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EntilZha
Retired

Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:22 pm
Posts: 2222
PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 2:41 pm 
 

Just looking at it without even reading a word I can already tell you two things:

1) Don't write walls of text, use paragraphs.
2) Use proper quotes ( " ) instead of the ones you use ( “ ” ).
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HarbouringTheSoul
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:23 am
Posts: 98
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 4:46 am 
 

So I wrote a review again, and modeled the formatting (as in, the number and length of paragraphs) after my already accepted reviews. Still, it was rejected for formatting. This has happened to every single of my reviews as of yet, and all of them were accepted after some very minor changes. I really don't know what's wrong with this review, and how breaking it into smaller or bigger paragraphs makes it any easier to read.


Despite having an album on Nuclear Blast, Afflicted are ridiculously obscure. Due to this, most people who heard their name and haven't yet forgotten it will call them an underrated and overlooked gem. Obvious, since those who don't think the same won't even mention them. And especially in metal, those overlooked gems are not a rarity. Metal is not mainstream-like, good bands don't necessarily get famous. But in this case, their obscurity has a good reason: Afflicted are so helplessly amateurish that their music collapses under their vision.

In pure theory, "Prodigal Sun" must be an amazing record. The style of death metal that Afflicted play is similar to that of their peers in progressive death metal of the 90s, being rooted deeply in 70s progressive rock. They adopt most of the inventions of the prog death movement that the often cited trinity of Death, Atheist and Cynic pioneered: The complex compositions eschew the verse-chorus-verse format of traditional death metal in favor of suite-like arrangements in which sections work like motifs instead of set pieces. All instruments play a important role, and the bass guitar is high in the mix, not following the guitar but being a part of the interplay. A generally technical tone transcends this record, but without feeling like pointless wankery. But Afflicted are not purely derivative, they bring something original into the mix: While oriental melodies can be found nearly everywhere in prog death, it is represented here in a somewhat folklore-like style. The leads and solos, through various effects, have a dreamy and soaring tone texture, adding a certain depth to the sound that sets them apart from their peers. While in the fast, brutal parts they show they are a death metal band, the soft melodic touches bind their music closely to the psychedelic side of progressive rock without sounding cheesy.

The lyrics are probably the most impressive part of the record. While it might or might not be a concept album, all songs follow one of the two present themes. One is the question of the meaning of life, and the rejection of their possible answers, including mysticism and religion (while "Rising to the Sun" offers a clearly positive view of paganism, this most likely only pertains to the cultural and not the religious concept). The other songs comment on modern life and technology, accusing them of crippling ones spiritual abilities. All of this is compellingly written and well worth reading through.

Now one might ask how such an original and impressive concept leads to such a comparatively low score. The problem lies in the execution, both in the songwriting and the playing. Let's first focus on the playing: The guitarists and bassist do a fine job throughout, with the former pushing out memorable leads and expressive solos a lot (the one in "Harbouring The Soul" is particularly great) and the latter popping up at key moments for complex interplay or to convey a subtle melody. The real problems lie in the drummer and the singer: Joakim Broms has a rather bad voice and his vocals sounds more like drunken yelling with sloppy pronounciation that proper growls. While he does try to vary it a bit with screams, those come off as unmemorable and boring in their own right, making the whole vocal section repetitive and tedious. He also can't stick to the rhythm, often being behind it, but he's not the only one. The drummer also likes to do that, and he really shouldn't as a drummer. It's especially noticeable in "Harbouring The Soul", where he misses more beats than he hits. Even though it has an unusual time signature, this song isn't all that hard to play.

Now on to the songwriting: The leads are almost universally great, which makes most songs begin interesting at least, but they often evolve into power chord shredding that isn't memorable at all. Every song has some great parts, but just about every of them is also lacking in other sections. The only exceptions are the first and last song, both "Harbouring The Soul" and "Ivory Tower" are impressively written even if sloppily executed. The former employs and lot of hooks and many twists and turns, and somehow every single riff manages to be memorable, which is not an easy feat since there are quite some of them. "Ivory Tower" works more traditionally, in an almost verse-chorus form and two clear main riffs, but is still enjoyable regardless, because despite its form it's not commercial, even if catchier than the other tracks.

Other notable songs are "Tidings from the Blue Sphere", which begins with a slow acoustic section and then quickly builds up momentum into a trashy mid-paced riff before the acoustic section is repeated in its electrified version. This first half is quite hypnotic, due to repetition and slight variation of the sinister main theme. Unfortunately, the track is ruined afterwards in a stop-and-start section where the singer gets to yell out his brains over acoustic picking. I don't know what they were thinking, but in a subtle track like this, it kills all atmosphere. "Spirit Spectrum" has an extremely catchy main riff showing up in the middle but is overlong for its few interesting ideas. "Rising to the Sun" is also memorable, but not in a good way, just listen to the "Spirit, spirit, dance with me" refrain. It sounds like a nursery rhyme. Then there are two short fillers that are under two minutes long, one of them being the intro, leaving four completely useless and boring tracks. They usually have a good intro lead with plenty of oriental melody and an impressive solo somewhere. There are few catchy riffs otherwise and a lot of chugga-chugga filler without any discernible melody or notable rhythmic deviation. Broms continues to belch out line after line in the same uncreative fashion, making the songs even more boring than they already are. They're not necessarily bad (that award goes to "Rising to the Sun"), just completely unmemorable.

Afflicted clearly tried to make a lot out of this record, possessing an unique style and thought-provoking lyrics and even churning out several memorable sections, but they failed at making a consistent record out of their ideas, and in most cases even engaging songs. This record isn't bad, and it's well worth checking out if you want to hear some more obscure prog death, but beware that this record might disappoint or even bore you at parts. Had Afflicted made more records in this style, they might have had a chance to perfect their sound and become of the big names of progressive and technical death metal, but instead they pursued a completely different direction after one promising but dissatisfactory record.

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W1kt00r
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:02 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:22 am 
 

Metalpedia rejected my 2 rewievs and I was sent to shit thread (thanks a lot t oguy who sent me there). Can sb tell me what's bad in these rewiews or which sentences must I correct to submit these reviews?

Meta - "Ride The Lightning" 100% - The best thrash album ever recorded.

In 1983 Metallica recorded an album “Kill'em All” which could be known as the first thrash-metal position in the world. However, their next album called “Ride The Lightning” recorded only a year later and showed us how to play thrash. It defined Metallica’s style, which will be noticed in their next CDs. It's a strong conclusion but I think that “Ride The Lightning” is the best thrash metal album ever created. I've got some reasons to think in this way.

The first thing we hear is a far better production as in “Kill’Em All”. We listen to clear music that sounds very well and some special effects like thunders, bells and alerts. Moreover, we hear clearly every single hit of drums and bass parts. James Hetfield shows us his aggressive and characteristic manner. Some people say that it is not an original vocal but I like it. In my opinion, it sounds great. What is more, Kirk, Lars and Cliff aren't afraid of faster parts and they know how to play them. “Ride The Lightning” is a thrash metal album, so we've got there more faster songs, but not all...

The first song is “Fight Fire With Fire”. In the beginning we listen to a calm intro. After that we are destroyed by a very fast riff. Metallica hasn't created a faster song yet, only “Battery” could equal with this! The title track emerging from thunders could be thought to be a faster track, too – “Ride The Lightning” verses aren't as fast as in “Fight Fire With Fire” but a chorus is a high quality thrashing. "Trapped Under Ice" is a more go-getter version of Exodus' "Impaler" track. Metallica added some text here - according to this we have a very good metal song. Again! However, "Escape" is one of the less-valued Meta tracks, never performed live. I don't know why because the track is good either.

What's more, in “Ride The Lughtning” we have slower tracks which are in the Metallica’s standard, too. “For Whom The Bell Tolls” has a title taken form Ernest Hemingway’s story and it was inspired by one of the fragments of this novel. This song has got an awesome massive riff with a cherry on top of it. I was shocked when I heard that astonishing guitar part from 1:17 to 1:50 was played on a bass! Cliff Burton was a very talented player... The next song at first caused a small scandal but today it is one of the Meta classics. “Fade To Black" is an archetype of a metal ballad. It is a beautiful and well played song which defined how to play heavy ballads. Nobody had played that way before. Also the last track - "The Call of Ktulu" has the title taken from H.P. Lovecraft’s novel (Cliff was a lover of his literature). It is an instrumental song where we hear a lot of guitar patterns played in a song sounding like a symphony - who knows, maybe if J. S. Bach had heard this song, he would have congratulated Metallica? It's an amazing track showing us how creative this band is.

All these seven songs are great but absolutely the best track in “Ride The Lightning” is "Creeping Death". It is made with all the patterns which thrash metal is built of. Great riffs, great solos, great vocal – the absolute world championship! It is my favourite Metallica track and one of the best metal tracks! There has never been a Metallica concert without this song and the public shouting "Die! Die! Die!" in the chorus...

As you can see the music is fantastic. But what about lyrics in “Ride The Lightning”? Luckily Metallica is extremely original and their tracks aren’t about Satan or fantasy stories - Metallica predicts Armageddon in a very clever way (“Fight Fire With Fire"), shows us some memories of a prisoner in an electric chair (“Ride The Lightning”), no way out ("Trapped Under Ice"), the loss of the will to live (Fade to Black"), a tragic history of soldiers (“For Whom The Bell Tolls") or some philosophy (“Escape"). Lyrics are very interesting and they could be translated and treated as poems. They’re very clever and thought-provoking.

“Ride The Lightning" is one of the most well-known metal CDs and one of the best metal CDs ever made. The best of exclusive thrash of course! It's a masterpiece! All 8 songs are very good! Moreover, some of them are brilliant! Luckily Metallica recorded albums of the same high level after that. What’s the conclusion? If you don't listen to this CD you can't call yourself a "Metal".

I've written one reviev before so I don't know what's bad in this. Could you help me please?

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W1kt00r
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:02 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 4:26 am 
 

Slo Burn - Demo: 95% I want to have these songs re-released...

After the split-up of the legend of stoner - Kyuss - paths of the guitarist and the vocalist went in two different directions. Josh Homme founded Queens Of The Stone Age – a band very popular nowadays, playing the go-getter rock. I like QOTSA but John Garcia founded a stoner band, which was supposed to be the stoner successor of Kyuss: Slo Burn. Unfortunately, this band recorded only 9 (!) songs, 5 in this demo from 1996. It's only a demo, so the sound isn't great but songs - they could be on Kyuss CDs...

The most well-known track from Slo Burn demo is "Positiva" - in the beginning a calmer song with a beautiful "desert" part of the guitar, but later - we have some full-blood stoner riffs with the best stoner vocalist John Garcia. It was the first track from this demo I listened to and due to Positiva I found four next tracks. "Cactus Jumper" destroyed me totally. At first we hear a very strong stoner bass which could be used for testing new models of subwoofers. After this short part we fall on the ground. It is the fastest Slo Burn track! What had the musicians done before recording this track? Did they pull out and eat cactuses? An amazing song...

Other tracks are very respectably played in a medium speed. "Slo Burn(Hweel Fall)" with a fast opening and a bold chorus, "Round Trip" with very strong riffs and a strange cut-ending and "Snake Hips" with amazing riffs and Johnny's hypnotizing vocal.

To sum up, I'd say that the demo of Slo Burn is an amazing stoner show-off, known only by the most staunch fans of John Garcia. So dear stoner fans who listen to this band for the first time - what could you do to have these songs? At first listen them (in the Internet we have all 5 tracks) and download them. There wasn't an official CD... This demo hasn’t even got a cover! So download these songs, listen to them, drink some beer and smoke some weed - long life stoner!

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HarbouringTheSoul
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:23 am
Posts: 98
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2010 7:45 am 
 

W1kt00r wrote:
Metalpedia rejected my 2 rewievs and I was sent to shit thread (thanks a lot t oguy who sent me there). Can sb tell me what's bad in these rewiews or which sentences must I correct to submit these reviews?

What was your review rejected for? Content or formal aspects?

W1kt00r wrote:
Meta - "Ride The Lightning" 100% - The best thrash album ever recorded.

This attitude alone might be a reason for rejection. There are already plenty of reviews for this album that claim it as a masterpiece, so you must bring something new to the table if you want your review to be accepted. If you're only going to repeat what others said, there's no reason to review the album in the first place. (Note that I wrote this before reading through your all of your review, so your review might actually original enough. Let's see.)

W1kt00r wrote:
In 1983 Metallica recorded an album “Kill'em All” which could be known as the first thrash-metal position in the world. However, their next album called “Ride The Lightning” recorded only a year later and showed us how to play thrash.

I am totally confused by these two sentences, both in terms of syntax and content. What is a "thrash-metal position"? (Also, the hyphen is unnecessary.) You probably wanted to say that it's the first full-length album that can be classified purely as thrash metal. Then, you say "However", for no apparent reason. "However" implies that the second sentence opposes the first, but it doesn't. You forgot to put a "was" before "recorded" as well. In general, use straight quotes (") instead of curly ones (“), for some reason the latter is not accepted here. The same goes for apostrophes. Then there's another logical issue: If "Kill 'em All" was the first thrash album, why did "Ride The Lightning" show us how to play thrash? It simply makes no sense.


W1kt00r wrote:
It defined Metallica’s style, which will be noticed in their next CDs.

If you're gonna say this, you should describe the style in detail. It doesn't help if you say this album defined their style if you're not saying what is characteristic for that style. Also, please say "album" instead of "CD", there were once such things as vinyl records and cassettes before CDs were invented.

W1kt00r wrote:
It's a strong conclusion but I think that “Ride The Lightning” is the best thrash metal album ever created. I've got some reasons to think in this way.

The last sentence seems unnecessary. The point of this review is to show your reasons for thinking that way, so you don't need to state that you have reasons. If you hadn't, it would be hard to write a review, don't you think?

W1kt00r wrote:
The first thing we hear is a far better production as in “Kill’Em All”. We listen to clear music that sounds very well and some special effects like thunders, bells and alerts. Moreover, we hear clearly every single hit of drums and bass parts.

"clear music that sounds very well"? Let me guess, you're not a native English speaker. You probably wanted to say that the sound quality is good, but that's absolutely not the impression I get from that sentence. It just doesn't sound correct, but I'm not a native English speaker myself, so you should probably let somebody else help you here. I also beg to differ in the content again, I personally can hear the drums and bass parts very clearly in "Kill 'Em All".

W1kt00r wrote:
James Hetfield shows us his aggressive and characteristic manner. Some people say that it is not an original vocal but I like it. In my opinion, it sounds great.

You only say you like his voice but not why.

W1kt00r wrote:
What is more, Kirk, Lars and Cliff aren't afraid of faster parts and they know how to play them. “Ride The Lightning” is a thrash metal album, so we've got there more faster songs, but not all...

Again, syntax is broken: "What is more" is not a valid expression and is certainly not synonymous with "moreover". "so we've got there more faster songs" is also not correct, the there should be omitted. Regarding content, you imply here that James doesn't play fast, which you certainly don't mean. I also wouldn't even specifically mention that they can play fast, because thrash metal bands always do, and Metallica aren't even one of the faster bands in the genre.

W1kt00r wrote:
The first song is “Fight Fire With Fire”. In the beginning we listen to a calm intro. After that we are destroyed by a very fast riff. Metallica hasn't created a faster song yet, only “Battery” could equal with this!

I be to differ with your definition of "very fast", but oh well... And if you think that this is Metallica's fastest song, be sure to check "Motorbreath" again, for example. Apart from the fact that this song is fast, you don't say anything.

W1kt00r wrote:
The title track emerging from thunders could be thought to be a faster track, too – “Ride The Lightning” verses aren't as fast as in “Fight Fire With Fire” but a chorus is a high quality thrashing.

Sorry, what? The chorus has the same tempo as the verses, and you never specifically say that this is a mid-tempo song. There are some language quirks again, but there's no use in sorting them out on a case-by-case basis if you will need to rewrite the review anyway. "High quality thrashing" is not a sufficient description at all, in fact, it says nothing except that you like it.

W1kt00r wrote:
"Trapped Under Ice" is a more go-getter version of Exodus' "Impaler" track. Metallica added some text here - according to this we have a very good metal song. Again!

Wait, what? From what I've heard, "Impaler" has text too. Also, how does the presence of lyrics make a song good?

W1kt00r wrote:
However, "Escape" is one of the less-valued Meta tracks, never performed live. I don't know why because the track is good either.

"Meta" is not an abbreviation that I've ever heard for "Metallica". In fact, "Meta" is Greek for"beyond". Also, you still didn't say why you like this song. By the way, "either" is only used when there's a "not" anywhere in the sentence.

W1kt00r wrote:
What's more, in “Ride The Lughtning” we have slower tracks which are in the Metallica’s standard, too. “For Whom The Bell Tolls” has a title taken form Ernest Hemingway’s story and it was inspired by one of the fragments of this novel.

"Ernest Hemingway’s story" is not really a good description, especially when you don't even mention what said "story" is about.

W1kt00r wrote:
This song has got an awesome massive riff with a cherry on top of it.

Sorry, what? This is either a broken metaphor or I fail to see the cherry. Hmm...

W1kt00r wrote:
I was shocked when I heard that astonishing guitar part from 1:17 to 1:50 was played on a bass! Cliff Burton was a very talented player...

I might be wrong, but this is not the part that is actually played on the bass. The part from 0:00 to 0:40 is played on a bass. Then again, it might even be both parts, who knows.

W1kt00r wrote:
The next song at first caused a small scandal but today it is one of the Meta classics.

If you mention a scandal, explain the backgrounds of said scandal.

W1kt00r wrote:
“Fade To Black" is an archetype of a metal ballad. It is a beautiful and well played song which defined how to play heavy ballads. Nobody had played that way before.

Dio is rolling in his grave... You also don't describe what's good about it, again.

W1kt00r wrote:
Also the last track - "The Call of Ktulu" has the title taken from H.P. Lovecraft’s novel (Cliff was a lover of his literature). It is an instrumental song where we hear a lot of guitar patterns played in a song sounding like a symphony - who knows, maybe if J. S. Bach had heard this song, he would have congratulated Metallica? It's an amazing track showing us how creative this band is.

I think you didn't quite grasp the complexity of Bach in comparison to Metallica. You also don't seem to know what a symphony is. If you do, explain your association. Needless to say, we still don't hear an accurate description. "A lot of guitar patterns" are nothing exceptional in a Metal song, I guess.

W1kt00r wrote:
All these seven songs are great but absolutely the best track in “Ride The Lightning” is "Creeping Death". It is made with all the patterns which thrash metal is built of. Great riffs, great solos, great vocal – the absolute world championship! It is my favourite Metallica track and one of the best metal tracks! There has never been a Metallica concert without this song and the public shouting "Die! Die! Die!" in the chorus...

I have attended a Metallica concert without his song. I also have never heard "Die! Die! Die! shouts in the chorus. Just to remind you, the chorus is the "So let it be written" part. "Great riffs, great solos, great vocal" are really not an accurate description of the "patterns which thrash metal is built of". Again, you only say that you like it, which isn't really something we need to know.

W1kt00r wrote:
Luckily Metallica is extremely original and their tracks aren’t about Satan or fantasy stories

People who see the Bible as a fantasy story will now say that "Creeping Death" is just that.

W1kt00r wrote:
Metallica predicts Armageddon in a very clever way (“Fight Fire With Fire")

What exactly is clever about it?

W1kt00r wrote:
or some philosophy (“Escape").

"Philosophy" is not a good description of the lyrical themes in this song. Read the lyrics again.

W1kt00r wrote:
The best of exclusive thrash of course! It's a masterpiece! All 8 songs are very good! Moreover, some of them are brilliant!

You really like exclamation marks! Guess what! I don't! You also don't say anything with substance here, only praise that isn't backed up by your review.

W1kt00r wrote:
If you don't listen to this CD you can't call yourself a "Metal".

I'm so very sorry, but I doubt anyone ever called themselves a "Metal".

What you need to do is fix your grammar (there are also some typos) and describe much more accurately why this album is good and what sets it apart from others. Personal preference is not a reason.

On an unrelated note, did anyone read my review and notice what's wrong with the formatting? I am still confused what might be the problem.

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Oblarg
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:59 pm
Posts: 2371
Location: The second sea
PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:27 am 
 

My most recent review:

Flow marked the first (and only) major stylistic shift in Conception's short-but-incredible career. While their first three albums were in no way clones, they all kept an 80's power metal sensibility to them that united them in style, despite their differences.

Flow sees a move away from the power metal sound towards a more catchy and accessible sound. For most bands, this also accompanies a loss of musical integrity, yet Conception manage to keep their musical genius mostly intact, an impressive feat. While they may have ditched the crushingly heavy power metal riffs of their old albums, they retained the superb songwriting that always made their albums great, and though it may be different, Flow is still a great album worth much more praise and recognition than it receives.

Conception's musicianship on Flow doesn't need much said about it - as with all of their albums, it's absolutely superb. Tore Østby plays brilliantly, as always, with enchanting leads scattered throughout the album. Khan sticks to a lower register here than on the other albums, yet the more controlled sound works just as well, and melds wonderfully with the album's atmosphere. The drumming is tight and precise, and the bass, as always, has a distinct, hypnotizing presence in all of the songs and is never once hidden in the mix.

The album's atmosphere deserves praise - this is probably the best atmosphere of any Conception albums, with all the songs sharing a firm stylistic similarity that makes the album flow (har har har) very nicely, yet that's not to say they're at all repetitious or lacking in originality. To the contrary, Flow's songs are probably more varied than on any of their other albums, except possibly their debut. The song structures are more experimental and "progressive" than even on In Your Multitude, yet never does it sound forced for the sake of experimentation. Conception was always a band to play what sounded good, regardless of the boundaries of the genre.

Østby is a fantastic songwriter, and most of the songs on here are absolute winners. The hooks are top-notch and insanely memorable, the songs are all constructed very well, and none outstay their welcome. From the poppy rocker Flow to the serene ballads Cry and Hold On (Conception were always masters of balladry), the album delivers memorable song after memorable song. Reach Out is especially superb, featuring a wonderfully inspirational chorus that will have you singing along in no time. The Japanese bonus track, Hand on Heart, is also a gem - pick up the Japanese import if you can possibly can.

That's not to say the album is perfect - the Conception were experimenting with this album, and while most of the experiments were resounding successes, the album does have a few consistency problems. Some of the tracks simply don't work as well as they could have; the creativity and inspiration is there, but the ideas simply don't come together as well as they could. Angel (Come Walk with Me) features a thoroughly odd verse that drags the song down from it's stunningly good chorus, and Khan's excessive breathing during his somewhat seductive vocals doesn't exactly help. Tell Me when I'm Gone, notably more venomous and aggressive than the rest of the album, features yet another odd vocal performance from Khan, except this time one that works. Unfortunately, the song is dragged down by the lack of the memorable hooks that make the rest of the songs so superb.

Overall, this is another strong release from a superb band, and any fan of progressive rock/metal would be well-served by giving this a listen. In fact, anyone looking for a good, catchy, easy to listen to album will enjoy this immensely.

I think I was a bit sparse with the descriptions of the music on this one, but I'm not quite sure and would like to know what people think of it.

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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
Posts: 4048
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:22 am 
 

Just submitted a review, but I want some feedback just in case it fails to stick. I'm very enthusiastic about this release, and I want to know if you guys think this review will spark some (more) interest.

Album: Vanden Plas - The Seraphic Clockwork
Score: 96
Review:

"First things first. If you're going to be turned off by songs that are in excess of 7 minutes long (the final standard track brushing 13), this album may not be for you. Vanden Plas has always released powerful albums with very few songs crossing into the 6-minute-plus territory. Well, I can safely say only one of those things has changed with The Seraphic Clockwork.

Continuing in the more orchestral direction that Beyond Daylight began for the group, The Seraphic Clockwork continues to turn the knobs up on every aspect of their past albums. The result is a bombastic, high-flying album full of powerful vocal performances from Andy Kuntz, while Stephan Lill provides us with some great riffs both aggressive and understated. Actually, you know what? Everyone sounds great. Even more so than usual. The sheer level of inspiration and enthusiasm is staggering, to say the least; it's almost as if they're playing like this will be the last album they will ever release (though, I dearly hope that is not the case).

The first thing you'll notice when you pop this baby in is the in-your-face riffage of "Frequency," which serves as a hard-pounding introduction to the looming beast you're about to face. "Holes in the Sky" takes it a little slower without backing down on the grit, and "Scar of an Angel" shows up as the first ballad on the album (we all know Vanden Plas, it's not gonna be the last, but I'll let you in on a little secret: this album is very much back-loaded, so you ain't heard nothing yet). "Sound of Blood" may be the weakest track on the album, but considering the fact it still chugs with menace and also dwells on some great, subtle melodies, it will fail to disappoint.

"The Final Murder" clocks in at almost 10 minutes long, makes up the second ballad on the album, and it shines brighter than anything so far with another high-flying, infectious chorus and some great soloing from Stephan. And yet, even this monster is toppled by my favorite track, "Quicksilver." Good and holy God, that is how you build up to an epic finish to your songs, ladies and gentlemen. Acting as the third ballad (I should probably mention I'm using the term lightly), what begins as a calm and melodic mix of piano and strings becomes a towering behemoth of symphony and metal, pausing only for a minute or two for a brief foray into some instrumental funkiness in the middle. Good stuff, right here.

It's almost not fair to force "Rush of Silence" to follow behind, but when you finally compose yourself and get over the previous track, it kicks in after a few seconds with some intricate solo-age, and right into another fantastic vocal performance from Kuntz, kicking our ass for the next 9 minutes until the album's juggernaut closer comes rolling in. And make no mistake, "On My Way to Jerusalem" is a colossal achievement. While I'm more partial to "Quicksilver," as mentioned earlier, this will undoubtedly be the track everyone talks about. It begins inconspicuously enough, builds up to a fury of, well, I've said it before. It's Vanden Plas. I just have to say "fury" and you know what I mean. Another catchy-as-hell chorus, another winding journey of composition through the album's central religious themes. For twelve minutes and fifty seconds, this track weaves through every dynamic imaginable, and will not disappoint whatsoever.

But...for those of us who got the special digipak version, we're subjected to a final, shorter bonus track called "Eleyson." This track is very different from the others: softer, slower, and sung entirely in Latin. However, it shares one very important thing in common with its brethren, and that is its undeniably superb quality. Sure, Kuntz may not be the best speaker of Latin the world has ever known, but he takes the awkward language to great heights, delivering, in my opinion, his most heart-felt performance the album has to offer. By any means necessary, pick up the digipak version so that you can own this treasure.

Hell, just get the album in any way, shape, or form you can. The Seraphic Clockwork may be back-loaded, but to say the earlier tracks are lackluster is a crime and an offense. The first few songs are perfectly spectacular, it's just that they're overshadowed by the phenomenal second half. If you're a fan of progressive metal, power metal, metal in general, or a great melody with stellar composition, you've got to grab this album. You just have to, okay? Just do it. I will sit here and gush over this album as long as it takes for you to take my words to heart and buy the damn thing. I can guarantee you will not be disappointed."
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holyrebels
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 1313
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:41 am 
 

This review was rejected for what I can only assume was primarily a formatting issue. How frequently do the punctuation characters get scrambled when submitting a review?

Additionally, virtually every bullet point regarding punctuation, spacing, and formatting was delivered along with the rejection. Is this common? i can see where I used a lot of "" and (), is it likely that these came out looking like crap once it got to the mods?

Any tips on re-submission would be great. Thanks!

Here is a c/p of my review for Valhom - Desolation. I don't remember the header I used, but I gave it a 72.

Valhom is another in a seemingly endless line of raw USBM bands of recent years. “Desolation” is a one-man production which may or may not have session members, and the end product is decent enough if you like the raw USBM style. The overall production is strong, with full guitars, somewhat audible bass, and a decent drum sound for the style. The vocals are a strong point with a nicely reverbed and multitracked necro delivery. The guitar tone is consistently solid, while the guitarist weaves in and out with more than a few catchy riffs and excellent classic BM picking. The overall songwriting is a little more ambitious than is usual for the genre, with some use of samples, keyboards, and the occasional slower passage, but Valhom doesn’t let you forget for a minute that they are primarily a raw, fast, and primitive offering. The extra spice added to the music makes it a bit more interesting overall.


While there are plenty of things to like about this album, there are also plenty of flaws. Many of the transitions during tracks are very sloppy, and several of the riffs and passages go nowhere. I found myself losing interest with this album frequently and almost none of it sticks in my mind even after repeated listens. “Glory and Death” has some female operatic Star Trek singing in the middle. The middle section of “As The Stars Fade Away and Die” is a perfect example of the song losing it’s way, as none of the riffs come across as intended and sound like a careless mess until (almost) coming back tight at the 3 minute mark. “Infernal Legions” has a buildup early on that, again, misses the mark completely and leads into a weak guitar solo laid over an equally lethargic and poor rhythm section.


One wonders, if bass is Lord Temptation’s primary instrument, why the inexcusably boring rhythms made it to the final recording. If anything, his guitar playing (excellent riffing at times) and vocals are his strengths. Like many one-man projects, this one runs out of gas and the creativity stalls too often. Note to would-be one-man recording artists: get some trustworthy and helpful opinions about your music and your songwriting before you assume that your “vision” will stand on its own. Minor tweaking would have done wonders for this album, as there is plenty of talent on display here.


Overall, there are several songs on her worth listening to if you enjoy harsh, fast, and raw old-style black metal. The guitar and vocals carry this album and even though there are plenty of missteps in timing on the part of the drums and rhythms, it has some charm. Necro-BM fans rarely care about that anyway. Valhom's follow-up "Despair" is far superior to this album. This is a worthy purchase if you are a USBM collector and enjoy stuff like older Lightning Swords of Death, however “Desolation” is nowhere near as good as the LSOD material. This is the Ars Magna Recordings version and it is professionally packaged with a nice booklet and artwork throughout.

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Darkes7_
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2008 8:09 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:27 pm 
 

I think the unnecessarily big spaces between paragraphs (one Enter too much) are the reason, it's quite important. Don't see any other formatting problems, so I think this is the reason.

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zeingard
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:49 pm
Posts: 541
PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:27 pm 
 

Lose the numbers at the beginning of those paragraphs; they're awful and in fact I didn't even read them because of that. Numbering or listing within a review can be possible but starting with it can only end in tears. The rest is passable however.

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Idrownfish
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:04 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:57 pm 
 

Somewhere in Time is one of the best metal albums of all time, and it is also the one that got me into metal. For me, every song there is unique, so when I tried to review it, I made everything to describe each song properly. The problem is that MA discourages song-by-song reviews, and ended up rejecting it. I don't usually have trouble with review rejection, but this is already the second time this one got rejected, and I really don't know what to do. You see, I am not used to song-by-song reviews either. They sent me the following e-mail:

Greetings!

I'm sorry to inform you, but your review can not currently be accepted. While it does a good job of describing the music, the track-by-track formula that is used is discouraged, and makes it difficult to read and comprehend. In order for it to be accepted, it is recommended that you give a more concise and coherent structure to your review.

Your review was:
_________________________________________

Somewhere in Time is loved by virtually every metalhead in the world, has amazing riffs, vocals and solos and is probably the best album Iron Maiden has released so far (along with Brave New World and Powerslave). This album's lineup (with Murray, Smith and Dickinson) is the one that made Iron Maiden one of the most famous heavy metal bands of all time (and in my country, by far the most famous). Given the album’s fame and critical reception, it is natural to ask me some questions before reading my review. The first and most important one is certainly “why the hell would you review an album that every single person living on our crappy planet knows about?”, and the answer is that this album means a lot to me. It was the first metal album that I owned, and it was also the one that got me into metal.

And what an in introduction to the genre I had! The band’s members were inspired as hell when they recorded this. The songwriting is very solid: there are no overused riffs or choruses and you feel the need to hold your breath for as long as a solo lasts. Dickinson was shut out of the songwriting process, since he was not extremely inspired from 1984 to 1986 (can you remember his “contributions” to Powerslave?) but his vocals are even more emotional and epic than in Maiden’s previous releases. Even the predictable lyrics (if you guess what Bruce sings during the chorus of "Caught Somewhere in Time" correctly you WILL NOT win a cookie) helps to set the atmosphere.

Technically speaking, this album is great. The guitar synthesizers and the vocals are clearly highlighted by the production, and the guitars are much heavier and more aggressive than in previous Maiden’s releases, where the band played heavy metal riffs with hard rock guitars. The drums are typical 80’s heavy metal drums. They are faster than usual, but apart from that detail they are just your regular Iron Maiden drums. By the way, this recording is much faster and much more technical than Maiden’s previous works, and the synthesizer fits perfectly with the music, which is weird since this is Iron Maiden's first attempt at using one. It is definitely cheesy sometimes, but hey, this is a cheesy album after all. The only thing that kept me from giving 100% to this album is the lack of bass: the band focused their attention on the highs, and the production ended up taking the bass out of all the songs except Wasted Years and Sea of Madness. The bass is not inaudible or unnoticeable, but since Iron Maiden usually focuses on the bass, it is weird to see it as a secondary instrument.

The album begins with one of the most emotional songs Iron Maiden has ever recorded: “Caught Somewhere in Time”. The riff that introduces us to this album is powerful, slow and truly creative, but the song gets even better as the time passes. The melodies are carefully constructed, the guitar synthesizer does its job forcefully and riffs are given birth to at an alarming rate, but they aren’t simply discarded: we get to see most of them appearing at least twice while the song lasts. Dickinson does an astounding performance thorough this song, and his vocals are highlighted by the (very clean) production. “Caught Somewhere in Time” is not only a perfect introduction to an almost flawless album but also the best possible prelude to the song that is in my opinion one of the finest (if not the finest ) song that Maiden has ever delivered.

The second song, Wasted Years, is the only song in this album that doesn’t use synthesizers, and… Meh. Honestly, trying to describe this song is painful for me: it is my favorite song from the album, it is my favorite song from Iron Maiden, and it is simply my favorite song ever. For real, it is probably the best song ever recorded. The riff that introduces the song is perfect; the vocals are perfect, and the solo... Will you believe me if I tell you that I actually cried when the solo met the vocals at 3:41? This song is interesting because it is both emotional and traditional, relying on an amazing solo and a powerful chorus while not needing the help of synthesizers. I am not trying to say that the use of synthesizers was a mistake in this album; I am just saying that this song proved me that Harris knew exactly where one would fit and where one wouldn’t.

“Sea of Madness” is the most powerful song in the album when it starts, suddenly becomes the calmest one at 2:53, when the guitars begin doing minimal sounds and the bass becomes the focus and at 3:40 the mighty reverb of the guitars come back with more powerful and emotional riffing. The bass line (the second best of this album) makes me feel very optimistic while listening to it and the synthesizer delivers some of the cheesiest riffs I have ever seen, which is ironical, considering that this song has one of the darkest and most pessimistic lyrics that Harris has ever written.

“Heaven Can Wait” is another song that is way too happy for its lyrics: the chorus is happy and catchy, and yet Bruce is singing about a person who died but cannot accept going to heaven because there is too much left undone on the Earth. This song is weird because it has all the elements that it needs in order to be a great song, but it feels like filler. It is actually very enjoyable and has that epic feeling that is omnipresent in this album, but the rest of the album is so great that it feels like “Heaven Can Wait” is simply there to increase the album’s length. Thankfully, just after it is over we get to hear “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner”, a song that suffers from weak lyrics, but overwhelms anyone with its sad lead introduction and its riffing. The melodies created here are among the most beautiful of the album (in terms of melody this song is as good as Déjà Vu and Wasted Years) and at 3:30, during the solo, there is one of the most interesting lead breakdowns that were ever written, which is followed by the climax of the song.

While all of the other songs in this album would be rated as masterpieces by anyone who listened to them, “Stranger in A Strange Land” is simply good, which is a terrible surprise. This is not one of the best metal songs that were ever written, and since this album is full of those I sometimes skip this song. I wouldn’t be brave enough to skip this song in (almost) any other album, but since every time I put this album on the maximum volume I am suddenly surrounded by some of the best stuff that was ever written I feel that it is unnecessary to listen to the overly calm vocals and the not-so-creative bass line. The solo here is amazing, and is the only part of the song that can be compared to the rest of the album.

The next song, Déjà Vu, is not only excellent, but also one of the catchiest songs that were ever written by Harris. Melodically speaking, this is one of the most beautiful and creative songs that have ever existed. It starts out slowly (just like half of the album) and progresses towards awesomeness. The vocals here are the second best of the CD (unfortunately nothing beats Wasted Years) but during the chorus they are backed up by the lead guitars in a way that makes it (the chorus) my favorite one of all times.

The album is finally over with “Alexander the Great”, an historical masterpiece that unfortunately has an introduction that lasts for way too long. Or not: While the introduction feels long, I doubt that it would have the same effect if it was ten seconds shorter. The lyrics are weak, but the theme is great (yes, it is actually possible) and the riffing and soloing as close to perfect as music can be. “Alexander the Great” runs for more than eight minutes, but you will enjoy every second of it, with the possible exception of the very start (the song begins with some narration, which is backed up by wind effects).

This album should be owned by anyone that enjoys living, which doesn’t exclude people who simply are not into metal at all. It is not only Iron Maiden’s best work, but also one of the best works that were ever done. Each song is almost perfect, and if played from beginning to end, the album is simply amazing. I wish I could rate this 100, but I can’t help but miss Harris’ bass a little.

Sincerely,
Encyclopaedia Metallum



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You have received this message because you chose the option to receive email notification whenever your submissions would be accepted or rejected. If you do not want to receive anymore emails, just edit your profile in the members section. Thank you.


Does anyone have any idea of how to get this one to be accepted? I don't think my review is incoherent, and I am pretty sure that this isn't a mistake (proof of that is that this isn't one of those computer-written e-mails that MA usually sends). Do you think I should make one paragraph for two songs, for example? I really don't know, I have already written one or two track-by-track reviews before and they were accepted.

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holyrebels
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 1313
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:28 am 
 

This is a very good review, but MA does frown on the track-by-track style and I think it's a little too long.

I was going to suggest focusing on the best tracks and making a few comments on the weaker tracks, but you seem to like the whole album (I don't blame you, it's awesome).

I think if you re-worded it, took out the track by track commentary and focused on the good and imperfect bits of the album you can get this accepted no problem. I can see where this is a difficult review to self-edit, because you have good commentary and say unique things about each track, which is rare among the reviews I've read. Good luck

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MacMoney
Man of the Cloth

Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 10:17 pm
Posts: 1990
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 2:48 pm 
 

Quote:
Somewhere in Time is loved by virtually every metalhead in the world, has amazing riffs, vocals and solos and is probably the best album Iron Maiden has released so far (along with Brave New World and Powerslave). This album's lineup (with Murray, Smith and Dickinson) is the one that made Iron Maiden one of the most famous heavy metal bands of all time (and in my country, by far the most famous). Given the album’s fame and critical reception, it is natural to ask me some questions before reading my review. The first and most important one is certainly “why the hell would you review an album that every single person living on our crappy planet knows about?”, and the answer is that this album means a lot to me. It was the first metal album that I owned, and it was also the one that got me into metal.


You might wanna check your facts and rewrite this paragraph. Somewhere in Time definitely isn't loved by virtually every metalhead. In fact, it's probably the first album by Maiden that isn't generally liked amongst fans of teh band. The best album (and the parenthesis comment) should be left out. The album's fame and critical reception... The albums probably the least known out of their output with the particular line-up and the critical reception, while good, was more lukewarm than the previous albums. Especially the synthesizers and long songs were criticized. Drop the questions and factual errors again. Why would everyone on earth know about this album? If you want to make such ridiculous blanket statements, at least try to bring something to back it up.

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Zelkiiro
Pounding the world with a fish of steel

Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:30 pm
Posts: 4048
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 6:15 pm 
 

Pretty much what ^ said. The most beloved Maiden album is probably Number of the Beast or Powerslave.
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Idrownfish
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:04 pm
Posts: 65
Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:46 am 
 

Thanks. I will make SOME changes, but I have never said that Somewhere in Time was the most beloved album. I simply said it was probably the best. I will add a "in my opinion" to that sentence I guess.

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FasterDisaster
OMG WAT DOES THIS CAPS LOCK KEY DO

Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:08 pm
Posts: 6420
PostPosted: Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:48 pm 
 

I originally wrote this review for my blog, and I typically don't have many problems when it comes to creative writing, but I figured I'd post this here for input, as I may eventually post it on the archives.

Please only focus on the actual review and the content, and not the layout or formatting.

Quote:
A Progressive Lens Crafted For Melodic Death Metal

(This part below is blog-specific and would be removed if posted to the Archives.)

ARTIST: Soilwork

ALBUM: The Panic Broadcast

YEAR: 2010

GENRE: Progressive Modern Melodic Death Metal

COUNTRY: Sweden

REVIEW: Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Soilwork is a band that has never really stayed in the same place for too long. Taking cues from At The Gates for Steelbath Suicide to the formulaic syncopation of modern melodic pop metal on Stabbing The Drama, they have always displayed a versatile set of skills, always interested in doing things a little differently for each release. While some would argue whether these changes were for the better are certainly up for debate, but one cannot argue that no two albums from Soilwork sound the same.

Soilwork’s latest output, The Panic Broadcast, follows suit in this tradition. The band has done a hell of a job learning from past mistakes, as they stay very clear of overly formulaic tracks, and keep out unwanted metalcore influences, which is something that tends to plague older bands’ new records from this scene. They always make wise decisions to keep the melodic riffing style moving forward, constantly changing, being set against different drum patterns, always finding time to fit a couple of lengthy solos to give the songs a unique personality.

One of the most interesting aspects of The Panic Broadcast is the wide variety of influences each of the band members bring to the table. Speed Stride brings creative vocal work, ranging from soaring, emotionally-charged clean yelling, to rough and dirty screams that draw back to releases earlier in the bands career. Dirk Verbeuren showcases drum patterns ranging from supercharged speeds on ‘King Of The Threshold’ that would not look out of place on a brutal thrash metal record, or the bands early tracks, to Fear Factory machine-like calculated stomping on ‘Night Comes Clean’. In terms of the guitar style, Peter and Sylvain craft riffing styles ranging from generic groove metal offerings (‘Let This River Flow’), to a bit of Fear Factory-inspired palm muted quick cuts (‘Night Comes Clean’) and technical patterns that go through many changes of pace (‘Two Lives Worth of Reckoning’).

All of these pieces come together in a melding pot of progressive-minded melodic death metal artists. Melody is a key component for the band, and besides a few other bashing-fast tracks, they stay consistently on melodic death metal melody-central mode, which has been a staple of this metal subgenre almost since it’s inception. This record doesn’t quite have the through-in-through lightening-fast pace of The Chainheart Machine, and doesn’t have the total melody-memorability overkill found within Natural Born Chaos, but instead it certainly makes up for this in a whirlwind of wide influences by giving new found creativity to each track, while still saying consistent to the sound of the record as a whole.

When all is said and done, those looking for Soilwork to return to their former glory should steer clear of this release, but those looking for a more clear and concise choice-style that feels more directed but still uniquely creative should absolutely give this a listen.

The Chosen Ones, ‘Two Lives Worth Of Reckoning’, ‘Night Comes Clean’, ‘Epitome’, ‘Enter Dog Of Pavlov’

FINAL GRADE B+

Parting Shot

While sporting some truly interesting guitar work and varied songs and influences, this record should be enjoyed for the wide variety of songs and creativity to be found within this record, for you will be wanting to listen to it after you reach the end.
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Naught
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:49 am
Posts: 44
PostPosted: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:35 pm 
 

FasterDisaster wrote:
I originally wrote this review for my blog, and I typically don't have many problems when it comes to creative writing, but I figured I'd post this here for input, as I may eventually post it on the archives.

Please only focus on the actual review and the content, and not the layout or formatting.

Quote:
A Progressive Lens Crafted For Melodic Death Metal

(This part below is blog-specific and would be removed if posted to the Archives.)

ARTIST: Soilwork

ALBUM: The Panic Broadcast

YEAR: 2010

GENRE: Progressive Modern Melodic Death Metal

COUNTRY: Sweden

REVIEW: Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Soilwork is a band that has never really stayed in the same place for too long. Taking cues from At The Gates for Steelbath Suicide to the formulaic syncopation of modern melodic pop metal on Stabbing The Drama, they have always displayed a versatile set of skills, always interested in doing things a little differently for each release. While some would argue whether these changes were for the better are certainly up for debate, but one cannot argue that no two albums from Soilwork sound the same.

Soilwork’s latest output, The Panic Broadcast, follows suit in this tradition. The band has done a hell of a job learning from past mistakes, as they stay very clear of overly formulaic tracks, and keep out unwanted metalcore influences, which is something that tends to plague older bands’ new records from this scene. They always make wise decisions to keep the melodic riffing style moving forward, constantly changing, being set against different drum patterns, always finding time to fit a couple of lengthy solos to give the songs a unique personality.

One of the most interesting aspects of The Panic Broadcast is the wide variety of influences each of the band members bring to the table. Speed Stride brings creative vocal work, ranging from soaring, emotionally-charged clean yelling, to rough and dirty screams that draw back to releases earlier in the bands career. Dirk Verbeuren showcases drum patterns ranging from supercharged speeds on ‘King Of The Threshold’ that would not look out of place on a brutal thrash metal record, or the bands early tracks, to Fear Factory machine-like calculated stomping on ‘Night Comes Clean’. In terms of the guitar style, Peter and Sylvain craft riffing styles ranging from generic groove metal offerings (‘Let This River Flow’), to a bit of Fear Factory-inspired palm muted quick cuts (‘Night Comes Clean’) and technical patterns that go through many changes of pace (‘Two Lives Worth of Reckoning’).

All of these pieces come together in a melding pot of progressive-minded melodic death metal artists. Melody is a key component for the band, and besides a few other bashing-fast tracks, they stay consistently on melodic death metal melody-central mode, which has been a staple of this metal subgenre almost since it’s inception. This record doesn’t quite have the through-in-through lightening-fast pace of The Chainheart Machine, and doesn’t have the total melody-memorability overkill found within Natural Born Chaos, but instead it certainly makes up for this in a whirlwind of wide influences by giving new found creativity to each track, while still saying consistent to the sound of the record as a whole.

When all is said and done, those looking for Soilwork to return to their former glory should steer clear of this release, but those looking for a more clear and concise choice-style that feels more directed but still uniquely creative should absolutely give this a listen.

The Chosen Ones, ‘Two Lives Worth Of Reckoning’, ‘Night Comes Clean’, ‘Epitome’, ‘Enter Dog Of Pavlov’

FINAL GRADE B+

Parting Shot

While sporting some truly interesting guitar work and varied songs and influences, this record should be enjoyed for the wide variety of songs and creativity to be found within this record, for you will be wanting to listen to it after you reach the end.


First and foremost, the underlying qualm that I have concerning your review for Soilwork's The Panic Broadcast (2010) is being that the musical analysis is too brief. While you briefly elaborate upon the musical content of the given release, your review neglects to delve into the minutiae of the material at hand. For instance, this particular phrase is an example of an assertion that would immensely improve if you were to offer several sentences explaining exactly why you believe what you said, and how your said statement is exemplified within the music.

FasterDisaster's Soilwork's The Panic Broadcast (2010) review wrote:
One of the most interesting aspects of The Panic Broadcast is the wide variety of influences each of the band members bring to the table.


Concerning the above excerpt, your writing would naturally flourish if you were to prove how each of the band members contribute varying influences to Soilwork's music. Your reader(s) will certainly comprehend your ideas much more clearly, rather if you would have left the above statement standing alone and aloof. Following is another quotation from your review which cries out for extra detail.

FasterDisaster's Soilwork's The Panic Broadcast (2010) review wrote:
This record doesn't quite have the through-in-through lightning-fast pace of The Chainheart Machine, and it doesn't have the total melody-memorability overkill found within Natural Born Chaos, but instead it certainly makes up for this in a whirlwind of wide influences by giving new found creativity to each track, while still staying consistent to the sound of the record as a whole.


The above quote, as mentioned before, would reach a much higher and potent potential if you include your reason(s) for exactly why you established your said opinions of the given music, as well as any examples and/or moments within the music that embody those above traits. Furthermore, as a first-time reader of your reviews, and having never heard any of Soilwork's music, I am concerned and bothered at the mentioning of their earlier material concerning this given release, The Panic Broadcast. Your review assumes that I have listened to the earlier output of Soilwork, and this assumption hinders the overall effectiveness of your writing. Of course, you might have a select few readers who have, indeed, heard Soilwork's beginnings, but for those readers who are entirely new to this outfit, confusion and uncertainty will sway to and fro within their inquisitive minds. To remedy this dilemma, I suggest that you should inform your reader(s) on how this given effort differs from the band's earlier albums, through stating on exactly how Soilwork's earlier output differs from their later-day music through comparing and contrasting the two; all the while explaining what the music sounds like, through a succinct effort of musical description.

Those two instances above are the aspects of your review that ultimately caught my attention, concerning the improvement of your writing and review. However, despite those two examples, I appreciated the use of fresh, varied vocabulary within your first paragraph, as such.

Faster Disaster's Soilwork's The Panic Broadcast (2010) review wrote:
Taking cues from At The Gates and Steelbath Suicide to the formulaic syncopation of modern melodic pop metal on Stabbing the Drama, they have always displayed a versatile set of skills, always interested in doing things a little differently for each release.


I enjoyed reading that specific sentence, it is brief, concise, and simple to read, while managing to sufficiently inform the reader on exactly what the music sounds similar to, and how it achieves that given sound. In addition, terms such as "syncopation" and "versatile" embellish your writing with a stylistic flair of detail and imagery. I also noticed your (albeit rather simple) effort at parallel structure through the latter-part of your sentence.

FasterDisaster's Soilwork's The Panic Broadcast (2010) review wrote:
...always displayed a versatile set of skills, always interested in doing things a little differently for each release.


The inclusion of parallel structure within that sentence decorates your writing with a stylistic treat of a rhythmic cadence by which the reader will certainly enjoy reading. Techniques such as parallel structure, metaphorical comparisons, similes, varying point-of-views, etc. will ultimately improve your overall writing capabilities.

Yet in overview, I feel that your writing could eventually blossom, if you were to elaborate more upon your ideas with brief examples of similar and/or differing efforts, musical analysis, comparing and contrasting, as well as imagery; illustrating images on what the music sounds and acts as. Concerning the given effort, there clearly is a veiled potential throughout your writing that will gradually reveal itself through practice, precision, and a keen eye (ear) for detail.


Last edited by Naught on Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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FasterDisaster
OMG WAT DOES THIS CAPS LOCK KEY DO

Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 2:08 pm
Posts: 6420
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:30 am 
 

Ah! Thank you so much, Naught, for the feedback concerning my review. I've already written three other ones for my blog, and going back and reading them, something didn't feel right with the reviews I have written so far. But anyway, thanks for the deep look into my review. I did a little reviewing before, and I always did small bits of creative writing as well, so I am not new, but just looking at my reviews, it felt as if something was missing.

I'll contact you via PM concerning those other ones, if you're interested in providing a little bit of insight.
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Pale_Pilgrim
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:01 pm
Posts: 882
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:53 pm 
 

I'm working on a review for "The Prison Wall" by Darkness Rose. I've got numerous reviews up but I'm not so sure on this one. I blame the sweltering heat of late! Feedback would be quite appreciated. Here it is:

You can't stay a single in prison for long...

70%

The Prison Wall is the debut single by Japanese gothic metal quartet Darkness Rose. It's a little two-track promo sort of deal, about 6 minutes playing time. So, how does it fare?

The intro shows off two important songwriting aspects in modern gothic metal: The ability to write a good orchestral piece and the ability to combine the symphonic sensibilites with actual heaviness. That's how the intro is structured; two-thirds orchestral and one-third metal. After this tasty appetizer we get right into the title track; the real meat of this demo. This will answer the remaining questions: how are the vocals, and what's the band doing during this?

Firstly, this is indeed a female-fronted gothic band; a metal line-up that's becoming more commonly seen than a corpse-painted teenager with a PC microphone, a 50 dollar guitar and a cardboard cut-out for a bassist. The vocalist, Aira, is quite a good clean singer whose voice is a bit more Sharon Adel than the bottomless pit i call "Tarja Turunen's pseudo-soprano horseshit". To be honest, though, Aira's voice is also not far removed from Evanescence' Amy Lee. The deciding factor, then, is the other band members. Luckily, the guitar riffs are actually solid with good tone and the cymbals are a-crashin'. Sadly, the bass is a-hidin'. But quality isn't sacrificed for beauty, and this track also benefits from a pretty infectious chorus.

What we have here is a band with great symphonic elements that don't overtake the listener, decent modern gothic metal musicality and a fitting vocalist. Only thing detracting from the score is simple: there's barely enough material on here to get more than a cursory glance at what this band is about. Darkness Rose do seem to run a tight ship though, and I anticipate an EP or LP release in the near future. Recommended.
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wakemeup36
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:39 pm 
 

Well, there's nothing wrong with your review. I do have an idea of what the band sounds like. However, just a little more musical description wouldn't hurt, for example, more about the guitar tone, the drum style , the vocal lines etc. Perhaps a little something about the production too. But yeah, even if you submit it the way it is, it's very likely to get accepted.
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Naught
Metal newbie

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:02 am 
 

Pale_Pilgrim wrote:
I'm working on a review for "The Prison Wall" by Darkness Rose. I've got numerous reviews up but I'm not so sure on this one. I blame the sweltering heat of late! Feedback would be quite appreciated.


Upon initially reading your review I obtained a brief, minuscule glimpse of how Darkness Rose's music sounds. Yet that said glimpse was too brief. The underlying qualm that I have with your review is that it is too short in length. I can understand where someone would desire to compose a brief, concise, and to-the-point review, however, three rather small paragraphs does not aptly describe the music. Despite this issue, your attempts at musical analysis are commendable and well-composed. In particular, this description managed to illuminate your opinion(s).

The Prison Wall (2010) - Darkness Rose wrote:
The intro shows off two important songwriting aspects in modern gothic metal: The ability to write a good orchestral piece and the ability to combine the symphonic sensibilites with actual heaviness. That's how the intro is structured; two-thirds orchestral and one-third metal. After this tasty appetizer we get right into the title track; the real meat of this demo. This will answer the remaining questions: how are the vocals, and what's the band doing during this?


The exact reason why the aforementioned quotation appealed to my interests is, because is manages to provide an in-depth opening argument concerning your overall opinion of the music at-hand. In addition, there is a tap of potential with the metaphor which you compared the music to; being a "tasty appetizer", and delving into the "real meat" of the release. On the other hand, your opening paragraph will become much more effective at enthralling your reader(s) if you elaborated more on why you established your opinions and how you reached your arguments. For instance, an elaboration similar to the following quotation will improve your overall analysis.

The Prison Wall (2010) - Darkness Rose wrote:
The ability to write a good orchestral piece and the ability to combine the symphonic sensibilites with actual heaviness. That's how the intro is structured; two-thirds orchestral and one-third metal.


The above assertion manages to encapsulate your reasons as to why you reached your stated opinion. As stated, the persuasiveness of your review will substantially improve if you incorporated more thorough elaborations and explanations concerning your arguments and opinions.

Furthermore, another aspect of your review that bothers me (which I occasionally discover myself including throughout my own writing as well) is name-dropping other related musicians/musical groups in reference to the sound of the release in-question. This technique might appear feasible and quick to you, the writer, however, to the reader, it necessitates extra work and further (perhaps undesirable) listening. When a reader peruses through a review, they expect to acquire a thorough knowledge and expectation of how the release sounds. Assuming that the reader has heard of any said musician/musical group can potentially confuse the reader, assuming that they have never heard the mentioned musician(s) before. This statement exemplifies the name-dropping dilemma.

The Prison Wall (2010) - Darkness Rose wrote:
To be honest, though, Aira's voice is also not far removed from Evanescence' Amy Lee.


The above comparison will pose a hurdle to the reader who has not heard of Evanescence before. Therefore, it would be beneficial to the reader(s) if you refrained from implementing name-dropping comparisons throughout your analysis. As I mentioned earlier, every writer might occasionally slip-in a name-drop to further describe any given selection of music. It is a simple, easy technique, yet it is a detrimental habit pertaining to the improvement of your writing--tempting, yes; wise, no.

The overall issue that your review faces, mind you, is a lack of detail. Yes, there are a few select sentences that expound upon your opinions, yet there is not enough. I suggest incorporating at least two more paragraphs either elaborating, explaining, or further describing the individual facets of the music, as a whole.

Good luck improving your review.

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Pale_Pilgrim
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:49 am 
 

Already submitted this one earlier tonight, after a couple basic adjustments, some notes on the production and a bit about the bass. If it gets rejected I'll be sure to edit it again. I very much appreciate the feedback and pointers, and will refer to your post when I get to work on my latest review (for Bison BC) and all subsequent reviews.
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wakemeup36
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 2:40 am 
 

Just wanted a bit of feedback on this review. I've submitted it, but it's probably going to take a while to get checked. In the meanwhile, I want a bit of improvement on the review.

Skylark - Divine Gates Part 2: Gate of Heaven

Before I actually get to reviewing this album, I want to get a few things clear. I do not, and I really mean this, do NOT hate or even dislike flowery power metal. I have heard many bands do it right and it sounds great when done in such a way. Examples would be Balflare's Tempest and Keldian's Journey Of Souls. Secondly, this is my first full length experience with Skylark and have only heard a few songs before this. The songs I had heard were terrible to my ears and this album is no different. All this is really unenjoyable pop rock disguised as power metal.

Sure, the riffs are fast paced just like your typical PM band. Sure, the drumming is the usual fluent double bass stuff you've heard many times. Sure, some of the riffs are decent and the guitar melodies can be quite catchy. Sure, the guitar solos aren't bad at all for the most part. Many bands have used these elements and made great albums. However, Skylark just doesn't know how to piece these elements together so that they are actually good to listen to. But that's not the only problem.

The vocalist sounds so goddamn wimpy, poppy and whiny. There probably isn't much difference in his voice and the nearest boyband member you can find. He adds nothing to the album at best and manages to completely irritate the crap out of the listener at worst, particularly when he tries to go for a high pitched sound. Then, there are dual vocals with some female vocalist which sound even more retarded. 'The Guardian Angel' is case in point. Moreover, there is background chanting which also is quite terrible to listen to.

The keyboards sound... ummm... let's just say 'cheesy' would be an exaggerated compliment for them. The melodies are something you'd expect out of a cheesy 80s synth pop artist and worse yet, I kid you not, a generic Bollywood 'sing and dance' tune. I started listening to metal to get away from that drivel as it was force fed to me since I was born. Thanks for bringing up the horrific memories Skylark! These are some of the most over the top, annoying keyboard melodies I've heard in any kind of guitar oriented music.

The bass can be heard, but it usually just abides there while following the guitars or the drums without offering anything interesting. The song structures are just very badly done. Just when the song is getting decent due to let's say, a guitar riff, a dumb keyboard melody comes in and ruins it. If there's a keyboard riff going on which sounds ok, the vocalist starts and strips away what little was enjoyable about the track. The production is polished and clean, just like every other major pop artist.

That's it I suppose. The album is a complete chore to listen to. If you think Elements Pt 1 & 2 by Stratovarius were too cheesy, you'd best treat this as a detrimental disease. There is no hint of any kind of attitude throughout the album which makes metal actually sound metal. Any attempts at 'epicness' are complete failures and the songs don't flow well together at all. Quite a few reviews on the internet praise the band and this specific album. It's all quite baffling to me. I really don't understand why anyone would enjoy this, unless they're in a transitional phase in which they're moving on from stupid Bollywood tunes to metal.

Edit: Looks like it got accepted. That was rather quick. Oh well, comments and suggestions are welcome anyway.
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Empyreal
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:46 am 
 

"stupid Bollywood tunes to metal" is one of the better ways I've heard of describing Skylark. :lol: The rest of the review is pretty good too, very bare bones and descriptive enough to hold up. Pretty much tackles everything wrong with the band even though you don't really get superfluous and add any extra hyperbole or metaphor. Pretty solid review all around I say, and I requested this, so...good work.
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OzzyApu
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:50 pm 
 

I'm also all for it, wakemeup. Relatively short and sweet while mine really took a stab at the band members as well as the music, which can be a good or bad thing depending on the reader. I honestly can't understand these reviewers pulling these >90% scores.

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ballcrushingmetal
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 11:05 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:57 pm 
 

Stratovarius- Episode
Overrated and Boring 16%

It's not easy to give a low rating to an album that is good and one of the best power metal albums (i don't think so) for many listeners of the genre, but when an album is boring as hell and it has just two or three classic songs on it, it makes it interesting for a large number of listeners. We have a solid reason, when it has no logical order (or tell me how the fuck you will put a long-length progressive track like "Babylon" before an up-beat song like "Tomorrow") and it has a lot of inconsistencies, and it's completely boring (it's a torture to listen to long songs on an album like the kind they make), and it's full of flaws. Separate

On one perspective of the album we've got fast tracks like the well known "Father Time" and "Speed of Light" (do I need to write about the rest?). These tracks are not really bad, they were favorites for me during some time and still are, but I don't like the use they give to the fucking keyboards. It's true that they have a great keyboardist playing the songs, but you don't have to use them that much. Even the "repetitive" Yngwie Malmsteen knew how to use the keyboards.
About the double bass drumming; I'll say something: I want Tuomo Lassilla drumming again! Mostly because the way the drums sound, it's sucky, and lacking the power they need. They sound like the double-bass drum that is a characteristic of flower metal. I know it sounds like that because of the defects on the production, but I won't go any deeper, even with the rest of the up-beat songs, because they sound the same (including that "Will the Sun Rise?" has a horrible chorus because the voice of Kotipelto sound horrible, forced, annoying and also gay).
And on a different perspective, songs like "Babylon", "Uncertainty", "Season of Change", "Night Time Eclipse" and "Eternity" make the progressive metal section of the album. Actually that's very intoxicating for an album that's supposed to be one of the best in its genre, isn't it? They have the slow paced tone introduction and then it gets a little mid paced, then they get a little bit heavier and in some songs a fast instrumental part. Let me tell you that it's good to use some songs on this kind in the album, but you don't need five fucking songs that are between 6 and 9 minutes! The band members want me to fall asleep and upload a video of me sleeping on You Tube?
And then we have the ballads "Forever" and "When the Night Meets the Day" (a bonus track on this album, in some version of it) can be perfect for the album. But "Forever" is enough. It's an acoustic (or almost acoustic) ballad and a good album closer (in this particular case). The other is just a bonus track without the progressiveness of the tracks mentioned before.

In a summary, we have an album with some solid classic songs with the a couple up-beat tracks that I like, but they lack the power that this band used to have on previous albums, being a perfect description of how Europeans play flower metal (you know the kind of power metal that Rhapsody and Sonata Arctica play, with way more keyboards than riffs, the repetitive gay sounding double-bass drum and the annoying high pitched vocals), with many flaws, and bad imitations of Yngwie Malmsteen. Also many progressive tracks (one or two are enough, not five). I loved when the band made just 9 songs for one album instead of 13. Don't torture me please.

The 16 points I give are thanks to the instrumental "Stratosphere" which is a good track for a neoclassical power metal album (at least they made great use of the keyboards and guitars) and to the intro riff of "Father Time".

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kampfplatz666
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 8:40 pm 
 

I re-submitted my review of Almafuerte's En Vida.

Thanks to Ice_as_Steel and special thanks to Naught, who without his help I should still be improving that version of the review.

EDIT: I changed just one concept in my previous review of Hermetica's 'Hermetica' and now is once again for approval of a mod?

I just changed that of "(...)the first conscious expression of what is considered 'metal' in the argentinean scene" which was clearly wrong because the first expression of metal musically and in lyrics was the previous Iorio's band V8.
What I meant, and probably forgot when writing it, it's the popular expression here 'heavy argento' or also 'metal pesado' that is a kind of pseudo sub-genre consisting basically in heavy, speed and/or thrash metal with social and/or patriotic lyrics. (This sort of sub-genre, however, was pretty succeful here during the nineties).
So, well, I just changed in the review the "...what is considered 'metal'..." for "...what is considered 'heavy argento'...".
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glenhetfield
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:09 pm 
 

This review was rejected for being "difficult and/or annoying to read" and I am not seeing this error. Please point it out for me so I can have a better understanding of what I am doing wrong here.

By the way - when I submitted it into the review text field I made sure each sentence went as far to the right as it could before going to the next line. It did not paste as neatly here, but the paragraph splits are intact. Thanks.

(As sent for "Dispirit" demo)

This is the first official release from Dispirit, a band led by John Gossard (guitars/vocals). Although everyone is going to call this Black Metal just because Gossard was in Weakling, it isn't. Not that I care, I like all types of Metal and music in general, so I was not holding this to the "Weakling Standard" at all. I'd actually heard this band some time ago in their recording space so I knew what they were about. However I did not expect them to choose a cassette tape for their first release. I also did not expect the production to be so murky. The music is very good, I just can't get past the horrible mix. But then, it is labeled as a "Rehearsal Tape" so I suppose I should not expect so much.

Gossard's obscure guitar parts dominate this recording, and they are way up front in the mix pretty much eclipsing everything else. There will be one fairly simple guitar lick with a few rhythmic oddities to it, building more layers over time culminating into a storm cloud of chaos. What's weird is that there's never
anything really aggressive or brutal to speak of going on, yet you feel movement and a sense of "heaviness." It's just never quite spelled out by the guitars. There's not even any real riffs to speak of. Some of the parts might start to sound a little melodic, but then you hear some other part play an awkward note or chord which tips the thing into a more discordant direction.

The rhythm section is really a confusing subject here. As I said, the guitars often eclipse everything else, and I wasn't kidding. The bass sits there somewhere in the back/center of the mix, mostly holding one of the obscure rhythmic note patterns, but counter pointing things at times too. Mostly they sit in the background though, trying not to get in the way. The drums sound somewhat powerful during the slower parts, but when things speed up the snare simply disappears and the sense of tempo change is lost. The effect is kind of
interesting, because the tension of the slower section build ups sort of bleed into the faster sections seamlessly. Whether this was an accident or not, I can't say for sure. But the result is an interesting manipulation of tension and does help contribute to the "Neurosis-esque" feeling of ominous terror.

The vocals are almost laughably low in the mix. At first, you don't even hear them. But gradually the shrieks of terror pop in and out like someone drowning in boiling oil far off in the distance. What I can make out is cool. From the shrieks to the more spoken and sung low parts. But I just can't make any of it out and it is hard for me to understand why someone would go through the trouble of creating all of these interesting vocal sounds only to bury the hell out of them. My only guess is that Gossard is really self conscious about his voice and so does not want it to get too much focus. The fact that his voice was also really low on the Weakling recording supports this theory.

I like this band and there are a lot of really interesting things going on musically. But the mix on this recording is just so damned murky I can't quite get into listening to it without straining to hear things and being irritated. But it's an amazing debut I'd say and a pretty honorable attempt to do something "different" and original. I'm not sure how "Metal" this is, but it's very heavy in it's strange way, and certainly hellish in sound.

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Naught
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 5:25 pm 
 

The format which you have implanted your writing in seems fine to me, except for this particular aspect.

glenhetfield wrote:
Gossard's obscure guitar parts dominate this recording, and they are way up front in the mix pretty much eclipsing everything else. There will be one fairly simple guitar lick with a few rhythmic oddities to it, building more layers over time culminating into a storm cloud of chaos. What's weird is that there's never
anything really aggressive or brutal to speak of going on, yet you feel movement and a sense of "heaviness." It's just never quite spelled out by the guitars. There's not even any real riffs to speak of. Some of the parts might start to sound a little melodic, but then you hear some other part play an awkward note or chord which tips the thing into a more discordant direction.


The portions which I underlined contain the error which you need to correct. Since that is one single, sole sentence, the format appears strange and skewered due to the unnecessary space which you included. Here is how your formatting should appear.

glenhetfield (revision) wrote:
Gossard's obscure guitar parts dominate this recording, and they are way up front in the mix pretty much eclipsing everything else. There will be one fairly simple guitar lick with a few rhythmic oddities to it, building more layers over time culminating into a storm cloud of chaos. What's weird is that there's never anything really aggressive or brutal to speak of going on, yet you feel movement and a sense of "heaviness." It's just never quite spelled out by the guitars. There's not even any real riffs to speak of. Some of the parts might start to sound a little melodic, but then you hear some other part play an awkward note or chord which tips the thing into a more discordant direction.


The above revision is how you should format your sentences. In addition, ensure that there is one space in-between each paragraph. A prime example of appropriate spacing is how I spaced this post of mine.

Before you re-submit your writing, I would highly suggest re-reading your composition and scanning your review for any potential errors (whether being grammar, usage, capitalization, spelling, etc.). The reason being, is that your potential review is prime for rejection if contains a plethora of obvious compositional mistakes.

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imafknninja
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Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:16 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:39 am 
 

Can anyone tell me what's especially bad about my review for Triptykon's album, and why it would get denied? I looked at the sticky, but I believe my review comfortably passes all eight of the criteria. It's a little lengthy, but I imagine that would be preferable to too short of a review, anyway? Here it is:


Goes nowhere, does nothing. 7%
-------------------------------------

Tom Warrior’s new project, Triptykon, has been getting a lot of praise ever since they released their debut album, Eparistera Daimones. I’ll admit that I’ve never been a huge fan of Celtic Frost; I really only like Morbid Tales, Emperor’s Return, and parts of To Mega Therion. I really wanted to like Monotheist, but never quite got into it. So once I found out about Triptykon, and heard people comparing Eparistera Daimones to Monotheist, as well as it getting very positively reviewed, I was hopeful that I would be able to get into it.

Metal Archives has Triptykon listed as a Doom/Black/Death metal band. I’ve even seen some describe them as thrash (??). However, Eparistera Daimones is not immediately identifiable as a black metal album, or as a doom metal album. It is neither thrash nor death. Then what is it? Is it an album that is destined to go down as a genre-defying masterpiece? Hardly. After several listens now, I can only say that I not only do not like Eparistera Daimones, I find it nearly unlistenable. It is unclassifiable because there’s nothing to classify. There’s nearly no content to be found. It plods along for well over an hour, unable to produce any of the qualities that a good doom/black/death metal album should have. There are no heavy, powerful riffs. There is no atmosphere. This is no anger or momentum. On the other end of the spectrum, they don’t do anything far enough outside of the norms to make my ears perk up. It’s a completely tiresome album to listen to. It sits comfortably within the already established world of metal, while not doing anything well enough to bring it anywhere near the top of the death or doom or black metal crop, and doing many things irreparably bad. Here’s the song-by-song breakdown:

‘Goetia’ is hit and miss, but it is probably the best song on the album, overall. There are sections (such as around the 4 minute mark) where the music actually seems to be going somewhere, and the pacing is right on. However, there are also more than a few parts that may make you think that a transition to a heavy/interesting section is about to take place, but then instead just ends up leading into a boring, immediately forgettable section. The riff at around 7:30 is good, too bad Triptykon kills it off early and follows it up with riffs that don’t allow them to carry the momentum any further. The shouts of “Lord, have mercy upon me!” throughout the song, as well as the last minute (“Lie upon lie, mankind shall die”) are entirely cringeworthy, and sophomoric.

I’m pretty sure that nothing happens at all during ‘Abyss Within My Soul.’ It passes by almost completely without notice; not a single riff catches me, let alone an entire section of the song. However, it shares one of the biggest flaws of ‘Goetia’ – the chorus is cringeworthy. This problem is usually avoided in death/black metal by having the vocals be unintelligible, but it’s easy to understand Tom Warrior, so the bad lyrics do deserve to be mentioned.

Nearly four minutes into ‘In Shrouds Decayed’ we’re treated with the next notable riff of the album -- you just have to look past the fact that the first four minutes are nearly complete silence rather than any sort of effective build-up. Oh well. This riff is not even close to a killer riff; it’s merely much less boring than the 15 minutes preceding it. It's also one of firsts part of the album where they’ve given themselves something to actually build on. Sadly, they bring in some “ominous” vocals at 5:15, complete with cliché female backing vocals! They pick that riff back up, and then end the song pretty abruptly, completely killing any sort of meaningful momentum they may have picked up.

The next 1:44 minutes are devoted to ‘Shrine’, which is filler. It has absolutely no purpose whatsoever.

HOLY SHIT! ‘A Thousand Lies’ kicks off with the “heaviest” riff yet on the album. Too bad it sounds pretty much like a recycled junker from Soilwork or Hypocrisy. Which is fitting, considering that Hypocrisy has a song called ‘A Thousand Lies’ from their Virus album. I have to say that the Hypocrisy song is probably better than this (although neither is particularly good.) Back to Triptykon. The riff starting at 3:17 is actually not too bad – it probably would have been able to pick up the momentum that this album desperately needs, if they had let it linger for longer than 15 seconds that they did. Not much happens for the rest of the song. I'm getting increasingly frustrated at Triptykon's decisions to cut good riffs short, and then let their plodding bullshit run for minutes at a time.

Triptykon don’t even make an attempt to do anything with ‘Descendant’ until the last minute of the song. The first six and a half minutes is more of the redundant, tiring plodding that the rest of the album seems to be composed of.

‘Myopic Empire’ furthers my belief that the lyrics and songwriting of Triptykon is completely childish. In between shouts of “PAIN!” you’re treated to music that may as well not even be there, because it’s completely unaffecting. Halfway through the song, Triptykon introduces something entirely different; a piano piece with some female vocals. Surprisingly, it’s EASILY the best part of the album. Then they go back to the dumb non-riffs and shouts of “PAIN!”

‘My Pain’ is similar in tone to the piano section from ‘Myopic Empire’, but much less good. I don’t have much to say, but it’s far more inoffensive than the rest of the album. That is, it’s not actively annoying or tiring to listen to. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, because it dilutes this album, but it also makes it drag on for another five minutes.

My first thought about ‘The Prolonging’ is “Oh shit, there’s still 19 fucking minutes left?” A full quarter of the album is contained in this one song. I won’t go through the details, in order to shorten this review a bit. However, I’ll say that it sounds pretty much exactly like the rest of the album and all of the criticisms I’ve made of the other eight songs are probably equally valid for this one.

Overall, it may seem like I’m being unusual harsh on Triptykon by giving them such a low score. But after consideration, giving a 20% to this album would imply that I enjoyed a full one-fifth of it. After going back through my review and re-listening to the parts of the album I liked, it amounts to a little less than 5 minutes worth. For an album that’s nearly 73 minutes long, that’s about 7%, after rounding up.

I've read posts by people on various sites that this is the heaviest metal album they’ve heard in years, I can only question if I’m listening to the right album. Or if they’re listening to the right metal.

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droneriot
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:42 am 
 

I don't really get either what it sounds like or what you find so bad about it from your descriptions, only that you think it sounds bad, which does not really benefit me as a reader.
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yentass
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 4:46 pm 
 

imafknninja wrote:
Can anyone tell me what's especially bad about my review for Triptykon's album, and why it would get denied? I looked at the sticky, but I believe my review comfortably passes all eight of the criteria. It's a little lengthy, but I imagine that would be preferable to too short of a review, anyway?


It's a track-by-track review, these are usually discarded.
Anyway, it would have been more helpful had you included the rejection note as well.
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ksbluesfan
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:08 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:13 pm 
 

Here is my review which was rejected. I'm not sure if I know the official reason why it was rejected, but others have suggested that I don't talk about the music or the production enough.

The first time I heard this album was shortly after it was released. At the time, I thought it was another punk release, so I didn't pay much attention to it. It has a simplistic, DIY approach to music that was popular among punk groups at that time. Maybe Black Flag isn't the best comparison, but it seems closer than any other type of metal that was out at that time. I guess you could say Hellhammer or Venom sounded like that, but not many people knew those bands in 1985. I certainly didn't. And while the NWOBHM bands have some punk elements to their music, they also tried to create something more complex.


------------------

Celtic Frost - To Mega Therion

I don't understand the appeal of this album. If you read the reviews, this is as good as the thrash classics. I completely disagree. I think album is below average.

In 1985, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath and Ozzy were selling out arenas all over the world. Satanic lyrics weren't unheard of at that time either. Black Sabbath touched on satanic themes as early as 1970. Iron Maiden rose to prominence on their Number of the Beast album. And while neither Sabbath nor Maiden embraced Satanism, Mercyful Fate had already unleashed their masterpieces of evil on the world with Melissa and Don't Break the Oath before To Mega Therion was released.

Celtic Frost seems like watered down Hellhammer. Tom Warrior might have improved slightly on guitar, but he's not exactly Yngwie J. Malmsteen (who had already released Rising Force by 1985). And while Hellhammer had lyrics that were pure evil, Celtic Frost toned down the references to Satan. One thing that always bothered me about To Mega Therion was the operatic female voice. It just seems completely out of place and silly.

To me, this is closer to the hardcore punk of Black Flag or Fear than Black Sabbath or Mayhem. The guitar parts are simplistic and the vocals are grunted. The drums aren't any faster than the punk of that era either. So how Celtic Frost turned into founders of extreme metal, I'll never understand. Maybe it's because Tom G. Warrior turned the tone on his guitar all the way to the bass side while punk guitar heroes used more treble.

I could be wrong, but I get the feeling that this gets high praise because so many bands claimed to be inspired by Celtic Frost. Yeah, I understand that the second wave of black metal was a reaction to the technical prowess of bands like Death and Morbid Angel. But that really is no reason to praise this album. If you love it on its own merit, that’s great. If you love it because Euronymous loved them, you're missing the point.

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holyrebels
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 1313
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:51 pm 
 

Too much history, not enough musical description. I think you're way off base calling them closer to punk than metal, but you need to be more descriptive of what you mean when making a statement like that.

Comparison to Hellhammer - What does that band sound like and how does it compare to CF?

TG Warrior improved on guitar - in what way? What was wrong before and what has improved?

The operatic voc als appear through the whole album or just a song or two? Can they be skipped if the reader doesn't like that stuff?

You mention Black Flag, Fear, Black Sabbath and Mayhem. I am only familiar with 1 out of those 4 and I've been listening to metal since before you were born (I'm assuming). Not enough to back up the comparisons/contrasts.

Guitar is simplistic in what way? Vocals are grunted, but I thought you said they were operatic before?

You can make historical commentary and rip away if you think a band is worshipped above what they deserve just because of their perceived historical value (which happens all the time on MA, in both directions), but take more time and be more descriptive beyond "This Band sounds like Another Band or "I think it's closer to punk rock".

You are better off taking more time in your reviews, even over-writing it, and then chopping and editing it down. You are not wrong for trying to place a historical context in your writing and questioning common opinions, but this review stinks.

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ksbluesfan
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:08 pm
Posts: 208
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:16 pm 
 

Thanks for your suggestions. I appreciate your honesty.

Off topic, but I was born in 1965.

Black Flag and Fear were punk bands in the 80s. I assume you've heard of Black Sabbath. Mayhem is a second wave of black metal band from Norway.

http://www.metal-archives.com/band.php?id=67

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holyrebels
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:11 pm
Posts: 1313
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 9:34 pm 
 

ksbluesfan wrote:
Off topic, but I was born in 1965.


I was playing the Law of Averages. I was born in 1973 and I always get depressed when I read the "when did you get into metal" threads and the kids say, "I remember way back in 2006..."

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imafknninja
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 9:16 pm
Posts: 5
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:32 pm 
 

yentass wrote:
It's a track-by-track review, these are usually discarded.
Anyway, it would have been more helpful had you included the rejection note as well.


Yes, I personally hate track-by-track reviews, but I felt that I should do it to be able to justify my rating. I listened to the album twice over as I was writing the review (along with several listens before/after writing the review), so it was very hard for me to not get into the details of what exactly I thought was good or bad. I forgot about the rejection note. Here it is:

Quote:
1. The review consists of a single or too few paragraphs and needs to be broken into more manageable parts.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. There is supposed to be a space after every comma, period and other kinds of punctuation marks.
5. You have not capitalized proper nouns or the first letters in sentences. This may include the review title.
6. 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.


The numbering is mine. I don't think reasons 1, 4, 5, or 6 are very applicable. My review is clearly separated into reasonable parts. If anything, I feel like it is overly separated near the end (which is why I don't have a disagreement with points 2 and 3.) There is a space after every single punctuation mark. I capitalized every single proper noun (names, the album title, and the song titles.) Upon review, I was able to find a few typos (cringeworthy instead of cringe worthy, and "firsts part" instead of "first parts"), but I don't think it's enough to invalidate my review.

If I fix the formatting, should I try submitting it again?

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droneriot
RETIRED

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:17 pm
Posts: 5241
Location: Germany
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:07 am 
 

I'm still convinced the problem was the content (or lack thereof), not the formatting that pushed it over the edge. It's a shame, because I quite agree with the rating, but such a low rating just isn't justified by some half-baked, wishy-washy "oh yeah, this is a bit boring, and this I somewhat didn't enjoy, this is not so good" and so forth.
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glenhetfield
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:27 pm
Posts: 6
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 5:05 pm 
 

Naught wrote:
The format which you have implanted your writing in seems fine to me, except for this particular aspect.

glenhetfield wrote:
Gossard's obscure guitar parts dominate this recording, and they are way up front in the mix pretty much eclipsing everything else. There will be one fairly simple guitar lick with a few rhythmic oddities to it, building more layers over time culminating into a storm cloud of chaos. What's weird is that there's never
anything really aggressive or brutal to speak of going on, yet you feel movement and a sense of "heaviness." It's just never quite spelled out by the guitars. There's not even any real riffs to speak of. Some of the parts might start to sound a little melodic, but then you hear some other part play an awkward note or chord which tips the thing into a more discordant direction.


The portions which I underlined contain the error which you need to correct. Since that is one single, sole sentence, the format appears strange and skewered due to the unnecessary space which you included. Here is how your formatting should appear.

glenhetfield (revision) wrote:
Gossard's obscure guitar parts dominate this recording, and they are way up front in the mix pretty much eclipsing everything else. There will be one fairly simple guitar lick with a few rhythmic oddities to it, building more layers over time culminating into a storm cloud of chaos. What's weird is that there's never anything really aggressive or brutal to speak of going on, yet you feel movement and a sense of "heaviness." It's just never quite spelled out by the guitars. There's not even any real riffs to speak of. Some of the parts might start to sound a little melodic, but then you hear some other part play an awkward note or chord which tips the thing into a more discordant direction.


The above revision is how you should format your sentences. In addition, ensure that there is one space in-between each paragraph. A prime example of appropriate spacing is how I spaced this post of mine.

Before you re-submit your writing, I would highly suggest re-reading your composition and scanning your review for any potential errors (whether being grammar, usage, capitalization, spelling, etc.). The reason being, is that your potential review is prime for rejection if contains a plethora of obvious compositional mistakes.


The "unnecessary space" was the result of the pasting of that text here on the forum. That's why I said above that it did not paste well here. The original rejected review I pasted into the reviews text field WAS formatted the way you want.

I have proofread this review many times and it has been rejected 2 times. Is it possible the format is getting screwed with after I send the review? I made sure all sentences went as far to the right as possible before starting a new line, as I said above. So I don't think this could be a reason for rejection.

There was one space between all paragraphs - I know about this rule and I always follow it.

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severed_metal
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2007 4:58 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:11 pm 
 

Hmm, could I get a quick read through please?

Tell me if I should get rid of the banter, and/or what I could add, thanks.


Just putting this review for a friend of mine:

Artist: Scalpel
Album: Common Threads
2010

"I listened intently to how the vocals played out, how well they corresponded with the guitars, and basically, overall...How the music sounded to me, and I'll explain how it sounded to me, to you, or try to.

We'll start off with a creaking noise, a sound effect of a chair, or maybe a door. I don't know, it could be either. It needs some WD40, but then there's a sewing machine, and I finally understand the title.

Beginning the music, melodic approach to the music. Very intense, and vocals are a bit harsher than what I expected, but develop into gutterals later on. Solid drumming, very rhythm balanced, a good sense of structure. Constant riffing, although sounding a little more on the dark/depressive side at points, eventually spawning further into chaos.

One thing I enjoyed about the band itself was the consistency. There weren't mistakes, it was a generally solid effort all around, and a little too polished at points, but I didn't mind. The drums I found could be a bit higher in the mix, but I understand the point of accenting the guitars/vocals over that. Although, I still would've enjoyed the drums being higher.

I found the leads to be the most intriguing of this band. always unexpected, usually soloing on a darker, more eerie vibe. A very good EP for having the new vocalist, Alonso."

So, yes. Thoughts, please and thank you.

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