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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
Posts: 2241
Location: United States
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:43 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
My question for people here is: what reviews written during this challenge did you think were particularly good? I want to see examples of good writing, not arguments about fucking numbers.

For my part, I have enjoyed fellow trad metal fanatic whensunburnsred's contributions. He seems like an Engrishy Gutterscream, and his entertaining descriptions and comparisons hit the nail on the head. Here's an example written for a - gasp! - single.


Personally I really enjoyed Iamntbatman's "After The Bombs" reviews, very well descriptive and fun to read. I haven't heard any of their material yet and all three of the reviews catered pretty well to my ignorance about them. I might pick up "Relentless Onslaught" just so I can get an idea as to what part of the production limited their potential.
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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:09 pm 
 

Thanks for the compliment, but I'm kind of surprised you picked those reviews out of all of the ones I submitted. They're a pretty disappointing band, but in a way that mostly makes you feel sorry for them rather than inspiring really scathing criticism. Also, they were the last ones I wrote, sort of felt the time crunch while writing them and I was pretty burnt out of reviewing at that point.

I haven't read many of the reviews just yet as I was too busy writing to really stop and read what other people were doing, but I'll start reading some of them today and discuss them here.

And seriously, guys, I can't recommend Korpse enough. I discovered them a while before the challenge but was kind of hesitant to go around talking them up until I really had my head wrapped around the albums, which the repeated back-to-back listenings and review writing itself really helped with.
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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:13 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
Thanks for the compliment, but I'm kind of surprised you picked those reviews out of all of the ones I submitted. They're a pretty disappointing band, but in a way that mostly makes you feel sorry for them rather than inspiring really scathing criticism. Also, they were the last ones I wrote, sort of felt the time crunch while writing them and I was pretty burnt out of reviewing at that point.

I haven't read many of the reviews just yet as I was too busy writing to really stop and read what other people were doing, but I'll start reading some of them today and discuss them here.

And seriously, guys, I can't recommend Korpse enough. I discovered them a while before the challenge but was kind of hesitant to go around talking them up until I really had my head wrapped around the albums, which the repeated back-to-back listenings and review writing itself really helped with.


I've been going into something of a thrash/crust phase, in part due to one of my collaborators in my current recording project. He listens to a fair share of early hard core stuff and I'm really just sort of sliding into it. Part of why they caught my eye is due to the fact that I only got around to reading some reviews after all of the crap I had to go through this week and the name of the band just jumped out at me. Any way, I tend to like descriptive reviews and those did a good job of it, even if they weren't positive.
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DeathRiderDoom
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:17 pm
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:09 pm 
 

Holy shit guys :(

I posted in here right before bedtime and woke up now to find a fucking huge argument going on. Not cool. Regrettably, i think i may have something to do with starting it, by mentioning how i liked the rule early on yesterday or something.

For the record, i will say that my rather large contribution to the 8th challenge included a bunch of singles. Almost all of them were from NWOBHM bands. For many of them it was their only release. This is very common in NWOBHM, and seeing bands there with nothing known about them, and having a hard-on for obscure NWOBHM (something those who know me online and off will agree on), i was keen to get some descriptive words in for oothers like me out there. Were my reviews good? No. None of my reviews are good quality. But i can say that i have been contacted by a plethora of people about those reviews by people on MA, elsewhere, and infact, many of the band-members themselves who have read/enjoyed, or found useful those singles reviews. Some of them have been used by the band members themselves for promotional purposes, while others have been used for peoples online blogs, and others have encouraged newcomers to check out the records.

While it probably is easier to review singles, like Napero said - sometimes there is a shitload to be said about them - perhaps even more than many obscure full-lengths - so i don't see them sas irrelevant. I do think, though - that where possible/in some cases - it is more beneficial to the site to review a full-length - hence the rule which i think is great.

Personally - i have only ever reviewed unreviewed stuff, both in and out of challenges, so i just really enjoy this contest, and sometimes, as Napero and others know - i like to push myself outside of contests, and sometimes review ten albums a week, if i'm in the mood. I think the challenge is an awesome way to add to the knowledge base of the site, and i personally really enjoy pushing myself to review obscure albums and demos from bands that have nothing written on them, or little is known about - it's fun, and it suits my musical tastes.

While i don't see anything wrong with some post-contest discussion on the rules and whatnot, i am disappointed to see this turn into some kindof e-hissy fit. Singles or no, this challenge contributes greatly to the site, and is a good way to push regular high volume reviewers like myself, and those who seldom, or havent written much in a while, to motivate themselves to review. A lot of interesting stuff can be said aboput singles, but there's no stopping it from being said outside of the contest - i do it all the time. Meanwhile i think the rule guides us somewhat away from out-and-out numbers competition, and more towards more substantial/relevant reviews (without pointing any fingers, here - we've already heard everyones side of the story).

Meanwhile i'm stoked with peoples efforts here. Good to see Napero gettin some stuff done out of insomnia, and during SOA week too - awesome. Also - great work from iamntbatman, with a rather large score. I see no reason why this shouldn't be a completely positive post-challenge discussion after an huge grand total that included a lot of really high quality reviews.
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Last edited by DeathRiderDoom on Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:45 pm 
 

This argument wasn't your fault Death, and in my personal opinion there were some issues going on here long before the topic of singles even came up. I've enjoyed a fair number of your NWOBHM reviews and think that this arbitrary mentality regarding how long an album needs to be before it can count is going to cost certain sub-genres when it comes time for the next series of challenges. Let's face it, this thing has a fair amount of visibility now, and albums that get reviewed during this event and future ones are more likely to be read. I personally believe that this mentality regarding full lengths is so primarily BECAUSE everyone is obsessed with individual scores, and this absolutely won't change even after we start capping how many demos or EPs can be reviewed. My own annoyance at all the bitching going on before I jumped into it probably didn't help the situation a whole lot.

As far as I'm concerned, this is water under the bridge, though I am standing by my assertion regarding not expanding this cap on singles into any other kind of release (demos, live albums, EPs, compilations or DVDs).
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Evenfiel
Heavy Metal Hunter

Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 9:50 am
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Location: Brazil
PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 7:11 pm 
 

Gratz everyone on another awesome result. It's good to see that inertia from the 8th challenge is still going strong!

sisters_of_merciless wrote:
By my stats only about 6% of the total reviews on the site were produced during challenges, but 12.5% of the reviewed releases were first reviewed during a challenge.

Which is quite a lot! While 12.5% of those reviews were written in 10 weeks, the remaining 81.5% virgin releases were reviewed in 400 weeks. The importance of the challenge for our review database is enormous.

As for the issue about the singles, I fail to see any issue at all. The rules are the same for everyone, and it's not like you can't review more singles after the challenge. Just do your batch of five and move on.

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iamntbatman
Chaos Breed

Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:55 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:36 am 
 

hells_unicorn wrote:
I've been going into something of a thrash/crust phase, in part due to one of my collaborators in my current recording project. He listens to a fair share of early hard core stuff and I'm really just sort of sliding into it. Part of why they caught my eye is due to the fact that I only got around to reading some reviews after all of the crap I had to go through this week and the name of the band just jumped out at me. Any way, I tend to like descriptive reviews and those did a good job of it, even if they weren't positive.


After the Bombs* are definitely the most overtly thrashy of the crust bands I reviewed this contest, but I recommend giving that Black Breath album a listen as it's really excellent stuff. It does have a quite a bit of Swedeath influence and there are some sort of misfit tracks as I mention in the review (though the vocal delivery and the guitar tone help keep everything related), plus the production is on the modern side of things, but I really enjoyed it. You're probably already familiar with them, but if you haven't already heard them give Bombstrike and Dishammer a listen. Really great thrash/crust (with a blackened edge in Dishammer's case).

I had a chance to work my way through some of the reviews submitted by other participants and I think my favorite reviewer of the challenge is joncheetham88. Dude, you've got some really great, colorful musical description going on in your reviews. The ones I read for releases by Procession, Al-Namrood and Lie in Ruins had me wanting to hear those bands right away, with the Lie in Ruins review leaving me wanting to check out Depravity, who I'm not familiar with.

I dunno why, but this line from Authority's review of Vucub Cane's Voices of the Mourning gave me a good laugh: "There's one almost coherent riff, at the beginning of “Evocation”. I guess one riff in 13 minutes isn't so bad, wait, yes it is, this is fucking metal and there needs to be riffs, god dammit."

As for comedy, caspian also had some funny ones, notably his Satanity review. His The Wakedead Gathering review also had me wanting to check out the band, despite how honestly ignorant he was about the genre the release fell into in the review. Refreshing, really, because often enough people reviewing releases outside of their normal tastes act like experts in the genre while complaining about or failing to recognize the things that make it great. Anyway, one of the better "I don't know what this is but I like it" reviews I've read.

*I actually submitted an edit for the review of their full-length to fix a few mistakes but it hasn't been approved yet, for some reason. It should be back up soon, I hope.
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whensunburnsred
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:58 am
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Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:39 am 
 

The last days of the contest I thought we were not going to get even close to 610, and when I saw the final results with 605 it was both frustrating, because we didn't achieve our goal, and satisfactory because we wrote 600 reviews for virgins - which was much more than I expected.

failsafeman wrote:
For my part, I have enjoyed fellow trad metal fanatic whensunburnsred's contributions. He seems like an Engrishy Gutterscream, and his entertaining descriptions and comparisons hit the nail on the head. Here's an example written for a - gasp! - single.


Thanks for the compliment! I know my English is shaky and definitely needs tunning, that's why I always proofread my reviews. Even though, the Engrish always comes to light... Hopefully writing more reviews will help improving it.

I think the challenge is a great idea, and benefits the MA, but maybe we shouldn't limit the number of reviews for singles. After all, if we want to have reviews for the majority of the releases, at some point we will have to review these...
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joncheetham88
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:07 am 
 

iamntbatman wrote:

I had a chance to work my way through some of the reviews submitted by other participants and I think my favorite reviewer of the challenge is joncheetham88. Dude, you've got some really great, colorful musical description going on in your reviews. The ones I read for releases by Procession, Al-Namrood and Lie in Ruins had me wanting to hear those bands right away, with the Lie in Ruins review leaving me wanting to check out Depravity, who I'm not familiar with.


Awesome thanks mate, and I definitely recommend you check out those bands right this minute. And thanks for handling some stoner/ doom stuff as I was fixated on death this time around.

hells_unicorn wrote:
singles rule


Despite sticking an oar in on behalf of the singles rule I completely agree with what you're saying - for the reasons I gave earlier I think that demos, EPs, compilations are all essential contributors to content on the site and it'd be a shitter for them to be capped in the challenge. Can't see it it realistically happening though so I wouldn't worry.
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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:32 pm 
 

joncheetham88 wrote:

hells_unicorn wrote:
singles rule


Despite sticking an oar in on behalf of the singles rule I completely agree with what you're saying - for the reasons I gave earlier I think that demos, EPs, compilations are all essential contributors to content on the site and it'd be a shitter for them to be capped in the challenge. Can't see it it realistically happening though so I wouldn't worry.


I don't oppose the singles rule, and I didn't necessarily object to it when the idea was first floated after the 8th challenge. I just got annoyed at Sjel's notion that reviewings singles (or any kind of release with only 2-4 songs on it) "didn't require a lot of thought". This is just flat out not true unless the review itself actually happens to be lacking in content, information, or is otherwise poorly written. Now someone might argue that an individual's way of reviewing shorter releases is not up the standards of the website or just barely a 3-pointer, but if this is the sole reason for cutting out more than half of the unreviewed albums available, we're going to see a pretty steep drop in total review output, especially if this is applied to demos and EPs.
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Perplexed_Sjel
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:50 pm 
 

Regardless of what you say, I still think it's true. I'm looking at a variety of single reviews you wrote that year, particularly towards the end of the challenge, and they're much shorter, with much less content and information than your album reviews. Also, I must say, I rarely ever see you write single reviews outside challenges. The same goes to everyone else, not just you.

Just look at this: http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=5798#29518

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DeathRiderDoom
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Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:17 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:00 pm 
 

Perplexed_Sjel wrote:
Regardless of what you say, I still think it's true. I'm looking at a variety of single reviews you wrote that year, particularly towards the end of the challenge, and they're much shorter, with much less content and information than your album reviews. Also, I must say, I rarely ever see you write single reviews outside challenges. The same goes to everyone else, not just you.

Just look at this: http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=5798#29518


I've written a number of singles reviews outside of the challenge - NWOBHM epecially - i might be an exception here - not sure if you were including me or what.
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droneriot
RETIRED

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 1:17 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:09 pm 
 

DeathRiderDoom wrote:
Perplexed_Sjel wrote:
Regardless of what you say, I still think it's true. I'm looking at a variety of single reviews you wrote that year, particularly towards the end of the challenge, and they're much shorter, with much less content and information than your album reviews. Also, I must say, I rarely ever see you write single reviews outside challenges. The same goes to everyone else, not just you.

Just look at this: http://www.metal-archives.com/review.php?id=5798#29518


I've written a number of singles reviews outside of the challenge - NWOBHM epecially - i might be an exception here - not sure if you were including me or what.

He's not including you, because the reviews you write are for singles that are independent of albums, sometimes even bands that don't have any full-lengths, while the reviews hells_unicorn was responsible for in the eighth challenge were almost exclusively written for singles from albums that he had already reviewed, and whose reviews contain practically no content other from echoing what he already wrote in the review for the respective album, plus a short mention of the B-sides. I wouldn't have flipped out at hells_unicorn if it weren't so obvious from looking at the reviews he wrote late in the 8th challenge, so obvious that they were just that: Repeating his sentiments of the respective album review and a short mention of the B-sides, the type of stuff that can be written in ten minutes or less. I'm glad Perplexed_Sjel looked at those reviews too and came to the same conclusion as me, just as I'm happy Perplexed_Sjel at least had the nuts to admit that the reviews he wrote late in this 10th challenge were mostly quick things written in friendly competition with OzzyApu. My hat is off to Perplexed_Sjel, and my respect for hells_unicorn as a reviewer and person took a nosedive.
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Perplexed_Sjel
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:22 pm 
 

Ha, thanks a lot. You've pretty much summed up my thoughts entirely. I don't really consider DeathRiderDoom as one of those people who wrote cheap reviews because, as droneriot said, he writes reviews for really obscure bands with very few additions to their discography (sometimes one or two releases, including short singles or demos).

Hells is also a top notch reviewer, though with an entirely different taste to me, but the challenge is just that ... A competitive challenge, particularly on an individual basis. There's no way you you're going to give up your "crown", which hells held for many years, easily. So, you write shorter reviews with limited knowledge on singles to up your numbers. It's only a game, yes, but it's also still very disheartening to churn out 40+ reviews and lose the contest, even though it is benefiting the site.

I hold my hands up to doing it on that last day. There is no way I could have written so many and stayed in touch with Ozzy if I didn't dumb it down and write shorter reviews for singles and short demos. I think he realised the same thing, which is why he was plucking singles and demos from blogspots and reviewing those without much knowledge, or any knowledge at all on the bands. He did it to win because he didn't enjoy writing 80+ reviews before and still losing out on people's respect.

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OzzyApu
Metal freak

Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:11 am
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:42 pm 
 

Perplexed_Sjel wrote:
He did it to win because he didn't enjoy writing 80+ reviews before and still losing out on people's respect.

I think all you guys are pretty cool regardless of what you think of me. Us MA reviewers are our own posse, so we gotta stick together.
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Perplexed_Sjel
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:52 pm 
 

I don't really consider a personal thing, strangely. I have no problems with yourself or hells. In fact, I've gotten on pretty well with you in the past, much better than certain others but you've got to have a backbone being here. I don't really see any united MA group ... Unless you like 80's thrash and heavy metal, of course. Which I don't. :)

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OzzyApu
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:58 pm 
 

The only other tight group that I know on here is the Australian guys, but us reviewers have a certain motivation to stick around more than the other members. I'm not a big '80s heavy / thrash kind of guy, either. I like WASP and Running Wild (which at heart are '80s bands) as my favorite bands, but I'm an extreme metal head through and through - also a post- fan.
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Abominatrix
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Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 12:15 pm
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 8:10 pm 
 

iamntbatman wrote:
Thanks for the compliment, but I'm kind of surprised you picked those reviews out of all of the ones I submitted. They're a pretty disappointing band, but in a way that mostly makes you feel sorry for them rather than inspiring really scathing criticism. Also, they were the last ones I wrote, sort of felt the time crunch while writing them and I was pretty burnt out of reviewing at that point.

I haven't read many of the reviews just yet as I was too busy writing to really stop and read what other people were doing, but I'll start reading some of them today and discuss them here.

And seriously, guys, I can't recommend Korpse enough. I discovered them a while before the challenge but was kind of hesitant to go around talking them up until I really had my head wrapped around the albums, which the repeated back-to-back listenings and review writing itself really helped with.


Yeah man, I've have had Revirgin for years but only listened to it a few times. It is really good though and your review makes me want to slap it on again, and check out their other stuff as well. Actually, a few albums that got covered here are ones I had been thinking about reviewing for a long time, and I'm actually glad other folks got to them instead...though I think Ozzy could do to check out Abhoth's excellent Forever to be Banished demo. :)

I haven't really been able to read too many of the new additions, myself, but I have noticed that a hell of a lot of stuff was covered. Good work, guys.
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iamntbatman
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:10 am 
 

Abominatrix wrote:
Yeah man, I've have had Revirgin for years but only listened to it a few times. It is really good though and your review makes me want to slap it on again, and check out their other stuff as well.


Hell yeah, dude. Revirgin has a meatier guitar tone than Pull the Flood and the songs are more direct and rocking, but I still like the debut slightly more because of the way everything fits together so perfectly despite being patched together out of some seemingly unrelated elements.
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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:47 am 
 

Perplexed_Sjel wrote:
Ha, thanks a lot. You've pretty much summed up my thoughts entirely. I don't really consider DeathRiderDoom as one of those people who wrote cheap reviews because, as droneriot said, he writes reviews for really obscure bands with very few additions to their discography (sometimes one or two releases, including short singles or demos).

Hells is also a top notch reviewer, though with an entirely different taste to me, but the challenge is just that ... A competitive challenge, particularly on an individual basis. There's no way you you're going to give up your "crown", which hells held for many years, easily. So, you write shorter reviews with limited knowledge on singles to up your numbers. It's only a game, yes, but it's also still very disheartening to churn out 40+ reviews and lose the contest, even though it is benefiting the site.

I hold my hands up to doing it on that last day. There is no way I could have written so many and stayed in touch with Ozzy if I didn't dumb it down and write shorter reviews for singles and short demos. I think he realised the same thing, which is why he was plucking singles and demos from blogspots and reviewing those without much knowledge, or any knowledge at all on the bands. He did it to win because he didn't enjoy writing 80+ reviews before and still losing out on people's respect.


This was really the reason why I started to like failsafeman's idea regarding taking individual scores out of the challenge. This idea of gaining respect by beating others rather than by achieving a better, more informative website is not the way I've viewed this challenge. I had a little bit of an idea about some friendly motivation to get another person pumped up about increasing output, but my primary focus was beating my own scores, not anyone elses and gaining the top spot per say. I have no problem with taking 8th or 9th place provided that I am happy with what I've put out.

Drone can have whatever opinion he likes regarding my reviews during that challenge, I will say that some of my single reviews for the Ozzy and Sabbath singles expanded upon some views that I already had, but this is something that I've done with singles outside of the challenge, though perhaps not in the same quantity. I sort of wanted to get away from this notion of describing a full length to the point that it turns into a novel, and yet I also like the idea of giving individual songs attention, and single reviews allow me to do that a bit more, and I do plan on reviewing more of them regardless of whether there is a challenge going on or not.

I'm not sure at this point if I'll participate in any more challenges, though I still like the general concept behind it and the visibility it provides everyone. Noktorn and Autothrall's approach of simply putting out reviews in big chunks throughout the year, virgin or no, looks like an appealing approach.

But again, regardless of how things change here, I've been enjoying a good number of the contributions made this past week. I'll make some time in the next few days to check up on Sjel's and Ozzy's reviews since I've only read 1 or 2 thusfar.
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Sean16
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Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 11:03 am
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:10 pm 
 

Good job, everyone :beer:

Nice to see the Challenge is going on, even if in a different shape and form. Perhaps one day I might come back, who knows :D
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joncheetham88
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:10 pm 
 

Sean16 wrote:
Good job, everyone :beer:

Nice to see the Challenge is going on, even if in a different shape and form. Perhaps one day I might come back, who knows :D


Well I hope you do. This challenge has got me back writing again.

Would be nice to see autothrall participating more actively in future, although the way that fellow writes its like he's perpetually in a state of MA challenge.

Well done to all fellow writers and I'll see you here next time round!
_________________
"I have been given the flesh of the sun to eat, and the milk of the moon to drink.
I have pressed through the long night and been reborn through the realms of dissolution."

http://baileysmmcreamy.blogspot.com

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