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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
Posts: 7837
Location: Innsmouth
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 11:32 am 
 

It just takes practice. We have a whole slew of regular reviewers on the site for whom English is not their primary language. Your English seems decent enough here on the forum so I'm sure you'll be cranking out well-written reviews in no time.
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SadisticGratification
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 406
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 4:59 pm 
 

http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/Bolt_Thrower/Those_Once_Loyal/93260/SadisticGratification

Could someone read that and give me some feedback on it, I'm pretty proud of it overall but any feedback would be pretty good thanks :)

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TheLiberation
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:56 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 8:30 pm 
 

I generally like the review very much, it's detailed and complex, with pretty interesting language, and it has a nice, logical structure. My only minor complaints are that the intro could be a little shorter (I understand the idea, but the first paragraph is a little huge before you reach talking about the actual album), and I'm not a great fan of quoting bigger sections of lyrics in reviews. But overall, it was interesting to read and I feel like I have a decent idea what the album sounds like (and why do you find it so awesome).
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SadisticGratification
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 406
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 12:04 pm 
 

Thanks man :) appreciate that.

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METALSANDMETALS
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:47 pm
Posts: 32
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 8:06 pm 
 

I'm trying to write a review on Kill Em All and I decided to improve my draft once again. It there anyone who can see my draft? At least I can show it here so far.

This is the following draft currently:

"Kill 'Em All is not only just officially the first thrash metal album, but the album featuring the greatest example of music. Metallica perfectly can define thrash metal with all the features found off this album such as fast and aggressive speed metal guitar riffs, raspy vocals, blast drumming and influences from heavy metal and punk rock.

First of all, the vocals James Hetfield had back then is some of the most energetic vocals you could hear in heavy metal without using any vocal techniques such as growls, angry shouting or shrieking. If someone only remembers him for mostly singing, well on this album he has a lot of screaming. Although it isn't the shrieked type of screams in this case. However, James does have singing, but it is very crazy and completely energetic. He didn't really have full-on vocals featured on later records by Metallica that appeared to influence the vocals of other vocalists such as Chuck Billy from thrash metal band Testament. The vocals just are influenced a lot by speed metal vocalists like Lemmy Kilmister and punk rock vocalists like Jello Biafra and Glenn Danzig. This creating an energetic, raspy tone for a heavy metal band from the early 1980s.

Moreover, Kirk Hammett's guitar lines (although Dave Mustaine contributed a little to the album before he was fired) are very aggressive and fast. Kirk played mostly within pentatonic scales. However, he does have a few more riffs played in Dorian mode but sound more angry than mellow in Dorian mode's minor key playing. Songs like Hit the Lights, Phantom Lord, and Seek & Destroy have more pentatonic scales. In the song The Four Horsemen, there is in the main riff, but in the middle of the song you'll hear the guitars switch briefly to full-on Dorian mode with anger reflected in its tone. Kirk does have some really good examples of thrash metal solos on this album, playing them in pentatonic scales and giving a fast, flawless guitar shred influenced by 1970s heavy metal. Furthermore, Cliff Burton's bass riffs are very deep, easily heard and give the perfect substance and power the music needs in metal. They sound a little like traditional heavy metal bass lines played much faster, but they still can be used from all types of 1970s/1980s bands from Motörhead to Judas Priest to Overkill and any of those bands of that era. Although they aren't generic, bland or boring; they're incredible! Lars Ulrich also can easily make blast beats much more faster than on their self-titled album, Load and stuff. Although, they are actually even faster than his drumming on the likes of Master of Puppets and their 2011 EP known as Beyond Magnetic. He sounds extremely insane and can easily make a pounding, harsh and powerful sound which can easily fit the other features of this album, but even can create a much more angrier and fast sound. Lars basically sounds like he isn't getting tired no matter how fast he drums by a certain amount of time. If Metallica continued to play thrash metal, maybe Lars wouldn't be tagged as "overrated" or something.

Additionally, the band originally were in LA, where all these glam metal bands such as Mötley Crüe (mainly their mid-late '80s material), Poison, Quiet Riot, etc <i>usually</i> took place in. They'd get treated like shit and even were tormented by security guards just for their aggressive style and LA citizens all thought the band were punk rock. Moving to San Francisco while glam was growing, the album, which started up thrash metal more, did get fueled a lot by the band's loath towards glam metal and the fans in LA they identified mostly as posers. Without glam, the feeling in the early thrash albums probably wouldn't have been there, which would affect metal greatly, but pretty much thrash and whatever it influenced. The lyrics in songs like Metal Militia, Seek & Destroy and Phantom Lord kind of appear to symbolize their sound which is undeniably metal and how it was too heavy for many of the glam metal fans in LA. Metal Militia and Phantom Lord bring the topic of metal in the lyrics, but Seek & Destroy sounds like it is more of their anger reflected on the glam scene which was surrounding the Bay Area thrash scene. However, it does talk about violence in songs like The Four Horsemen, Blitzkrieg, Seek & Destroy, etc and even kicking ass on stage and headbanging and stuff like in the first song they recorded known as Hit the Lights. The violent topics seem to possibly reflect more of anger or evil, while songs like Hit the Lights reflect more of headbanging, kicking ass on stage and moshing, which sounds like fun being reflected and even reflecting attack on glam or even enjoying of metal in songs like Metal Militia and Phantom Lord.

Overall, this is the perfect thrash album and truly is Metallica's masterpiece. It is the finest example of thrash and even fans of speed metal, heavy metal or even extreme metal could even enjoy this. Finding people who hate this album or don't favor it due to Metallica's change in sound is possible. However, if the band did remain thrash, maybe they'd judge this album for what it really is."

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Apteronotus
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:07 am
Posts: 856
PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 11:14 pm 
 

METALSANDMETALS wrote:
I'm trying to write a review on Kill Em All and I decided to improve my draft once again. It there anyone who can see my draft? At least I can show it here so far.


It needs some work, but keep at it. A few things were awkwardly worded, like "the album featuring the greatest example of music" "James does have singing" "the vocals of other vocalists." Most people know nothing of scales so explain what the pentatonic/dorian sections are like rather than just categorizing them and identifying their occurrences. The amount of times you mention it also may be a sign you are not properly synthesizing ideas together. There is a fair amount of excess wordage and poor word choices. For example:

"Lars basically sounds like he isn't getting tired no matter how fast he drums by a certain amount of time."
Would be more powerful if written something like:
"Lars does not get tired no matter how fast or long he drums."

There are countless ways of writing any idea but do you see how that same sentence conveys the same idea with greater clarity and less words? Don't add qualifiers like "basically" unless you mean them. Some other things: "which would affect metal greatly, but pretty much thrash and whatever it influenced." "seem to possibly reflect" wishy-washy. Your locked post had a similar error that I saw pop up in your review, i.e. misplaced modifier. Adjectives generally go immediately before the words they are modifying. So "Metallica perfectly can define thrash metal" would usually be better like "Metallica can perfectly define thrash metal" and you topic of "I wanna know how to write reviews better" would be better like "I wanna know how to write better reviews." The paragraph on the glam stuff felt extraneous and disorganized.
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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 258714 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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Location: Québec
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 1:30 am 
 

Just a little friendly tip:
Spoiler: show
Image

But seriously, it's really redundant to read the 40th Kill Em' All review and writing about more obscure stuff can really help your creativity and at the same time, it makes our job more interesting!
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SadisticGratification
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 406
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:48 am 
 

Just out of curiousity Metantoine what would be your definition of obscure? I'm going to write a review for D.R.I Thrash Zone sometime soon, while I know they're not an underground band as such would you or other mods consider that obscure enough?

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Azmodes
Ultranaut

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 10:44 am
Posts: 6037
Location: Gradec, Austria
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 12:10 pm 
 

Just to clarify, this "obscurity" thing isn't really a requirement, you can review whatever you like, of course. That was just some friendly advice from Metantoine, not a paraphrasing of site rules. Still, a mod is probably more inclined to check a review for a lesser known band/album with few reviews already than the umpteenth one for Metallica. Or Slayer. Or the new Wintersun.

"Thrash Zone" only has three reviews so far, so it's a more interesting choice for reviewing for sure. The band may not be "obscure" but there's still some things to be said about this album, so to speak.
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androdion
Metal freak

Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:34 am
Posts: 5093
Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 12:11 pm 
 

I think Tony meant something not as mainstream, not obscure per se. All the bigger and better known metal bands have a ton of reviews, while the lesser known have sometimes only two or three per album. Starting with stuff that isn't well known or has little to no reviews is easier for everyone. And for a newbie writer it gives more room to breathe, whereas having to write a perfect essay to be the fortieth review of Metallica will demand blood sweat and tears from the writer. ;)

PS: Azmodes beat me to it...
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SadisticGratification
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 406
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 12:32 pm 
 

Cheers Azmodes, I know it's not a rule persé but I get what you mean.

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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 258714 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
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Location: Québec
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 1:19 pm 
 

SadisticGratification wrote:
Just out of curiousity Metantoine what would be your definition of obscure? I'm going to write a review for D.R.I Thrash Zone sometime soon, while I know they're not an underground band as such would you or other mods consider that obscure enough?

Yeah, obscure was kind of an hyperbole. There's plenty that deserves more reviews on the site and D.R.I. is perfectly fine. No one one wants to read the 29th Reign in Blood review and everything as been said about it. Like Azmo said, there's no rules about that and it's my personal preference.
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SadisticGratification
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 406
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 1:28 pm 
 

I can see why and god knows how many reviews you get from little kids only getting into metal writing reviews for Reign in Blood with terrible grammar and spelling :lol:

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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2211
Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 3:33 pm 
 

Apteronotus wrote:
There are countless ways of writing any idea but do you see how that same sentence conveys the same idea with greater clarity and less words?

SadisticGratification, the advice he gave is exemplified and discussed in Strunk and White's The Elements of Style. It's a short book, and probably at the library, but better to own one if you're going to make writing a regular thing. (Apteronotus: *fewer words ;))
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4976
Location: United States
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 6:36 pm 
 

SadisticGratification wrote:
I can see why and god knows how many reviews you get from little kids only getting into metal writing reviews for Reign in Blood with terrible grammar and spelling :lol:


That's currently over 10% of the review queue :lol:

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Apteronotus
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:07 am
Posts: 856
PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 7:00 pm 
 

Thanks for fixing that Grave_Wyrm, also I'll have to check out that book.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2211
Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm 
 

^ Yeah do. It's an excellent tool that lives up to its principles. I'm pretty likely to recommend it to anyone asking for improvement advice. I can recommend good reviews all day, but those are only useful if economy of language is understood. That and I sometimes read the dictionary for fun, so .. you can tell that I'm totally a party animal.
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Tengan
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 6:09 am
Posts: 67
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 12:56 pm 
 

I have only been a reviewer since January so I would appreciate some tips and feedback on my work. It is all found under my username of course but would you also like me to link to it in this thread to ease it for you all?

I thought a few notes on my philosophy and limitations as a reviewer might be good to add as well:

1. I personally prefer reviews that are not too long and based on three sections really and hence I try to write in that fashion. Section 1 is a short introduction on either the band and their previous work and the expectations that I had before listening to the album. I feel the latter is particularly useful since that gives the reader a quick view on my opinion on the band and their previous work. If I am unfamiliar with the band I tend to write what I expected from them based on rumours/reviews or simply the cover or other descriptions. The second part describes the music with my opinions intertwined. The third and final part is a short summary and possibly contains some connection to the first part to wrap it all up.

2. I am not a musician myself and don't know how to really describe the music in proper musical terms on every occasion. Instead I write rather general descriptions on how it sounds, what I feel about it and possible similarities with other bands I know. I also try to make connections to the bands previous albums as well.

3. I am Swedish and hence does not have English as a native language. I do however believe my English is fairly good, but would of course like to improve it further. I mostly write scientific texts on a regular basis and would like to evolve a more descriptive English since scientific texts by default are concise and to the point without using wide descriptions or metaphors.

With that said, please fire away and please be gentle :)

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BastardHead
Magic Mike

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 5405
Location: Oswego, Illinois
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 1:00 pm 
 

Before even touching your reviews, I can tell you that trying to mold yourself into a specific format will almost always end in mediocre reviews. You need to give yourself space to breathe, room for your description to grow, otherwise you're just playing metal review mad libs with each new review, and that's not only boring as shit to read, but it's restrictive to yourself as a writer and leaves almost no room for improvement.

That's not to say short reviews are bad, obviously. Just that if you use that three paragraph format like you've described, every single review is going to read the same and nobody will care past the first few unless you're touching on a band that they care about.
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Tengan
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 6:09 am
Posts: 67
Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 1:45 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Before even touching your reviews, I can tell you that trying to mold yourself into a specific format will almost always end in mediocre reviews. You need to give yourself space to breathe, room for your description to grow, otherwise you're just playing metal review mad libs with each new review, and that's not only boring as shit to read, but it's restrictive to yourself as a writer and leaves almost no room for improvement.

That's not to say short reviews are bad, obviously. Just that if you use that three paragraph format like you've described, every single review is going to read the same and nobody will care past the first few unless you're touching on a band that they care about.


Well that three paragraph (which isn't literally three paragraphs since I try to divide it up more to ease the reading) is not a strict rule but more of a guideline. I think most reviews are somewhat divided in a loose introduction -> description/opinions -> summary fashion. Note that loose is the keyword here and the main points I try to put forth is that by initially describing your previous feelings/opinions about a band it is easier for the reader to know how to relate his or hers views to mine. Also adding a short summary at the end is a good way to put forth the key personal opinions on the album after the description of the music. I think I haven't molded myself to heavily in my reviews so far but would like to have an opinion on that as well and perhaps also tips on alternative formats given my writing style.

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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
Posts: 4976
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 9:56 am 
 

Write all of your main points first, hash out your thoughts, then write your conclusion, then polish your main points, then write your introduction.

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HELLCOMMANDO
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:28 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 5:19 pm 
 

Hi metalheads!
here's my rejected review from RUST's "Damned Hellish Voids"...hope to get some help from you..CHEERS!

"I knew this band through Fenriz’s “Band of the Week” and after listening to a few second of a “Sordid Landscapes” sample, i didn’t hesitate and immediately ordered this LP…This is a fuckin’ insane piece of a Black Metal record with some thrash influence…Everything here it’s well done: the vocals, the riffs, the sound…it’s a relentless attack!
This Panzer assault begins with the above mentioned “Sordid Landscapes” a song that if you don’t start to headbang like a maniac, you don´t deserve to be a metalhead: a fast ripping Black Thrash tune with some slow parts ala Hellhammer, totally insane. Then comes the totally Hellhammerish “Ripping Deep”…such a piece of a Black Metal song: grimm, slow and dark riffs straight from Hell
Closing the A side it’s “Hammer of Hades” a fast cold grimm Black Metal attack with a superb slow part in the middle with one of the best Black metal riff on this álbum.
The side two start with one of my fave ones “Crossing the Stream” and this is what Black Thrash Metal was meant to be: a dirty, raw, and aggresive stuff created to kick you right in the face. You’ll not gonna stop to headbang after hearing this one…killer!
“Nothingness” it’s what Black Metal should sound nowadays: grimm, cold and relentless and this song can tell.
Ending this masterpiece comes “Far Short of Forever” and you can understand why we miss old Darkthrone: this is what Nocturno Culto and Fenriz should have done years ago…such a piece of a Black Metal cut…awesome the riffs, the climates…it’s destructive!!
This two guys (J- guitar, bass and vocals; M- drums) are from Sweden, “Damned Hellish Void” is the band’s debut after a couple of EP’s and a split and GET IT NOW If you dont’s want to be another citizen of poser city!"

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dystopia4
Veteran

Joined: Mon Nov 16, 2009 6:47 pm
Posts: 3549
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 5:29 pm 
 

Right off the bat there are some formatting issues - don't do it in all bold and put spaces between the paragraphs. Also, you need to flesh out your paragraphs, the last one is just one sentence! The review as a whole should be a bit longer. Try using more evocative descriptive words.
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HELLCOMMANDO
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2006 1:28 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 5:40 pm 
 

thanks a lot for the advices dystopia4!

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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 2447
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:53 am 
 

Hey, I would like to get some feedback from this review

http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/V ... /Kveldulfr

I think could have been better but I'm not sure specifically how. Since I'm planning to write some more, advices are very well welcome!
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SadisticGratification
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 406
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:06 am 
 

Musical description is good I learned a bit about this band and the comparisons to Rotting Christ at least give someone who is not familiar with this record like me a reference point to compare the sound. Explaining intro's to songs and how the different instruments work together also gives me a fair reference point again. One major criticism is the use of "thru" :P "through" is preferable I personally feel. As for the breakdown of the review I think you could try and explain the album as a whole instead of going through each track and telling what is good about it, it decomposes the record too much when it comes to a perfect 100% like that the record is flawless and how the album flows is very important. Also this is just my opinion and my reviews are no better :lol: so I'm not pretending to be a master or something. I will check out this record though because I love Rotting Christ.

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TheLiberation
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:56 pm
Posts: 615
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:15 am 
 

I kind of agree - the description is pretty nice overall, the review also feels pretty passionate which is always very positive in my opinion, and it does give a pretty good idea what the album sounds like, but the structure could use some work. I definitely know the feeling of "must... mention... these... tracks!" ;) but I think it's better to make the track-by-track a lot shorter (one-two paragraphs), and try to make most of the musical description rather album-oriented.

(And just a minor grammar issue - "they still adds"/"[...]blastbeats sounds" - should be "add/sound" if plural)
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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
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Location: Chile
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:17 am 
 

Thanx! Maybe I needed to describe it in a more global way. I tried to do that with this review, which I would also like to receive some opinions:

http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/I ... /Kveldulfr

@The Liberation: that was just lack of proper spell checking.
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SadisticGratification
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 3:00 pm
Posts: 406
Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:23 am 
 

The use of "thanx", "thru" and "IMO" put me off slightly because it's not like you can't write English competently, even though you're Chilean your English is better than some native speakers I know :lol: I just think the use of those words in a formal/review style context makes it sound a little juvenile. That's a minor complaint though because I have never listened to that record ever and never listened to the band and I feel like I have a really good idea how they sound, heavier Opeth with progressive elements in the vain of Cynic and Atheist with dissonant heavy death metal style riffing.

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Metantoine
The XVI, dominar to over 258714 subjects

Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:00 pm
Posts: 8857
Location: Québec
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 11:28 am 
 

Yeah, please don't use words like that in formal writing outside of that, your English is fine. Yeah, "thru" is an informal version of "through" so don't use it, like Sadistic said.

"Varathron is one of the oldest black metal bands coming from Greece, where the 'hellenic' sound was born. Thru their existence" this uh, doesn't make a lot of sense. Of course the Hellenic sound is from Greece, it's certainly not from Italy. You could argue that a certain sound travels but it's hardly the case here, the Greek BM sound is quite unique. The track by track method is good sometimes but it doesn't quite work here. I often reject these reviews and ask for a larger picture.

I also need to hear this album, I only heard their early releases and they were petty good.
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Grave_Wyrm
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
Posts: 2211
Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:03 pm 
 

Kveldulfr wrote:
I would also like to receive some opinions:

http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/I ... /Kveldulfr

The bulk of the album is compromised by fast and heavy moments, with the guitars exploring tons of territory, using almost every form of riffing known into the genre.
*comprised of (?). I think that's what you meant. (and if someone could tell me how to make a "slash through", thanks)

And there are tiny things like plurals where there shouldn't be and things like that, but it's not a big deal. I think you should keep writing reviews, man. Basically since I started "using" here (like the metal addict that I am) I've appreciated your posting. You have the general tendency to bring history and experience together into an accessible and educational read. A lot like Zodijackyl in that way, actually. So if I've seen you've posted something, I generally click right on it because I know it's going to be good. In short, I'm a fan. :) But this review reads as much more disorganized and hurried (?) than the majority of your posts that I've read. Maybe writing the review put pressure on you? Maybe you had shit on your mind? Whatever the reason, give your reviews the depth of consideration and accuracy that you tend to give the majority of your posts and not only will really, really good reviews ensue, but your English will improve quite quickly, I'm sure.
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MutantClannfear
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 27, 2010 12:12 am
Posts: 2303
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:01 pm 
 

@Grave_Wyrm, quote this comment as a test and look at the code for it: "I have seven girlfriends wait no they all just found out about each other now I have a fat lip"

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Kveldulfr
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 12:01 pm
Posts: 2447
Location: Chile
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:09 pm 
 

I usually write my reviews while working and that might lead to not paying enough attention to every word I'm writing, as well as childish grammar mistakes. They might sound like I do them in a hurry, but I usually take a good time to listen and understand the album before writing something about it. I've always thought that my english is below-average to shitty, since I have this tendency of writing in english using ol' spanish grammar rules, but it was way worse. At least looks like the reviews I wrote aren't that terrible.

Thanks a lot guys!!! I think I can fix those issues and 'compress' the reviews for better presentation, providing the same insights of the reviewed material. The next one I write I'll post it here before submitting it.
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Grave_Wyrm
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:55 pm
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Location: At the bottom of the lake
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:21 pm 
 

MutantClannfear wrote:
@Grave_Wyrm, quote this comment as a test and look at the code for it: "I have seven girlfriends wait no they all just found out about each other now I have a fat lip"

sweet dude, thanks. And sorry about the lip. I tweeted their pillow talk. It's all my fault!

Kveldulfr wrote:
I've always thought that my english is below-average to shitty, since I have this tendency of writing in english using ol' spanish grammar rules, but it was way worse. At least looks like the reviews I wrote aren't that terrible.

Naw, man, you're doing fine. It just needs a little proof reading, is all. Not shitty. No worries.

edit: so maybe write them at work, edit them at home. Writing's all about the editing anyhow..
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Kveldulfr
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:01 pm 
 

Ok, I wrote something to discuss:

Desire - Crowcifix EP - 85%

Sometimes - and not very often in my case - some albums reach you with overwhelming passion and emotion almost inmediately, a quite moving feeling which is hard to describe. In a way, the musician in me feels great joy of listening such well written music but at the same time, I, the man, empathize with the sorrowful painting the music presents on this Ep.

Desire is a death/doom band that using simple elements are able to create complex layers and a huge atmospheric wall of sound. Riff-wise, the songs are very basic and standard for the genre: some quite slow chugs combined with melancholic leads that sometimes harmonize to add a bit of variety. The drums are very well played, keeping the tempo but adding some flavor with a quite 'muscular' style and feel. The bass sometimes adds some nice licks, but it keeps providing the low end most of time. Keys are mostly atmospheric, with a piano playing some relatively simple melodies from time to time. Describing these elements alone might sound like textbook death/funeral doom with a bit of gothic influences, but what makes this band and Ep stand out are 2 elements: the careful songwriting and the incredible vocal performance.

The riffs, even if they are simple, are exactly what's needed to portay such powerful emotions; they are played with conviction and the ear for weeping melodies of the guitar players here is as good as Greg Macintosh's work with Paradise Lost and Andrew Craighan of MDB but with extra crushing effect. The songs themselves are written using a lot of different changes and sections, where they make full display of what the genre has to offer; sometimes they go totally funeral doom with crushing riffs over simple slow beats, then they change the pace, giving room to keys to enchance the climax of certain moments. They also adds some 'symphonic' breaks only to break in with full force.

Although the music is excellent and can stand out by itself, Corvus's lamentations are the key ingredient to send chills to your spine with each growl, scream and whisper. His vocals are simply inmense. Corvus can growl with power, emotion and reach a very rich low tone that put to shame to many death and doom vocalists. Even if his growls are extremely powerful, you can understand the lyrics most of time, which is a high plus. Not only his growls are incredible, but he can also provide some shrieks, not unlike many excellent black metal vocalists and he also uses some whispers, combining these styles to add an extra element of versatility to the music and the lyrics. For the first time, Corvus also sings with clean vocals and he does it very well too. From the second half of White Falling Room you can listen all these 4 types of vocals interacting, adding dense layers of vocals perfectly fitting with the nature of the music underneath. The lyrics are also very well written. I can read some of the influence of their master countrymen Fernando Pessoa on the way they describe the sorrow and since he's one of my favourite writers, I'm more than pleased for read and hear these instead the more gothic type of writings where the angel goes away, he drinks wine, etc (like MDB's last albums).

There's also a live performance of a song from the album Locus Horrendus. It takes quite a bit to start, but when it does, you're doomed. The sound is quite good and the live mix is dominated by the vocals, which shows how good vocalist Corvus is, being able to deliver those demonic growls and those heartbreaking screams with ease and also displays a very solid performance of the instrumental band.

Highly recommended for anyone who likes death/doom or funeral/doom in any way, shape or form.
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Grave_Wyrm
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:03 pm 
 

:thumbsup: I'm not experienced enough to give you the finer points, but as a first-time reader and enjoyer of death/doom & funeral I can tell you it was clear, descriptive, and opinionated. I find those to be the main load-bearing supports of a sturdy review.
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androdion
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Location: Portugal
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 7:44 pm 
 

A guy from Chile reviewing a Portuguese band, and a Portuguese guy giving pointers back. Isn't the world a tiny place?! :lol:

The review is well written and its flow and description are good. I may be nitpicking here but you could revise some of the use of singular/plural and especially comas. You say for instance "Desire is a death/doom band that using simple elements are able to create...", so you use a singular and plural towards the band (which is singular) in the same sentence. I used to do this as well, but it was one of the things I started correcting later on. As for the comas, read the sentences out loud to see where you actually do the pause. It was an advice a friend of mine once gave me and it actually works! It's just that sometimes you're reading to yourself and you end up breaking a sentence halfway through the reasoning you're making. More like a proofreading exercise more than anything really.

As an off-topic curiosity, I find Desire to be somewhat similar in style to Mar De Grises. ;)
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orionmetalhead
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:46 pm 
 

Kveldulfr, honestly, all I can say about your reviews are that they have made me want to go check out that more recent Varathron album and that Desire album. I thought they were very good, sans very slight grammatical errors - errors which I also make all the time to be honest. Keep up the good work!
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Tengan
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Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 6:09 am
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Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:18 am 
 

Zero_Nowhere wrote:
I wouldn't presume to speak for Zod, but from a reading of the site I think the big problem (aside from the recently hashed out argument over missing the point of certain genres) is that a lot of the reviews have very little actual musical description and are bulked out by info about the band that is largely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

I'll use the Devourment review as an example: If I read that album without having heard MTD, I'd have no idea of what sound you were saying they abandoned. Having read the review and not yet heard the new album, I still have no idea what the hell it sounds like. Its a brutal death album apparently, but I've no idea of anything beyond that. Not which style(s) of BDM they're playing, not if the production is any good, not what the guitars sound like nor even any idea of what the fleeting high points you alluded to actually are. The whole review could have been boiled down to "Devourment play BDM and I don't like this offering" without losing any real information.


Thank you, that is a good point I will try to improve. I think that stems from me mostly reading magazines where the limited space restricts the musical description and the focus shifts slightly to make an interesting read. I think those review focuses more on giving a very wide opinion for the reader to do the rest, i.e. checking out the music, whereas web reviews focuses on giving a wider musical description. Haven't really thought on that part until recently.

Should I skip the band introduction part completely in future reviews or simply expand the musical description making it form up the bulk instead? How is my language coming around, any thoughts on that?

Thank you for your opinions.

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Zero_Nowhere
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Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 10:11 pm
Posts: 513
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2013 6:30 am 
 

Tengan wrote:
Thank you, that is a good point I will try to improve. I think that stems from me mostly reading magazines where the limited space restricts the musical description and the focus shifts slightly to make an interesting read. I think those review focuses more on giving a very wide opinion for the reader to do the rest, i.e. checking out the music, whereas web reviews focuses on giving a wider musical description. Haven't really thought on that part until recently.

Should I skip the band introduction part completely in future reviews or simply expand the musical description making it form up the bulk instead? How is my language coming around, any thoughts on that?

Thank you for your opinions.


Personally, I don't bother much with the band intros unless I feel its particularly important to the album. That's just personal preference though, there's nothing wrong with starting the review out that way. I'd say that the better option would be to expand the musical description more. There's no space restrictions on internet reviews (well, except for the ever-important 'how much waffling will the reader put up with?' bit) so it makes sense to dedicate more words to describing the album.

If it sucks, most readers will want to know what brought you to that decision. Likewise, if you think its great they'll want to know what was so awesome. No-ones tastes perfectly line up with the reviewer so knowing why he liked or loathed the release can tell them a lot about whether or not they might like it.

I'm honestly pretty terrible at analysing language and such, so I won't touch that.

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