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Zero_Nowhere
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:11 pm
Posts: 513
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:00 am 
 

Speaking personally, I like a mix. I need to know what the band sounds like (and to some extent, comparisions with well known bands within the genre are useful here), why they're good/bad (which is a personal opinion, albeit one that benefits from being explained/backed up) and, most importantly, why I should/shouldn't listen to it (is it awe inspiring? different? just that damned good?). Historical detail really isn't that important except for the few releases where its actually relevant to the album.



On that note, could someone have a look over my reviews and tell me if I'm doing anything particularly wrong/badly?

http://metal-archives.com/userreviews.p ... ro_Nowhere

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RapeTheDead
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:48 pm
Posts: 470
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:19 pm 
 

This review got rejected for formatting reasons, and I'm not quite sure why it did. I don't think the paragraphs are all that "wall of text" ish, there's certainly not too many sentences, and I wrote it on MS word and I'm a dick when it comes to grammar so I doubt there's many grammatical issues with it, although I could be wrong.

The review is for Intronaut's "Prehistoricisms". I gave it 0%.
---
Unfuckingbelievable. How an album so unmemorable and apathetic can induce such feelings of rage in me that I actually have to write about it instantly after I listen to it is beyond me, it really is. I mean, there’s progression in music, then there’s taking said progression too far, and then there’s fucking Intronaut, who have seemingly lost all concept of what an enjoyable song actually is in favor of whatever kind of progression these guys had in mind. This is so far removed from good music in any way, shape or form that it sounds like nothing I’ve ever heard before, and if you think that that’s a compliment, you’re VERY badly mistaken. I’m not saying this is unique because Prehistoricisms brings anything new to the table, because aesthetically there isn’t much we haven’t heard before. The guitar tone is rather reminiscent of whatever sludge metal band is all the rage these days, the vocalist has a rather stale croak that certainly won’t grab anybody’s attention, and overall, if small sections of the music were to be looked upon with a microscope, it wouldn’t seem all that out of the ordinary. No, this album is unique because it takes musical quality so far below what is considered passable in metal that it stands in a league of its own.

Although admittedly my knowledge of prog/avant-garde metal in general is probably lower than that of many other genres, I do believe a key component of these genres is experimentation, to try and open up a new listening experience, to push the borders of music just a little bit further, to mix things up a bit, create something truly and wholly new. If that’s indeed the case, then Prehistoricisms is a failed experiment if I ever saw one, a melting pot so incredibly choppy and rough in its composition that even Frankenstein takes a step back and says “whoa, that shit’s a little out of place”. The songs here are assembled with no intention of evoking any sort of emotion out of the listener, never really sure what they want to be- one minute they’re aggressive, then the next they’re pleasant and harmonic, then spacey and esoteric, but none of it really intertwines together to form a real path, a destination; this is structurally similar to a series of jagged stepping stones that don’t even lead you across the fucking stream. These segments just kind of exist for the sake of existing, never really trying to be beautiful, never trying to be off-the-wall or bizarre, never really TRYING- this album, on top of being gratingly choppy and fragmented, does not have any conviction whatsoever behind it. This is largely because the actual melodies themselves are not composed to fit the context in which they’re being delivered. As I mentioned earlier, there’s a wide array of textures used throughout the songs, but that’s all there is to them- there’s more of an emphasis in texture than taste in the melodies, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when there’s nothing to back up or accentuate the feel of the music, you’re sure as shit not going to get any sort of positive response from me. The steaming twat behind the vocals isn’t doing anything to divert your attention away from the lack of…well, everything on this album; in fact, they don’t really draw attention at all. They’re…harsh vocals. That’s the only real defining characteristic to them. They don’t ever vary in pitch, and the pitch they DO stay on is as non-extreme as harsh vocals can possibly be. And even though they sound almost completely separate from the music, they’re not really out-of-place at the same time because the music is just as blank and soulless as the vocals. They don’t really make the music any better or worse; they just kind of settle in, which is actually really sad because the fact that vocals as bad as these really don’t alter my perception of this album is pretty much a testament to how hard this sucks as a whole.

Unfortunately, my dear readers, none of those criticisms are the worst thing about this album. Nope. Not even one. Composition of songs is a pretty essential thing to have in a band, sure, but I’ve seen bands get by without a lick of songwriting skill between the members. I’ve even seen bands get by without any compositional skills AND a mediocre vocalist, so this still could have been relatively listenable. But the main reason behind my ridiculously negative stance behind this album is that it the riffs ARE FUCKING TERRIBLE! Honestly, these are bar none the WORST guitar riffs I’ve heard in all of metal. Prehistoricisms has no sense of melody WHAT SO EVER, nothing I’ve heard on here is memorable, interesting, strange, they have absolutely no traits that would urge me to want to listen to them again and the songs are actually painful to listen to because of the abuse of dissonant music traits in the guitar melodies. There’s a VERY fine line between sounding really good and really bad when it comes to utilizing dissonance in your music, and Intronaut are about as far across the line as you can possibly get. I am being a hundred percent serious when I say I cannot fathom why people are eating this music up and lavishing praise on it when the riffs sound like this. Sometimes, they’re dwelled upon for far, far too long too, particularly in the song “The Reptilian Brain” when they play that piss-poor “tribal” melody for about six fucking minutes without changing it up in the slightest. I think they were trying to generate an atmosphere or something, but when the only thing I’m thinking about is how goddamn BAD the melody is it doesn’t really do much of anything. Really, there’s no other way to phrase my feelings towards this. Prehistoricisms just SOUNDS REALLY FUCKING BAD. There’s no better way to say this, it simply offends me that a band can create music that sounds this grating, harsh (not in a good way) and painful, and release it with the utmost intent of pleasing a listener, and actually get signed to a major label!

I can already hear the Intronaut fanboys now: “You don’t understand it!” “It’s going to take you multiple listens before you can fully comprehend this type of music!” Well, with some other bands, you probably would have been right with those statements, actually. For instance, at first listen, I dismissed Obscura era Gorguts as a bunch of wanky crap, and although it didn’t really appeal to me on the first listen, the malformed, twisted riffs kept me coming back for reasons I didn’t quite understand, and the music slowly worked its wa into my regular listening cycle. I could tell that even though Gorguts’ exterior was twisted and crusty, there was quality underneath. But Intronaut is just crusty. Not for one miserable fucking second did I ever feel the need to listen to ANY of this music again to see if it developed itself further and revealed more to me. Not even once was this album a tolerable listening experience, hell, it wasn’t even merely a BAD listening experience, and I sure as hell knew it wasn’t going to get any better the more I heard it. It’s kind of like planting a seed in sulphuric acid, you can wait as long as you want for that seed to grow into a flower but it’s never fucking going to because, well it’s sulphuric acid you fucking moron, you just KNOW there’s absolutely no way it’s going to happen. This album has absolutely nothing going for it and was one of the most horrible, wretched things I’ve heard in all the years I’ve been actively listening to music. If a cult arises dedicated to finding and destroying every single copy of this CD, I’d probably be the guy who started it. This is a big honking turd in the mouth of all people who like music that’s good and I’d be very grateful if you would stay as far away from this as humanly possible. Don’t even be tempted to check it out in order to witness how bad it is yourself; I already dragged myself through that pile of nails so you wouldn’t have to. You’re only hurting yourself by doing so.
---
Thank you in advance for your help.

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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
Posts: 7965
Location: Innsmouth
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:45 am 
 

I think it's the quote issue again. Your quotation marks should be the " type, rather than the angled ones you've got there. Those cause all sorts of goofy problems when you try to submit reviews with them.

That said, the width of the review frame thing is a lot narrower than the forum, so those paragraphs would be pretty monolithic on a review page, but I'm not sure that'd be enough to have the review rejected.
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RapeTheDead
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:48 pm
Posts: 470
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:14 am 
 

That probably makes sense, I'll try changing all the apostrophes and quotation marks (dear lord that's gonna be a bitch) and then I'll resubmit it. Thanks.

EDIT: After editing the apostrophes (and breaking up a paragraph just in case) the review has been accepted! Thanks again, dude.

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yentass
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 9:28 am
Posts: 911
Location: Israel
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 5:37 pm 
 

RelliksoftheBehemoth wrote:
I didn't want to make a new thread for this - I feel that it fits into this thread's topic - but please correct me if I should.

I've never written a "real" review for this site or any other, and I was wondering, what do you guys usually think of as being the best reviews? I mean, do you like historical information? Reviews containing only opinions? Reviews simply describing the music on its own? Reviews describing it by comparisons to other bands? So many other ideas I could throw out... maybe you guys could just tell me what you all think of as the best style and the best stuff to include to get a nice complete review that's insightful to read?


Well, here is what you want to do, the Oven Fodder is a good place to see what you don't. Other than that - to each their own and you won't be able to suit them all (there are roughly as many fans of short and punchy reviews' fans as these of the wordy and detailed ones, for example).
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ksevile
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:12 pm
Posts: 1392
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:38 pm 
 

RelliksoftheBehemoth wrote:
I've never written a "real" review for this site or any other, and I was wondering, what do you guys usually think of as being the best reviews? I mean, do you like historical information? Reviews containing only opinions? Reviews simply describing the music on its own? Reviews describing it by comparisons to other bands? So many other ideas I could throw out... maybe you guys could just tell me what you all think of as the best style and the best stuff to include to get a nice complete review that's insightful to read?


I enjoy reading reviews that contain a general balance and mix of all you have described here... a brief band history (particularly/usually about the history in relation to the album and its overall significance to their exposure), reviews in comparison to other/similar bands, etc. What I have outlined/emboldened should be the primary focus overall throughout, though.

As far as general tips goes, I think it is best to exclude entirely opinionated and overly general statements (ie "This is a good album" or "This song is good", etc.). They do little in describing the actual music, but they can be OK in moderation. Also try to avoid the "paragraph per each instrument" writing type (having a paragraph exclusively written for vocals, then bass, then guitar, etc.). I'm sure there are some who are as against it as I am, and probably for similar reasons. Overall, just describe how you feel about the album with heed to its predecessors and successors, but the main focus should be on the music (as a whole) itself.

Another minor tip, but a review will naturally sound better if you avoid using "I" to start every little sentence. I don't mean it as in trying to be entirely objective, but at least for me, reviews are generally better to read when all of the "I thinks" and "I really..." are placed in the conclusion, rather than having them abundant throughout the entire read. For the consummate and flawless example, see Nightgaunt's writing. Also, don't try to emulate the style of any particular review altogether. Try to adopt your own tone/voice, basically.
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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 2366
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:46 pm 
 

I'm not sure if this is entirely pertinent to what the thread was made for, but I need a bit of help:

I've written a couple of reviews over the past month or so for bands like Atheist, Cradle of Filth, Henker (France), and Guttural Secrete. This isn't a typical "when's my review going to be accepted!?" question, or at least I don't think it is. Anyway, my browser's been really shitty lately, and I'm not entirely sure if my reviews are being saved in the queue or if my browser is just saying they are. Sometimes, when I save my review, it simply goes back to the same page showing the preview of my review without saying the "your review has been saved" message.

Could some moderator please tell me if my reviews are actually in the queue? Thanks in advance.

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fleshmountain
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:48 pm
Posts: 34
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 3:56 am 
 

Well I've submitted this review for Paracletus a couple times only to get rejected, what for I have no idea, this received an A in a university level Professional Writing class. The rejection email said poor formatting, care to be more specific?

Here's the review:

The final chapter of Deathspell Omega’s album trilogy has been realized in the form of Paracletus. It is, to put it quite simply, amazing, a monumental construction of darkness, dissonance, and at times, even beauty.

Deathspell Omega’s trilogy exploring Satan, God, and Man began when Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice (SMRC) blasted onto the scene in 2004, a completely new incarnation in respect to their previous works, which were raw, repetitive black metal. Then came Fas- Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum in 2007, taking the metal world completely by surprise with its avant-garde abrasiveness, and its machine-like intensity.

Nothing prepared me for the experience of listening to Fas, not even the mighty Obscura by the Canadian band Gorguts, the technical death metal masterpiece long prized for its weirdness and chaos. Fas was a sonic odyssey through darkness, a long fall into the abyss, dragging the listener to the brink of madness along the way. Yes, Deathspell Omega left typical black metal behind a long time ago, endeavoring to craft music never before imagined; they have succeeded.

A handful of splits and EPs were released in between different chapters of the trilogy, furthering the exploration of sound they have undergone, and it was one of these which originally introduced me to Deathspell Omega. I picked up Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum- Chaining the Katechon shortly after it came out in 2008, having heard a lot of things about the band that aroused my interest: they lacked of an official website, the only known member is vocalist Mikko Aspa, because his voice is so recognizable. They prefer anonymity, and let their music and lyrics speak for themselves.

Chaining the Katechon showcased Deathspell’s intense dissonant sound, and their thick, spiteful atmosphere; for whatever reason though I just couldn’t get into it at first. Later I acquired SMRC, which really struck a chord with me, and I officially began my journey into the darkness of Deathspell Omega.

“It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!”

Now, at last, we come to Paracletus. Like the other chapters of the trilogy, the title is Latin, and the word Paracletus is most commonly used to refer to the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. It is a worthy continuation of their great experiment, almost like a cauldron into which all that has been learned on the journey thus far has been poured, and out has come this dripping new entity. The complex, dissonant riffing and cyclonic drumming of Fas are present, as well as new elements of melody.

The voice of Mikko Aspa as always cuts venomously through the mix, dripping with malice and spiteful clamor. The vocals are much more varied on Paracletus than in the past works, which becomes evident very quickly; the spoken word passages in French, mad whisperings, piercing shrieks, and untamed, desperate yelling in addition to Mikko’s trademark growls really add flavor to the tracks.

The album is divided into 10 songs, only a couple extending past six minutes, a departure from the very long track style of Fas and Kénôse; but the songs still flow into each other as if they could have been arranged as such.

The album opens with Epiklesis I, a short track, also faster than I expected as a first song, starting the journey at a brisk stroll. Both First Prayer and Obombration on the previous two records were slower, more drawn out introductions. Already we can see the use of repetition with this track, something that was displayed very little in the linear construction of Fas and other works since SMRC.

Beautiful lead guitar lines are highlights of tracks like Wings of Predation and Epiklesis II, riding starkly above sections of both tempest and calm, beauty that I don’t think I’ve before witnessed in Deathspell Omega. There are so many great moments in this album, it’s nigh unbelievable; moments of reeling fever, moments of furious intensity, dizzying, demented guitars, moments when the rhythm section emerges and the growling bass rises above the fray like never before.

Songs like Phosphene, Have You Beheld the Fevers, and Devouring Famine are epic, blasting, abrasive manifestations of true insanity, at times broken by spells of solemn, hypnotic and mournful passages.

The closer, Apokatastasis Pantôn, starts with the same guitar line as Epiklesis II until the last words of the album are spoken:

“You were seeking strength, justice, splendour! You were seeking love!
Here is the pit, here is your pit! Its name is SILENCE…”

The guitar work is simply beautiful afterwards, mostly simple tremolo picked lines, a more traditional sound, seldom heard in Deathspell anymore. It all combines to craft an incredibly epic four minutes, the bass plodding mournfully alongside the drums, all the while the guitars rising and rising; it feels as though you’re about to reach the crest, the climax… and it falls away, just out of reach. The journey is over.

Looking over the trilogy as a whole, I feel almost as though on this odyssey of increasing madness, we have emerged somehow with sense of coherence and sanity. The inevitable embrace of the Abyss is accepted.

“It is senseless to fight against this infinite stream
Behind this threshold life exhausts itself, loses itself”
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
Posts: 7965
Location: Innsmouth
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:04 am 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
I think it's the quote issue again. Your quotation marks should be the " type, rather than the angled ones you've got there. Those cause all sorts of goofy problems when you try to submit reviews with them.
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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
Posts: 9886
Location: Seattle, United States
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 4:40 am 
 

Yeah quotations aren't correct and there are too many little paragraphs broken up. That's what the rejection was for. Some sentences you flat out don't need ("it is a dreaful thing..."), while other paragraphs made up of 1-3 sentences could be combined with other 1-3 sentence paragraphs.

In fact, do you really need all the lyrics in there? Makes the review over-dramatic.
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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 258714 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
Posts: 8966
Location: Québec
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:48 pm 
 

ok, so i've wrote a review and didn't receive any email of rejection and it's not in the queue and my email notification was on, so i'll share my review and wait for constructive comments, thanks.

Fistfuck - Rock'N'Roll Nightmare
85%
It's the third full length album from these québecois grinders and i must say it's one of my favorite of the genre. The province of Québec have some quite good bands of grind, like the great Mesrine, but we can now place Fistfuck in the forefront of the scene. They have a grindcore sound obviously, but they're so much more than that.

One thing about them is the structure, they're less anarchist and messy than bands like Mumakil or maybe Wormrot. They write actual songs and the riffs are distinct from each other, even if the songs, like on many grind cds, are interlocked. On this album we have 13 songs for a little more than 30 minutes of music, so it's not 20 songs of 30 seconds each, which is something i don't like about this genre. So, i must say it's chaos, but with a relative structure.

I love the add of some samples in the music, the best one is the ad of «Le village du cuir» in 7% grind, it's a leather seller in Québec, very funny, it says «moins cher que ca tu meurt», which could be translated to ``less expensive than that, you die``. Their lyrics (which i don't have or i don't know if they actually exist) don't seems to be either on the porno or gore side of grind, but more on the funny or political side. We can see that by the choice of their two cover songs, one of Disrupt (grind, crust) and the other of Rupture (hardcore),that it seems that Fistfuck is more encline to the political than the gross, don't be fool by their name, which i think is great, i see it as a statement for capitalism. But enough for the lyrics...

On Metal Archives, they're categorized as Brutal death/grind which is ok, but there's more to their music. I see some death'n'roll influence, a bit of a Entombed and a bit of Gorefest at some place (but much faster, it's predomantly a grind band). The riffs are fast and direct with, sometime, a rock n' roll feel, the album title is quite right, it's a Rock'n'roll nightmare!
It's nice to see the integration of death'n'roll in some bands music, like fellow Quebec's band Vatican, which is mixing black with a rock'n'roll sound (much better than later Satyricon, by the way). We can also feel the influence of hardcore punk and thrash/crust in their riffs, it's very old school and fan of old crust who jumped on the grind wagon should like Fistfuck.
The vocals of SteveJonk are alternating with a more guttural growl caracteristic to brutal death to a more shouting hardcore voice. I see a bit of LG Petrov but much dirty or maybe Oscar Garcia but again more guttural. The drums (Ivan, co-founder of the band and formely of Dahmer) are almost on constant blastbeat and in my non-drummer opinion they're freaking good, precise, a clean sound and in the right place in the mix. The band have two guitarists, but it doesn't seems a bit of a big deal here, the guitars are not technical, we have good leads like the one that opens ``La aigue``, but hey who listen to grind for the solos, go listen to Dragonforce you poser! The sound of the guitars is less raw than band like Insect Warfare, same thing for the vocals. The bass is there, i guess, she's doing her job, not much to add for this. We have a nice clean production which is maybe not for pure grind fans, it's agressive, but not plain dirty. We can make parralels with the great Napalm Death or Nasum for the sound and the production. So, old school riffs (à la Terrorizer) but with a crisp production, lots of blastbeats and kind of a diverse vocal approach. I loved this album, and hey it's only 5 bucks on their label, Toys of disharmony.

or you could just describe their sound as their myspace is saying: touc touc touc touc touc touc tac tac tac tac tac ayayayayayayayaya ouiouiouiouiouiouioui

longue vie au grind Québécois!
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yentass
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 9:28 am
Posts: 911
Location: Israel
PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:37 pm 
 

fleshmountain, try to have a go now:
fleshmountain wrote:


The final chapter of Deathspell Omega's album trilogy has been realized in the form of Paracletus. It is, to put it quite simply, amazing, a monumental construction of darkness, dissonance, and at times, even beauty. Deathspell Omega's trilogy exploring Satan, God, and Man began when Si Monumentum Requires, Circumspice (SMRC) blasted onto the scene in 2004, a completely new incarnation in respect to their previous works, which were raw, repetitive black metal. Then came Fas- Ite, Maledicti, In Ignem Aeternum in 2007, taking the metal world completely by surprise with its avant-garde abrasiveness, and its machine-like intensity.

Nothing prepared me for the experience of listening to Fas, not even the mighty Obscura by the Canadian band Gorguts, the technical death metal masterpiece long prized for its weirdness and chaos. Fas was a sonic odyssey through darkness, a long fall into the abyss, dragging the listener to the brink of madness along the way. Yes, Deathspell Omega left typical black metal behind a long time ago, endeavoring to craft music never before imagined; they have succeeded. A handful of splits and EPs were released in between different chapters of the trilogy, furthering the exploration of sound they have undergone, and it was one of these which originally introduced me to Deathspell Omega. I picked up Veritas Diaboli Manet in Aeternum- Chaining the Katechon shortly after it came out in 2008, having heard a lot of things about the band that aroused my interest: they lacked of an official website, the only known member is vocalist Mikko Aspa, because his voice is so recognizable. They prefer anonymity, and let their music and lyrics speak for themselves. Chaining the Katechon showcased Deathspell's intense dissonant sound, and their thick, spiteful atmosphere; for whatever reason though I just couldn't get into it at first. Later I acquired SMRC, which really struck a chord with me, and I officially began my journey into the darkness of Deathspell Omega.

"It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!"

Now, at last, we come to Paracletus. Like the other chapters of the trilogy, the title is Latin, and the word Paracletus is most commonly used to refer to the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. It is a worthy continuation of their great experiment, almost like a cauldron into which all that has been learned on the journey thus far has been poured, and out has come this dripping new entity. The complex, dissonant riffing and cyclonic drumming of Fas are present, as well as new elements of melody. The voice of Mikko Aspa as always cuts venomously through the mix, dripping with malice and spiteful clamor. The vocals are much more varied on Paracletus than in the past works, which becomes evident very quickly; the spoken word passages in French, mad whisperings, piercing shrieks, and untamed, desperate yelling in addition to Mikko's trademark growls really add flavor to the tracks. The album is divided into 10 songs, only a couple extending past six minutes, a departure from the very long track style of Fas and Kénôse; but the songs still flow into each other as if they could have been arranged as such.

The album opens with Epiklesis I, a short track, also faster than I expected as a first song, starting the journey at a brisk stroll. Both First Prayer and Obombration on the previous two records were slower, more drawn out introductions. Already we can see the use of repetition with this track, something that was displayed very little in the linear construction of Fas and other works since SMRC. Beautiful lead guitar lines are highlights of tracks like Wings of Predation and Epiklesis II, riding starkly above sections of both tempest and calm, beauty that I don't think I've before witnessed in Deathspell Omega. There are so many great moments in this album, it's nigh unbelievable; moments of reeling fever, moments of furious intensity, dizzying, demented guitars, moments when the rhythm section emerges and the growling bass rises above the fray like never before. Songs like Phosphene, Have You Beheld the Fevers, and Devouring Famine are epic, blasting, abrasive manifestations of true insanity, at times broken by spells of solemn, hypnotic and mournful passages. The closer, Apokatastasis Pantôn, starts with the same guitar line as Epiklesis II until the last words of the album are spoken:

"You were seeking strength, justice, splendour! You were seeking love! Here is the pit, here is your pit! Its name is SILENCE…"

The guitar work is simply beautiful afterwards, mostly simple tremolo picked lines, a more traditional sound, seldom heard in Deathspell anymore. It all combines to craft an incredibly epic four minutes, the bass plodding mournfully alongside the drums, all the while the guitars rising and rising; it feels as though you're about to reach the crest, the climax… and it falls away, just out of reach. The journey is over. Looking over the trilogy as a whole, I feel almost as though on this odyssey of increasing madness, we have emerged somehow with sense of coherence and sanity. The inevitable embrace of the Abyss is accepted.

"It is senseless to fight against this infinite stream/Behind this threshold life exhausts itself, loses itself"


Apart from merging some of the paragraphs, I replaced the "smart" (slant) apostrophes and quotation marks. Next time encode your text in ANSI and not Unicode, or something.
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Cynical_Misanthropy
Sect of Sorrow

Joined: Thu Nov 06, 2008 2:24 am
Posts: 1927
Location: Bay Area, California
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:55 am 
 

Wrote this today, general feedback (good, bad, alright, boring, etc.) would be appreciated:
Quote:
With their debut EP in 2007, Gigan had already established their vision of the most unique and chaotic technical death metal around. The three tracks on this release are exclusive and it serves as the perfect sampler before Order of the False Eye. Everything from the production job to the vocals sound just like the succeeding album. It's got the same jagged riffs, the occasional psyched-out vibe, and plenty of blisteringly fast drumming. Gigan have created their own dimension of psychedelic, spacey, and experimental sounds which defy absolute categorization. Footsteps is only the beginning.

This demo-length release starts off with an intro title track. It has a pretty heavy riff and then gives way to "Severed Spider Legs" after about a minute. This next song opens with the cyclone riffing of Eric Hersemann but soon loses itself among the stars. The song floats about for a bit before the drumming gains way but then dies back down. Eventually everything completely re-aligns itself and continues to march forward. The final track, "The Oracle Of Orson", opens with a riff on the guitar that sounds like it's straight from Obscura. It's got the same squishy tone that bounces right back at you and is awesome to say the least. It also has some very fitting and interesting upbeat drum-work which only adds to the auditory experience. The middle of the song features a slower, more somber melody with a guitar solo. Very unlike Gigan, but with their sound is anything to be truly expected? The final bit of the song features plenty of Randy Piro's raspy mid-pitched vocals and even some pretty well-done low growls.

This is a mandatory listen for fans of Order of the False Eye and is superior to it in one respect. Whereas Order became somewhat of a chore to listen to as a whole, Footsteps is a great compact release of the Gigan universe. It's a very memorable 14 minutes and only leaves you wanting more. Anyone looking for some truly original death metal should be sure to seek this one out.

Usually I wouldn't do a track-by-track review but it was such a short release so I couldn't resist.
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TheUglySoldier
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:41 am 
 

Here's a review I've written - one of my first, and I'd like some feedback on it as I enjoy writing and wouldn't mind doing more of these.


It's no understatement when I say that Rock n Roll Weapon is one of Australia's most under-rated bands. Their only release – the self-titled EP – runs for just under fifteen minutes, and in that time manages to display a band hellbent on rock n' roll rebellion. The EP plays out more like a jam by the tightest band of all time than a collection of composed songs, and that by no means is a bad thing.

Kicking off with “Brick Vs Skull”, vocalist Kenny soars over the top of the chaotic mix of rock n' roll, hardcore and metal riffs. This intro track is followed immediately by “Deceiver”, a crushingly metallic number which manages to transition into one hell of a breakdown, showing the deathcore kiddies just how it's done. From the uncompromising rhythm section to the absolutely mind-numbing leads, this song is almost completely without fault.

However, the same cannot be said for the entire EP. “Reason” - while by no means a bad song – simply doesn't hold up to the energy present on the previous track. The song's chorus is perhaps the most melodic of those present on the EP, and although some incredibly enjoyable play is present between guitarists Nick and Romano, including an amazing solo, the song feels slightly uninspired when compared to the EP's opening number(s). As said, this is by no means a bad song, it simply isn't as unstoppable as Rock n Roll Weapon have proven to be, both live and in the last six or so minutes.

This is soon forgiven, however, as “Just a Bullet” kicks in. If anything, this song is what “Reason” could have been. It follows a very similar sound, although much more emphasis is placed on the vocal performance, which switches between whispers, straight up screams and a ridiculously Australian spoken word bridge. Here, more than on any other part of the EP, Rock n Roll Weapon make their message clear - “Rock n Roll is why we're here!”.

Without warning, the song transitions into “Cainin'” - which begins with an amazing solo. Elegantly, this transitions into the now established, straightforward verse-chorus arrangements of the EP. Kenny displays his hardcore-influenced vocals on this song, occasionally bursting into them to accentuate particular passages – as opposed to boring the listener with overuse. With this, the EP ends on a high note – albeit not as hard hitting as it seemed to enter.

All in all, this is a flat-out amazing EP. Although my favourite Rock n Roll Weapon number, “This Means War” does not appear, it only proves that there is still more greatness to come from this band. If you get a chance, check out the band and grab a copy.
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TheMirroringShadow
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:23 pm 
 

Hello, my review for Dååth's 2010 release "Dååth" was rejected, but in the notification email there was no reason stated as to why the review wasn't qualified. If you as a moderator or user have any idea as to why my review wasn't good enough, I would be more than happy to recieve feedback.

The review:

Dååth's latest release marks what seems to be a change in sound compared to their earlier releases. This album sounds overall less relentless and more groove-oriented than their earlier releases like "The Hinderers" or "The Concealers". With that said, the album does however have a neat balance between blast-beat ridden drums and guitar work full of aggressive riffs and melodic leads backed up by waves of industrial atmosphere. In fact, the band has truly succeeded in the area of making each instrument have their own place in each song. The album style isn't incredibly varied as per se however, and once you have listened to the opener of the album entitled "Genocidal Maniac", you will have basically already have heard what this album is about musically.

The album starts off with a very atmospheric sounding instrumental intro in the song "Genocidal Maniac", then the guitars and drums come in and continue the calm but epic-sounding melodies for about one and a half more minutes. Then they suddenly stop as another industrial-ish sample briefly appears before being silenced by the album's first vicious yells courtesy of Sean Zatorsky. I can't stress enough how similiar this man sounds to former "Darkane" vocalist Andreas Sydow - both in pitch and vocal style. When I first heard the vocals in this release I was completely convinced Sydow had joined Dååth for their 2010 release. Similiarity or not, Zatorsky has some impressive vocal chords. Throughout the album he mostly maintains a mid-ranged scream, but he does occasionally dive into a guttural death growl. The big difference between Sydow and Zatorsky may be the fact that there are no clean vocals present on this album, as otherwise often is on "Darkane's" albums.

As "Genocidal Maniac" ends fading out with another eerie industrial sample much like how it started, in comes a mid-paced thrasher entitled "Destruction/Restoration". This song isn't anything all too special compared to what's to come, but it does contain some good groove/thrash-esque riffs throughout it's brief two and a half minute span.

The third track "Indestructible Overdose" begins with a short ten-second keyboard part. The sample is really reminiscient of something you would hear in a soundtrack to a classic video game like "Castlevania". Then the drums start rolling and Zatorsky's starts roaring the song's verse, but it is very brief as the chorus suddenly appears in a wall of sound-esque way. The chorus is absolutely magnificient and manages to be both melodic and brutal at the same time. The vocals work ridicilously well with the guitar riffs and leads in this song, the track also has a really cool start-stop styled bridge where blast beats, riffs and vocals take turns in hammering their ominous mantra into your eardrums. The entire track is absolutely relentless and even though it is only two minutes long it is one of the album's definite highlights.

Another great track here is one of the longer songs, "Arch (Enemy) Misanthrope" ironically reminds me a lot of the Swedish band "Arch Enemy" with it's dark and melodic guitar leads. The drumming in this track is brilliant and instrumentally this track is one of the more impressive songs on this album. Around the three-minute mark a tasteful guitar solo appears, which truly recalls the Gothenburg melodic death metal scene, the solo is followed by some whammy-bar action and the track continues with a powerful finishing refrain. The track fades out with yet another creepy instrumental sample much like the opening song "Genocidal Maniac" did.

Overall, the instrumental work here is very satisfying and as with almost all extreme metal outfits, the band is technical enough to present the music written. The guitars offer lots of goodness, exploring all styles and techniques associated with guitar playing. There is the occasional redundant guitar riff here and there, but wherever the riffs fail to impress there are usually fabulous guitar leads to make up for the bad riffs. The latter half of this album is not as good as the former, and it seems almost as if Dååth chose to throw their best songwriting in about 3-4 awesome songs. Three of which reside in the first half of the CD.

Dååth's self-titled release has succeeded in impressing me through it's original songwriting, competent musicianship and chaotic soundscapes. And after repeated listens I truly feel like this album is worthy of any praise it may recieve in the future. I will be sure to check out whatever these guys release next as they have proven themselves to be a fantastic modern metal outfit.

Best songs: "Genocidal Maniac", "Indestructible Overdose", "The Decider" and "Arch (Enemy) Misanthrope". / End of review.

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MutantClannfear
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:55 pm 
 

TheMirroringShadow wrote:
Hello, my review for Dååth's 2010 release "Dååth" was rejected, but in the notification email there was no reason stated as to why the review wasn't qualified. If you as a moderator or user have any idea as to why my review wasn't good enough, I would be more than happy to recieve feedback.

The review:

*lots of words*


Your biggest problem is that the review is primarily in a track-by-track format, which is usually annoying to the reader. In general, try to talk about the album in general while occasionally making references to specific songs, not the other way around (for example, saying something like "this song sums up the overall mood of the album because it does blah blah"). In addition, putting quotes around band names is entirely unnecessary, and the closing sentence that says "End of review" should be discarded.

All in all, try to rewrite the review with the whole album in mind, and not one song at a time.
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TheMirroringShadow
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:57 pm 
 

I should have made it more clear that it wasn't included as an ending to the actual review, but "end of the review" was added afterwards in the forum post - just to make sure you guys knew it ended there originally, in case I would have typed more afterwards in the forum post.

Thanks a lot for the feedback, it is much appreciated. I won't rewrite the review though since it is of such underwhelming content anyway. I don't think I can write a review which passes MA judgment at this point.

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MutantClannfear
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:12 pm 
 

TheMirroringShadow wrote:
I don't think I can write a review which passes MA judgment at this point.

You'd be surprised. My first few reviews were...abysmal, to say the least. :ugh:
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Sir_General_Flashman
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:26 am 
 

This review was just accepted, but I was wondering how I could improve not only this review, but my reviewing style in general.



Changing just to change isn't necessarily a good thing, as Sonata Arctica's fifth album, Unia, demonstrates. Unia isn't an album that's weak on effort or musical talent, but neither are used effectively. Instead of using their vast imagination and talent to make the interesting type of power metal (with memorable melodies but darker themes) that made them popular, they try to move to a progressive metalish (some of the songs barely are metal) type of music that lacks any coherency or consistency. While I don't mind an album with surprises, Unia is so full of weird effects and unorganized song writing that the surprises make the music far worse. Incoherent parts of songs are standard on this album, and are ultimately it's downfall.

The first song on the album, “In Black and White”, is full of little parts that just don't fit with the rest of the song, but it's still one of the more developed songs on the album. The melody is somewhat memorable and the instruments play their roles well at some parts, but the song still seems like every member of the band is trying to impress the audience with their 'technical brilliance' rather than impress them with a good song. There are parts where the vast array of vocals (ranging from screaming, to clean vocals, to a whole array of electronically altered vocals) that the lead singer tries to employ directly clashes with the guitar which directly clashes with the keyboard. Even the drummer seems out of place when the band suddenly decides to change direction with the song (which happens several times in just this song just when the band is starting to meld).

The problem is that Sonata Arctica sounds really good when they're actually working together with the common goal of creating a good song, and the second song on the album, “Paid in Full”, demonstrates this. The keyboard doesn't try to do anything fancy, but still creates a memorable flowing part that provides the background to the whole song. The guitar stays in one mode and just pumps out memorable riffs, and doesn't bounce around from style to style as it does in many of the other songs on Unia. The lead singer just stays with his clean vocals (by far his best type of vocals, they have a quality that makes them seem like they're almost soaring). Everything fits together well because the band isn't trying to constantly change their music to sound progressive.

Unfortunately, “Paid In Full”, is really their only good song on the album (I say 'their' because they also do a cover of “Out in the Fields” by Gary Moore, which is extremely good, but not really their song). Every song has it's excellent qualities: the middle of “For The Sake of Revenge” has an excellent melody and excellent work between all the members of the band; the beginning of “Caleb” has some excellent keyboard work in the beginning. The problem is, though, that the band never stays with one tactic long enough for it to make a song consistent or great. “For the Sake of Revenge” is ruined by an extremely annoying, techno-like beginning and stupid word emphasis that actually throws off the whole tempo of the song, and “Caleb” just drags on and on trying to go about playing the song in many different ways, but never focusing on one and never creating any flow. The good parts in some songs seem like they were more luck, with the band saying 'let's try everything and we're bound to play something good', than intentional skill.

No song on this album sounds terrible because there are plenty of excellent parts scatted throughout the albums, but apart from Paid In Full, the band doesn't stick to those parts for long enough to make any of the songs really good. The guitarist has excellent solos, but can't create a good riff because he can't stay on style long enough for it to be memorable for the listener. The lead singer understands how to sing, but is too busy trying to do too many different things to really focus on his strengths. The keyboardist can create a great background and can add not just tempo but strengthen the melody, but he's often too busy finding random buttons to press and seeing what noises they make. In the end Unia is just too inconsistent of an album to be any good. Sonata Arctica didn't need to change their successful (not to mention generally consistent) formula of creating a good melody and developing a good song as a unit. They did, though, and the unfortunately underwhelming outcome is Unia.
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GuntherTheUndying
Crimson King, Eater of Worlds

Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:36 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 2:10 am 
 

Sir_General_Flashman wrote:
This review was just accepted, but I was wondering how I could improve not only this review, but my reviewing style in general.


Overall I'd say your review is acceptable, but there is definitely some work to be done.

Sir_General_Flashman wrote:
Changing just to change isn't necessarily a good thing, as Sonata Arctica's fifth album, Unia, demonstrates. Unia isn't an album that's weak on effort or musical talent, but neither are used effectively. Instead of using their vast imagination and talent to make the interesting type of power metal (with memorable melodies but darker themes) that made them popular, they try to move to a progressive metalish (some of the songs barely are metal) type of music that lacks any coherency or consistency. While I don't mind an album with surprises, Unia is so full of weird effects and unorganized song writing that the surprises make the music far worse. Incoherent parts of songs are standard on this album, and are ultimately it's downfall.


Your opening paragraph is definitely a strong way to begin your review; it introduces your opinion of the album and explains the general flaws you see. I only have two guffs: (1) The opening sentence doesn't do a good job 'hooking' the reader into your review and could use some work. (2) There is a small grammatical error at the end of the paragraph: "it's downfall" should be "its downfall," but judging by the rest of the review you just make a mistake. :)

Sir_General_Flashman wrote:
The first song on the album, “In Black and White”, is full of little parts that just don't fit with the rest of the song, but it's still one of the more developed songs on the album. The melody is somewhat memorable and the instruments play their roles well at some parts, but the song still seems like every member of the band is trying to impress the audience with their 'technical brilliance' rather than impress them with a good song. There are parts where the vast array of vocals (ranging from screaming, to clean vocals, to a whole array of electronically altered vocals) that the lead singer tries to employ directly clashes with the guitar which directly clashes with the keyboard. Even the drummer seems out of place when the band suddenly decides to change direction with the song (which happens several times in just this song just when the band is starting to meld).


Your musical description is valid; you explain the musicality of Unia, providing nothing fancy but the meat and potatoes. Your delivery of ideas could use some work, but you did a good job. This paragraph is a little sloppy though. The parentheses-break you use when talking about the vocals is just awkward and throws off the sentence. Use those for a quick joke, thought, or idea that doesn't cause a sentence to lose its balance. Also, your writing and vocabulary could use a little more color. For example, you use the word 'song' seven times in this paragraph alone and several others multiple times, sometimes using identical words in the same sentence. Definitely get in the habit of using a thesaurus. It's important to showcase an advanced or higher vocabulary that isn't incoherent so you can still transfer your opinion in an intelligent yet understandable way.

Sir_General_Flashman wrote:
The problem is that Sonata Arctica sounds really good when they're actually working together with the common goal of creating a good song, and the second song on the album, “Paid in Full”, demonstrates this. The keyboard doesn't try to do anything fancy, but still creates a memorable flowing part that provides the background to the whole song. The guitar stays in one mode and just pumps out memorable riffs, and doesn't bounce around from style to style as it does in many of the other songs on Unia. The lead singer just stays with his clean vocals (by far his best type of vocals, they have a quality that makes them seem like they're almost soaring). Everything fits together well because the band isn't trying to constantly change their music to sound progressive.


Now this is a good paragraph. Your musical description is great, you have no detectable spelling/grammar flaws, and it all flows very nicely. Well done. :thumbsup:

Sir_General_Flashman wrote:
Unfortunately, “Paid In Full”, is really their only good song on the album (I say 'their' because they also do a cover of “Out in the Fields” by Gary Moore, which is extremely good, but not really their song). Every song has it's excellent qualities: the middle of “For The Sake of Revenge” has an excellent melody and excellent work between all the members of the band; the beginning of “Caleb” has some excellent keyboard work in the beginning. The problem is, though, that the band never stays with one tactic long enough for it to make a song consistent or great. “For the Sake of Revenge” is ruined by an extremely annoying, techno-like beginning and stupid word emphasis that actually throws off the whole tempo of the song, and “Caleb” just drags on and on trying to go about playing the song in many different ways, but never focusing on one and never creating any flow. The good parts in some songs seem like they were more luck, with the band saying 'let's try everything and we're bound to play something good', than intentional skill.


First off, you should get rid of the commas in the first sentence separating "Paid in Full" from the remaining sentence. Commas are used to cut off thoughts and start new ones; "Paid in Full" is still part of your idea, as it flows from 'Unfortunately' to 'is' perfectly without commas. Your musical description is good, although the paragraph's flow seems to be a bit rocky; nothing to be alarmed about, but just thought I'd mention it. Again there's an over-use of words like 'excellent' four times right in the beginning.

Sir_General_Flashman wrote:
No song on this album sounds terrible because there are plenty of excellent parts scatted throughout the albums, but apart from Paid In Full, the band doesn't stick to those parts for long enough to make any of the songs really good. The guitarist has excellent solos, but can't create a good riff because he can't stay on style long enough for it to be memorable for the listener. The lead singer understands how to sing, but is too busy trying to do too many different things to really focus on his strengths. The keyboardist can create a great background and can add not just tempo but strengthen the melody, but he's often too busy finding random buttons to press and seeing what noises they make. In the end Unia is just too inconsistent of an album to be any good. Sonata Arctica didn't need to change their successful (not to mention generally consistent) formula of creating a good melody and developing a good song as a unit. They did, though, and the unfortunately underwhelming outcome is Unia.


In the first sentence you wrote 'scatted throughout' when I think you meant 'scattered throughout' and the 's' on 'albums' is a grammatical error, but probably just mistakes. Other than that everything looks a-ok.

Here's a few tips:

1. Practice, practice, practice

Definitely cannot emphasize this enough. The more you write (and read, which is equally important), the more your writing skills will increase. Read some reviews on this site as well. What do other reviewers say about certain albums? How do they describe certain aspects of an album? You'd be surprised at how some reviewers will struggle will describing basic ideas while others will nail it on the head. Obviously make sure your ideas and writings are your own, but reading other reviews can open up your ability as a reviewer quite well. As a matter a fact, find an album with three or four reviews and read what each reviewer has to say; it'll definitely help.

2. Thesaurus

The thesaurus kicks ass. Everyone uses a thesaurus. English has many words that are important to master, and some words might not have the definition we believe they do. If you decide to read some reviews and find a word you've never seen before, look it up; say it in a sentence aloud and get used to it. You'll never know when you'll have (or want) to use it.

I liked your review. Some work is needed, but if you practice there's no doubt you could be become one of the most prolific reviewers on this site, so definitely practice. Hope this helps. :beer:
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Psytopsy
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:27 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:43 pm 
 

My very first review done today on Nyogthaeblisz's Apocryphal Precursor to the Great Tribulation

I listen to my fair share of black metal.DSBM, symphonic, blackened death, blackened thrash,general black metal, you get the idea. So with that in mind I rarely complain about production values unless it is truly unlistenable. With Apocryphal Precursor to the Great Tribulation, it is unlistenable.

The drum tone is awful. Sure its actual drums and not just a drum machine for once, but the drums are muffled beyond belief. The drums are all blasting, and they never let up except when a song ends. Very rarely can you make out the beats, save for the first song "Pestilence", where in the first 30 seconds you actually can hear the drums clearly before they blast and muffle into oblivion.

Next up is the guitar which sort of reminds me of Portal from Australia. The reason being is that the guitar is distorted to death and the tremolo picked riffs blend together beyond any recognition. All you hear is a wall of distortion throughout the whole EP. Instead of making a whole new paragraph on the bass, i'll just say its non-existent, because it is.

Finally, the vocals. They are actually pretty good, considering the band's chaotic and grim feel. They aren't regular black metal shrieks, and instead sound very inhuman. Think Dave Hunt from Anaal Nathrakh's vocals, and you have a decent idea of how these vocals sound. Not in the sound per se, but in the grim and evil feel they give off. Actually, i think the vocals are one of the best parts of this EP.

Despite the fact that the production is abysmal, even for black metal, it does give off the "atmosphere" the band wants to create: noisy, grim, and hateful. I suppose i don't like this EP because of its lack of any clarity whatsoever, and the whole thing is about six and a half minutes long, so the songs end up running into each other. Then again, thats because they all sound the same. Constant muffled blasting, a thick wall of just distortion, and inhuman hateful black metal vocals. That perfectly describes all three of the songs fully.

So while I don't like this EP musically, it does get points for the chaotic atmosphere it provides. Think of all the albums you've listened to that sound like Hell, or the apocalypse, then listen to this. I'm 100% sure this EP will be added to that list.
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metalsportsfan
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:37 am 
 

My review was rejected for Motorhead's The World Is Yours

I don't remember exactly what i said but it went something like this:

Another amazing Motorhead album. In my opinion, their best since the 80s. Devils In My Head is one of Motorhead's greatest riffs. U must check this album out if your a Motorhead fan. Lemmy and the boys did it again!

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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
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Location: Seattle, United States
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:18 pm 
 

metalsportsfan wrote:
My review was rejected for Motorhead's The World Is Yours

I don't remember exactly what i said but it went something like this:

Another amazing Motorhead album. In my opinion, their best since the 80s. Devils In My Head is one of Motorhead's greatest riffs. U must check this album out if your a Motorhead fan. Lemmy and the boys did it again!
If that's your entire review, then it'll never be accepted. Look at the FAQs page. The reviews on this site must contain content and description - what you wrote is meant for Amazon.com.
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zeingard
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2011 10:04 am 
 

Psytopsy wrote:
review


Reads like a check list and is about as interesting. The second last paragraph was decent since you talked the music rather than singular aspects.

Try talking about the songs and point out things you liked and disliked. Make the paragraphs flow smoothly and link into one another so that the reader's attention is kept until the end. While I'm not saying you should ape the more prominent reviewers on this site you should read through some of their reviews to get an idea of how they write.

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metalsportsfan
Metal newbie

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 7:21 pm 
 

Ok. Thank u. Im new to this website so i just wanted to know how i'm suppose to do it. Wow i didn't know they can reject a review just cuz it's boring. lol

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:23 pm 
 

It's more about maintaining a certain quality level in the reviews than about keeping the mods amused (though the latter doesn't hurt).
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Sir_General_Flashman
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Joined: Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:23 am
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:00 am 
 

GuntherTheUndying wrote:
Hope this helps. :beer:


This in depth critiquing really does help. I've found that a lot my writing (not just reviews) often gets rocky because I want to put too many thoughts down on the paper at the same time. It's a problem that a lot of my teachers have pointed out, but they've never actually broken it down paragraph by paragraph and shown me what I'm doing wrong and, more importantly, when I'm doing things right. It gives me a good place to work from. I probably should have noticed my really repetitive word use, too. I guess that, in my editing, I missed some stuff.

Once again I can't thank you enough for your help.
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Sir_General_Flashman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:02 am 
 

GuntherTheUndying wrote:
Hope this helps. :beer:


This in depth critiquing really does help. I've found that a lot my writing (not just reviews) often gets rocky because I want to put too many thoughts down on the paper at the same time. It's a problem that a lot of my teachers have pointed out, but they've never actually broken it down paragraph by paragraph and shown me what I'm doing wrong and, more importantly, when I'm doing things right. It gives me a good place to work from. I probably should have noticed my really repetitive word use, too. I guess that, in my editing, I missed some stuff.

Once again I can't thank you enough for your help.
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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 258714 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
Posts: 8966
Location: Québec
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2011 12:36 am 
 

review got accepted, gotta watch my formating for the future
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ToDreamOfUr
The Boy King of All Village Idiots

Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:38 pm
Posts: 676
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:54 pm 
 

http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=280793

This is my first review on Metal-Archives, and I was wondering if one or more of you guys could give me useful feedback on it.

Thanks in advance.
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Unifying_Disorder
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:52 pm
Posts: 992
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:24 pm 
 

So I just got my first review accepted, and I just want some feedback, to know what I could improve on, and how to fine tune my style.

One Of My All Time Favorites - 100%

Amon Amarth is a band that has exploded in popularity recently, I've even seen people who don't listen to metal who like the song "Twilight of The Thunder god." And I'll admit, that was the first album I'd ever bought from them myself, so I'm also a newcomer of sorts to them. But this isn't about that album, this is about an album that takes you back to a time when AA wasn't a charting flagship band of the metal world, past the occasional boredom of their latest releases, to a time when they were a little known gem, like a Viking ship full of raiders on the distant horizon. This is a story about an album that has become one of my all time favorite albums, ever.

It all started one day, when I was at Best Buy browsing the music section, I already owned "Twilight" which was their latest release at the time, and I saw this on the shelf, I felt pressed for time and needing to make a decision, and already considering myself a fan, I snatched it up not knowing what to expect. I put it on when I got home. I'm not going to lie, at first I was disappointed by this album, not being grabbed immediately and only really liking "The Dragon's flight Across the Waves" for its grooving main riff, I didn't listen to it much after that, except for that one song. But one day, I just decided to listen the whole thing, all the way through, and really pay attention to it. I'm glad I did, because this album is now immortalized in my collection. A lot of people seem to have albums that they can listen to over and over again and never get tired of them, for me, that would be this album. There is never a dull moment on it.

But what of the actual music? Well, it sounds just like Amon Amarth would, epic riffs, atmosphere that makes you picture being a Viking, emotionally charging music that makes you feel the emotion at times of watching Saving Private Ryan set in 710, and the awesome, yet still quite decipherable vocals of Johan Hegg. Except that the production is rawer, the riffs thrashier, and the vocals raspier. It's a shame Johan Hegg doesn't sing like this anymore, it's awesome. The riffs range from typical epic AA riffs (and even those seem to have more aggression to them at times), to thrashier ones like the one in "Ride for Vengeance" that starts at about 1:18,or pretty much the whole title track, to grooving ones like the main riff to "The Dragon's Flight Across the Waves" or in "Without Fear" at 3:04, or especially the epic, epic riff to "Victorious March". There's even a genuine tremelo riff or two in "Abandoned". The vocals are some of the best Johan Hegg ever did. They're not as deep as they got in later albums, but their raspy, and much more aggressive, downright ferocious at times. He has a great range, being able to go from guttural lows, to a high pitched rasp, heck, I half expected him to cross into black metal shrieks during parts of "Abandoned". Another thing that's awesome is just the little things he sometimes does. Like in "Ride for Vengeance" where he goes "I swear I'll- avenge-my first born ooonnnneeee-ah!" I just like that little syllables he adds in that song. Not to mention, even then, he has a very understandable death growl. The drumming, from Martin Lopez, who I'm sure has already been mentioned plenty as the future drummer of Opeth, puts in a good performance. I didn't focus too much on him, he's sort of in the background most of the time, but he does his job well, and adds some fast fills every now and then. His drumming on "Abandoned" creates an interesting rhythm effect. The bass, well, it's pretty much the bass guitar, I can't really hear it, and it doesn't seem to stand out at all. It does what it's supposed to I guess.

As for choosing an individual moment on here that I like best, there really is none, all of it is "golden", so to speak. Although some interesting moments would include the, as I've mentioned before, epic, epic grooving of "Victorious March", and the title track, which is the thrashiest song on here. Honestly, I don't even know why I'm elevating anything, the only high lights here are the whole thing, in all of its brilliance. I will say though that the song "Amon Amarth" is by far the most downbeat song on here, although it makes up for it with its epic atmosphere.

Another thing I'd like to mention in closing is the lyrics to "The Dragon's Flight Across The Wave". This song just oozes atmosphere, as does every song, but I'd like to single this one out, because not only can you totally picture the story of a man being sent off to war, but even though they sing about Vikings, the lyrics in this song I feel are relatable to every culture and time period. Every peoples in the history of the world has had to deal with war, has had to send their husbands, fathers, brothers, sons, (and more recently wife's, mothers, sisters, and daughters) off to fight in a war from which they might not return. It's lyrics relate to every society and culture in the world. Be it the 7th century or the 21st. I think that makes a statement about something.

All in all, this is an awesome, awesome album, one of my all-time favorites, and if you don't have it, go buy it, you won't regret it a bit.

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Smalley
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:06 am
Posts: 699
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:05 am 
 

^Your review looks fine, except that you need to split up that huge paragraph in the middle.

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VII
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:56 am
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:13 pm 
 

Could someone tell me what's wrong with my grammar & spelling?

Quote:
Everything Prophecy Productions/Lupus Lounge touches turns into gold, at least in Germany. So did Helrunar gain a high profile reputation in their own country. Four years after “Baldr ok Íss” Helrunar returns to the frontline with a pretentious double release, entitled “Sól”. Before “Sól” the Münster duo delivered us two full lengths which sounded okay, yet not outstanding.

Now what about it? It’s good or just standard as the other releases? “Sól” beats both previous releases, but does not reach much further than mediocrity. Now, let’s start with the good things. The whole package simply breaths professionalism. The artwork is stunning, the concept (about the world after an ice age) is well done and Klangschmiede Studio pimped “Sól” like a tank! On “Sól I – Der Dorn in Nebel”, “Kollapsar” kicks in rather fast and the slow parts on “Unter Dem Gletscher” are devastating. Most the time Helrunar does not step on the gas pedal. It makes them sound like their label mates of Secrets of the Moon. Also “Nebelspinne” sounds enormous – Mixing both elements stated before. Helrunar surely is the class best student when it comes to crossbreeding doom and black metal. The second disc, “Sól II – Zweige der Erinerung” is just like… The first part. Again slow and doom laden songs mixed with (less) faster black metal parts. “Aschevolk” and “Rattenköning” standing out here. The second part is slower than the first one. And that’s the bad thing. Well yeah, more or less. All together both parts are lasting about 90 minutes. That’s simply too much. A double album may sound pretentious, but living up to the expectations keeping it all interesting is hard. Boredom lurks around the corner when doing the full “Sól” cycle in one run. When Esoteric releases a double album, you get intro trance – So it is possible!

Helrunar should have left out the B-parts and should have stuck to only one album. Ofcourse the Germans are thrilled about “Sól”, but I doubt whether Helrunar had the same reputation when coming from another country. Surely “Sól” is good, but definitely not outstanding as many people tend to believe.

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4748
PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:12 pm 
 

I notice a lot of the sentences are gramatically simplistic, but I'm not sure if there actually is a softcap requirement for complex sentences enforced by the mods.
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VII
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:56 am
Posts: 2
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:39 am 
 

Anyway, it's rejected.

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MacMoney
Man of the Cloth

Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2002 10:17 pm
Posts: 2013
PostPosted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:48 am 
 

First off, use ", not ”. There's a lot of clumsy use of grammar and vocabulary in your review. For example "So did Helrunar gain a high profile reputation in their own country" should instead be something like "That is how Helrunar gained a lot of reputation in their own country". Also, you use Helrunar as plural there, but then in the next sentence you use it as a singular. Decide on one and go with that. There are a lot of mistakes and cases of clumsy use of English grammar in the review. If you really want to, I (or someone else) can go through it and point them out to you, but you need to improve on your English grammar a bit.

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John_Sunlight
President Satan

Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 4:41 am
Posts: 4748
PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:39 pm 
 

Or "Thusly, Helrunar gained a lot of reputation in their own country."
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TheMirroringShadow
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:04 am
Posts: 64
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 12:04 pm 
 

I plan on submitting this review of Stam1na's self-titled release to the MA. but I thought it would be a good idea to first consult the people in this review feedback workshop. Feedback appreciated! =)

____________________________________________

Album: Stam1na - Stam1na (2005)

*Review start*

Stamina's debut full-length album released in 2005 marked their return to singing in the Finnish language, instead of singing in English like they had done for the three years prior to this release. Stam1na's musical style is best described as melodic groove/thrash metal with influences from everything like nu-metal (or to be fair, alternative metal) to progressive metal and the various works of Devin Townsend. Their music does however not stray all too far from the regular formula of popular music. By that I mean that they still use a lot of dynamics in their vocal lines and melodies, the band employs seriously infectious refrains entwined with some quite linear and downtuned but also at times technical heavy metal riffing. Throughout the years they have begun adding in more progressive metal influences and various technical touches to their songwriting. Some of which is displayed on this very album.

The album starts off with the three-minute track Ristiriita, the song begins with what sounds like very high-pitched notes played on the lead guitar in an iterate manner, if you wouldn't have paid attention to it you may have thought it was someone's phone ringing at first. These notes only last a few seconds before being completely interrupted by vocalist and guitarist Hyrde's loud proclamation of the band name Stam1na, then the energetic riffing and straightforward pounding of the drums make their entrance on the album in a very pummeling manner. As the verses begin you quickly notice the amazing lung capacity of vocalist Hyrde, who is shouting the lyrics of the verse in a very fast rhythmic manner in accordance with the guitar riffs. After about a minute of thrashing the chorus appears, filled to the brim with crazy vocal lines and thick riffs. The singer's range is quite something to behold. The vocals consist of straight-up thrash shouts or screams mixed up with melodic and emotive singing, there is also the occasional rap-sounding verse, which may be one reason why this band is deemed an alternative metal band. The guitar-accentuated production of the album couldn't be more fitting to the almost garage-like nature of some songs, namely "Koe Muhra!" and "Peto Rakasta Sinua". The rhythm guitars often sound truly gritty and raw, while the lead guitar has a clear tone working well for both fast leads and slower solos.

Stam1na released a music video for the song "Kadonneet Kolme Sanaa", the song starts off with a loud distorted guitar slide and then breaks into some mid-tempo riffs and drumming. The chorus is absolutely bombastic and comes off as almost melodramatic in nature, blending dynamic riffs and open chords in a seamless manner, with Hyrde's frantic, yet melodic screams and singing as icing on the cake. The track is however not my favorite on this album, that would be the 7th song entitled "Tuomittu, Syllinen". The song starts off with slow and dark palm muted riffs before breaking into an amazing long scream. Then the verse kicks in which consists of mid-tempo start and stop riffs featuring almost narrative vocals that sound spoken rather than sung. A short but sweet lead then sets in right before the amazing chorus, The sorrowful open chords played in the background of the refrain compliment the vocals perfectly. The intro returns disguised as the bridge before a huge break emerges at 3 minutes in and the chorus returns yet again to epically end the marvelous song.

The album also contains a few blunders inbetween the goodness. The track "Erilaisen Rakkauden Todistaja" starts off with an uninteresting palm muted riff reminiscient of nu-metal. The song is very boring and plodding and doesn't have much going for it except for a merely passable chorus. Another track which did not work out well was the slow track "Kaikki Tanttyy Vielä Pärhäin" which sounds like a half-assed attempt at an alternative rock ballad.

The final track is named "Paha Arkkitehti" and is another superb mid-tempo track with a memorable chorus much like "Kadonneet" and "Tuomittu", the song ends with a machine/industrial-sounding sample which increases in volume drastically for half a minute until the album ends in a cacophonic climax.

The self-titled Stam1na release is a superb debut release and certainly a landmark within the finnish metal scene. Most songs here have some amazing stuff going for them, and the musicians in Stam1na are more than capable of conveying epic emotions through their playing and songwriting. Although I think they topped this album with their next release "Uudet Kymmenen Käskyä", the self-titled Stam1na album still remains an important stepping stone for the band and a great introductory release to the band for curious listeners.

*Review end*
________________________________________

Edit: Review approved!


Last edited by TheMirroringShadow on Wed May 18, 2011 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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zervyx
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 9:21 pm
Posts: 172
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 5:26 pm 
 

*message erased*, I didnt get any feedback to the review I posted here, so I decided to rewrite it and post it later


Last edited by zervyx on Fri May 20, 2011 1:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Annihislater
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:06 am
Posts: 15
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Wed May 18, 2011 5:34 pm 
 

Here's my review for Battle Dagorath's newest album. It was rejected as it had a few errors, so I read through it and submitted again to be told "Check for grammar and odd word choices in sentences, then resubmit." But having read through it yet again (unless I'm missing something blindingly obvious) I can't see owt wrong with it. Especially the odd word choice bit. So I thought I'd ask if anyone could help me out here, as obviously someone else has found fault with it.

---

After 2008's Eternal Throne proving to be a rather fantastic slab of atmospheric black metal, my hopes were high for this year’s offering entitled, Ancient Wraith.


The album starts in a similar way to Eternal Throne with a windswept ambient piece, entitled Spirits of Winter Darkness, provided by Christoph 'Vinterriket' Ziegler, who has gone from guest on the previous album to full time member on this one. The intro is nice and sets the mood, but ultimately feels a little bit like it's there for the sake of it.


Finally we reach the actual metal on this album with the second track, Empire of Imperial Shadows. Some nice riffs fast tremolo riffs, with lots of reverb and distortion giving them that tone that has become synonymous with atmospheric black metal. The drums are a mixture of blast beats and a slow half time sort beat. The bass and snare are mixed quite low, but aren't inaudible. The distant feel this provides gives a feeling of depth to the recording. The vocals are also quite low in the mix, but are very well executed. The song switches between frenzied blast beat sections, that brings to mind a sort of snowstorm, (though I feel I may be being influenced by the artwork there) and slower sections that seem to provide a moment's respite before launching into another faster section. Around the half way point there music breaks down into a slow arpeggio, from which a lone guitar playing a tremolo picked riff rises and gets the track going again. There is also a nice bit of 'voice over' around 3/4 of the way through, which appears again at the end. For a track that's just over 12 minutes long, and doesn't have that much variety I think it's quite a good track that doesn't get boring.


Next up we have a slightly shorter track at a mere 9 a half minutes. Where Darkness & Frost Prevails starts again with the blast beat style drumming that can be heard on the second track, but soon gives way to a double bass heavy section. But fear not, this isn't your typical dimmu borgir style clicky double bass over powering the music, because of its production it never feels intrusive, but you still get the feel of it. For the most part it's not too dissimilar to the previous track, with its tremolo syle riffs and occasional slower sections. Around the three quarter mark in the song we get a slower riff, with another guitar and/or the synth occasionally adding a bit of decoration with a few notes here and there, this serves as a bit of an outro really, as the drums and vocals never return. The riff comes to a nice end and fades away.


This brings us to the 4th and shortest (excluding the intro) track on the album, the just shy of 8 minutes Spellbound Requiem of the Winter Night. This goes for it from the very first second with the blast beats again, with the riff seemingly being at half time underneath the drumming, and the tortured sounding vocals again heavily reverberated and buried in the mix. Around halfway we get a slower section of drums, joining the guitar's in the half time feel. The music then goes into a short section that feels it could have come straight of Drudkh's Blood in our Wells if wasn't for the fact this music has a much colder feel than that album. And then back to the blast beats again.


Next up is Kingdom of Black Abyss. This track starts with a synth, and the drums providing a bit of decoration with the cymbals. Then a minute and a half in the guitar takes over with a three chord riff, and is then joined by the drums with the blast beat which has featured quite heavily so far. There seems also to be more vocals in this track than in the previous. I haven't a clue what's being 'sung', but as Robert Smith from the Cure said, sometimes you don't need to understand the words, sometimes the rhythm, feel and emotion put into them, can convey what they are trying to say just as well as the words on their own. Around a quarter of the way though, the music breaks down and the guitar and synth play a majestic sounding slow riff, accompanied by the drums and bass adding a basic but effective accompaniment, before the guitar changes to a bit of an arpeggio and the drum's return to the Drudkh style I mentioned in the previous song. Despite the music's cold harsh feel, this progression gives one a sense of hope, as if one found a cabin after being stranded in a snowstorm (to use the snow theme from the cover again). The drums then drop out to just synth and guitar, which is quite effective and gives a feeling of calmness. Around the 11 minute mark (which seems to have come about very quickly) the Drudkh style drumming I have mentioned before (I'm sure you'll understand if you hear it what I mean) returns. And this time there is a bit of vocal sparsely used here and there, just to add a bit extra to the music. This section carries us to the end of the track. Personally I think that's the best track on the album.


And now the Final track, Ancient Spectre of Oblivion. When I saw it was 19 minutes long I was rather excited. I thought realistically this could make or break the album.
I'm sad to say on this occasion, it breaks it. It's essentially 19 minutes of ambience. And not even a lot of varies ambience. It just seems to go on and on repeating the same noise over and over again, there is an initial section, and then a slight change, and then the last section starts around 4 minutes and continues until the end. I could imagine it working for 2 or 3 minutes as an outro, but not 19 minutes of it.
I found this to be incredibly disappointing, as I was looking forward to a 19 minute epic of atmospheric black metal. Instead I got the result of Vinterriket leaning on his keyboard of 19 minutes whilst they left the tape running. Such a shame.


One the whole I felt it was a good album, up until Ancient Spectre of Oblivion. It was atmospheric, it was interesting and it was coherent as an album. Despite the somewhat long running times, the tracks never felt like they dragged, and maintained my interest throughout.


One criticism would be there isn't enough variety in the drumming. There seems to be literally 4 different drum patterns used across the whole album, and whilst they worked fine, sometimes it was a little predictable.


Overall I'd say it's a solid album worth hearing, but ultimately not one that will take the band to the next level unfortunately.

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