paragraph to talk about how hooky the songs are, one to analyze the riffs, and another to pick up on some issues you have with the music. I noticed that in your paragraph about the songs, you mostly just repeated things you had said before.

As an extra thought, it looks like you're using suitable formatting for italics and titles, but just make sure you do a preview before submitting the review. If one of the italics remains open or something, the mods may reject it instead of fixing it to remind you about this issue.

Hope that helps in some way!

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Trashy_Rambo
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:49 am 
 

It does! I'll go over and revise it later. Much appreciated.
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AddiSch
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Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:32 am
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2019 4:57 pm 
 

Hello all and welcome to my first post in the forum!
For years now I have a guilty conscience, because I really often visit the Metal Archives and never gave anything back to the community. So, some months ago I decided to change that and contribute something to one of my favorite web sites. I decided to contribute an album review.
So, I prepared myself by studying the review rules, choosing a band, choosing an album, listening intently to that album, and finally writing the review text. After some rework and spellchecking (using MS Word) and reading the text for at least 10 times I was quite sure that this review text had a chance to make it through the quality gate. And I posted it. After some days I received the first rejection:

------------------------------------------------------
The contents of your review are acceptable, but it is poorly formatted and difficult or annoying to read.
Please see the following list of possible problems, correct those you find in your review and then resubmit your work.

- The review consists of a single or too few paragraphs and needs to be broken into more manageable parts.
- There are paragraphs, but they have not been properly separated. Make sure you use two enter strokes between the paragraphs, and please note that indents are not supported.
- You have used enter too often, after every sentence or after every line in the submission window, and the formatting has suffered. Only use the enter twice to separate paragraphs, or once to change lines when needed for other purposes.
- There is supposed to be a space after every comma, period and other kinds of punctuation marks.
- You have not capitalized proper nouns or the first letters in sentences. This may include the review title.
- The number of typos and grammar mistakes is too high. We suggest that you either use a spell and grammar checker, or ask a fluent English-speaker to polish the text.
------------------------------------------------------

Obviously a standard text. And it left me quite confused. So I examined my text intently. Too many typos? After the MS Word spellcheck?? I checked it again and indeed the damn MS Word found yet another typo it didn't critizize before! OK, fixed. Another thing: No capitalized first letters for genres like "Black Metal". OK, fixed. Spaces after punctuation marks? No problem found. And finally the biggest change: I reduced the number of line breaks significantly. Yes, there were too much before, I have to admit that.
All that done, I posted it the second time. And after some days I received the second rejection:

------------------------------------------------------
Please fix the way your review is formatted. Your review should be divided into paragraphs of 4-6 sentences and separated by a single empty line. This makes it easier to read.
------------------------------------------------------

Don't know if this is a standard text, too, but fortunately this is a quite concrete instruction. But I really have a problem with that: In my understanding a paragraph of a text deals with one special aspect of the whole topic. Yes, some aspects can be described in 4 sentences, but most aspects need more than 6 sentences. Should I (just to follow that instruction) rip a whole aspect into two parts? In school you would be reprimanded for bad text structuring when doing so!
I looked at many other reviews to find out, how they made it through the quality gate. I noticed that many paragraphs there had far more than 6 sentences. But, OK, I did my very best to follow that instructions above and shortened the longer paragraphs and even ripped some of them apart in a way I did not like, but was at least acceptable.
I have to admit that the review text now looked very neat, and so I was quite confident when I (after re-reading & spellchecking again) posted it the third time. But after some days I received the third rejection:

------------------------------------------------------
The contents of your review are acceptable, but it is poorly formatted and difficult or annoying to read.
Please see the following list of possible problems, correct those you find in your review and then resubmit your work.

- The review consists of a single or too few paragraphs and needs to be broken into more manageable parts.
- There are paragraphs, but they have not been properly separated. Make sure you use two enter strokes between the paragraphs, and please note that indents are not supported.
- You have used enter too often, after every sentence or after every line in the submission window, and the formatting has suffered. Only use the enter twice to separate paragraphs, or once to change lines when needed for other purposes.
- There is supposed to be a space after every comma, period and other kinds of punctuation marks.
- You have not capitalized proper nouns or the first letters in sentences. This may include the review title.
- The number of typos and grammar mistakes is too high. We suggest that you either use a spell and grammar checker, or ask a fluent English-speaker to polish the text.
------------------------------------------------------

You must be kidding! I want to contribute something for free and after all the hours and hours of work and rework and significant improvement I get the same standard text as in the first rejection! That's really frustrating. I give up. Maybe someone of you can tell me in understandable words what the problem is.
By the way: The review is about the debut album of a nice little band from Germany: Evertale. Here's my text:

------------------------------------------------------
"Evertale - Of Dragons and Elves"... could there be more fantasy metal clichés in so few words? I guess not. But anyway, I saw these boys from Germany live at Bang your Head Festival 2018 and was quite impressed. Likable guys, interesting songs and an energetic band performance. And thus, I gave this album a chance and felt myself thrown back into the 90's when Blind Guardian were on their zenith. I don't know if they like to be compared to the Guardians, but the parallels are obvious:

Matthias Graf sounds like Hansi Kürsch back in the 90's (maybe even a little better) and the other band members (guitarist and bassist, maybe even the drummer?) add their vocals not only in the bombastic choruses, but in many parts of the album. The lyrics are inspired by fantasy books (Dragonlance Chronicles, the booklet says), and thus standard heavy metal clichés are thankfully left out. The narrative style is seldom restricted to simple story telling, more often there are dialogues of different protagonists or just the thoughts of someone. A few songs are supported by orchestral elements, but far far away from the "symphonic metal" genre. The song structure does not follow that boring pattern of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus-chorus, which keeps the songs' flow always a little bit unpredictable (which is good!). As the whole album, the songs are quite long, mostly beyond the five-minute mark, some are even beyond seven minutes. And finally, throughout the whole album you can feel a detail-loving perfectionism.
So, yes, there are all these parallels to the Blind Guardian albums of the 90's, but is that bad? Surely not. The band should be honored to have their album compared to such milestones of heavy metal history!

The genre (you guessed it) is power metal, of course, but with some add-ons. The album is fast in many parts, epic in others. It has bombastic choruses/bridges and a high proportion of awesome melodies that really won't leave your ears anymore! And the production of all this? How does it sound? Simple answer: Great. I can hear every instrument. Although the drums are potent, they never dominate the overall sound. And even when the bombast sets in, it still does not end in an undistinguishable sound mash.

The arrangement of the different vocalists is also well done and the album's dynamics (such as changes between acoustic parts and metal parts for instance) work fine, too. The few orchestral parts are computer generated, but that's understandable for an album of this budget. And, despite this, these parts sound absolutely OK. So, to me, the album's arrangement and sound mix are really successful. And that's an interesting thing, because this is the band's debut album. Sure, the different members had band experiences before, but nonetheless "Of Dragons and Elves" is an astounding piece of work, especially because there has been no support from a record label. It looks like there has been a great deal of personal effort and passion by the band, which deserves the utmost respect.

Enough of the foreplay! Let's turn to the really interesting thing about an album: Not band image, not artwork, not the finesse of the instrumentalists or the producer. No, in the end it's the quality of the songs what truly matters. The 14 tracks run for about 77 minutes, surely a point to criticize in general. But the reasons for an album this long are understandable: New band, dream of an own album, maybe no chance for another one. It's now or never! Another reason may be the concept behind the songs, which demands a certain quorum of songs. Anyway, the album is never boring and every time I insert the CD, I'm surprised how short 77 minutes can be. In fact, there are only eleven full songs and three short intros/interludes, which are not superfluous at all. They add their share to the mood of the respective situation with some acoustic guitars, some orchestra and some bombast.

The first full song is "In the Sign of the valiant Warrior". I know this title lets you think of a typical heavy metal cliché song, but it hardly is. Or let's say: Closer to the typical metal clichés does the album never come. Anyway, this is a fast killer track, which every genre fan will love instantly. And of that kind we have four others on the album: Into the Dragon's Lair/The Crownguard's Quest/The last Knight/Firestorm. All damn good, especially the last three are absolute hits, including great melodies and bombastic choruses. They are not continuously speedy, but also have slow and mid-tempo parts as the respective atmosphere needs it. Even highly emotional goosebumps-parts are there! So, if you like that kind of song most, satisfaction with this album is guaranteed.

But Evertale know how to transport epic power, too! "As Tarsis falls" and "Brothers in War" are epic highlights with a slightly sad mood (because of the stories they tell), but with fantastic melodies, bridges and choruses, that will drill deep into your brain and never get out again! And then there is "Tale of the Everman". One might say the genre of this one is almost "epic doom metal", because of the gloom, the slowness and the really heavy guitars. It definitely shows the great variety of this band. And, of course, a ballad is inevitable: The title track is the only song where Evertale work with the typical fantasy clichés one would expect from an album like this and don't seem to tell a story from their book inspiration. I like this mostly acoustic song nonetheless, despite the fact (or maybe because of the fact?) that it heavily reminds me of Blind Guardian's "The Bard's Song".

As you see, the album has a pleasantly balanced mix of different song types, and the individual songs themselves are quite varied, too. Even after so many times of listening, I still discover fine little details. This album enriches every record collection: Lyrical depths, non-boring song structures, catchy choruses and an obvious personal passion for the art from the people behind this album. Simply remarkable.
------------------------------------------------------

Thanks for reading!
Addi

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 726
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:03 pm 
 

AddiSch wrote:
Hello all and welcome to my first post in the forum!
Spoiler: show
For years now I have a guilty conscience, because I really often visit the Metal Archives and never gave anything back to the community. So, some months ago I decided to change that and contribute something to one of my favorite web sites. I decided to contribute an album review.
So, I prepared myself by studying the review rules, choosing a band, choosing an album, listening intently to that album, and finally writing the review text. After some rework and spellchecking (using MS Word) and reading the text for at least 10 times I was quite sure that this review text had a chance to make it through the quality gate. And I posted it. After some days I received the first rejection:

------------------------------------------------------
The contents of your review are acceptable, but it is poorly formatted and difficult or annoying to read.
Please see the following list of possible problems, correct those you find in your review and then resubmit your work.

- The review consists of a single or too few paragraphs and needs to be broken into more manageable parts.
- There are paragraphs, but they have not been properly separated. Make sure you use two enter strokes between the paragraphs, and please note that indents are not supported.
- You have used enter too often, after every sentence or after every line in the submission window, and the formatting has suffered. Only use the enter twice to separate paragraphs, or once to change lines when needed for other purposes.
- There is supposed to be a space after every comma, period and other kinds of punctuation marks.
- You have not capitalized proper nouns or the first letters in sentences. This may include the review title.
- The number of typos and grammar mistakes is too high. We suggest that you either use a spell and grammar checker, or ask a fluent English-speaker to polish the text.
------------------------------------------------------

Obviously a standard text. And it left me quite confused. So I examined my text intently. Too many typos? After the MS Word spellcheck?? I checked it again and indeed the damn MS Word found yet another typo it didn't critizize before! OK, fixed. Another thing: No capitalized first letters for genres like "Black Metal". OK, fixed. Spaces after punctuation marks? No problem found. And finally the biggest change: I reduced the number of line breaks significantly. Yes, there were too much before, I have to admit that.
All that done, I posted it the second time. And after some days I received the second rejection:

------------------------------------------------------
Please fix the way your review is formatted. Your review should be divided into paragraphs of 4-6 sentences and separated by a single empty line. This makes it easier to read.
------------------------------------------------------

Don't know if this is a standard text, too, but fortunately this is a quite concrete instruction. But I really have a problem with that: In my understanding a paragraph of a text deals with one special aspect of the whole topic. Yes, some aspects can be described in 4 sentences, but most aspects need more than 6 sentences. Should I (just to follow that instruction) rip a whole aspect into two parts? In school you would be reprimanded for bad text structuring when doing so!
I looked at many other reviews to find out, how they made it through the quality gate. I noticed that many paragraphs there had far more than 6 sentences. But, OK, I did my very best to follow that instructions above and shortened the longer paragraphs and even ripped some of them apart in a way I did not like, but was at least acceptable.
I have to admit that the review text now looked very neat, and so I was quite confident when I (after re-reading & spellchecking again) posted it the third time. But after some days I received the third rejection:

------------------------------------------------------
The contents of your review are acceptable, but it is poorly formatted and difficult or annoying to read.
Please see the following list of possible problems, correct those you find in your review and then resubmit your work.

- The review consists of a single or too few paragraphs and needs to be broken into more manageable parts.
- There are paragraphs, but they have not been properly separated. Make sure you use two enter strokes between the paragraphs, and please note that indents are not supported.
- You have used enter too often, after every sentence or after every line in the submission window, and the formatting has suffered. Only use the enter twice to separate paragraphs, or once to change lines when needed for other purposes.
- There is supposed to be a space after every comma, period and other kinds of punctuation marks.
- You have not capitalized proper nouns or the first letters in sentences. This may include the review title.
- The number of typos and grammar mistakes is too high. We suggest that you either use a spell and grammar checker, or ask a fluent English-speaker to polish the text.
------------------------------------------------------

You must be kidding! I want to contribute something for free and after all the hours and hours of work and rework and significant improvement I get the same standard text as in the first rejection! That's really frustrating. I give up. Maybe someone of you can tell me in understandable words what the problem is.
By the way: The review is about the debut album of a nice little band from Germany: Evertale. Here's my text:

------------------------------------------------------
"Evertale - Of Dragons and Elves"... could there be more fantasy metal clichés in so few words? I guess not. But anyway, I saw these boys from Germany live at Bang your Head Festival 2018 and was quite impressed. Likable guys, interesting songs and an energetic band performance. And thus, I gave this album a chance and felt myself thrown back into the 90's when Blind Guardian were on their zenith. I don't know if they like to be compared to the Guardians, but the parallels are obvious:

Matthias Graf sounds like Hansi Kürsch back in the 90's (maybe even a little better) and the other band members (guitarist and bassist, maybe even the drummer?) add their vocals not only in the bombastic choruses, but in many parts of the album. The lyrics are inspired by fantasy books (Dragonlance Chronicles, the booklet says), and thus standard heavy metal clichés are thankfully left out. The narrative style is seldom restricted to simple story telling, more often there are dialogues of different protagonists or just the thoughts of someone. A few songs are supported by orchestral elements, but far far away from the "symphonic metal" genre. The song structure does not follow that boring pattern of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus-chorus, which keeps the songs' flow always a little bit unpredictable (which is good!). As the whole album, the songs are quite long, mostly beyond the five-minute mark, some are even beyond seven minutes. And finally, throughout the whole album you can feel a detail-loving perfectionism.
So, yes, there are all these parallels to the Blind Guardian albums of the 90's, but is that bad? Surely not. The band should be honored to have their album compared to such milestones of heavy metal history!

The genre (you guessed it) is power metal, of course, but with some add-ons. The album is fast in many parts, epic in others. It has bombastic choruses/bridges and a high proportion of awesome melodies that really won't leave your ears anymore! And the production of all this? How does it sound? Simple answer: Great. I can hear every instrument. Although the drums are potent, they never dominate the overall sound. And even when the bombast sets in, it still does not end in an undistinguishable sound mash.

The arrangement of the different vocalists is also well done and the album's dynamics (such as changes between acoustic parts and metal parts for instance) work fine, too. The few orchestral parts are computer generated, but that's understandable for an album of this budget. And, despite this, these parts sound absolutely OK. So, to me, the album's arrangement and sound mix are really successful. And that's an interesting thing, because this is the band's debut album. Sure, the different members had band experiences before, but nonetheless "Of Dragons and Elves" is an astounding piece of work, especially because there has been no support from a record label. It looks like there has been a great deal of personal effort and passion by the band, which deserves the utmost respect.

Enough of the foreplay! Let's turn to the really interesting thing about an album: Not band image, not artwork, not the finesse of the instrumentalists or the producer. No, in the end it's the quality of the songs what truly matters. The 14 tracks run for about 77 minutes, surely a point to criticize in general. But the reasons for an album this long are understandable: New band, dream of an own album, maybe no chance for another one. It's now or never! Another reason may be the concept behind the songs, which demands a certain quorum of songs. Anyway, the album is never boring and every time I insert the CD, I'm surprised how short 77 minutes can be. In fact, there are only eleven full songs and three short intros/interludes, which are not superfluous at all. They add their share to the mood of the respective situation with some acoustic guitars, some orchestra and some bombast.

The first full song is "In the Sign of the valiant Warrior". I know this title lets you think of a typical heavy metal cliché song, but it hardly is. Or let's say: Closer to the typical metal clichés does the album never come. Anyway, this is a fast killer track, which every genre fan will love instantly. And of that kind we have four others on the album: Into the Dragon's Lair/The Crownguard's Quest/The last Knight/Firestorm. All damn good, especially the last three are absolute hits, including great melodies and bombastic choruses. They are not continuously speedy, but also have slow and mid-tempo parts as the respective atmosphere needs it. Even highly emotional goosebumps-parts are there! So, if you like that kind of song most, satisfaction with this album is guaranteed.

But Evertale know how to transport epic power, too! "As Tarsis falls" and "Brothers in War" are epic highlights with a slightly sad mood (because of the stories they tell), but with fantastic melodies, bridges and choruses, that will drill deep into your brain and never get out again! And then there is "Tale of the Everman". One might say the genre of this one is almost "epic doom metal", because of the gloom, the slowness and the really heavy guitars. It definitely shows the great variety of this band. And, of course, a ballad is inevitable: The title track is the only song where Evertale work with the typical fantasy clichés one would expect from an album like this and don't seem to tell a story from their book inspiration. I like this mostly acoustic song nonetheless, despite the fact (or maybe because of the fact?) that it heavily reminds me of Blind Guardian's "The Bard's Song".

As you see, the album has a pleasantly balanced mix of different song types, and the individual songs themselves are quite varied, too. Even after so many times of listening, I still discover fine little details. This album enriches every record collection: Lyrical depths, non-boring song structures, catchy choruses and an obvious personal passion for the art from the people behind this album. Simply remarkable.
------------------------------------------------------


Thanks for reading!
Addi

Hi Addi, sorry to hear that you’ve been having a hard time with getting your review published. I’m not a site moderator, so I can’t comment on the specific reasons for rejecting the review, but I have plenty of experience writing on the site. My first few reviews were also rejected several times and, although the criteria may seem unclear or demanding, it won’t take long before they start to make sense.

With your review, it sounds like you’ve already taken steps to improve the presentation, which is great, and I’ve only spotted a couple of grammar problems, but they aren’t serious. I agree a little bit that some of the paragraphs are slightly long, especially the second one, which has a strange extra section attached to it. What you say about paragraphing logically (one topic per paragraph) is true; however, your review would benefit from some content editing to reduce repetition and keep the writing to essentials. For example, you talk at length in both the 2nd and 5th paragraphs about song and album runtime, a topic that really only needs one or two sentences. In any case, it’s mostly explained by your comments on song structure and the variety of styles used.

That brings me on to the next point, which is that you’ve approached the different aspects of the album too discretely. You talk about lyrics as a separate point, the Blind Guardian influence as a separate point, and describe the general style for too long, before finally coming to the songs. I would encourage you to use songs as examples to back up these general background points, because as you say the music is the important part. So, when you talk about the ballad sounding like ‘The Bard’s Tale’, that backs up your Blind Guardian point. When you mention the diversity of the songs in the penultimate paragraph, you could make a short comment about 77 minutes passing quickly. In short, integrate the ideas more and it will sort out a lot of the paragraphing issues, improve the logic, and make the review a better read.

A separate point you might consider is the sentence fragments in the first paragraph. It could be one reason for rejection when you write things like “Likable guys, interesting songs, and an energetic performance”, since a moderator seeing these incomplete sentences may decide that the reviewer has a poor grasp of grammar and won’t read all the way through the review, especially as it has been rejected before. If it’s your first review and for a popular album, the moderation will be stricter.

I think your review is close to being accepted, it just needs a bit more patience to get it approved. If there’s a future rejection, perhaps you could send the moderator a private message to ask for more details. Good luck!

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AddiSch
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:32 am
Posts: 3
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:50 pm 
 

Hello gasmask_colostomy!

OK, that's some stuff I can work with. Thank you!

You mentioned a couple of not so serious grammar problems. To be honest, this is not unexpected for me, because I'm no native speaker. I just tried my best to avoid them ;)

I guess, with the "strange extra section attached to the second paragraph" you mean this sentence here: "So, yes, there are all these parallels to the Blind Guardian albums of the 90's, but is that bad? Surely not. The band should be honored to have their album compared to such milestones of heavy metal history!"
I don't see what is strange about it. The whole paragraph ist about the parallels to the Blind Guardian albums. I present a list of the parallels worth mentioning and after the list I add the above sentence as my conclusion. Is adding a conclusion to an aspect/paragraph a problem in general? I have the feeling, the whole second paragraph does not work without the conclusion.

I think, reducing repetition is a good point. I'll definitely check & fix that where possible.

You're next point about describing the aspects to discretely absolutely makes sense to me. Additionally that would give the single songs more room. I would appreciate that. But at this point of "review evolution" I don't like to completely rewrite half of the text. But I'll definitely follow that approach in my next review, although I guess it will be quite hard for me to do this kind of integration. But I'll try!

Yes, yes, the sentence fragments in the first paragraph. Of course I know that these fragments are not grammatically correct sentences! I just wanted the text to be more pleasent to read. Not so formal, you know? It still is about Heavy Metal and I don't want to win the Nobel Prize for literature ;)
I would really find it sad if it is forbidden to place some little gimmicks like that.

Last but not least: You really think this is a popular album? Sad to say, but I don't have the feeling that the album or the band is very popular. I've been to a concert recently and there was an audience of about 20 people :(
Most definitely this band deserves more.

So long!
Addi

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gasmask_colostomy
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 5:38 am
Posts: 726
Location: Behind the wall of fire
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:43 am 
 

AddiSch wrote:
Hello gasmask_colostomy!

OK, that's some stuff I can work with. Thank you!

You mentioned a couple of not so serious grammar problems. To be honest, this is not unexpected for me, because I'm no native speaker. I just tried my best to avoid them ;)

Yes, the grammar problems are unavoidable sometimes, but I don’t think that’s what is preventing the review being accepted. It’s more likely to be one of the following points, which is why I was quite picky in looking over the review.

AddiSch wrote:
I guess, with the "strange extra section attached to the second paragraph" you mean this sentence here: "So, yes, there are all these parallels to the Blind Guardian albums of the 90's, but is that bad? Surely not. The band should be honored to have their album compared to such milestones of heavy metal history!"
I don't see what is strange about it. The whole paragraph ist about the parallels to the Blind Guardian albums. I present a list of the parallels worth mentioning and after the list I add the above sentence as my conclusion. Is adding a conclusion to an aspect/paragraph a problem in general? I have the feeling, the whole second paragraph does not work without the conclusion.

I don’t mean that what you’ve written is strange, I mean that the extra section is a strange writing feature. It’s either another paragraph or it’s the same one - not both. The specific feedback you had for the review states that you should use paragraphs “separated by a single empty line”. I’m not sure if your previous drafts contained more, but that’s clearly a problem that is preventing the formatting looking normal. It should be easy to fix: either make it one large paragraph (I assume that’s how you see it) or break it into two, probably before you talk about song structure.

AddiSch wrote:
I think, reducing repetition is a good point. I'll definitely check & fix that where possible.

You're next point about describing the aspects to discretely absolutely makes sense to me. Additionally that would give the single songs more room. I would appreciate that. But at this point of "review evolution" I don't like to completely rewrite half of the text. But I'll definitely follow that approach in my next review, although I guess it will be quite hard for me to do this kind of integration. But I'll try!

I understand it may be annoying to rewrite what you have already worked on. From experience, however, I promise it won’t take as long as you think, plus you will be able to get rid of some repetition while you go.

AddiSch wrote:
Yes, yes, the sentence fragments in the first paragraph. Of course I know that these fragments are not grammatically correct sentences! I just wanted the text to be more pleasent to read. Not so formal, you know? It still is about Heavy Metal and I don't want to win the Nobel Prize for literature ;)
I would really find it sad if it is forbidden to place some little gimmicks like that.

This isn’t forbidden, but again I’m trying to find reasons why it might have been rejected. Since it’s your first review, this will have a bigger influence on the decision of the mods than it might after they know your style.

AddiSch wrote:
Last but not least: You really think this is a popular album? Sad to say, but I don't have the feeling that the album or the band is very popular. I've been to a concert recently and there was an audience of about 20 people :(
Most definitely this band deserves more.

I’m personally not familiar with the band, though I see both albums have 2 or 3 reviews already, which again reduces the chance that a borderline review will be accepted. The fact that those reviews generally have very high scores (I guess you are giving the album over 90%) tends to make moderators cautious about accepting all later reviews. I hope that the band’s deserving recognition will give you the last push to get the review accepted. You’re really very close!

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AddiSch
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 5:32 am
Posts: 3
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:25 pm 
 

It may last some more weeks again, but I'll do my very best!

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Animalistic
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:00 am
Posts: 3
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:27 am 
 

Anyone willing to offer a word on review ideology, or more specifically where to draw the line in your review content? I'm looking to write a review that stakes part of itself in providing a thesis over what genre an album fits into. I'm not exactly looking to use this thesis as the meat of the review, but I find it an interesting view and a good jumping off point to what makes or breaks the specific piece of music.

In my head, I would like to shed light on why I think people might have some misthoughts on an album, without bringing that actual strife into the review itself. Is writing a review with the idea of using it as a bit of a postmortem, and reviewing it through that specific lens (album is great viewed as blend of ___ and ___ ) worth writing or reading? I've never seen anyone discuss this view point, and believe it to be an exciting way to consume the album and look at a band's progression.

My apologies if this was a bit hard to understand, as I'm having a hard time parsing my own thoughts on what I'd like to make and why it might not be a fair review.

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