Those two projects "Lakupaavi" and "By Dawn Cursed" appear to be (from previous discussions) special exceptions to the PR rule. Though, truth be told, there's a certain level of uncertainty about who accepted them and for what reason. They may have been accepted by mistake or by error, and then became established enough that nobody is quite sure what happened and isn't sure whether or not to remove them... instead claiming "special exception" status on them. It might not hurt to review why they are here as special exceptions as, honestly, the mix of doubt and the special status of "arbitrarily exceptional" for this database don't seem to resonate that well with these two projects... at least in comparison to other potential exceptions. They're just not that "exceptional."
The problem with such bands, and perhaps the PR rule as a whole, isn't the fact that it exists as a guideline here or that physical formats are coming to an end (however that argument is made, as opinions it's not relevant and completely guess-work). Instead, let's face the facts as to what the PR rule does for the site. The PR rule is incredibly useful as a judging tool; on the one hand it gives crediblity to the existence and permanency of a band and on the other hand it ensures just a little bit more that uncertainties that might surround the submission, approval, and rejection of a band are diminished and made more sensible to the parties involved. In short, it gives mods and users a clear policy that is not just a line drawn in the sand (as with what this site considers "metal enough") or a subjective judgement (as would be expected in the way music is itself judged or individual albums for "predominant metalness"). No, the PR rule keeps things fair by giving all bands an equal expectation for acceptance (that they have released something physically). It's a good base to start off with the judgement of a band, without having to rely on potentially dubious guidelines (eg. accepting a band because it's on iTunes not Bandcamp or that the band is required to be active and touring) or arbitrary judgements (eg. that the band seems legit and might have some level of permanency and credibility). You open up a barrel of monkeys by having a "base" built entirely on the varying interpretations of users and mods.
The dilemma with the PR rule, however, is the same one (unsurprisingly) that we have with just about any other rule we follow when handling the submissions of bands. With "metalness" we have the classic dual dilemma that some bands that are non-metal tend to be a big part of the metal scene (ala. Karl Sanders) while bands that sit just on the wrong side of the borderline have no current chance of being accepted (ala. Between the Buried and Me). How do you reconcile that, or do you at all? The logical way of dealing with it would be to keep with the rules, and don't allow any exceptions. The rationale and reasonable approach might be to accept some exceptions, but then on what basis? Arbitrariness? With firm guidelines? With mechanical yes/no logic gates? There's no nice and easy way with dealing with potential exceptions, and yet because with metalness we've drawn a line in the sand we can't avoid the arguments for the acceptance of some exceptions and the removal or rejection of others. The subjective nature of music tends to encourage us to make more and more and more exceptions to the point where exceptions are no longer exceptional, and then a new policy is born and the floodgates are open to drastic change. That's not the best way to go about it either - why change something that isn't inherently broken? Avoiding exceptions on the other hand might mean we're less of a complete encyclopedia of metal... dilemma following dilemma, and confusion.
This follows through with the PR rule. There are some bands out there who, with the one exception of not releasing their material on physical formats, are legit bands in every other form. They would qualify just as any other band on the Archives as credible and metal. There would be no question of that. But this poses the same problem given in the aforementioned paragraph: should they be accepted as exceptions? If that's the case, how do you manage it? How do you ensure that the PR rule isn't pegged with holes at the end of the day as increasing more and more exceptions are made based on precedence? How do you avoid that "barrel of monkeys" described above, and keep PR as the solid base we need (even if we may not want it). It's clear from this thread that with even two potential exceptions to the PR, it's enough to question the credibility of those projects and the judgement of future digital-only submissions. In short, the possibilities can be daunting and I can't blame users and mods alike in avoiding this issue like politicians avoid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
I don't doubt that as we go into the future we may find a time with PR that more and more special exceptions are made, likely on an arbitrary basis, but I can sense that it will remain as contentious as ever no matter which direction is taken.